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Local Sports

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Alyssa Rusbarsky looks to split two Tamaqua defenders.

When two programs are rebuilding, there's going to be expected ups and downs during the development process. On Tuesday, two rebuilding programs hungry for wins were involved in a tight Schuylkill League contestup until halftime.

Tamaqua earned an 11-8 advantage heading into intermission, much thanks to Bailey Hartung burying a few long jump shots.

However, Jim Thorpe went on a furious 22-3 run in the second half which propelled the Olympians to a 30-14 victory over the Raiders.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 4, 1962 Jack O'Gurek pours in a game-high 21 points to help Marian roll to a 62-41Anthracite Catholic League win over Shenandoah Catholic. The Colts, coached by Wink Gallagher, take control of the contest with a 14-4 second quarter. Jim Menconi contributes 19 points to the winning effort, while Vince Boyle chips in with nine. Billy Donovan also adds seven.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The eve before college football's National Signing Day can always be an exciting time for any college coach, player, or fan. In more recent years, the day has become quite the spectacle, with most major sports networks dedicating a whole day to National Signing Day coverage.

You've most likely all seen the typical signing day setup, where a player sits at a table with three or four hats of different colleges and then picks one, therefore making his decision. It's become a pretty important moment over the years for high school student athletes and it also makes for good T.V.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Bob Ford/TIMES NEWS Bethlehem Catholic wrestling coach Jeff Karam talks to his 132-pound wrestler Steve Maloney during last weekend’s District 11 Duals.

When Bethlehem Catholic wrestles, people take notice.

The Golden Hawks have produced countless Division I prospects over the last few years to go along with an unprecedented run of success that has included three straight PIAA Class AA Team Championships.

But after winning its fourth consecutive District 11 Class AA title this past Saturday, Becahi has been making headlines for reasons other than its mat prowess.

Monday, February 3, 2014

February 3, 1981 Tamaqua uses a big second half and a solid performance from the foul line to defeat Minersville, 60-46. The Blue Raiders, coached by Bob Fulton, hit 19-of-27 free throws in the fourth quarter to help outscore their opponent by a 25-10 margin. Todd McLaughlin, who scores a team-high 17 points, goes 9-of-12 at the stripe in the final frame to help Tamaqua pull away. For the game, the winners finish 24-of-37 at the line. Dan Smith contributes 13 points and 10 rebounds while Joe Urenovitch tallies 12 points and pulls down 14 boards.

Monday, February 3, 2014
Rich George/Special to the TIMES NEWS Palmerton's Logan Lesher drives to the basket while Jake Szczecina of Panther Valley tries to draw a charge.

Heading into the final week of the season and needing one more win to qualify for the District 11 playoffs, Panther Valley boys head basketball coach Pat Crampsie knew how important Saturday's contest against Palmerton was.

The Blue Bombers had just one win all season and the final two foes the Panthers would face are both playoff qualifiers (Pottsville and Tamaqua).

Palmerton, on the other hand, wanted to make sure it's role as a spoiler would hold true.

Monday, February 3, 2014
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Amy Smith of Lehighton looks to pass the ball to a teammate while Tamaqua's Bailey Hartung defends.

"We Believe" is the contagious theme of the Lehighton girls basketball team. Playing confident basketball is much different than playing without any confidence.

The night before Saturday's match up with Tamaqua, Lehighton coach Eric Gidney wrote a meaningful "thank you" message to his three seniors on the chalkboard in the locker room.

Gidney's appreciation and motivation helped propel the Lady Indians to a 33-29 non-league victory over Tamaqua, the Indians' second consecutive win.

Monday, February 3, 2014
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Lehighton's Jordan Knappenberger attempts to drive past Tyler Skripko of Tamaqua during Saturday's contest.

One giant similarity that both Tamaqua and Lehighton share is the fact they can shoot the lights out on any given night.

Saturday night, a hot start in this future Schuylkill League rivalry propelled the Blue Raiders to a 66-54 victory over Lehighton.

"Tonight we showed that offensively we're really unselfish," said Tamaqua coach Caszy Kosciolek. "Russell (Blaker) and Adam (Frantz) really stepped up and gave us some fire power."

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Northwestern girls managed to add a Colonial League win over Wilson to its list on Saturday, while Pleasant Valley grabbed a non-league win.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Wilson-Northwestern

Northwestern steadily pulled away from Wilson to nab a 56-35 Colonial League win.

Trista Cunningham led the Lady Tigers with 15 points, while teammates Erika Thomas and Sabrina Mertz both chipped in 11.

Madison Quinn led all scorers for the Lady Warriors with a game-high 19 points in the losing effort.

WILSON

Monday, February 3, 2014
No. Lehigh falls to Becahi, Pine Grove

BETHLEHEM Entering the semifinal round of the District 11 Class AA team championships, Northern Lehigh coach Steve Hluschak knew the challenge awaiting his team was great.

The fourth-seeded Bulldogs entered with the unenviable task of facing three-time defending PIAA Champion and top-seed Bethlehem Catholic.

And for the first time during the tournament, the Golden Hawks were able to show what they're capable of. Becahi won 13 of 14 bouts and earned bonus points in 10 matches en route to a 68-3 victory over the Bulldogs.