Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Local Sports

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Kayley Kovac of Jim Thorpe was honored before last Wednesday’s game with Panther Valley after scoring her 1,000th career point at Blue Mountain. Pictured with her are her mother, Lauren, her father and Olympian head coach Rob, and her sister, Grace. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Jim Thorpe’s Kayley Kovac was in third grade when her father and coach Rob Kovac realized that she had a natural ability to score the basketball.

At that level, scoring doesn’t come easy with players just learning the rules and fundamentals of the game.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Palmerton’s Spencer Hay (center) celebrates with his father Jim and mother Milissa after scoring his 1,000th point in his final game recently. ANDY STEINMETZ/TIMES NEWS

Within his household, Spencer Hay grew up surrounded by the sport of basketball.

Between his grandfather Frank Johannes, his father James, and older sister Kelsey, the influences on the young talent were constantly there throughout his upbringing.

As he came of age, and entered into his high school years, it was no surprise that Hay made an immediate impact on the Palmerton Boys’ Basketball program.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Jim Thorpe sixth grade girls basketball team recently won the Fourth Annual Dakotah Starr Winter Classic-JV Boys and Girls Basketball Tournament that was held at Saint Ambrose Parish Center in Schuylkill Haven. Members of the winning team include, front row from left, Allie Skrimcovsky, Hayley Smelas, Olivia Smelas; back row, head coach Ryan Hurley, Leila Hurley, Leah Snisky and Skyler Searfoss. The tournament’s MVP was also presented to Searfoss.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

February 10, 1996 - Tom LeMasters pours in a game-high 25 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 at the foul line, to help Tamaqua rally for a 77-70 Schuylkill League victory over Mount Carmel. The Blue Raiders, coached by Ed Titus, trail by four points entering the final quarter but use a 23-12 frame to gain the win. Matt Pastucha contributes 17 points to the Tamaqua cause while Chris Ferry adds 14. The winners, who outscore their opponent 22-6 at the free throw line, also receive 12 points from Steve Kropp.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

February 9, 2005 - Shavon Thompson scores eight fourth-quarter points to help the Northwestern girls pull away from Salisbury for a 54-41 win in the semifinal round of the Colonial League playoffs. The Tigers, coached by Chris Deutsch, trail by eight midway through the third quarter but a 26-11 final frame allows the team to advance to the league finals. Alison Horn finishes with a game-high 19 points while Thompson ends with 12. The winners also receive nine points from Taylor Sukanick.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Northwestern’s Quentin Bernhard (left) and Jake Renn of Southern Columbia battle in a 126-pound bout during the opening round of the PIAA team tournament. Bernhard rolled to a 10-0 decision. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS

Northwestern made its first appearance in the PIAA Class AA team championship tournament since 2008.

The Tigers dual-meet season came to end in the preliminary round as they fell to Southern Columbia, 40-26 Monday night at Whitehall High School.

“They’re a tough team,” said Northwestern head coach Jim Moll. “They have a lot of studs. We knew we were going to have our hands full.

“There were a handful of toss up matches that we were going to have to win and they got a couple of them. That made it tough for us to make up any ground on them.”

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Northwestern Lehigh’s 160-pounder Caleb Clymer (left) gets some advice from his brother Bobby, one of four brothers who came through the Tigers wrestling program. Bobby is now an assistant coach. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS

Caleb Clymer never wrestles alone.

Every time he takes the mat, the Northwestern sophomore carries with him a legacy dotted with greatness.

Clymer’s brothers – Ben, Bobby and Scott – combined to win five District 11 individual championships from 2004-11. Ben and Scott, who finished their careers at Northwestern with a combined 280 wins, were also two-time regional champions and both won state titles.

That success has helped to shape Caleb, both on and off the mat.

Monday, February 8, 2016

True-second place

Northwestern 34,

Lehighton 30

285 – Jacob Murray (NW) dec. Xander Smith, 6-2.

106 – Nate Kemmerer (L) pinned Zach Anderson in 1:08.

113 – Logan Pagotto (L) dec. Ryan Haas (NW), 4-2.

120 – Zach Kemmerer (L) dec. Baily Wehr, 10-7.

126 – Quentin Bernhard (NW) pinned Tyler Dunbar in 0:56.

132 – Jarret White (NW) won by forfeit.

138 – Ryan Dengler (NW) maj. dec. Chris Whiteman, 10-2.

145 – Tegan Durishin (L) dec. Jackson Bernhard, 8-6 (SV).

Monday, February 8, 2016

February 8, 1963 - Tom Stemetski scores a team-high 14 points to help Nesquehoning pull out a 54-49 Black Diamond League victory over Coaldale. The Warriors, coached by George Roscoe, trail by three points late in the game but close the contest on an 8-0 run to capture the win. George Malaska contributes eight points to the Nesquers’ cause while Ron Newton chips in with seven. The winners also receive six from both Joe Ligenza and Amos Eslieb. For the Tigers, George Priggins collects a game-high 20 points.

Monday, February 8, 2016
Northwestern’s Jackson Bernhard (top) wrestles Saucon Valley’s Jason Jones in a 145-pound bout during the District 11 semifinals. Jones pulled out an 8-4 decision. NANCY SCHOLZ/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

BETHLEHEM – Roughly nine hours and four matches later, Jim Moll could finally relax.

The Northwestern head coach watched his team grind, battle and ultimately prevail against Lehighton, 34-30, in the true second-place match at Saturday’s District 11 Class AA team wrestling championships to advance to the state tournament.

“It shows a lot of heart. It shows a lot of character,” said Moll. “It shows that they really wanted to be out there (at states) and they wrestled well and got it.”