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Montrose swept the Lackawanna League Division 3 basketball titles, taking boys’ and girls’ championships in the first half, second half and overall.
The clean sweep, however, does not mean it was easy.
The Meteors needed to get through a three-way playoff in the first half that forced the team into five tough games in an eight-day stretch and made it necessary to come from behind in the second-half standings.
The Lady Meteors needed to rally in a first-half playoff game before getting past Forest City when both teams were 5-0 in the second half.
Even with just one more league win necessary last week to add second-half titles, which in turn would clinch the all-season championships, both Montrose basketball teams were challenged by Elk Lake.
The Lady Meteors needed to come from behind in the second half to win, 61-48, February 15.
The Meteors fought through four overtimes to get past the Warriors, 72-67, February 16.
Elk Lake opened an 11-4 lead after one quarter and stayed in front for much of the game.
The pace slowed and the teams scored just two points each in the final four minutes of regulation to force overtime tied, 40-40.
The first three overtimes ended with ties at 44, 54 and 65.
Colby Major extended the game once for Montrose. Then, Steven Rezykowski forced the fourth overtime for Elk Lake with a long 3-pointer that completed a rally from 10 down in the final 1:41 of that period.
Montrose finally won by limiting Elk Lake to two points in the last four-minute period.
Alan Charles led Montrose with 18 points. Bill Stranburg added 16, Jeff Liddick 11 and Rob Volk 10.
The Elk Lake girls took a 28-26 halftime lead a night earlier.
Dallas Ely scored 18 points, Emily Fox 15 and Sam Abbott 12 for the Lady Meteors, who took a 47-43 lead after three and held the Lady Warriors to five points in the fourth quarter.
Karley Caines led Elk Lake with 15 points. Meghan Bush added 10.
WEEK IN REVIEW
SCRANTON - Blue Ridge’s Mike Pipitone and Alex Stanton won back-to-back titles at 135 and 140 pounds Saturday afternoon when the Lackawanna League Wrestling Championships were held for the first time at Scranton High School.
“Both of them have a tremendous work ethic, which almost goes without saying for most guys on that level,” Blue Ridge coach John Ciotoli said of the two wrestlers, who have combined for 197 wins and four district titles in his career.
Stanton started the day with his 100th career victory when he pinned Elk Lake’s Jared Curry in 31 seconds in the quarterfinals. He then pinned Wallenpaupack’s Tylor McCoy in 3:47.
Stanton defeated Scranton’s Mark Granahan by technical fall, 15-0, in 3:25 of the 140-pound final.
Pipitone followed a first-period pin with a pair of decisions. He topped Danny Pascale of Abington Heights, 8-3, in the final at 135 pounds.
The Pipitone-Pascale final was the one featuring the most career wins of any in the tournament. Pipitone improved to 95-24 on his career while dropping Pascale to 98-47.
“We never see the Triple-A schools in a dual meet,” Ciotoli said. “That could be like wrestling a District 4 guy in the first round of regionals for them.
“In the finals for both, they wrestled guys from Scranton and Abington Heights, who we just don’t see otherwise.”
Blue Ridge tied for ninth out of 14 teams in the field with 63. All the Lackawanna League schools except for Mountain View took part in the event, which was held for the first time in 20 years.
Delaware Valley won with 161 points, followed by West Scranton 149.5, Abington Heights 141.5, Western Wayne 118 and Honesdale 112.
Elk Lake was sixth with 92 points and the other five Susquehanna County wrestlers, who finished in the top four in their weight classes.
Montrose was 13th with 17 points and Susquehanna was last with seven.
Keaton Bennett (125), Tyler McCauley (160) and Brandon Cleveland (189) each finished second to lead the Warriors.
Bennett and Cleveland lost low-scoring decisions in the finals.
Honesdale’s Ryan Smith beat Bennett, 4-0. Delaware Valley’s Jon Haber topped Cleveland, 6-1.
Elk Lake also had Mason Maye (103) and Jacob Eastman (215) finish fourth.
In boys’ basketball, Susquehanna’s Brandon Stone scored 43 points in an 84-48, non-league win over Deposit, N.Y.
League play is now complete.
The final Division 3 second-half standings: Montrose 6-1, Lackawanna Trail 5-2, Mountain View 5-2, Elk Lake 4-3, Western Wayne 4-3, Blue Ridge 3-4, Forest City 1-6, Susquehanna 0-7.
The final Division 3 all-season records: Montrose 12-2, Lackawanna Trail 11-3, Elk Lake 10-4, Mountain View 9-5, Western Wayne 6-8, Blue Ridge 5-9, Forest City 2-12, Susquehanna 1-13.
In girls’ basketball, the regular season is also complete.
The final Division 3 second-half standings: Montrose 7-0, Forest City 6-1, Elk Lake 5-2, Western Wayne 4-3, Mountain View 2-5, Blue Ridge 2-5, Lackawanna Trail 2-5, Susquehanna 0-7.
The final Division 3 all-season records: Montrose 13-1, Forest City 11-3, Western Wayne 10-4, Elk Lake 7-7, Mountain View 7-7, Blue Ridge 5-9, Lackawanna Trail 3-11, Susquehanna 0-14.
Forest City advances to the District 2 Class A championship game and the state tournament.
The district final is March 6. The Lady Foresters reach state play because only two teams chose to participate in the district event and two teams from the district are guaranteed state tournament berths. Freeland MMI and Susquehanna each chose not to participate in the open tournament.
Amanda Lass celebrated Senior Night at Marywood University by scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to help the Pacers clinch a Colonial States Athletic Conference playoff berth with a 75-55 victory over Cedar Crest.
The 6-foot-1 senior center from Montrose then completed her week by doing all of her scoring in the first half of the remaining two games and moving into sixth place on the school’s all-time scoring list.
Lass had 12 points in a 68-53 road win over Philadelphia Biblical, then nine in a 63-44 victory in the rematch at Marywood.
The Pacers finished 12-0 on their home court. They also finished first in the CSAC North with a 13-3 record to go along with an 18-6 overall mark.
Lass comes off the bench to average 9.5 points. She leads the team in rebounds (6.7 per game), blocked shots (16) and field goal percentage (52.6, for the best among 10 players with more than 20 shots).
THE WEEK AHEAD
The District 2 basketball playoffs begin this week.
The Montrose girls are seeded second out of 17 teams while the Montrose boys are third out of 17. Both compete in Class AA.
The Class AA girls’ tournament has its first full round Thursday.
Montrose has a home game Wilkes-Barre GAR Thursday to try to reach the quarterfinals.
Mountain View, the eighth seed, is home against Holy Cross.
Elk Lake is the 10th seed and will play at Mid Valley while Blue Ridge is the 13th seed and will play at Wyoming Seminary.
The quarterfinals are scheduled for Monday, March 1.
The Class AA boys’ basketball tournament has a full round Friday.
Montrose is home against Blue Ridge, the 14th seed.
Elk Lake is ninth in the deep field despite a 10-4 league record. The Warriors play at Riverside.
Mountain View is 10th with a 9-5 league mark and will play at Lackawanna Trail.
The quarterfinals are Tuesday, March 2.
Class A tournament action starts on March 2 when fourth-seeded Susquehanna is home against St. Michael’s.
Forest City is the third seed with a bye into the semifinals where it will meet Freeland MMI.
In wrestling, the District 2 tournament is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Lake-Lehman.
Friday’s action will begin at 5 p.m. and continue through two rounds each of winners’ bracket and consolation competition.
Wrestling resumes Saturday morning at 11 with semifinals and the remainder of the consolation rounds. Matches for third through sixth place will begin at 4 p.m. The finals are set for 6:30.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
Luck Favors Johnson At California
FONTANA, Calif. - Cale Yarborough once said, “If you’ve got luck on your side, don’t worry about all the other stuff.”
Maybe luck is why Jimmie Johnson has won four NASCAR Sprint Cup championships.
Johnson’s latest good luck came this past Sunday in the Sprint Cup Auto Club 500, as he was able to win his fifth race at the California track.
Jimmie Johnson is congratulated by his crew chief, Chad Knaus, after his win.
“Fortune certainly played a part in today’s win,” said Johnson. “We were on pit road at the right time. “I was worried about Kevin (Harvick), because I knew he had a good car, and he had gotten by me once today.”
Johnson had pitted for four fresh tires on lap 230 of the 250-lap race when Brad Keseloswki spun bringing out a caution. Johnson’s pit crew was able to get him off pit road just one-tenth of a second ahead of the race leaders, which meant Johnson was able to stay on the lead lap. Two other cars that were on pit road with Johnson weren’t so lucky and had to go to the tail end of the field.
Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, and Mark Martin, who were leading the race pitted after Johnson. When the race went back to green, Johnson was the new leader, followed by Harvick, and then Burton.
Harvick actually caught Johnson with three laps remaining, but as he attempted an outside pass, he brushed the wall and lost all momentum. Johnson was unchallenged for the remaining two laps.
Harvick ran a strong race even after an early penalty sent him to the rear of the field for speeding on pit road.
“The 48 saw me coming and moved up and I lost it and got into the wall, and knocked the right front fender in” said Harvick. “We had a good car, and that speeding penalty should have never happened.”
Harvick is the new points leader.
Jeff Burton, Harvick’s teammate finished a close third.
“We had some good runs going, but we were pretty loose most of the day,” said Burton. “Every time we tightened it up, we couldn’t go.”
Rounding out the top-10 were: Mark Martin, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Tony Stewart, and Greg Biffle.
Jamie McMurray, the polesitter and Daytona 500 winner finished 17th.
Ryan Newman and Juan Montoya lost engines and both were out about midway of the race.
Top-12 Chase leaders after 2 of 36: 1. Harvick-331, 2. Bowyer-312, 3. Biffle-304, 4. McMurray-302, 5. Burton-300, 6. Martin-297, 7. Kenseth-288, 8. Reutimann-273, 9. Logano-263, 10. Edwards-262, 11. Kurt Busch-254, 12. Johnson-253.
KYLE BUSCH CHARGES TO NATIONWIDE WIN
Kyle Busch passed Greg Biffle coming down the final stretch to win Saturday’s Nationwide Series Stater Bros. 300 at Fontana, CA to give Joe Gibbs Racing its fifth consecutive victory at Auto Club Speedway. Biffle finished second, followed by Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, and Joey Logano.
The top-10 Nationwide drivers after 2 of 35: 1. Edwards-335, 2. Logano-311, 3. Kyle Busch-304, 4. Allgaier-303, 5. Keselowski-299, 6. Vickers-297, 7. S. Wallace-289, 8. Buescher-271, 9. Biffle-265, 10. Menard-256.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his team thought they had regained the momentum they needed to become a winner, again. That is something positive he hasn’t had for quite some time.
After coming from 10th on the final lap at Daytona to finish second, Dale Jr. was all pumped up going into Sunday’s Auto Club 500
“You get in a rhythm and with each little move it builds a lot of confidence. It’s the domino effect,” Earnhardt added. “I think it worked out as good as it could have for us at Daytona. Besides wining the race - that would have been incredible - we were fortunate enough to be in that situation.”
However, it was back to his old ways. During a pit stop on lap 133, Earnhardt spun the tires on his car as he was leaving and broke an axle. He finished 32nd, 12 laps down.
Meanwhile Danica Patrick driver of JR Motorsports No. 7 in the Nationwide Series didn’t do well in her second NASCAR race.
She finished 31st, three laps down, and was ahead of only six cars still running at the end of Saturday’s Stater Bros. 300.
But she didn't like where she finished either. Patrick stormed off pit road when it was over, refusing to talk to TV reporters, and went straight inside her hauler.
After about 15-minutes, she came out and spoke about her day, explaining her anger.
“I'm used to running up front, so it's shocking when you're that far back,” Patrick said. “But this is a whole new ball of wax for me and it's all different. The expectation to stay on the lead lap was probably not realistic. I'm going to have to disconnect from the results because it's probably not going to be what I'm used to.
“And it's a little overwhelming when people want to talk to you right as you get out of the car. Everybody needs a couple of minutes to cool down.”
Matt Kenseth has a new crew chief on his No. 17 Roush Fenway Ford team. Todd Parrott, who was the crew chief for Dale Jarrett when he won the 1999 Cup championship, took over for Drew Blickensderfer in time for last Sunday’s race.
“I just felt like it needed something to throw a spark in the thing,” said Kenseth. “We were just missing something on the team. I didn't feel the way we operated at Daytona that we could win races and win championships.”
Kenseth won the first two races of 2009, but has failed to win since then, and failed to make the Chase.
Instead of making a change during the off season, Kenseth made the move after an eighth-place finish at Daytona last weekend, when he managed a top-10 finish after running in the middle of the pack most of Sunday's race. Kenseth took the blame for the timing of the switch, explaining that team owner Jack Roush asked him at the end of last season if any changes needed to be.
“It's really hard to explain the timing of the change,” Kenseth continued. “It doesn't make any sense. Instead of dragging it out, it was just something that needed to be done. We needed to get a head start on this thing instead of waiting until we're halfway into the season and it's too late to dig ourselves out.”
Weekend Racing: The Cup and Nationwide teams are at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Truck teams are idle until March 6.
Sat., Feb. 27, Nationwide Series race 3 of 35; Starting time: 2:30 p.m. (EDT); TV: ESPN2.
Sun., Feb. 28, Sprint Cup Shelby American, race 3 of 36; Starting time: 1 p.m. (EDT); TV: Fox.
Racing Trivia Question: What series did Nationwide driver James Buescher compete in last year?
Last Week’s Question: Which Cup team is Elliott Sadler driving for this season? Answer. He drives the No. 19 for Richard Petty Motorsports. Sadler’s wife gave birth to the couple’s first child last week.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: email@example.com.
DATE, TIME, WATER AREA, MEETING PLACE, SPECIES TROUT
2/23, 2:00, Quaker Lake, PFBC Quaker Lake Access, Rainbow
3/17, 2:00, Starrucca Creek, Lanesboro Post Office, Brown Rainbow
3/17, 2:00, Canawacta Creek, Lanesboro Post Office, Brown Rainbow
3/23, 1:30, Snake Creek, Emberz Rest./Montrose, Brook Brown
4/2, 1:30, Salt Lick Creek, Trail Diner/New Milford, Brook Brown
4/8, 1:30, East Branch Wyalusing Creek, Emberz Rest./Montrose, Brook Brown
4/8, 1:30, N. Branch Wyalusing Creek, Emberz Rest./Montrose, Brook Brown
4/12, 1:30, Fall Brook, Emberz Rest./Montrose, Brown Rainbow
4/12, 1:30, Silver Creek, Emberz Rest./Montrose, Brook Brown
4/13, 2:00, Quaker Lake, PFBC Quaker Lake access, Rainbow
4/14, 12:00, Wysox Creek, Wysox/Rts. 6 & 187, Brook Brown
4/14, 12:00, Tuscarora Creek, Wysox/Rts. 6 & 187, Brown Rainbow
* Opening Day: 4/17 at 8:00 a.m. Creel limit of 5 trout.
4/19, 2:00, Starrucca Creek, Lanesboro Post Office, Brown Rainbow
4/21, 1:30, Wyalusing Creek East Branch, Emberz Rest./Montrose, Brown Rainbow
4/21, 1:30, Wyalusing Creek North Branch, Emberz Rest./Montrose, Brown Rainbow
4/21, 1:30, Sugar Run Creek, Emberz Rest./Montrose, Brown Rainbow
4/27, 2:00, Quaker Lake, Quaker Lake PFBC Access, Rainbow
4/27, 2:00, Fall Brook, Quaker Lake PFBC Access, Brown Rainbow
4/27, 2:00, Silver Creek, Quaker Lake PFBC Access, Brown Rainbow
4/29, 1:30, Snake Creek, Emberz Rest./Montrose, Brook Brown
4/29, 1:30, Gaylord Creek, Emberz Rest./Montrose, Brook Brown
4/30, 12:00, Wysox Creek, Wysox/Rts. 6 & 187, Brown Rainbow
4/30, 12:00, Tuscarora Creek, Wysox/Rts. 6 & 187, Brown
5/12, 1:30, Salt Lick Creek, Trail Diner/New Milford, Brown Rainbow
5/12, 1:30, Silver Creek, Trail Diner/New Milford, Rainbow
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