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CARBONDALE - Montrose entered the last night of first-half play needing just one more win to wrap up the Lackawanna League Division 3 boys’ basketball title in simple fashion.
The Meteors eventually got their title, but the process was far from easy.
Colby Major hit the game-winning basket in a playoff game for the second time in four nights January 26 to send Montrose to a 47-43 victory over Lackawanna Trail for the first-half title.
The championship grew in importance when the Meteors made it through a tiring stretch that threatened to make winning a second-half title more difficult. The championship came about with the help of beating Elk Lake a night after the loss that forced the playoff, then after waiting through a weather-related postponement to decide the division against Lackawanna Trail.
Major broke a 43-43 tie by hitting a 7-footer from the right side while falling backward to the floor with 1:30 left.
“I slipped a little, but I was already in my shot by then,” Major said.
Major hit a turnaround shot with seven seconds left in the first playoff game to lift the Meteors over Elk Lake, 39-38, in the first of the two games needed to break a three-way tie.
Bill Stranburg added two free throws with four seconds left to lock up the win.
With Alan Charles taking over against Lackawanna Trail scoring leader Bobby Pacholec, the Meteors held the Lions without a point for the final 3:01.
“Alan Charles was all over the place and he made some shots, too,” Montrose coach Todd Smith said.
Stranburg, Charles and Rob Volk each scored 11 points for the Meteors while Major added 10.
Volk grabbed 10 rebounds and Jeff Liddick returned from a knee injury to dish out five assists.
Stranburg also handled much of the defense that made Pacholec a combined 2-for-27 from 3-point range in the two first-half meetings between the teams.
Sophomore center Steve Miller led Lackawanna Trail with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Pacholec added 12 points, nine rebounds, five steals and three assists.
Pacholec made a steal and hit a 3-pointer with 3:01 left to complete a 12-0 run and tie the game.
“We can’t score,” Lackawanna Trail coach Andrew Kettel said. “We get it to 43-43 and we throw the ball away.”
The most costly turnover came on in in-bounds play on the offensive end of the floor with six seconds left and the Lions trailing by two.
Unable to find anyone open, the Lions sent a high pass toward the 6-foot-10 Miller. Volk, however, stepped in front, ending the last threat.
The steal was part of a big finish by Volk, who struggled early against Miller. After missing his first four shots, Volk went 5-for-6.
“I was just getting used to it,” Volk said. “I’m not used to playing against a kid who’s that much taller.”
Miller converted an offensive rebound 22 seconds in and scored on a three-point play late in the first quarter to give Lackawanna Trail its first two leads.
The teams then traded runs throughout the game.
Montrose scored the last five points of the first quarter and the first five of the second quarter for a 15-9 lead with 5:58 left in the half. Volk scored five in a row in the streak, giving the Meteors the lead at the end of the quarter.
The Lions answered with their own 10-point streak for a 19-15 lead with 2:22 left in the half.
The Meteors made the next move. After outscoring the Lions, 12-4, to end the third quarter, they opened the fourth quarter with Stranburg’s 3-pointer from the left corner for the game’s biggest lead, 43-31. Charles scored five points in the run after Volk got it started with the first four.
Montrose did not score again until Major’s game-winner.
Pacholec’s steals led to points three times in Trail’s 12-0 run to tie the game.
“In the last three games, we had leads and let them get away,” Major said. “We keep coming back and thankfully, we finished it out.”
The extended first half meant Montrose had to play five times in eight days with all the games coming against its three toughest challengers in Division 3.
Mountain View scored the first 13 points of the second-half opener on the way to a 60-53 upset of Montrose.
Jon McBride scored 23 points and Peter Hartman added 18 for the Eagles.
Charles and Volk had 17 each for the Meteors.
Montrose then needed to score seven of the game’s final eight points to beat Lackawanna Trail for the third time this season with a 54-47 victory Saturday.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Montrose graduate Chris Snee played in the Pro Bowl for the second straight year when he was added to the National Football Conference squad for Sunday’s game in Miami.
Snee started for the NFC a year ago.
This season, the New York Giants offensive guard was selected as an alternate, then added to NFC roster as adjustments were made when the Super Bowl participants were determined.
In boys’ basketball, Elk Lake got to 2-0 to start the second half.
In girls’ basketball, first-half champion Montrose and defending champion Forest City each started 2-0.
Dallas Ely hit four 3-pointers while scoring 24 points in a 47-30 victory over Mountain View to avenge Montrose’s only loss of the first half.
Kayla Kazmierski led Mountain View with 12 points.
The Lady Meteors then pulled away from a two-point game at the half to defeat Lackawanna Trail, 44-30, behind 10 points by Katelyn Spellman.
In wrestling, Western Wayne handed defending champion Elk Lake its only loss of the league season, 43-22.
The Wildcats won the first five bouts of a match that started at 145 to open a 24-0 lead.
Jacob Eastman (285) and Devin Fiorentino (135) had pins for Elk Lake in a comeback attempt that fell short.
Barring an upset in a double-dual scheduled for Monday, Western Wayne was in position to take the Lackawanna League Division 2 title with an unbeaten league record. Elk Lake finished 7-1.
Jeff Madrak, a freshman from Elk Lake, is a jumper on the Bucknell University indoor track team.
Madrak had a triple jump of 40-7 to finish 11th of 13 competitors during the Bucknell Heptagonal when the team finished first out of six. He also competes in the high jump.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Elk Lake appears to have come up one match short of repeating its Lackawanna League Division 2 title, but the Warriors still have a chance to repeat as District 2 Class AA Dual Meet Wrestling champion.
The eight-team tournament will feature the first two rounds of competition Friday at Lake-Lehman High School.
The two finalists then meet Saturday at 7.
In boys’ basketball, Elk Lake will be at Mountain View Friday. They were two of the top four teams in the first-half Lackawanna League Division 3 standings and each won its second-half opener.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
“Awesome Bill” To Return Part Time
Bill Elliott, the 54-year-old driver often dubbed “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville,” will return for at least 13 races in 2010 for the Wood Brothers Racing team. His first race will be the season-opening Daytona 500, on Sunday, Feb. 14.
“I don’t feel any different, really,” he said on Speed TV. “(The age) just doesn’t seem to matter. That’s one thing I questioned when I stopped. I ran a handful of races in ’04 and ’05, and when Len and Eddie (Wood) asked me to do a few races in ’07, I said, ‘OK, I’ll do a few.’ When I started off, I was racing every week. I thought, ‘Man I’m going to die doing this.’ But once you get used to it, it’s kind of old hat.
"Awesome" Bill Elliott-2009
“There’s no reason we can’t be on the front row when we get to Daytona. “We always have good cars there, and we’re focused only on that race going to Daytona. I expect good things.”
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said his team will continue to put all its strength into its part-time schedule while trying to build a base to return to full-time racing, possibly as early as 2011.
“You have more time,” Wood said. “The group of people we have together is a very close-knit group. And it’s small. And small is OK. It works for us. We have a lot of time to do things. If we want to do a test or have an idea, we have time to go do it. The bigger teams don’t.
“We do want to get back full-time, but we won’t do it until we can do it correctly. You won’t ever see us be a start-and-park car.”
LEE PETTY, FIRST DAYTONA 500 WINNER
Lee Petty was one of NASCAR’s pioneer drivers. The highlight of his career came in 1959 when he won the first Daytona 500. Lee, Johnny Beauchamp and Joe Weatherly arrived at the finish line in a near dead-heat. It took NASCAR officials three days before declaring Lee Petty the winner.
But that was much later.
Unable to afford a new car for NASCAR’s first race at Charlotte in June, 1949, Lee borrowed a 1948 Buick Roadmaster from a family friend.
He packed up his wife Elizabeth and sons Richard and Maurice and headed to Charlotte.
From the grandstands, the family watched as Lee moved through the field that included Red Byron, Buck Baker and Curtis Turner. Lee was reeling them in until a sway bar broke on the big Buick causing it to barrel-roll four times.
Lee received only a minor cut, but the car was torn up so bad that it took two wreckers to remove it from the track.
“Since we had driven the car to the track, we didn’t have a ride, and had to thumb our way home,” said Richard Petty.
Lee won three NASCAR Grand National (later Winston Cup) Championships in 1954, ’58 and ’59. Throughout his career he was one of the most consistent drivers in racing. Between 1949 and 1959, he never finished below fourth in the final standings.
Even though he ran his first NASCAR race at the age of 35, he still managed to start 427 races, with 54 wins, and 231 top-fives. His winning percentage was 13 percent.
“Racing isn’t just for the people who go to races or listen to them on the radio or read about them. It’s done something for everybody who rides in a car, and that’s one reason the factories need to be kept in the sport,” said Lee.
“There’s no denying, however, that racing has really come a long way. We used to think we were fortunate if we got $1,000 for winning a race. Later, Richard won millions in his career, and the purses keep going up.
“It takes a lot more to go racing than it did back in ‘the good old days,’ too. It used to be that I could buy a car and go racing without spending more than $1,000 on it.
“Don’t think that I’m saying racing isn’t getting bigger and better though. NASCAR and racing have done me and a lot of people good.
“NASCAR has done a lot of things I haven’t liked - and I’ve done quite a few things NASCAR hasn’t liked. But we’ve both had a good ‘marriage’ and both of us have benefited from it.”
In 1961 Lee had a terrible accident trying to avoid a spinning Banjo Matthews during a qualifying race at Daytona. Lee’s car flew over the guardrail and into the parking lot. He spent four months in the hospital, and did return to racing.
But essentially, his racing career was over. He only ran nine races before retiring in 1964.
Lee Petty founded Petty Enterprises, the winningest racing organization in American motorsports. Petty Enterprise drivers have claimed ten NASCAR Grand National and Winston Cup Championships, won 271 races, and fielded over 2,200 cars in 1,800 events.
Lee Petty died April 5, 2000 at the age of 86.
Weekend Racing: The 32nd annual Budweiser Shootout launches Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 6 with green flag set for 8:10 p.m. (EDT) on Fox.
Drivers that are eligible include: Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Juan Pablo Montoya, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Bill Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, Michael Waltrip, Bobby Labonte, Dale Earnhardt Jr., John Andretti, Derrike Cope, Geoff Bodine, Terry Labonte, Sterling Marlin, and Ken Schrader.
Not all 28 drivers that are eligible will run the event.
The race distance will continue to be 75 laps (187.5 miles), consisting of two segments; 25 and 50 laps. Both green-flag laps and yellow-flag laps will count. Between segments there will be a 10-minute pit stop, allowing teams to pit and change tires, add fuel and make normal chassis adjustments. Crews will be permitted to work on cars and will be allowed to perform functions they would do on a normal pit stop in a regular NASCAR Sprint Cup event.
Starting positions will again be determined by a blind-draw at the annual Budweiser Shootout Draw Party on Thursday night, Feb. 4.
Racing Trivia Question: Name Mark Martin’s three teammates that race with him in the Cup Series. If you e-mail us the correct answer, we will send you a photo of Martin.
Last Week’s Question: Who was the winner of the first Daytona 500? Answer. Lee Petty.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: email@example.com.
RACE NO., DATE, PLACE/TRACK
1. Feb. 13, Daytona Beach, FL
2. Feb. 20, Fontana, CA
3. Feb. 27, Las Vegas, NV
4. Mar. 20, Bristol, TN
5. Apr. 3, Nashville, TN
6. Apr. 9, Phoenix, AZ
7. Apr. 17, Ft. Worth, TX
8. Apr. 24, Talladega, AL
9. Apr. 30, Richmond, VA
10. May 7, Darlington, SC
11. May 15, Dover, DE
12. May 29, Charlotte, NC
13. June 5, Nashville, TN
14. June 12, Sparta, KY
15. June 19, Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI
16. June 26, Loudon, NH
17. July 2, Daytona Beach, FL
18. July 9, Chicago, IL
19. July 17, Gateway, St. Louis, MO
20. July 24, Indianapolis Raceway Park
21. July 31, Iowa
22. Aug. 7, Watkins Glen, NY
23. Aug. 14, Brooklyn, MI
24. Aug. 20, Bristol, TN
25. Aug. 29, Montreal, Canada
26. Sept. 4, Atlanta, GA
27. Sept. 10, Richmond, VA
28. Sept. 25, Dover, DE
29. Oct. 2, Kansas
30. Oct. 9, Fontana, CA
31. Oct. 15, Charlotte, NC
32. Oct. 23, Gateway, St. Louis, MO
33. Nov. 6, Ft. Worth, TX
34. Nov. 13, Phoenix, AZ
35. Nov. 20, Homestead, FL
RACE NO., DATE, PLACE/TRACK
1. Feb. 12, Daytona Beach, FL
2. Mar. 6, Atlanta, GA
3. Mar. 27, Martinsville, VA
4. Apr. 2, Nashville, TN
5. May 2, Kansas
6. May 14, Dover. DE
7. May 21, Charlotte, NC
8. June 4, Ft. Worth, TX
9. June 12, Brooklyn, MI
10. July 11, Iowa
11. July 16, Gateway, St. Louis, MO
12. July 23, Indianapolis Raceway Park
13. July 31, Pocono, PA
14. Aug. 7, Nashville, TN
15. Aug. 14, Darlington, SC
16. Aug. 18, Bristol, TN
17. Aug. 27, Chicago, IL
18. Sept. 3, Sparta, KY
19. Sept 18, Loudon, NH
20. Sept. 25, Las Vegas, NV
21. Oct. 23, Martinsville, VA
22. Oct. 30, Talladega, AL
23. Nov. 5, Ft. Worth, TX
24. Nov. 12, Phoenix, AZ
25. Nov. 19, Homestead, FL
RACE NO., DATE, RACE/TRACK, START/TV
1. Feb. 14, Daytona 500, Daytona Beach, FL, 1 p.m./Fox
2. Feb. 21, Auto Club 500, Fontana, CA, 3 p.m./Fox
3. Feb. 28, Shelby American, Las Vegas, NV, 3 p.m./Fox
4. Mar. 7, Kobalt Tools 500, Atlanta, GA, 1 p.m./Fox
5. Mar. 21, Food City 500, Bristol, TN, 1 p.m./Fox
6. Mar. 28, Goodys 500, Martinsville, VA, 1 p.m./Fox
7. Apr. 11, Subway 600, Phoenix AZ, 7:30 p.m./Fox
8. Apr. 18, Samsung 500, Ft. Worth, TX, 1 p.m./Fox
9. Apr. 25, Aaron’s 499, Talladega, AL, 1 p.m./Fox
10. May 1, Crown Royal 400, Richmond, VA, 7:30 p.m./Fox
11. May 8, Southern 500, Darlington, SC, 7:30 p.m./Fox
12. May 16, Autism Speaks 400, Dover, DE, 1 p.m./Fox
Non-points, May 22, All-Star race, Charlotte, NC, 7:30 p.m./Fox
13. May 30, Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte, NC, 5:45 p.m./Fox
14. June 6, Pocono 500, Pocono, PA, 1 p.m./TNT
15. June 13, Heluva Good 350, Brooklyn, MI, 1 p.m./TNT
16. June 20, Toyota/SaveMart 350, Sonoma, CA, 3 p.m./TNT
17. June 27, Lenox Tools 301, Loudon, NH, 1 p.m./TNT
18. July 3, Coke Zero 400, Daytona Beach, FL, 7:30 p.m./TNT
19. July 10, Lifelock.com 400, Chicago, IL, 7:30 p.m./TNT
20. July 25, Brickyard 400, Indianapolis, IN, 1 p.m./ESPN
21. Aug. 1, Pennsylvania 500, Pocono, PA, 1 p.m./ESPN
22. Aug. 8, Heluva Good, Watkins Glen, NY, 1 p.m./ESPN
23. Aug. 15, Carfax400, Brooklyn, MI, 1 p.m./ESPN
24., Aug. 21, Irwin Tools 500, Bristol, TN, 7:30 p.m./ABC
25. Sept. 5, Atlanta 500 Atlanta, GA, 7:30 p.m./ESPN
26. Sept. 11, Richmond 400, Richmond, VA, 7:30 p.m./ABC
27. Sept. 19, Sylvania 300, Loudon, NH, 1 p.m./ESPN
28. Sept. 26, AAA 400, Dover, DE, 1 p.m./ESPN
29. Oct. 3, Price Chopper 400, Kansas, 1 p.m./ESPN
30. Oct. 10, Pepsi Max 400, Fontana, CA, 3 p.m./ESPN
31. Oct. 16, Bank of America 500, Charlotte, NC, 7:30 p.m./ABC
32. Oct. 24, Tums 500, Martinsville, VA, 1 p.m./ESPN
33. Oct. 31, AMP Energy 500, Talladega, AL, 1 p.m./ESPN
34. Nov. 7, Lone Star 500, Ft. Worth, TX, 1 p.m./ESPN
35. Nov. 14, Arizona 500, Phoenix, AZ, 3 p.m./ESPN
36., Nov. 21, Ford 400, Homestead, FL, 1 p.m./ESPN
All times are Eastern Time Zone.
Located in Susquehanna County, between New Milford and Hallstead, on Franklin Hill Steam Hollow Road is the New Milford Rifle and Pistol Club with a newly heated refurbished indoor shooting range. About twenty youth, ages 12-19 enjoy friendly competition in a .22-rimfire rifle-shooting league. There is also an adult small arm pistol and sporting clays league.
Shooting is open to the public including the physically impaired. Born with Cerebral Palsy, a disease with no known cure, Greg Lee (pictured above), age ten, enjoys shooting his gun at the range. Shooting a sporter rifle gun provides a positive mental uplift and Greg shows his scorecards with a proud smile.
Members of the sportsmen’s club are dedicated to helping citizens learn how to defend themselves and with NRA instructors, they are willing to educate groups or individuals in the safe and proper methods of shooting and handling a firearm.
For more information on club activities, call President Bob House at 570-267-1116. You may visit online at RifleAndPistol.Weebly.com.
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