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LEHMAN TWP. - The semifinal round is the most important for team scoring in a multiple-team, individual-based wrestling tournament.
When it got to the semifinals of the District 2 Class AA Wrestling Championships Saturday, Elk Lake was perfect.
The 7-0 performance in the semifinal round was the biggest reason Elk Lake was able to share the team championship with Western Wayne at 187 points, nine more than Hanover Area, when the tournament came to a conclusion Sunday. It was also the way that seven of the eight Warriors advancing to Northeast Regionals were able to clinch their spots in Williamsport.
“When Devon Maye beat (Valley View’s Pete) Santarelli, that just started us,” Elk Lake coach Wes Warner said of the 5-3 overtime win at 119 pounds that was the first of the seven in the semifinals. “I talked to them all week. That’s the ticket to regionals, to win in the semifinals.
“He stepped up big in overtime. Our tournament got rolling from there.”
In a season when Elk Lake’s two-year hold on the Lackawanna League Division 2 title came to an end and the Warriors were unable to defend their District 2 Class AA Dual Meet Tournament championship, they put it all together for the start of the process that advances individuals toward the state tournament.
“You try to get as many kids through as you can,” Warner said. “Of course, it’s nice hanging those gold medals around necks, too.”
Elk Lake and Western Wayne each led with three individual champions. The eight Elk Lake wrestlers advancing by finishing in the top three in their weight class is the most of any of the 16 teams in the field.
The Warriors led a strong effort by Susquehanna County wrestlers.
Alex Stanton and Mike Pipitone of Blue Ridge each won their third straight titles. Stanton’s effort earned him the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler Award.
Susquehanna put together what might have been its best overall performance of the season while finishing 10th, two spots behind Blue Ridge. The Sabers, Mountain View and Montrose advanced one each while Blue Ridge got three through for a total of 14 county wrestlers advancing.
None of Stanton’s three opponents made it to the halfway point in their bout. The Blue Ridge senior pinned Hanover Area’s Garrett Wynn in 2:44 of the 140-pound final.
Stanton and Pipitone are Blue Ridge’s first three-time champions since joining District 2 in the 1996-97 school year.
“Coming into my high school career, I wanted four,” Stanton said. “As a freshman, I had a state placewinner in my bracket and it didn’t happen.”
Stanton’s loss to Berwick’s Tyler Perry in 2007 on the way to a third-place finish was the only District 2 tournament defeat of his career.
Pipitone, who was fourth as a freshman, had three straight close decisions on the way to the 135-pound title. He did all the scoring in the third period for a 3-0 win over Elk Lake freshman Derrick Smith, the eventual third-place finisher, in the quarterfinals. Pipitone then got past Lake-Lehman’s Jake Winters, 6-4, before beating Susquehanna’s Tom Maby, 5-1, in the only all-Susquehanna County final.
“I don’t expect a certain outcome,” Pipitone said. “I just want to win, regardless of if it’s a pin or a close decision.”
A week after dropping out of the Lackawanna League Tournament when the Sabers were the only team not to produce a semifinalist in a last-place team finish, Maby also pulled out three close wins. He reached the final with wins by a combined score of 9-1, including a 3-1 semifinal victory over defending champion Josh Manzer of Mountain View.
“I had an injured hand and had to quit the tournament last week,” Maby said. “I had a shot at the championship but I still don’t have my grip.
“Pipitone is a good wrestler.”
Keaton Bennett repeated as champion for Elk Lake at 125, Devin Fiorentino followed with a title at 130 to move up from second place a year ago and Brandon Cleveland gave the team one of its biggest wins with a head-to-head victory over Western Wayne’s Matt Rosensweet at 189. Cleveland’s win, the last team points produced by either school, forced the tie after the Wildcats had rallied to tie then take the lead during Sunday’s final round.
“It feels good this year to go out as district champion as a senior,” Bennett said. “We knew we had good wrestlers.
“We all worked hard to get some revenge after losing to Western Wayne (in Division 2) and not winning the district duals. We wanted to show everybody we have a good team.”
Bennett helped that cause with a 4-1 win over Brian Deluca of Dallas. Fiorentino then beat Wyoming Area’s Tristen Vanderlick, 10-3.
“I didn’t get to wrestle in the finals last year,” said Fiorentino, who forfeited the 2009 final with a shoulder injury that will lead to surgery after this season is over.
Once in a final, Fiorentino turned Vanderlick twice to score the bout’s last six points and pull away.
“The adrenaline kicked in,” Fiorentino said.
Cleveland scored the first six points of his bout on the way to an 8-4 win over Rosensweet.
Devon Maye was one of four Elk Lake wrestlers to reach the final before losing and settling for second place. He lost to Wyoming Area’s Andy Schutz, 4-1.
Western Wayne’s Josh Harrison escaped in the opening seconds of the third period to defeat Tyler McCauley, 1-0, at 160. Lackawanna Trail’s Eric Laytos beat Jacob Eastman, 6-1, at 215. Anthony Gipson of Meyers edged Josh Ralston, 4-2, at 285.
Mountain View’s Craig Butler used three straight pins to reach the 145-pound final where he was pinned by Hanover Area’s Matt Lukachinsky in 3:34.
Elk Lake’s Smith took third at 135 with a 2-0 decision over Lake-Lehman’s Winters.
Montrose’s Zach Thorne rallied from a four-point, second-period deficit to defeat Hanover Area’s Steve Pask, 10-8, for third place at 160.
Damien Botts of Blue Ridge beat Jason Berman of Meyers, 5-2, for third place at 215.
While the top three wrestlers in each weight class advanced, fourth through sixth place also received medals.
Nine more county wrestlers received medals.
Susquehanna’s Nick Vales (125) and Garrett Cuevas (189) took fourth.
Elk Lake’s Mason Maye (103), Mountain View’s Craige Smith (125), Blue Ridge’s Dalton Church (130) and Susquehanna’s Jarrett Coleman (285) were fifth.
Montrose’s Jay White (112) and Derek Stocker (145) and Mountain View’s Manzer (135) placed sixth.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Susquehanna jumped out to an 11-point lead after one quarter and advanced to the District 2 Class A boys’ basketball semifinals with a 68-44 victory over St. Michael’s Sunday at home.
Brandon Stone, coming off a 43-point performance in the regular-season finale against Deposit, again led the Sabers in scoring. He had 20 points.
Stone and Andrzej Tomczyk, who scored 17 points, each hit two 3-pointers.
Cole Mallery and Tyler Cundy added 12 points each.
The Sabers led 19-8 at the quarter and 38-21 at the half.
Corey Prince led St. Michael’s with 25 points.
Forest City had a bye into the semifinal round.
Montrose had to fight off an upset bid by Blue Ridge to reach the Class AA semifinal round with a 45-38 victory.
The Raiders took a 16-6 lead after one quarter against the Lackawanna League Division 3 champion Meteors, who are the third seed in the 17-team tournament.
Blue Ridge still led, 25-19, at the half before Montrose used a 17-7, third-quarter advantage to take a 36-32 lead.
Rob Volk led Montrose with 14 points.
Marvin Green led Blue Ridge with 10.
Mountain View and Elk Lake were each eliminated with first-round losses.
Lackawanna Trail topped Mountain View, 65-63, in overtime and Riverside downed Elk Lake, 52-42.
Bobby Pacholec scored six of his game-high 21 points in overtime to lead Trail to its win.
Jon McBride had 10 points, with the help of two 3-pointers, and Julian Williams had five points, including a 3-pointer, to get Mountain View out to a 19-9 lead after one quarter.
Williams, who finished with five 3-pointers and 17 points, hit two more in the second quarter but the Lions closed the gap slightly to 33-25.
Steve Miller took over on the inside and scored eight of his 18 points in the third quarter when Trail held Mountain View to five points while moving in front, 42-38.
Williams hit two 3-pointers and Luke Jenkins went 4-for-5 from the line while also scoring six points to bring the Eagles back in the fourth quarter and force overtime.
Peter Hartman had five points for Mountain View in the extra session, but the Lions outscored the Eagles, 11-9, to pull out the win.
McBride and Jenkins, who finished 8-for-10 from the line, each had 16 points for Mountain View.
Jake Bedford added 10 for Lackawanna Trail.
In girls’ basketball, third-seeded Montrose advanced in District 2 Class AA with a 67-38 romp over Wilkes-Barre GAR.
Blue Ridge, Mountain View and Elk Lake each lost in the first round in Class AA.
Forest City is waiting to play in the final in Class A where Susquehanna chose not to compete after a winless season.
Katelyn Spellman and Dallas Ely scored 13 points each to lead Montrose past GAR.
The Lady Meteors used a 20-8 second quarter to build their lead to 32-17 at halftime.
Wyoming Valley Conference Division IV champion Wyoming Seminary, the tournament’s fourth seed, needed 29 points from Lauren Skudalski to get past Blue Ridge, 47-45, in the opener.
Blue Ridge led 14-11 after one quarter and 25-22 at halftime.
Kaitchen Dearborn led the Lady Raiders with 17 points.
Mid Valley defeated Elk Lake, 60-27, behind double-doubles by Alli Walsh and Kaitlyn Merenich and a 14-point, six-steal effort by Alyssa Miraglia.
Walsh had 12 points and 18 rebounds while Merenich had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Keek Morahan led Elk Lake with 11 points.
Mid Valley, a state qualifier last year, took a 16-3 lead at the quarter and stretched it to 34-13 at halftime.
Holy Cross eliminated Mountain View, 61-44.
Amanda Lass started just one out of 25 games during her senior year at Marywood University, but that did not stop Colonial States Athletic Conference coaches from recognizing her as one of the conference’s top 17 players.
The 6-foot-1 center/forward from Montrose was an honorable mention selection on the CSAC all-star team after finishing second in the conference in field goal percentage at 52.2. Lass had 6.6 rebounds per game and a total of 16 blocked shots to lead a Marywood team that finished first in the CSAC North. She also averaged 9.2 points per game.
Lass finished her career seventh on Marywood’s all-time scoring list with 1,112 points.
The Pacers had their season come to an abrupt end when, after going undefeated at home in the regular season, they were upset at Insalaco Arena in the CSAC quarterfinals, 61-48, by Immaculata University.
Lass had two points and six rebounds in her final college game.
Marywood finished 18-7.
THE WEEK AHEAD
District 2 will determine its first basketball champion in the Class A girls’ final Wednesday night between Forest City and Old Forge.
The game will be part of a Wednesday doubleheader with the Class A boys’ final. Forest City and Susquehanna were still alive in Class A boys’ play going into Monday night.
Other championship games are not until Friday and Saturday.
The Montrose girls and boys were both still in their Class AA fields at the start of the week. If the Lady Meteors won Monday, they would play again Wednesday and Friday. If the Meteors won Tuesday, they would play again Thursday and Saturday.
In wrestling, the first round of the Class AA Northeast Regional Tournament will be held Friday night in Williamsport. The rest of the tournament will be held Saturday.
The top three finishers in each weight class advance to the state tournament.
“I’ll have to work a little harder this week to get more prepared,” Blue Ridge’s Stanton said. “It’s a whole different world there.”
In swimming, the District 2 Championships are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Wilkes-Barre CYC. Class AA action starts at noon each day.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
Johnson Gets Win No 49
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Jeff Gordon dominated Sunday’s Shelby American Cup race. He led 218 of the 267 laps, but a bad pit call cost him the win and allowed his teammate, Jimmie Johnson to claim his second victory of the season.
Gordon’s crew chief Steve Letarte elected to change two tires on Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet on the last pit stop while Johnson’s team gave him four. The two tire pit stop was not the right call, because Johnson was able to catch and pass Gordon with 16 laps to go.
Jimmie Johnson, winner at Las Vegas.
“Jeff and I really raced hard there at the end,” said Johnson. “I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get by him, but our four new tires allowed me to make the pass. We had a great day on the track and a great day in the pits.”
The win was Johnson’s 49th career win. He also has 15 victories on a mile and a half track, more than any other driver.
Kevin Harvick, winner of Saturday’s Nationwide race, was also able to get by Gordon for third.
“The biggest call for us was not taking on tires during that early pit stop,” said Harvick. “That’s what allowed us to gain the positions we needed. Once we got track position, our car was really fast. All in all, we did things today we haven’t been able to do in the past couple of years.”
Harvick continues as the Sprint Cup points leader.
“I think the two-tire stop wasn’t what we needed,” said Gordon. “We thought more guys were going to take two tires than did. We had the car. It’s real tough to make the right decision sometime. We fought Jimmie off as long as we could, but I couldn’t hold him off there at the end.”
Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, and Greg Biffle were the remaining top-10 finishers.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. started off strong, but faded about midway of the race and finished 16th.
Jamie McMurray, the Daytona 500 winner got into the rear of his teammate Juan Montoya, causing a three car pileup, involving Kurt Busch, the polesitter. All three of the drivers were able to finish the race.
Top-12 Chase leaders after 3 of 36: 1. Harvick-506, 2. Bowyer-459, 3. Martin-457, 4. Kenseth-448, 5. Johnson-443, 6. Biffle-443, 7. Burton-430, 8. Logano-413, 9. Reutimann-397, 10. Edwards-389, 11. Stewart-386, 12. Kyle Busch-375.
HARVICK TAKES VEGAS NATIONWIDE RACE
Kevin Harvick won Saturday’s race at Las Vegas, crossing the finish line 1.361 seconds ahead of Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, and Brian Vickers. Harvick now has 35 Nationwide wins in 239 career starts.
For the third consecutive time, a wreck forced Danica Patrick out early. She finished 36th.
Top-10 points leaders after 3 of 35: 1. Edwards-505, 2. Keselowski-464, 3. Vickers-457, 4. Allgaier-449, 5. Kyle Busch-426, 6. S. Wallace-426, 7. Harvick-414, 8. Biffle-408, 9. Menard-398, 10. Riggs-359.
Weekend Racing: Bill Elliott and the crew of the Wood Brothers No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion will be back at home base, for the March 7 Sprint Cup Kobalt Tools 500 at the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The Woods will be returning to a track where they’re the all-time win leader with 12 Cup victories and where their driver Bill Elliott also has five Cup wins.
One of the races that has become a big part of stock car racing lore occurred at Lakewood on Labor Day, 1941. Lloyd Seay, one of the greatest stock car drivers in the days before NASCAR, came to his home track riding an impressive win streak. It continued in the annual Labor Day Classic as Seay, driving a Modified Ford owned by Raymond Parks of Atlanta, beat another early stock car star, Bob Flock, to win the 100-miler. It would be Seay’s last race. After the race he returned to his home in Dawson County, Ga., and the next day was shot to death by his cousin during a dispute over their moonshine business.
But Dawson County was able to regain its role as the birthplace of stock car stars, thanks to the red-headed son of a local Ford dealer who went on to become “Awesome Bill From Dawsonville” and now wheels one of the most famous cars in motorsports. The Wood Brothers team also made its mark at Lakewood in the early days of NASCAR, as Glen Wood was a strong runner at Lakewood in his days behind the wheel. His best finish on the Grand Old Lady came on Labor Day weekend, 1956, when he finished second to Joe Weatherly in a Convertible race.
Glen and Delano Wood prior to start of NASCAR Convertible race at Atlanta.
Furnished by Wood Bros. Racing.
NASCAR’s Convertible circuit, which ran regularly from 1956 to 1959 and often ran in combined Sweepstakes races with the hardtops of the Grand National Series, featured some of the best drivers in the history of NASCAR. Its roster included several drivers who went on to win races in the Wood Brothers’ Fords. They included Weatherly, Curtis Turner, Tiny Lund and Marvin Panch. And Glen Wood was one of the circuit’s top drivers.
In 1956, his first year in the series, he had 12 finishes of second or third in 31 starts. For his Convertible career, he had five wins, 43 top-five and 62 top-10 finishes plus nine poles in just 89 starts. Lakewood was one of his favorite tracks, even if it did take the men from Stuart a few wrong turns before finding the track the first time they went there to race. “I sat on the pole there once,” Wood said. “The track could either be tacky or it could get to a dry, hard, slick finish. When it got like that you couldn’t charge into the turns like you usually do. “I remember one time Curtis Turner got there late and didn’t realize how slick the track was. I guess I should have warned him, but he went into the corner too hard and about went through the fence.”
Sat., Apr. 6, Camping World Trucks Atlanta 200, race 2 of 25; Starting time: 2 p.m. (ET); TV: Speed Channel.
Sun., Apr. 7, Sprint Cup Kobalt Tools 500, race 4 of 36; Starting time: 1 p.m. (ET); TV: Fox.
The Nationwide Series is idle until March 20.
Racing Trivia Question: How many Cup championships does Bill Elliott have?
Last Week’s Question: What series did Nationwide driver James Buescher compete in last year? Answer. He drove the No. 10 Camping World Series Truck.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at: email@example.com.
Susquehanna Community Elementary School students attended the Pennsylvania Area P Special Olympics on February 9 at Elk Mountain. The students participated in the Cassaro/Davis Memorial Race at both the Novice and Intermediate levels and brought home the 2010 Special Olympics Champion Trophy. They all had a wonderful time and also came home with first and second place medals. The 6th grade students that attended were Henry Ainey, Zachary Collins, Brandon Ferrante, Jacob Smith, Ashley Meck, Nichole Sheerer, Brandon Quick, Ashley Foote, and Michael Skurski. The 5th grade students were Katie Woodruff, David Vinsko, Cassandra Glover, Taylor Williams, Casey DeVries, Logan Dunbar, Tristan Alleman, and Robert Lehr. Also, a 4th grade student, Jessica Teribury, participated at the event.
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