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Winter Sports

Monday, December 14, 2009
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Jim Thorpe's Sam Lux, left, and Rashid Epps prevent Mahanoy Area's Francis Sengline from making a shot during Panther Valley Tip-Off Tournament championship game, Saturday. The Olympians wond the contest, 49-36.

It wasn't a surprise that Jim Thorpe defended its Panther Valley Tip-Off Tournament title.

But how the Olympians did it was a surprise.

Jim Thorpe beat Mahanoy Area 49-36 on Saturday night in the title game. That followed on the heels of a 54-49 win over Marian one night earlier.

For a team that lived and died with its high octane offense one year ago, and that returned three double figure scorers from that squad, winning with a pair of strong defensive performances was a huge bonus.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Major surgery just over a week before the season opener couldn't slow down Amy Zehner. And Northwestern's defense was no obstacle either as the Tamaqua junior scored 19 points in her team's 61-30 season opening win Saturday afternoon in New Tripoli.

"You've got to thank Amy for wanting to come back," said Tamqua head coach Joe Berezwick. "She didn't miss a beat."

Saturday, December 12, 2009
Steve Shinko/TIMES NEWS Jim Thorpe's P.J. Johnson lays up a shot as Marian's Chris Barletta (right) looks over his shoulder.

For Jim Thorpe's Rashid Epps, it was an opening night to remember.

The same, however, can't be said for Panther Valley.

The Panthers, who were hosting their annual Tip-Off Tournament, turned the ball over 24 times against a tough Mahanoy Area defense and dropped a 42-32 decision.

Epps, meanwhile, poured in 21 points and pulled down 19 rebounds to lead the Olympians to an exciting 54-49 victory over Marian in the evening's opening contest.

Thorpe, who won the tourney a year ago, will now defend its title tonight against the Golden Bears at 7:30.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Weatherly was off and running from the opening tip-off.

For a Tamaqua team with a history of slow starts, that's not how the Blue Raiders wanted to begin this season.

The Wreckers bolted out in front and never trailed in pulling away for a 66-51 non-league triumph Friday night in the opener for both squads.

Weatherly hit Tamaqua with the one-two scoring punch of senior guards Nathan Pfeiffer and Keith Barna.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

For Jim Thorpe's Rashid Epps, it was an opening night to remember.

The same, however, can't be said for Panther Valley.

The Panthers, who were hosting their annual Tip-Off Tournament, turned the ball over 24 times against a tough Mahanoy Area defense and dropped a 42-32 decision.

Epps, meanwhile, poured in 21 points and pulled down 19 rebounds to lead the Olympians to an exciting 54-49 victory over Marian in the evening's opening contest.

Thorpe, who won the tourney a year ago, will now defend its title tonight against the Golden Bears at 7:30.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Palmerton and Lehighton will both show a lot of youth in boys and girls basketball with young rosters on the court this season.

The two schools hooked up in their annual boys-girls varsity doubleheader to kick off the 2009-2010 season on Friday night and it was the Blue Bombers who came away with wins in both with underclassmen in the limelight.

A 23-point second quarter sparked by sophomore Ben Andrews and junior Jordan Reinhart off the bench enabled the boys to march out to a big lead and gain a 58-47 win in the nightcap.

Saturday, December 12, 2009
Special to the TIMES NEWS Lehighton's JT Keer and Alex Matika (23) battle Palmerton's Ben Andrews for a rebound.

Palmerton and Lehighton will both show a lot of youth in boys and girls basketball with young rosters on the court this season.

The two schools hooked up in their annual boys-girls varsity doubleheader to kick off the 2009-2010 season on Friday night and it was the Blue Bombers who came away with wins in both with underclassmen in the limelight.

A 23-point second quarter sparked by sophomore Ben Andrews and junior Jordan Reinhart off the bench enabled the boys to march out to a big lead and gain a 58-47 win in the nightcap.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Marian and Northern Lehigh girls both advanced to tournament championship games with victories on Friday night.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Northampton-Pleasant Vy.

Brian Stevko scored eight points in the fourth quarter to help Northampton pull away for a 50-40 non-league victory over Pleasant Valley.

The Konkrete Kids (1-0) trailed at halftime and led by just two points heading into the final period before pulling away.

For Pleasant Valley (0-1), Pat Kregloh led the way with 12 points. Nick Stanovick added three treys and finished with nine points.

Thursday, December 10, 2009
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Jim Thorpe girls basketball team members include, front row, from left, Caitlin Henninger, Nina Batts, Chelsea Robinson, Jeanna McEmoyle, Kristin Lawrence and Elaine Alvarez. Middle row, Avery Day, Kayla Susko, Amelia Herman, Chastity Mosteller, Erin Bucci and manager Kyle Lawrence. Back row, manager Kayley Kovac, Chelsea Smelas, Alexandria Ventrella, Hilary Reis, Brittany Holland, Celeste Robinson and manager Payton Kovac.

Two years ago was ground zero for the Jim Thorpe girls basketball program.

But from the ashes of that disastrous 2-22 season that included suspensions and forfeits, the Lady Olympians have been rebuilt.

Just two players senior Hilary Reis and junior Brittany Holland still remain from that squad. The majority of this year's team is part of a talented sophomore class that comprises nine of the 12 roster spots.

Thursday, December 10, 2009
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Jim Thorpe boys basketball team members include, front row, from left, Kareem Mickens, Milton Moronta, Dane Ciavarella, P.J. Johnson and Sean Green. Back row, Sam Lux, Corey Cinicola, JT Otto, Rashid Epps and Ben Moore.

The Jim Thorpe boys basketball team has been climbing the mountain of success during Brian Carroll's first two years as head coach.

If the Olympians can continue the accelerated ascent they displayed a year ago, they might just reach the peak in 2009-10.

In Carroll's rookie season, the Olympians qualified for the District 11 playoffs but dropped their opening game to finish the season with a 12-13 record.

A year ago, Thorpe went 18-7, qualified for the Schuylkill League playoffs, and won the school's first District 11 playoff game in 17 year.