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Local Sports

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Northern Lehigh girls' basketball team made history last year by becoming the second team in school history to have an undefeated regular season.

The postseason was a different story as the Bulldogs walked away from the Colonial League, District 11 Class 2A and PIAA playoffs empty-handed.

After falling short of a banner year, Northern Lehigh girls' coach Dave Oertner said his players are driven more this season.

The drive started back on March 13, when the Lady Bulldogs dropped a 50-46 heartbreaker to Shikellamy in the First Round of the PIAA State playoffs.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
The Marian girls basketball team includes, front row, from left, Lindsay Nemeth, Corrine Markiewicz, Gillian Ferko, Kaycee Gutsie, Emily Sofranko and Gabby Green. Back row, Samantha Faust, Kaysi McLaughlin, Danielle Tristani, Kelly Shober, Kim Wilson and manager Audrey Maff.

Just three years ago, the Marian girls' basketball team was regarded as the best small school program in the state.

Since that time, they've spent the last few years trying to get back their image of a championship-caliber team.

The Fillies have posted a combined 30-17 record the past two seasons, which included back-to-back eliminations in the District 11 semifinals. While that would be outstanding for some programs, it has been more of a transitional period of rebuilding for Marian coach Paul Brutto..

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Mike Haines/TIMES NEWS Northwestern boys basketball team members for the 2010-11 season include, front from left, Ty Richardson, Talon Williams, Payton Bachman; middle row, Dylan Roth, Ty Cunningham, Jeremy Ettl, Andrew Rivera, Matt Rivera; back row, David Dorney, Ben Snyder, Matt Maher, Jared Binder, Shelby Storm and Luis Rivera.

Having 10 senior players was a luxury for Northwestern's basketball team last season.

Having only a few varsity players returning this season is the price the Tigers will have to pay for that luxury.

That 10-person senior class included the team's top five scorers last season as well as all of the team's regular starters.

This season four seniors, eight juniors and a couple sophomores make up the team's opening day roster.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 8, 1986 Tom McLaughlin tallies a team-high 18 points to help Marian pull away from Panther Valley for a 65-49 victory. The Colts, coached by Sid Llera, outscore the Panthers in every quarter including a 20-13 edge in the final frame to seal the win. Joe Gurzenda also contributes 16 points while Tony Tacelosky finishes with 10. Game-high honors go to the Panthers' Gene Snisky, who ends the contest with 20 points.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Mike Haines/TIMES NEWS Northwestern wrestling team members for the 2010-11 season include, front from left, Alec Fixl, Mitchell Evans, Cole Miller, Brendan Lutton, Michael Ortiz, David Grace, Tyler Walton; middle row, Michael Hontz, Thadeus Vogels, Bobby Clymer, Ethan Keichel, LJ Walker, Jeff Tobash, Alex Buskirk; back row, Dustin Badesso, Alec Eidelman, Levi Veppert, David Tirpak, Kyle Sorensen.

It was only three years ago that Northwestern's wrestling team went 11-0, capping a 5-year run in which it went 52-3 in the Colonial League.

The seniors on this year's team were freshman back then, when the team won it's second straight league and district titles.

The Tigers have gone 15-7 in league matches the past two seasons and could be ready to contend for titles again this season.

Led by a five returning seniors and bolstered by several talented younger grapplers, Northwestern will field a strong line up in 2010-11.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
The Marian boys basketball team is comprised of, kneeling, from left, Ryan Karnish, John Julian, Mike Nesgoda, Corey Ryba, Anthony Agosti, Damian Richards and Anthony Pilla. Standing, Chris Barletta, Jordan Weber, JT Keer, Ryan Gimbi, Dominick Richards, Eric Baker, Zach Motil and Mark Stawick. Paul Martin is also on the team.

Last season, the Marian boys' basketball team concocted a winning formula that took them all the way to the second round of the State playoffs.

In addition, the Colts (23-6) coasted to a Schuylkill League Division 3 Championship, a second-place finish in Leagues, and claimed their first District 11 Championship in 11 years.

However, much has changed over the off-season.

Marian enters this year having lost 65-percent of its points, 66-percent of its rebounds, 67-percent of its three-point field goals and 88-percent of its blocked shots.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Mike Haines/TIMES NEWS Northwestern girls basketball team members for the 2010-11 season include, front from left, Jen Nemes, Sam MacLaughlin, Jenny Gulick, Ashley White, Alex Lerner; middle row, Emma Kemmerer, Erynn Day, Abby Heydlauf, Jenn Groller, Nycole Everett, Amanda Kyle, Jaime Kraky, Cheyenne Shupp; back row, Taylor Dietrich, Kaleen Suter, Jess Albright, Kayla Shoemaker, Trista Cunningham, Sara Jones and Caileigh Landrigan.

With just one starter graduated from last year, Northwestern expects to be a much better team than the one that went 3-19 overall and 3-13 in the Colonial League last year.

The Tigers return their best player in sophomore guard Sara Jones and several other player who got valuable experience last year.

"Going into the season our goal is we want to be more competitive in games than we were last year," said Northwestern head coach Chris Deutsch. "We want to make the district playoffs."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Fillie volleyball seniors recognized

Senior members of the Marian Fillies' volleyball team were honored during the booster club's annual banquet held Sunday at Capriotti's in Tresckow. They include, front, from left, Cathleen Cataldo, Laura Cinicola, Emily Nerino and Katie Collevechio; and back, assistant coaches Steve Hartman and Jess Yorke, Maria Currie, Kathleen Reilly, Rachel Krajcirik, Taylor Mele, Tori Vadyak and head coach John Fallabel.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Bob Ford/TIMES NEWS Jim Thorpe wrestling team members for the 2010-11 season include, front from left, Brian Ohl, Mike Helmer, James Boyle, Cody Lewis, Adam Rex; second row, Jon Fritz, James Denny, Mike Munoz, Rich Emery, Shane Edwards, Macros Salas, Christian Gavornik, Ryan Roberto; third row, manager Ellyn Tomko, Jeremy Emery, Quinn Boswell, Alex Pope, Justin Mazzella, Josh Guth, Tyler Mangold, Conner Rumley, Akeeno Stewart, Tom Ford, manager Dylan Bradley and manager Sara Kimborowicz. Other members of the team include manager Samatha Harlan, Steven Jamison, Tom Ludlow, Josh Dean and Phil Schron.

Shawn Albert loves a good challenge.

And that's exactly what he has with the Jim Thorpe wrestling program.

The Olympians don't return anyone with a winning record. In fact, their roster includes many who have never had a record.

Despite that, the team's new mentor is pretty optimistic.

"I'm excited to be part of this program and this district," said Albert. "There was a challenge put in front of the coaching staff to get the numbers up and get energy back into the program. Fortunately everything's going our way right now.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Bob Ford/TIMES NEWS Jim Thorpe girls basketball team members for the 2010-11 season include, front from left, Chasity Mosteller, Celeste Robinson, Brittany Holland, Alexandria Ventrella, Chelsea Smelas; back, manager Kayley Kovac, Catherine Condly, Jeanna McElmoyle, Nina Batts, Kristin Lawrence and manager Payton Kovac.

The Jim Thorpe girls basketball team is not lacking for small, quick players.

With that in mind, it's rather fitting what the Olympians expectations are this season.

"We're very small," said head coach Rob Kovac. "We're really looking at playing four guards most of the time with only one post player. Our first couple kids off the bench are guards as well, so our expectations will be guarded ... literally."

Heading the list of those guards is junior Celeste Robinson, the team's leading scorer a year ago with a 12.6 points per game average.