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Local Sports

Monday, December 12, 2011
bob ford/times news Jim Thorpe's Ja'Quan Brown (32) tries to rip the ball away from Andy Kuzma (44) of Mahanoy Area.

Brian Carroll had an inkling it could happen.

So, did Mickey Holland.

The Jim Thorpe and Mahanoy Area head basketball coaches both had a good feeling that the Panther Valley Tip-Off Tournament Championship game could possibly be decided in the final minutes.

"Yes, I did," Holland said. "And, it was. It was a great experience for both teams.

"I think it's going to help both teams in the long run."

Saturday night, Mahanoy Area received the immediate benefit as the Golden Bears posted a 44-39 victory over the Olympians.

Monday, December 12, 2011
Palmerton second at Catasauqua Duals

Palmerton's wrestlers finished second in the Catasauqua Duals over the weekend, while Northern Lehigh ended up fourth in the Brandywine Tournament.

Palmerton

-Catasauqua Duals

Palmerton's lone loss in the Catasauqua Duals over the weekend came to eventual team champion Lake Lehman, giving the Blue Bombers second place with a 4-1 record. The host Roughies finished in third place with a 3-1 mark and Bryan Carter of Lake Lehman won the Leroy Bolmer Outstanding Wrestler Award.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Jim Thorpe and Panther Valley wrestling teams got their seasons underway this past weekend at the annual Jim Thorpe Duals. This year's duals featured ten teams including; North Schuylkill, Lower Moreland, Radnor, Cedar Cliff, Dieruff, Coatesville, Conestoga Valley, Susquehanna Township, Panther Valley and host Jim Thorpe.

The teams were split into two divisions with each team having to play each opponent in their respective pool. After pool play, the teams were seeded for the championship rounds based on their record during pool play.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The lead was dwindling and the momentum had switched.

And it was obvious that Jim Thorpe needed some kind of spark.

Fortunately for the Olympians, Robert Freeman was on the floor.

With his team's double-digit advantage cut to just four entering the fourth quarter, Freeman opened the final frame with back-to-back three-pointers. That quick burst of offense started an 18-7 run that helped lift Thorpe to a 55-42 win over rival Marian in the opening round of the Panther Valley Tip-Off Tournament.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

During the Mahanoy Area 2011 football campaign Mike Gaval and Neal Goodman provided most of the offense for the Golden Bears. Gaval being the quarterback and go-to-guy and Goodman being the spark plug for the Bears.

Friday night at Panther Valley however, the roles were reversed and Goodman led Mahanoy Area to a 47-36 win in the opening round of the Panther Valley Tip-Off Tournament.

Saturday, December 10, 2011
ron gower/times news The Tamaqua girls' swimming and diving team is comprised of, front row, from left, Caroline Kanaskie, Andrea Whitley, Megan Wagner and Ashley Van Buren. Second row, Nichelle Puckalavage, Danielle DeCindio, Amber Gulick, Emily Bumbulsky and Carly Trovinger. Back row, assistant coach Adrian Bumbulsky, Denae Starry, Makayla Boyle, Joanne Butkus, Miranda Amey and head coach Ashley Stankek.

Ashley Stanek will be taking over the helm of the Tamaqua Blue Raider swimming program this season. Stanek will have the difficult task of replacing long-time coach Eric Lech, who had a very successful stint with the Raiders.

Stanek is far from a stranger to the program, however, as she will benefit from coaching under Lech and learning the system last season.

The Raiders' girls program finished last year as the Schuylkill League champion. With plenty of returning talent, experience and know how, Stanek would like to continue that winning tradition with this year's team.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

December 10, 1976 Tamaqua places four players in double figures to help gain a 76-63 victory over Jim Thorpe. The Raiders' Al Heitz leads all scorers with 20 points while teammate Dan Miorelli contributes 18. The winners, coached by George Cunningham, also receives 15 more from Jack Quinn while Greg Rottet chips in with 12. Tamaqua uses a 19-9 second quarter to take control against the Olympians, who are led in scoring by Jerry Kmetz's 17 points.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

There was an uncertainty in the air as Pleasant Valley's Marquis Brown stepped to the free throw line.

The Bears' eight-point halftime lead had evaporated to two with 34 seconds remaining in the game as Brown stepped to the line for the front end of a one-and-one. The big sophomore hadn't played particularly well over the last few minutes and had head coach Ken Piontkowski wondering what was about to happen.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It was 20 years ago that a group of hunters decided the time had come for them to begin a pro-active project to feed the needy.

Today, that project – which became known as Hunters Sharing the Harvest – is on a pace to have its most successful year ever. And that, according to executive director John Plowman of the Harrisburg area, means more than 100,000 pounds of ground, processed venison is expected to find its way to food banks throughout Pennsylvania.

Saturday, December 10, 2011
bob ford/times news Lehighton's Anthony Rossino (5) tries to drive around Palmerton defender Brett Snyder.

Palmerton opened up its boys basketball season with a win over Lehighton for the fourth straight time, while the Lady Blue Bombers celebrated Kelsey Hay's 1,000th point by making it a sweep by downing the Lady Indians in a boys-girls vasity doubleheader at the LAHS gym.

The Bombers and Indians hooked up in a physical contest that saw Palmerton pull away down the stretch for a 55-48 victory.