Monday, February 27, 2017

Local Sports

Saturday, February 25, 2017

I guess it’s not the worst tendency to have, but I often overlook the apparent in certain sports-related catchphrases. Case in point: “team identity.”

Search the internet and you’ll discover definitions like the one found at “Team identity refers to the phenomena of individual team members who feel a positive attitude towards, and identify with, their team ... [and] put the needs of the team before their own.”

Now that I read it, I get it. As you read on, I hope you get my addition to that, too.

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Jennifer Plocinik of Lehighton is shooting for the University of Tennessee at Martin. She was named to the college conference’s “All Newcomer” team this season. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Lehighton High School is no slouch at graduating quality athletes who continue their careers in college. They perform their chosen sport in front of a supportive band of cheering fans.

Jennifer Plocinik was not the “typical” high school athlete. Her sport takes place on a target range, where competitors and spectators stay quiet.

With no high school rifle team at Lehighton, Plocinik developed her skills with the Ontelaunee Rod & Gun Club’s Junior Rifle team, and through quality coaching from Tom Fister (Kutztown) and Rich Frantz (Tamaqua).

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Pleasant Valley’s Trevor Dorn has control of Bangor’s Haakon Mathewson in their 170-pound quarterfinal round bout. DON HERB/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Copyright - DON HERB

BETHLEHEM — If there’s one mistake that Pleasant Valley’s Trevor Dorn won’t make on day two of the District 11 3A wrestling tournament, it’s underestimating anyone.

After opening the tournament with a fall in 1:49 over Whitehall’s Jesiah Davis, Dorn, the third-seed in the 170-pound bracket, gave up a third period reversal in the quarterfinals to Bangor’s Haakon Mathewson to make a 5-3 decision look closer than it was.

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Jim Thorpe’s Chris Micciche (left) drives to the basket as Lehighton’s Greg Venuto defends. MIKE FEIFEL/TIMES NEWS

BRODHEADSVILLE — What the Jim Thorpe and Lehighton District 11 4A first round playoff matchup lacked in offense, it certainly made up for in excitement.

It took four quarters, plus two overtime periods to name a victor, but when the dust settled it was the Olympians that came away with a 44-39 victory.

The Tribe swept the regular season home-and-away series between the two, but Thorpe got revenge when it mattered most.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

February 25, 1955 — Joe Duffy explodes for a game-high 28 points to help Jim Thorpe Catholic post a 50-44 victory over Fountain Springs in an Anthracite Parochial League contest. Duffy tallies nine of his points during the fourth frame to help the winners extend a narrow one-point advantage and secure the decision. Johnny Dugan chips in 10 points for Catholic High, co-coached by Joe and Franny O’Donnell, while Walt Fagan finishes with eight.

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Jim Thorpe’s Austin Williams goes for the takedown on Pine Grove’s Peyton Nuske.

BETHLEHEM – The first night of the District 11 tournament can be a daunting task.

For some, it’s the opening act of what could be a final shot at postseason glory.

While for others, it’s an opportunity to prove themselves among the area’s best for the first time.

When the final buzzer sounded Friday night at Freedom High School’s Joseph J. McIntyre Gymnasium, the prospects for many Times News area wrestlers, veterans and newcomers alike, certainly looked pretty bright.

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Tamaqua’s Josh Inama goes up with a shot over Saucon Valley’s Cody Zrinski. MIKE FEIFEL/TIMES NEWS


It’s great to have, but hard to keep.

Down by eight points midway through the fourth quarter of Friday’s District 11 Class 4A quarterfinal game, Tamaqua was fortunate to find some against Saucon Valley.

The Blue Raiders rode a wave of energy to rally and force a tie against the Panthers.

But in the blink of an eye, that momentum disappeared.

A key putback by Cole Gilotti and six free throws from Josh Snead allowed Saucon to close on an 8-0 run and gain a 59-51 victory.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Trey Shackleton, a Northwestern graduate and three-time Times News swimmer of the year, recently helped West Chester University capture its 19th consecutive Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference tournament championship.

Shackleton, a sophomore who spent his freshman year at Indiana University, won one individual event and finished second in two other races. He was also part of a winning relay team and a runner-up foursome.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Tamaqua Jr. Raiders 3rd & 4th Grade Boys Basketball Team recently won the 2017 Cully Classic Basketball Tournament held in Schuylkill Haven. The team defeated PVYBA (Panther Valley), Schuylkill Haven, Minersville Blue, and then defeated Schuylkill Haven in the title game. Members of the championship team include, front row from left, Connor Penberth, Brody Breiner, Cooper Ansbach, Denny Krell; back row, Noah Mateyak, Declan Coleman, Luke Kane, and Mason Ligenza.

Friday, February 24, 2017
Marian rallies to defeat SV

POTTSVILLE – The Marian girls’ basketball team was in a whole lot of trouble Thursday evening.

The Fillies were being frustrated by an upstart Shenandoah Valley team during the first half of their District 11 Class 2A quarterfinal round game.

The Blue Devils were looking confident and poised while there appeared to be no giddy-up in the Fillies.

That was until unsung 6-0 sophomore Emma McClafferty made her presense felt for Marian. McClafferty’s strong play in the paint lit a fire under the Fillies and propelled them to a 38-27 victory.