Monday, February 27, 2017

Local Sports

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Four Times News area wrestlers were crowned District 11 Class 2A champions Saturday night.
Northwestern's Caleb Clymer, Northern Lehigh's Ryan Farber, Tamaqua's Tanner McHugh and Palmerton's Jared Mooney all left Liberty High School with gold medals around their necks.
Clymer topped Pen Argyl's Chase Anklam 7-0 in the 152-pound final for his second district championship after also standing on the top step of the podium as a freshman.
Farber beat Panther Valley's Hunter Kennedy 13-3 for the title at 160 pounds, his third consecutive district gold medal.

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Gillian Hinkle of Weatherly gets blocked out at the basket by Nativity’s Mallory Sanders. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

POTTSVILLE – Weatherly tried and tried and dug deep.

The Wreckers weren’t just content to make it to the District 11 Class A postseason tournament — they were determined to get a win.

Weatherly maintained that dream for the first half of its quarterfinal round game with Nativity. But by the middle of the third quarter, the dream had turned into a nightmare.

Unable to withstand a rallying Nativity club, the Wreckers watched in dismay with nary an answer as the Golden Girls pulled away for a 58-38 victory.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

NEW HOPE — A clash of two styles.

Jim Thorpe likes to run in transition, and New Hope-Solebury tends to slow it down.

Something had to give during a District 11 playoff meeting between the Olympians and Tigers.

New Hope jumped out to an early first quarter lead, which kept the Tigers right in their comfort zone during a 42-33 victory over Jim Thorpe on Friday at New Hope-Solebury High School.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

I guess it’s not the worst tendency to have, but I often overlook the apparent in certain sports-related catchphrases. Case in point: “team identity.”

Search the internet and you’ll discover definitions like the one found at “Team identity refers to the phenomena of individual team members who feel a positive attitude towards, and identify with, their team ... [and] put the needs of the team before their own.”

Now that I read it, I get it. As you read on, I hope you get my addition to that, too.

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Jennifer Plocinik of Lehighton is shooting for the University of Tennessee at Martin. She was named to the college conference’s “All Newcomer” team this season. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Lehighton High School is no slouch at graduating quality athletes who continue their careers in college. They perform their chosen sport in front of a supportive band of cheering fans.

Jennifer Plocinik was not the “typical” high school athlete. Her sport takes place on a target range, where competitors and spectators stay quiet.

With no high school rifle team at Lehighton, Plocinik developed her skills with the Ontelaunee Rod & Gun Club’s Junior Rifle team, and through quality coaching from Tom Fister (Kutztown) and Rich Frantz (Tamaqua).

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Pleasant Valley’s Trevor Dorn has control of Bangor’s Haakon Mathewson in their 170-pound quarterfinal round bout. DON HERB/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Copyright - DON HERB

BETHLEHEM — If there’s one mistake that Pleasant Valley’s Trevor Dorn won’t make on day two of the District 11 3A wrestling tournament, it’s underestimating anyone.

After opening the tournament with a fall in 1:49 over Whitehall’s Jesiah Davis, Dorn, the third-seed in the 170-pound bracket, gave up a third period reversal in the quarterfinals to Bangor’s Haakon Mathewson to make a 5-3 decision look closer than it was.

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Jim Thorpe’s Chris Micciche (left) drives to the basket as Lehighton’s Greg Venuto defends. MIKE FEIFEL/TIMES NEWS

BRODHEADSVILLE — What the Jim Thorpe and Lehighton District 11 4A first round playoff matchup lacked in offense, it certainly made up for in excitement.

It took four quarters, plus two overtime periods to name a victor, but when the dust settled it was the Olympians that came away with a 44-39 victory.

The Tribe swept the regular season home-and-away series between the two, but Thorpe got revenge when it mattered most.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

February 25, 1955 — Joe Duffy explodes for a game-high 28 points to help Jim Thorpe Catholic post a 50-44 victory over Fountain Springs in an Anthracite Parochial League contest. Duffy tallies nine of his points during the fourth frame to help the winners extend a narrow one-point advantage and secure the decision. Johnny Dugan chips in 10 points for Catholic High, co-coached by Joe and Franny O’Donnell, while Walt Fagan finishes with eight.

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Jim Thorpe’s Austin Williams goes for the takedown on Pine Grove’s Peyton Nuske.

BETHLEHEM – The first night of the District 11 tournament can be a daunting task.

For some, it’s the opening act of what could be a final shot at postseason glory.

While for others, it’s an opportunity to prove themselves among the area’s best for the first time.

When the final buzzer sounded Friday night at Freedom High School’s Joseph J. McIntyre Gymnasium, the prospects for many Times News area wrestlers, veterans and newcomers alike, certainly looked pretty bright.

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Tamaqua’s Josh Inama goes up with a shot over Saucon Valley’s Cody Zrinski. MIKE FEIFEL/TIMES NEWS


It’s great to have, but hard to keep.

Down by eight points midway through the fourth quarter of Friday’s District 11 Class 4A quarterfinal game, Tamaqua was fortunate to find some against Saucon Valley.

The Blue Raiders rode a wave of energy to rally and force a tie against the Panthers.

But in the blink of an eye, that momentum disappeared.

A key putback by Cole Gilotti and six free throws from Josh Snead allowed Saucon to close on an 8-0 run and gain a 59-51 victory.