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Local Sports

Friday, December 6, 2013
bob ford/times news Jim Thorpe girls basketball team members are, front row, from left, Robbyn Loyd, Alexys Naranjo, Cat Condly, Alissa Rusbarsky and Ciara Miranda. Middle row, Brittany Doughty, Autumn Cope, Ilse Hassler, Brooke Cope and Briea Bush. Back row, Kaitlyn Ohl, Paisley Williams, Danielle Becker, Gabbie Becker, Nikki Ennis and Rebecca Cressman.

Jim Thorpe's girls' basketball head coach Rob Kovac must have heard voices in his head while the number of his team's victories were dropping from 21 just two years ago to only one win last season.

The voices were saying, "Be patient and keep with the plan."

And Kovac, in his seventh season mentoring the Lady Olympians, is listening.

"We need experience and this year we have everyone back, so the more games we play the more practice we will get with the skills that are utilized in a basketball game."

Friday, December 6, 2013
bob ford/times news Jim Thorpe wrestling team members are, front row, from left, Dalton Freer, Tylor Day, Kevan Gentile, James O'Toole, Prince Simmonds. Middle row, Ali Capabianco, Cameron Condly, Antonio Madera, Kyleem Johnson, Kevin Coke, Pollux Fisher. Back row, Manager Dakota Pale, James Donahue, Ryan O'Rourke, Greg Palmer, Justice Batts, Robbie Geisinger.

When 10 sophomores and a freshman that dominate the roster, most coaches would claim that a rebuilding year is in order.

Not so for Jim Thorpe's wrestling coach, Shawn Albert.

"I fully expect us to compete with the young talent that we have and win our fair share of matches this season," says Albert.

Two losses from last year's ten win team, however, can't be overstated. Graduating were Brian Ohl, a 30 match winner, who was one victory away from regionals and Ryan Ruberto, the team's heavyweight, a 21 match winner who placed in all of last season's tournaments.

Friday, December 6, 2013
Front: Jordan McEmoyle, Alex Heydt and Deonte StHill. Middle: Ryan Carroll, Brendan Carroll, Steve Principe, Dom Pomp and Nick Acker. Back: Todd Lawrence, Dave Everett, Rayan Green, Shane Snisky and Bryce Micciche.

The resurrection of a basketball program does not always begin on the hardwood.

For Jim Thorpe's first year boys' head coach Grant Whary, it begins in the school hallways and in the classroom.

"When I was hired I found out that some of our players had issues with discipline and academics," says Whary. "So I made it clear to everyone on the team that success in basketball only happens when there is respect for authority and accomplishment in schoolwork."

Friday, December 6, 2013

December 6, 1991 A big second half enables Marian to pull away from North Schuylkill for a 74-56 victory. Terry McElmoyle and Shawn McGinley combine for eight points during the third quarter that helps stretch a single-digit lead to a 49-32 advantage. McElmoyle finishes with a game-high 21 points while McGinley ends with 16. The Colts, coached by Joe DeAngelo, also receive 16 points from Brad Shanfelt and 12 from Mark Makovec.

Friday, December 6, 2013
bob ford/times news Weatherly boys basketball team member include, front row, from left, Devan Berger, John Hinkle and Evan Kunkle. Middle row, Scott Coll, Josh Reiner, Luke Reiner and Derek Coombs. Back row, head coach Ron Cann, Dylan Bizarre, Tim Busher, Brett Kelly, Zach Peiser, Luke Figas, Nick Miller and assistant coach Tom Figas.

Rebuilding a high school basketball program is often difficult, especially at a small school.

In the case of Ron Cann and the Weatherly boys' basketball team, nearly 90 percent of his varsity team's offense was lost to graduation.

Brett Stallone, Charlie Wallish and Joey Haganey graduated, leaving behind a squad with its work cut out for it.

Coach Cann takes on this challenge with the utmost optimism.

Friday, December 6, 2013
Front: Shelby Berger, Ally Isom, Lexi Hartz, Catherine Strizak, Tea Heister and Jackie Gillott. Back: Coach Sue Sernak-Martinelli, Coach Terry Hartz, Samantha Hartz, Kelly Parker, Dominique Adamczyk, Courtney Lovett, Cheyanne Wallish, Jessica Polchin, Manager Carol Seltner and Head Coach Walter Frantz.

Recently-hired Weatherly girls basketball coach Will Frantz knew he had his work cut out for him. However, he is welcoming the challenge with open arms and a great response.

This year 31 girls tried out for the team, which Frantz believes is an all-time high.

"People associated with the program have told me that they can't remember ever having to make cuts at Weatherly," Frantz admits. "I'm impressed with the enthusiasm so far and I think that will translate into some good things down the road."

Friday, December 6, 2013
Carbon United finishes season undefeated

The Carbon United OutKasts Boys U-9 soccer team recently finished its season with an undefeated record. The team competes in the Lehigh Valley Soccer League. The OutKasts allowed just three goals the entire season, which was their first together. Members of the team include, front row from left, John Light, Matthew Sofranko, Rory Robinson, Mascot Noah Geiser, AJ Light, Rowan Melber; middle row, Nick Zeigenfuss, Stephen Yuhas, David Donavon, Mason Marchessault, Dawson Meckes, Jacob Geiser; back row, coaches Chris Geiser and JD Light.

Thursday, December 5, 2013
ron gower/times news The Pleasant Valley girls basketball team members are, front row, from left, Maliyah Jones, Jordan Meckes, Mackenzie Dorney, Dzana Krcic, Caroline Scott, Kiki Russel. Back row, assistant coach Ken Dekmar, Mackenzie Borger, Courtney Miller, Renee Milos, Jenesa Fields, Julia Craig, and head coach Nadia Gauronsky.

Pleasant Valley has big plans for this season, and there's good reason for that optimism. The team that came up just short of its third consecutive Mountain Valley Conference title brings back its top scorers along with plenty of depth for one more run at a league title.

"We have everybody back and this team has been a part of two MVC championships and was a runner-up last year," said fifth year coach Nadia Gauronsky. "And they've made district playoffs the last three years.

Thursday, December 5, 2013
Rich George/Special to the Times News The 2013-14 Palmerton wrestling team under coach Dave Lavin prepares for the upcoming season.

Palmerton head wrestling coach Dave Lavin has enjoyed some success the last couple of years that saw the Bombers reach the league playoffs and district duals.

With some experience through the middle of his lineup and from what he's seen through the first two weeks of practice, Lavin is hoping to keep the program up near the top of the Colonial League.

The biggest problem that Lavin has had to deal with is numbers and trying to fill some of the weight classes to try and make competing in the dual meets a little easier.

Thursday, December 5, 2013
ron gower/times news Members of Pleasant Valley boys basketball team are, front row, from left, Nyeim Nevarez, Lance Robinson, Kevin Wisser, Jarius Hosier, Zach Deegan, Eric Mikulski, Shai-Quan Alder. Back row, coach Tony Chupa, Ferrell Fludd, Dakota Neubert, Pierce Roden, Marquis Brown, Ron Moore, Bryan Sharpe, Aaron Raughley, coach Bob Madsen, and head coach Ken Piotkowski.

The disappointment of losing in the Mountain Valley Conference championship game for the second consecutive season didn't last long for coach Ken Piontkowski, who looked at the abundance of players coming back and envisioned even more success this year.

"We only return two starters, but a number of the guys coming back played a lot of minutes last year," said Piontkowski, who is entering his 19th season as head coach. "And they played significant minutes last year. So from that standpoint, it's not like we're a rookie squad. We definitely have some experience."