POTTSVILLE BOYS BASKETBALL

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CRIMSON TIDE 19 - 0

 

Berks Catholic's late rally falls short against Pottsville in boys basketball

Thursday January 29, 2015 12:01 AM

By Mike Drago

Dave Mullaney brought his unbeaten Pottsville basketball team down Route 61 Tuesday because he was eager to see how it responded to getting punched in the mouth.

The Crimson Tide coach was not disappointed at seeing his guys walk away a little bruised and swollen.

"That's the first time this year we've been in a game like this," said Mullaney after the Tide dodged a last-second 3-point bid and survived against Berks Catholic 49-46 in a non-league rumble between playoff-bound teams.

"The reason we put this game on the schedule is to get better at the end-of-game situations," said Mullaney. "We haven't had a ton of close games."

The Tide (19-0) got all it wanted from the Saints (10-8), who erased most of an 11-point, third-quarter deficit with a fierce fourth-quarter rally.

The Saints stepped up their defensive pressure and got a pair of big steals from Isaac Lutz and a third from Pop Lacey, each resulting in layups.

Lacey's, with 2:40 remaining, cut Pottsville's lead to 45-42.

When Lacey found Tyrone Nesby on a backdoor cut 30 seconds later to again make it a three-point game, Mullaney called timeout to discuss end-game strategy.

That's something his club, ranked No. 8 in the state in Class AAA by PennLive.com, hadn't done all season.

The Tide had won each of its games by at least 15 points; it's average winning margin of 32.4 was second-highest in the state.

The Saints accepted the challenge of playing a top team and brought it for a full 32 minutes.

They jumped to leads of 5-0 and 12-5, Lutz sparking them with an early 3-pointer on his way to 19 points.

The experienced Tide, with five returning starters and three Division I baseball recruits - Travis Blankenhorn (Kentucky), Eli Nabholz (Penn State) and Connor Hinchliffe (LaSalle) - rose to the challenge.

The 6-5 Nabholz stuck a pair of 3-point daggers in the second quarter to lift his team to a 25-22 halftime lead, then dropped two more in the third quarter as the Tide took command.

He finished with 19 points, hitting 4-of-6 from beyond the arc as he continually got free on screens and switches.

The Saints fought back and made it a one-possession game; they came up short on a couple of loose balls at the end that might've given them a chance to win it.

Instead, they saw their six-game winning streak snapped when Lutz's off-balanced 3 from well beyond the arc was off target at the final buzzer.

"It all comes down to the foul shots," said Saints coach Snip Esterly. "We're 9-for-18. That's the difference."

Mullaney knows a tight game in a playoff atmosphere will only help his club come March.

"We did not handle things as well as we would have liked the in the fourth quarter," he said. "Credit them. We knew how talented they were, and they're even better than we thought. I was really impressed with Isaac Lutz. He caused us all kinds of problems."

Esterly knows his team is getting close; just not close enough.

"These are the (kind of) teams we have to beat to win something," he said, "and we're not there yet."

Contact Mike Drago: 610-371-5061 or mdrago@readingeagle.com.

 

 

 

READING — Pottsville faced its toughest test of the season Wednesday night.

Thanks to a big night from Eli Nabholz, the Crimson Tide’s bid for an undefeated regular season marches on.

Nabholz scored 16 of his 19 points in the middle two quarters as Pottsville held on for a 49-46 non-league victory over Berks Catholic.

Nabholz, who knocked down four 3-pointers in the game, had eight points apiece in second and third periods. The Crimson Tide (19-0) held a 29-15 scoring advantage in the middle quarters to take a 42-31 lead heading into the fourth.

Jordan Melochick added 14 points for Pottsville, while Travis Blankenhorn had 13. Melochick was 4-for-4 from the foul line in the fourth quarter.

Isaac Lutz had 19 points for Berks Catholic (10-8), which cut the deficit to 47-45 late in the game. The Saints had 13 seconds on the clock for their last possession, but Lutz missed a wild 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Pottsville finishes the regular season at Panther Valley on Friday, hosting Lehighton on Feb. 3 and traveling to Jim Thorpe on Feb. 6.

POTTSVILLE (49) — Hinchliffe 0 0-0 0, Painter 0 0-0 0, Blankenhorn 6 0-3 13, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 3 6-6 14, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 0-0 0, Abdo 1 0-0 3, Nabholz 6 3-3 19. Totals 16 9-12 49.

BERKS CATHOLIC (46) — Wilson 0 0-0 0, Gilbert 0 0-0 0, Suriel 0 0-0 0, Lacy 4 1-2 11, Lutz 7 4-8 19, Nesby 2 0-0 4, Reedy 1 0-0 2, Rivera 0 1-2 1, Jack 3 3-6 9. Totals 17 9-18 46.

Pot (19-0) 13 12 17 7 — 49 BC (10-8) 16 6 9 15 — 46

3-point FGs: Blankenhorn, Melochick 2, Abdo, Nabholz 4, Lacy 2, Lutz

JV score: Pottsville 38-23

Crimson Tide Improves to 19 - 0

 

   Pottsville Crimson Tide earned a hard victory over Berks Catholic with a 49-46 win. The Crimson Tide was pushed all night, Berks Catholic took a 16-13 lead after, the first quarter. The Tide rebound in the second quarter with a 12-6 run to lead at half 25-22. The Tide then took the third quarter with a 17-9 run to end the third up 42-31. Berks Catholic push the Tide hard in the fourth, out scoring the Tide 15-7. The Tide earned it's 19th victory, closing out the game 49-46. Eli "Big Easy" Nabholz led the Tide with 19 points, hitting a couple of big three's, Jordan "Melo" Melochick added 14 points and Travis "Money" Blankenhorn chipped in 13 points.

 

Pottsville (19-0)   13   12   17   7   (49)

Berks Catholic      16    6    9    15  (46)

 

Pottsville: Hincliffe 0 0-0 0, Painter 0 0-0 0, Blankenhorn 6 0-3 13, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 3 6-6 14, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 0-0 0, Abdo 1 0-0 3, Nabholtz 6 3-3 19, Totals: 16 9-12 (49)

 

Berks Catholic: Wilson 0 0-0 0,Giblert 0 0-0 0, Lacey 4 1-2 11, Lutz 7 4-8 19, Nesby 2 0-0 4, Reedy 1 0-0 2, Rivera 0 1-2 1, Jack 3 3-6 9, Totals:17 9-18 (46)

 

3 Point FG's:Lacey (2), Lutz, Blankenhorn, Melochick (2), Abdo, Nabholz (4)  


The Crimson Tide Wins it's sixth consecutive Division 1 Title with a 53-26 victory over Tamaqua 

 

Clearing off the recorder: Berks Catholic next for Pottsville


By Mike Carnahan, Republican-Herald Sport Writer


It’s a challenge that any basketball team will go through during the course of the regular season: Preparing for back-to-back games.
Pottsville (18-0) faces that tonight when they travel to Berks League and District 3 powerhouse Berks Catholic (10-7).
The Crimson Tide are coming off a big 53-26 victory over Tamaqua on Tuesday and prepared for both games at practice Sunday since Monday’s practice was cancelled when school was closed due to the weather.


“With the way we approach it, and some coaches would say this is crazy, but on our Sunday practice, we took the first half and did all Berks Catholic,” Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. “Then as soon as that was done, we said ‘Guys, you have to put that aside. We are all onto to Tamaqua.’ We then went on and focused on Tamaqua. With a different group of kids we may not do that. But they are really mature, they get it, and they responded tonight.”
Tamaqua went last in practice Sunday since it was next game for the Crimson Tide and Mullaney wanted to make sure that carried over into Tuesday instead of looking ahead to tonight.


“When we started on Tamaqua, we wanted to be all on Tamaqua,” he said. “We figured we were going to have two days to prepare but we only had the one.”
If Pottsville wins tonight, it could be the Crimson Tide’s last major hurdle to an undefeated regular season. Pottsville’s remaining three games are at Panther Valley (3-15) on Friday, at home against Lehighton (11-7) next Tuesday and at Jim Thorpe (6-12) on Feb. 6. The Crimson Tide won the first meetings with those teams rather handily.


Berks Catholic is in the same situation as Pottsville. The Saints also played Tuesday, beating Fleetwood 56-44 in a Berks Section II contest. The win was the sixth straight for Berks Catholic.
The Saints will be the fourth Berks League team the Crimson Tide have faced this season. Pottsville beat Wilson West Lawn (8-11) 48-33 in the season opener Dec. 9, Governor Mifflin (10-10) 64-40 on Dec. 12 and Muhlenberg (3-16) 74-23 on Jan. 17
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H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Defense lifts Pottsville over Tamaqua


Photo: David McKeown, License: N/A, Created: 2015:01:27 09:09:56

DAVID MCKEOWN/STAFF PHOTO Pottsville’s Travis Blankenhorn, left, looks to pass the ball around Tamaqua’s Nate MacDonald, center, and Brett Kosciolek during Tuesday’s Schuylkill League Division I game at Martz Hall.

Photo: David McKeown, License: N/A, Created: 2015:01:27 09:02:31

DAVID MCKEOWN/STAFF PHOTO Pottsville's Jordan Abdo, right, shoots over Tamaqua's Brett Kosciolek (24) during Tuesday night’s Schuylkill League Division I boys’ basketball game at Martz Hall. The Crimson Tide rolled to a 53-26 win.

 

 

Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney didn’t feel the Crimson Tide played championship-caliber defense during their two games last week.

The defense certainly returned in full force Tuesday night, putting the Crimson Tide one step closer to their sixth consecutive division title.

Pottsville held Tamaqua to a season low in points, while Travis Blankenhorn scored a game-high 14 in the Crimson Tide’s 53-26 Schuylkill League Division I victory at Martz Hall.

Pottsville (18-0, 11-0 D-I) allowed a season-high in points, including 30 in the first half, during a 64-48 victory against Blue Mountain a week ago. The Crimson Tide then gave up 17 during the third quarter last Saturday against North Schuylkill before pulling away in a 60-34 victory.

The defense showed up for all four quarters Tuesday.

The Raiders (15-3, 9-2) came in averaging 61.6 points per game, but couldn’t get anything going against the Crimson Tide. Tamaqua was held to single digits in three quarters, including four in both the first and third, as Pottsville built a 12-4 lead after the first period and 28-11 at the half.

“Last week we didn’t come out and play our best games,” Blankenhorn said. “We could have played better and definitely defended a lot better. I think we were more mentally prepared today to do so. We were more prepared and more focused.”

Pottsville won the earlier-season meeting 57-40 on Jan. 5 and moved two games ahead of the Raiders for the division lead. The Crimson Tide can clinch the division with a victory at Panther Valley on Friday.

“Some of the things we didn’t do a very good job of up there, as far as defending them and some of the switches we do, our kids really executed well,” Mullaney said. “That’s a credit to them because we didn’t even have practice

yesterday. They focused in what we were able to do Sunday and what we relayed to them verbally and they really executed on that end.”

Eli Nabholz and Jordan Melochick added 11 points apiece for Pottsville, while Melochick had six rebounds, Travis Painter three assists and Blankenhorn three steals.

Bo Rottet led the Raiders with 12 points. Brett Kosciolek had nine rebounds for Tamaqua, but was held to a season-low six points.

Despite the loss, Tamaqua still controls its own density in clinching the division wild card and spot in the Schuylkill League playoffs. The Raiders are two games ahead of both Blue Mountain (11-7, 6-4) and North Schuylkill (13-4, 6-4) for second place in the division.

Tuesday wasn’t the Raiders’ night as Tamaqua finished 10-for-38 (26 percent) from the floor, including a 4-for-24 (17 percent) showing in the first half. The Raiders also turned the ball over 12 times.

For most of the night, Melochick was matched up against Rottet, while Blankenhorn guarded Kosciolek, allowing Nabholz to provide help.

The Raiders went 4-for-14 from 3-point land, with three of the treys coming in the fourth quarter when the game was decided.

“You have to keep some of their players off the 3-point line,” Blankenhorn said. “They have very good skill players who can go to the basket and shoot 3s so we had to keep a lot of focus on them. Anyone on the team can score so it was a big team effort from the whole defensive group.”

The Crimson Tide were patient offensively against the Raiders’ 2-3 zone, finishing 18-of-36 (50 percent) from the floor. They were also 6-for-17 from beyond the arc.

“It wasn’t an up-and-down game,” Mullaney said. “Efficiency wise I thought we played pretty well. and when we got the lead, we had a couple of possessions in there where we ran some clock, which is a good thing.”

Blankenhorn scored all his points in the first half, including on a drive from the wing for the first points of the game and on a 3. He also hit 2-of-3 from the line after he was fouled on a 3-point attempt at 2:39, giving Pottsville a 10-4 lead.

Melochick finished off the quarter, hitting a 7-foot baseline jumper at 1:08 to make it 12-4.

A Blankenhorn baseline layup, a Jordan Abdo 3-pointer and two free throws from Blankenhorn gave the Crimson Tide a 20-6 lead with 4:29 left in the first half. Tamaqua got to within 24-11 after Rottet hit two foul shots at 1:58, but Nabholz gave Pottsville its 28-11 halftime lead. Painter set him up for a layup and he then scored on a baseline jumper with 50 seconds left.

Game Summary

TAMAQUA (26) — Shilko 0 0-0 0, Blaker 2 0-2 6, Miller 0 0-2 0, Rottet 4 2-2 12, Coleman 0 0-0 0, Zuber 0 0-0 0, MacDonald 0 0-0 0, Murphy 0 0-0 0, Skripko 1 0-0 2, Kosciolek 3 0-0 6, Scott 0 0-0 0, Berezwick 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 2-4 26.

POTTSVILLE (53) — Hinchliffe 2 0-0 4, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 0 0-0 0, Blankenhorn 3 6-8 14, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Dunkel 3 0-0 6, Melochick 4 1-1 11, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 0-0 0, Abdo 2 0-0 5, Nabholz 4 2-2 11, Renninger 0 0-0 0, Schenk 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 9-11 53.

Tam (15-3, 9-2) 4 7 4 11 — 26 Pot (18-0, 11-0) 12 16 14 11 — 53

3-point FGs: Blaker 2, Rottet 2, Blankenhorn 2, Melochick 2, Abdo, Nabholz

JV score: Pottsville 63-16

 

Defense lifts Crimson Tide to victory


By Mike Carnahan, Republican-Herald Sports Writer

         Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney didn’t feel the Crimson Tide played championship-caliber defense during their two games last week.
The defense certainly returned in full force Tuesday night, putting the Crimson Tide one step closer to their sixth consecutive division title.
Pottsville held Tamaqua to a season low in points, while Travis Blankenhorn scored a game-high 14 in the Crimson Tide’s 53-26 Schuylkill League Division I victory at Martz Hall.
Pottsville (18-0, 11-0 D-I) allowed a season-high in points, including 30 in the first half, during a 64-48 victory against Blue Mountain a week ago. The Crimson Tide then gave up 17 during the third quarter last Saturday against North Schuylkill before pulling away in a 60-34 victory.
The defense showed up for all four quarters Tuesday.
The Raiders (15-3, 9-2) came in averaging 61.6 points per game, but couldn’t get anything going against the Crimson Tide. Tamaqua was held to single digits in three quarters, including four in both the first and third, as Pottsville built a 12-4 lead after the first period and 28-11 at the half.
“Last week we didn’t come out and play our best games,” Blankenhorn said. “We could have played better and definitely defended a lot better. I think we were more mentally   prepared today to do so. We were more prepared and more focused.”
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of Wednesday’s Republican-Herald.

    Crimson Tide Rolls to it's Sixth Consecutive Division 1 Title, with a 53-26 victory over Tamaqua Blue Raiders. The Crimson Tide's Defense was stifling holding Tamaqua to 11 points at half time. The Tide open the first quarter with a 12-4 score and increased it's led to 28-11 at the half. THe Tide outscored Tamaqua 14-4 in the third quarter. The Tide then closed out the game in the fourth for a 53-26 victory and it's eighteen win of the year.

   The Tide was led by Travis "Money" Blankenhorn's 14 points, Eli "Big Easy" Nabholz and Jordan "Melo" Melochick each added 11 points a piece. The Tide travels, tomorrow to Berks Catholic for a non-league game.

 

Pottsville (18-0)   12   16   14   11  (53)

Tamaqua (15-3)     4     7     4    11  (26)

 

Pottsville: Hinchliffe 2 0-0 4, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 0 0-0 0, Blankenhorn 3 6-8 14, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Dunkel 2 0-0 4, Melochick 4 1-1 11, Shuman 1 0-0 2, Witman 0 0-0 0, Abdo 2 0-0 5, Nabholtz 4 2-2 11, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Renninger 1 0-0 2, Schenck 0 0-0 0  Totals: 19 9-11 (53)

 

Tamaqua:Shilko 0 0-0 0, Blaker 2 0-0 6, Miller 0 0-0 0, Rottet 4 2-2 12, Coleman 0 0-0 0, Zuber 0 0-0 0, Macdonald 0 0-0 0, Murphy 0 0-0 0, Skripko 1 0-0 2, Kosciolek 3 0-0 6, Scott 0 0-0 0, Berezwick 0 0-0 0 Totals: 10 2-6 (26)

 

3-Point FG's: Blaker (2), Rottet, Blankenhorn (2), Melochick (2), Abdo, Nabholtz 

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H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Pottsville pulls away to down Spartans




North Schuylkill gave Pottsville everything it could handle Saturday evening.

But when the Crimson Tide needed to turn it on, they showed why they’ve been the team to beat in the Schuylkill League all season and a top-10 Class AAA team in Pennsylvania.

Eli Nabholz scored 12 of his game- and season-high 25 points in the fourth quarter as Pottsville pulled away for a 60-34 win over the Spartans in a Division I contest at Martz Hall.

The game was closer than the final indicated.

Down 32-15 at halftime, North Schuylkill cut Pottsville’s lead to 43-32 at the end of the third.

Then Nabholz took over.

The 6-foot-5 forward scored the Crimson Tide’s next 12 points. When he knocked down two free throws after he was fouled on a putback attempt, Pottsville led 54-34 with 2:21 left in the game.

“I was trying to finish the game.” Nabholz said. “It was just a situation where any one of us could step up and today in the fourth quarter it was my turn to step up.”

Led by Nabholz, the Crimson Tide (17-0, 10-0 D-I) were 7-for-12 from the field in fourth and forced the Spartans (12-4, 6-4) into six turnovers. The victory inched the Crimson Tide closer to their sixth consecutive Division I title.

“We have a lot of experience,” said Nabholz, whose previous season high was 19 against Governor Mifflin on Dec. 1. “The whole game we knew we weren’t playing as well as we could have. Give North Schuylkill credit. They came out and were ready to play and we were caught a little off guard by that. We are mature enough to know when we needed to start playing harder and step it up a little bit.”

Jordan Melochick had 14 points for Pottsville, with all of them coming in the first half to help the Crimson Tide build their 17-point halftime advantage. Ty Painter also had four steals on the night and Travis Blankenhorn six rebounds.

Jordan Marlow had 11 points to lead North Schuylkill, while John Mercado had four assists. The Spartans’ Major Jordan also held Blankenhorn to a season-low seven points.

Saturday’s performance was marked improvement from the earlier-season meeting between the two Dec. 22, a 55-21 Pottsville rout. Since then, the Spartans have won 8-of-10, with Saturday’s loss snapping a five-game winning streak.

North Schuylkill didn’t make it easy for the Crimson Tide.

“We were doing what we normally do and we were trying to get them out of their comfort zone and make them work a little harder offensively,” Spartans coach Curt Ziegmont said. “It is tough to do that for 32 minutes. They are good. You have to give them a lot of credit, those kids responded in the fourth quarter. We did some silly things. I am proud of the effort of my guys.”

The Spartans trailed 37-15 early in the second half before finishing the third quarter on a 17-5 run to get to within 42-32. Marlow had seven of his points in third as North Schuylkill started to attack the basket. Jordan finished off the run, working his way inside for two after an offensive rebound with 37 seconds left in the quarter.

That was as close as the Spartans got.

Nabholz opened the fourth with a 3-pointer, one of his four in the game, from the top of the circle, and then completed a three-point play to make it 48-32 at 6:38. He later scored on an inside spin move and then again in the paint. After Marlow scored the Spartans’ last points of the game, Nabholz knocked down two foul shots for a 56-34 advantage.

“He was a beast,” Ziegmont said. “It is very difficult to guard a 6-5 kid who can post you up and knock down 3s all night.”

While Nabholz led the way in the fourth quarter, Melochick was the Tide’s offensive spark in the first half.

He gave Pottsville the lead for good at 7-5 with a 3-pointer at 2:29 of the first quarter. Melochick then scored nine of his points in the second period. He began the second with a three-point play off a baseline drive, and later on a layup off an assist by Nabholz. Melochick hit two foul shots with 1:11 in the first half and finished the half by knocking down a 10-foot baseline jumper as the buzzer sounded to give the Crimson Tide their 32-15 advantage.

“It’s a run play for me and Eli is supposed to pass it to me,” Melochick said. “The kid pushed me off so I just got the ball and knew time was expiring so I just turned around and shot it and it went in.

“I just try to be aggressive and score and make plays for my teammates.”

Game Summary

NORTH SCHUYLKILL (34) — Carney 0 0-0 0, Marlow 5 0-0 11, Murray 2 2-4 6, Mazur 0 0-0 0, Wood 0 0-0 0, Mercado 2 2-2 6, Smith 0 0-0 0, Mazeika 1 0-0 2, Jordan 3 1-2 7, Heaton 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 5-8 34.

POTTSVILLE (60) — Hinchliffe 3 0-3 6, Painter 1 0-0 2, Blankenhorn 3 0-0 7, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 5 3-3 14, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 2 0-0 4, Abdo 1 0-0 2, Nabholz 8 5-5 25, Renninger 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 8-11 60.

NS (12-4, 6-4) 8 7 17 2 — 34 Pot (17-0, 10-0) 14 18 10 18 — 60

3-point FGs: Marlow, Blankenhorn, Melochick, Nabholz 4

 

                              

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The "Big Easy" leads the Crimson Tide to victory over North Schuylkill

 

Eli "Big Easy" Nabholz score a season high 25 points to lead the Tide to a 60-34 victory over North Schulkill. The Tide led 14-8 after the first quarter. The Tide pushed the lead to 32-15 at half. North Schuylkill out scored the Tide 17-10 in the third quarter to narrow The Tide's lead to 42-32, after three. The Tide then rolled to 18-2 fourth quarter to seal it's 17 straight Victory of the season.

   The Tide's scoring was led by Eli Nabholtz's 25 points, followed by Jordan "Melo" Melochick's 14 points. The Tide will now face Tamaqua, this Tuesday night for the Division I title.

 

Pottsville (17-0)   14   18   10   18   (60)

North Schuylkill (14-3)   8   7   17   2   (34)

 

 Pottsville: Hinchliffe 3 0-3 6, Painter 1 0-0 2, Blankenhorn 3 0-0 7, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 5 3-3 14, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 2 0-0 4, Abdo 1 0-0 2, Nabholz 8 5-5 25, Renninnger 0 0-0 0, Totals: 23 8-11 (60)

 North Schuylkill: Carney 0 0-0 0, Marlow 5 0-0 11, Wiest 0 0-0 0, Murray 2 2-4 6, Mazur 0 0-0 0, Wood 0 0-0 0, Mercado 2 2-2 6, Smith 0 0-0 0, Mazeika 1 0-0 2, Jordan 3 1-3 7, Heaton 1 0-0 2, Totals 14 5-9 (34)

 

3 Point FG's: Marlow, Blankenhorn, Melochick, Nabholtz (4) 

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ORWIGSBURG — Travis Blankenhorn and Eli Nabholz combined for 23 second-half points to lead unbeaten Pottsville to a 64-48 comeback victory over Blue Mountain in a Division I game Tuesday.

After Blue Mountain led 30-27 at halftime, the Crimson Tide outscored the Eagles 20-6 in the third quarter.

The rally included an intentional foul on Blankenhorn. He sank one of his two foul shots and Pottsville’s Jordan Abdo scored a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, building the Tide’s lead to 44-34.

Nabholz had 17 points, while Blankenhorn posted 16, Jordan Melochick had 13 and Abdo had 10.

Mark Chelius had 17 points for Blue Mountain.

POTTSVILLE (64) — Hinchliffe 1 0-2 2, Painter 1 2-4 4, Blankenhorn 6 3-4 16, Melochick 5 3-5 13, Witman 1 0-0 2, Abdo 4 0-0 10, Nabholz 6 5-8 17, Dunkel 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 13-24 64.

BLUE MOUNTAIN (48) — Puzzi 2 0-0 5, Stramara 3 0-0 8, Kerstetter 2 0-0 4, Lewis 2 2-2 6, Chelius 4 7-9 17, Albertini 3 1-4 8, Barton 0 0-0 0, Welsh 0 0-0 0, Zerbe 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 10-15 48.

Pot (16-0, 9-0) 15 12 20 17 — 64 BM (8-7, 5-4) 14 16 6 12 — 48

3-point FGs: Blankenhorn, Abdo 2, Puzzi, Stramara 2, Chelius 2, Albertini

Crimson Tide earned A Hard Fought Victory over Blue Mountain 64-48

 

   The Crimson Tide enter the game with 15-0 record, The Tide after leading 15-14 after the first quarter, found themselves behind for the first time this season at 30-27. Blue Mountain held the lead with a high shooting percentage in the first half. The Tide came out in the third quater with a 20 -6 run to take the lead at the end of the quarter 47-36. The Tide never looked back closing out the fourth quarter with a 17-12 quarter. The final score was Crimson Tide 64, Blue Mountain 48.

    The Tide was led by Eli "Big Easy" Nabholz's 17 points, Eli added 12 rebounds. Travis "Money" Blankenhorn added 16 points, Jordan "Melo" Melochick added 13 points. Jordan Abdo coming off the bench added 10 points and hitting a nice three pointer over an Eagle defender.  The Tide now looks to play North Schuylkill on Saturday at Martz Hall.

 

 

Pottsville  (16-0):        15   12   20   17   (64)

Blue Mountain (8-7):    14   16    6   12   (48)

 

 

Pottsville: Hinchliffe 1 0-2 2, Painter 1 2-4 4, Blankenhorn 6 3-4 16, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 5 3-5 b13, Witman 1 0-0 2, Abdo 4 0-0 10, Nabholz 6 5-8 17, Totals:24 13-23 (64)

Blue Mountain: Puzzi 2 0-0 5, Stramara 3 0-0 8, Kerstetter 2 0-0 4, Barton 0 0-0 0, Welsh 0 0-0 0, Lewis 2 2-2 6, Chelius 4 7-9 17, Albertini 23 1-4 8, Zerbe 0 0-0 0, Totals: 16 10-15 (48) 

3-Point FG's:Blankenhorn, Abdo (2), Puzzi, Stramara (2), Chelius (2), Albertini 

 

BOYS' BB NOTEBOOK: Mid-season report


I am running a bit behind this year.

Usually by this point, I’ve put together my annual mid-season look at the high school boys’ basketball season. We are, however, past that point. In fact, a good majority of the teams are headed down the home stretch and — hard to believe — the Schuylkill League playoffs are just three weeks away.

So with thoughts of Martz Hall and the postseason not that far off, let’s call this the beyond mid-season progress report.

As expected, Pottsville (15-0 overall, 8-0 Division I) has been as good as everybody anticipated. In fact, the Crimson Tide, ranked No. 8 in the state in the most recent Pennlive.com Class AAA rankings, have been dominating, winning their games by an average of 33.6 points per game.

While the Crimson Tide appear to be well on their way to winning their sixth consecutive division title, there are still plenty of races to follow in the coming weeks.

Tamaqua (13-2, 7-1) is a game behind Pottsville for the Division I lead and is two games up on Blue Mountain (8-6, 5-3) for second place in the division and the league wild-card spot. North Schuylkill (9-3, 4-3) is 2½ games behind Tamaqua.

Minersville (10-3, 6-1) and Williams Valley (9-4, 5-2) have emerged as the leaders in Division II, with the Vikings a game out of first. The Miners won the first meeting of the season between the two Dec. 15, with the second showdown set for Friday in Tower City.

Mahanoy Area (11-2, 7-0), last year’s overall league champ, has taken control of the Division III race. The Golden Bears have come together in the new year and are two games ahead of Shenandoah Valley (6-8, 5-2) and three up on Nativity (8-6, 4-3) in the division.

What follows is a brief look at how all 21 area teams are doing to this point in the season:

DIVISION I

Blue Mountain (8-6 overall, 5-3 D-I)

Team rankings: Offense (53.8 points per game, 7th), defense (50.0, 12th)

Leading scorers: Mark Chelius (15.8 points per game), Aaron Albertini (11.0)

Review/outlook: The Eagles’ non-league win over Pleasant Valley on Saturday snapped a two-game losing skid. In the running for a spot in the Schuylkill League and District 11 Class AAA playoffs. Making the postseason would be beneficial for a team that starts three sophomores and a junior.

Jim Thorpe (5-9, 2-5)

Team rankings: Offense (46.1, 11th), defense (51.1, 13th)

Leading scorers: Shane Snisky (10.1), Rayan Green (9.8)

Review/outlook: The Olympians have taken steps forward since last season and had won 3-of-4 before suffering a three-game losing streak against the division’s top-three teams. A strong finish in their seven remaining division games might get them a spot in the District 11 Class AAA field.

Lehighton (10-5, 3-4)

Team rankings: Offense (64.5, 2nd), 54.3, 17th)

Leading scorers: Jordan Knappenberger (15.9), Tyler Crum (14.6)

Review/outlook: Indians have gone 1-4 after a 9-1 start and the 30 points scored during a loss to Northampton on Saturday were a season low. They still have plenty of talented offensive players, but need to break out of their slump to make a run during the District 11 Class AAA playoffs.

North Schuylkill (10-3, 4-3)

Team rankings: Offense (52.1, 8th), defense (46.5, 8th)

Leading scorers: Tevin Murray (14.2), Major Jordan (9.7)

Review/outlook: The Spartans have won three straight, including a big win over Blue Mountain last Thursday that got them back in the division wild-card race. Defense has been solid for the most part, but the foul shooting (49.8 percent) must improve.

Panther Valley (3-12, 1-7)

Team rankings: Offense (35.7, 19th), defense (57.7, 19th)

Leading scorers: Chad Dubosky (7.5), Tristan Blasko (6.9)

Review/outlook: The young Panthers have struggled on both ends of the floor. Thursday’s 68-51 loss to Lehighton was a big improvement from the 75-31 defeat to the Indians earlier in the season. Looking to be more competitive down the stretch and build for the future.

Pine Grove (2-13, 0-7)

Team rankings: Offense (41.1, 16th), defense (56.3, 18th)

Leading scorers: Kobe D’Agostino (17.7), Mark Weinus (7.4)

Review/outlook: D’Agostino is having standout year for the Cardinals, who have loss six in a row. Looking for a strong finish as the program continues to rebuild.

Pottsville (15-0, 8-0)

Team rankings: Offense (63.9, 3rd), defense (30.3, 1st)

Leading scorers: Travis Blankenhorn (17.9), Eli Nabholz (11.2)

Review/outlook: The Crimson Tide have overwhelmed the opposition. The big question is, how far will they go in the postseason?

Tamaqua (13-2, 7-1)

Team rankings: Offense (53.8, 4th), defense (43.3, 4th)

Leading scorers: Brett Kosciolek (18.5), Bo Rottet (17.5)

Review/outlook: The Raiders are having their best season in years and control their own destiny in their quest to make the league playoffs for the first time since 1995. Now have the solid defense to go along with an already high-scoring offense.

DIVISION II

Lourdes (4-10, 1-6)

Team rankings: Offense (39.4, 18th), defense (44.9, 7th)

Leading scorers: Larry Czeponis (10.2), Jordan Fobia (9.1)

Review/outlook: Red Raiders’ win over Sunbury Christian on Saturday snapped an eight-game losing streak. Defense has been pretty solid, but the offense has struggled. Strong finish will build momentum for a team that is loaded with underclassmen.

Minersville (10-3, 6-1)

Team rankings: Offense (51.3, 9th), defense (42.6, 2nd)

Leading scorers: Chris Leshko (11.4), David Graham (11.0)

Review/outlook: A last-second, heart-breaking loss to Mahanoy Area last Thursday snapped a four-game winning streak. Strong defense has backed up a balanced offensive attack. Need one more win to reach the District 11 Class AA playoffs. Could put themselves in position to win division title with victory at Williams Valley on Friday.

Schuylkill Haven (7-8, 3-4)

Team rankings: Offense (45.0, 14th), defense (44.0, 5th)

Leading scorers: Danny Blugis (11.2), J.T. Hughes (9.0)

Review/outlook: Hurricanes dropped back under .500 with two losses this past week. Offense hasn’t been great, but defense has kept them in every game. Have played hard to this point and need to finish strong to be rewarded with a District 11 Class AA playoff berth.

Tri-Valley (2-10, 0-7)

Team rankings: Offense (45.7, 13th), defense (52.1, 15th)

Leading scorers: Jaden Buchanan (14.0), Jericho Zemencik (9.8)

Review/outlook: The Bulldogs have been a disappointment and are currently on a nine-game losing streak. A few wins would help end the season on a positive note.

Williams Valley (9-5, 5-2)

Team rankings: Offense (45.8, 12th), defense (44.4, 6th)

Leading scorers: Nick Rodichok (18.8), Cody Miller (9.1)

Review/outlook: After a 1-2 start, the Vikings have won 8-of-11. Defense has kept them in games while offense has produced enough points to put them two wins away from a spot in the District 11 Class AA playoffs. A victory over Minersville on Friday will make a tight division race even tighter.

DIVISION III

Mahanoy Area (12-2, 2-7)

Team rankings: Offense (54.4, 5th), defense (42.9, 3rd)

Leading scorers: Matt Yedsena (15.7), Brian Miller (15.0)

Review/outlook: The Golden Bears have been perfect in the new year, winning seven straight. Defense has been strong again, while plenty of new faces have stepped up offensively. Already postseason bound and in control of their own destiny to win a third straight division title.

Marian (6-7, 3-4)

Team rankings: Offense (43.4, 15th), defense (47.5, 10th)

Leading scorers: Mike Vercusky (8.8), Nick Wesner (8.8)

Review/outlook: Colts put themselves back in the running for a spot in the District 11 Class AA playoffs by winning three of their last four games. Have been competitive in most division contests and have plenty of opportunities to make the postseason.

Nativity (9-6, 4-3)

Team rankings: Offense (54.3, 6th), defense (53.3, 16th)

Leading scorers: Jeff Yordy (23.5), Dominic Piccioni (9.7)

Review/outlook: Hilltoppers have hit a bit of a rough patch, losing 2-of-5 after a 7-3 start. Other scorers have stepped up to complement Yordy, but the defense needs to improve. All but certain to make the District 11 Class A playoffs.

Shenandoah Valley (7-8, 5-2)

Team rankings: Offense (50.3, 10th), defense (49.2, 11th)

Leading scorers: Joel Santana (18.8), Ian McCole (10.7)

Review/outlook: Blue Devils are coming around, winning five straight after a 2-8 start. Hot streak has got them back in the division race and put them in position to qualify for the District 11 Class A playoffs. Will be a team to reckon with down the stretch.

Weatherly (3-9, 1-6)

Team rankings: Offense (39.9, 17th), defense (46.8, 9th)

Leading scorers: Luke Reiner (13.3), Luke Figas (9.3)

Review/outlook: The Wreckers’ defense has been decent, however offense has really struggled. Been competitive and in their share of games, but have been unable to finish them off with wins.

BERKS LEAGUE

Hamburg (0-17, 0-6)

Team rankings: Offense (32.2, 20th), defense (59.3, 20th)

Leading scorers: Logan Adams (8.4), Corey Evangelista (5.1)

Review/outlook: The Hawks have been a little bit more respectable offensively the past four games, but the defense gives up way too many points to be competitive. Program has a long way to go and a win or two would be a step in the right direction.

TRI-VALLEY LEAGUE

Upper Dauphin (12-3, 7-1)

Team rankings: Offense (65.7, 1st), defense (51.5, 14th)

Leading scorers: Matthew Miller (24.5), Alex Uhler (10.2)

Review/outlook: Trojans have won four straight and are tied for first place in the Tri-Valley League East Division with Halifax. Are in position to qualify for the District 3 Class AA playoffs and are in the hunt to make the TVL’s four-team league playoffs.

INDEPENDENT

Gillingham Charter (0-11)

Team rankings: Offense (17.1, 21st), defense (61.9, 21st)

Leading scorers: Isaiah Thompson (5.8), Nate Woodling (4.5)

Review/outlook: The 40 points scored during a loss to Berks Christian last Thursday were a program high for the Wolf Pack. Still searching for program’s first victory.

(Carnahan is the boys’ basketball beat writer for The-Republican-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @mdcarnahan71 and read his blog at http://blogs.republicanherald.com/ac/)

Power poll

Through Jan. 17

W-L Pvs

1. Pottsville 15-0 1

2. Tamaqua 13-2 2

3. Mahanoy Area 12-2 7

4. Minersville 10-3 4

5. North Schuylkill 10-3 6

6. Blue Mountain 8-6 5

7. Lehighton 10-5 3

8. Upper Dauphin 12-3 10

9. Williams Valley 9-5 9

10. Nativity 9-6 8

— Complied by Mike Carnahan


Travis 25 - Muhlenberg 23!

 

Pottsville 74

Muhlenberg 23

Travis Blankenhorn scored all of his game-high 25 points in the first half as the Crimson Tide blasted the Muhls in a non-league game at Martz Hall.

Eli Nabholz added 13 points for the Crimson Tide, while Jordan Abdo had 12, all on 3-pointers.

MUHLENBERG (23) — Brown 1 2-3 4, Kipp 1 0-0 2, Aubourg 0 0-0 0, Prieto 0 0-1 0, Stinson 2 1-2 5, Fidler 1 1-1 3, Seibert 1 0-0 2, Heere 0 0-2 0, Richard 1 1-2 3, Jenkins 0 0-0 0, Nazario 0 0-0 0, Kauffman 1 0-0 2, Okonski 0 0-0 0, Sheipe 1 0-1 2. Totals 9 5-12 23.

POTTSVILLE (74) — Hinchliffe 1 0-0 2, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 0 0-0 0, Blankenhorn 10 1-1 25, Thomas 2 0-0 5, Dunkel 1 0-3 2, Melochick 3 1-1 7, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 1-2 1, Abdo 4 0-0 12, Nabholz 5 3-3 13, Coyle 1 0-0 3, Renninger 2 0-0 4, Schenk 0 0-0 0, O’Pake 0 0-0 0. Totals 29 6-10 74.

Muhl (2-13) 3 6 6 8 — 23 Pot (15-0) 23 24 18 9 — 74

3-point FGs: Blankenhorn 4, Thomas, Adbo 4, Coyle

JV score: Pottsville 54-27

What Can I Say!!!!  Tide Rolls !

 

The Crimson Tide rolls over Pine Grove with a impressive victory 73-18. The Tide rolled to a 26-6, first quarter, with everybody scoring. The Tide built it's led to 56-6 at half time. The starting five were finished for the night. The Tide coasted in the second half to close out the victory.Travis "Money" Blankenhorn and Jordan Abdo finished the game with 12 points apiece, followed by Jordan "Melo" Melochick adding 10 points.

 

Pottsville (14-0): 25   31    8   9 (73)

Pine Grove:   6   0   4   8   (18) 

 

Pottsville: Hinchliffe 5 0-2 10, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 1 0-0 3, Blankenhorn 5 1-1 12, Dunkel 3 0-0 6, Melochick 2 1-1 6,, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 1 0-0 3, Abdo 3 5-6 12, Nabholz 1 4-4 6, Coyle 3 0-0 9, Renninger 0 1-2 1, Schenk 2 1-2 5, O'Pake 0 0-0 0, Totals: 26 13-18 (73)

Pine Grove: Rossi 0 0-0 0, 0 0-0 0, 1 0-0 2, 0 0-0 0, 1 0-0 2, 2 8-8 12, 1 0-0 2, 0 0-0 0, Totals: 5 8-9 (18)

3 Point FG's: Painter, Blankenhorn, Melochick, Witman, Abdo, Coyle (3)

 

 

Pottsville 73

Pine Grove 18

PINE GROVE — Travis Blankenhorn and Jordan Abdo each scored 12 points as the Crimson Tide routed the Cardinals in a Division I game.

POTTSVILLE (73) — Hinchliffe 5 0-2 10, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 1 0-0 3, Blankenhorn 5 1-1 12, Dunkel 3 0-0 6, Melochick 2 1-1 6, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 1 0-0 3, Abdo 3 5-6 12, Nabholz 1 4-4 6, Coyle 3 0-0 9, Renninger 0 1-2 1, Schenk 2 1-2 5. Totals 26 13-18 73.

PINE GROVE (18) — Rossi 0 0-1 0, Snedden 0 0-0 0, Soper 1 0-0 2, Kreiser 0 0-0 0, Leininger 1 0-0 2, D’Agostino 2 8-8 12, Weinus 1 0-0 2, Griffiths 0 0-0 0, Fick 0 0-0 0. Totals 5 8-9 18.

Pot (14-0, 8-0) 25 31 8 9 — 73 PG (2-12, 0-7) 6 0 4 8 — 18

3-point FGs: Painter, Blankenhorn, Melochick, Witman, Abdo, Coyle 3

JV score: Pottsville 53-14


 

JIM THORPE — Travis Blankenhorn tallied a game-high 21 points as the Crimson Tide remained unbeaten with a rout of the Olympians in a Division I game.

Eli Nabholz added 15 points for Pottsville.

Brian Carroll’s five points paced Jim Thorpe.

POTTSVILLE (62) — Hinchliffe 1 0-0 2, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 1 0-0 3, Blankenhorn 8 5-8 21, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Dunkel 2 1-2 5, Melochick 2 0-2 5, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 2 0-0 5, Abdo 1 2-2 4, Nabholz 7 1-3 15, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Renninger 0 0-0 0, Schenk 0 0-0 0, O’Pake 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 9-17 62.

JIM THORPE (21) — Carroll 2 0-0 5, Veney 1 0-0 2, Elmore 1 0-0 2, Micciche 0 1-2 1, Green 1 1-2 3, O. Snisky 0 0-0 0, Lauer 0 0-0 0, Twardzick 0 0-0 0, Luciana 0 0-0 0, McElmoyle 1 0-0 2, Jefferson 1 0-0 2, S. Snisky 1 2-3 4, Everitt 0 0-0 0. Totals 8 4-7 21.

Pot (13-0, 7-0) 14 13 15 20 — 62 JT (5-8, 2-4) 1 8 5 7 — 21

3-point FGs: Painter, Melochick, Witman, Carroll

 Crimson Tide rolls over Jim Thorpe

 

   The Crimson Tide rolled to it's 13 straight victory, with a 62-21 win over Jim Thorpe. Travis "Money" Blankenhorn led the charge with 21 points, followed by Eli "Big Easy" Nabholz's 15 points. The Tide took a 14-1 led after the first quarter and rolled to 27-9 half time led. The Tide increased it's led to 42-14 after three. The Tide closed out the game at 62-21.

 

Pottsville (13-0):   14   13   15   15   (62) 

Jim Thorpe: (5-8)    1    8     5     7    (21)

 

Pottsville: Hinchliffe 1 0-0 2, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 1 0-0 3, Blankenhorn 8 5-8 21, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Dunkel 2 1-2 5, Melochick 2 0-2 5, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 2 0-0 5, Abdo 1 2-2 4, Nabholtz 7 1-3 15, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Renninger 0 0-0 0, Schenck 0 0-0 0, O'Pake 1 0-0 2, Totals: 5 9 -17 (62)

 Jim Thorpe:Carroll 2 1-1 5, Veney 1 0-0 2, Elmore 1 0-0 2, Miccicine 0 1-2 1, Green 1 1-2 3, Snisky 0 0-0 0, Laver 0 0-0 0, Twardzik 0 0-0 0, Luciana 0 0-0 0, McElmoyle 1 0-0 2, Jefferson 1 0-0 2, Snisky 1 2-3 4, Everitt 0 0-0 0, Totals: 8 4-8 (21)

 3 Point FG's: Carroll,Painter, Melochick, Witman 

Tonight's Game has been moved to Jim Thorpe Olympians Court due to weather!

 

Pottsville 58

Lehighton 38

LEHIGHTON — Jordan Melochick led the Crimson Tide with 19 points, while Travis Blankenhorn added 12 as Pottsville used a 39-24 second half to finish off the Indians in a Division I contest.

Tyler Crum paced Lehighton with 17 points, and Nick Chambers had 11.

POTTSVILLE (58) — Hinchliffe 3 2-2 8, Painter 1 0-0 3, Blankenhorn 5 2-3 12, Dunkel 1 0-0 2, Melochick 7 4-4 19, Witman 1 0-0 2, Abdo 3 1-2 8, Nabholz 2 0-0 4. Totals 23 9-11 58.

LEHIGHTON (38) — Crum 5 7-9 17, Zwetolitz 0 0-0 0, Williams 1 0-0 2, Chambers 5 0-3 11, Knappenberger 3 0-0 8, Greene 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 7-12 38.

Pot. (12-0, 6-0) 6 13 23 16 — 58 Leh. (9-4, 2-4) 6 8 15 9 — 38

3-point FGs: Painter, Melochick, Abdo, Chambers, Knappenberger 2

Crimson Tide Improves to 12 - 0

 

    The Pottsville Crimson Tide ran it's win streak to 12 in a row with a victory over Lehighton Indians on thier home court by a score of 58-38. The first quarter was a 6-6 tie, in which Eli"Big Easy" Nabholz got  two questionable fouls called on him, which limited his playing time in the first half and the game. The Tide outscored the Indians 13-8, to go into the locker room with a 19-14 led at the half.

      The Tide came out and outscored the Indians 23 - 15 in the third quarter taking a 42-29 led into the fourth quater. The Tide closed it out in the fourth quarter and sealed a 58-38 victory, to improve to 12-0. The Tide was led by Jordan "Melo" Melochick, best game of the seaon with a season high 19 points, Travis "Money" Blankenhorn followed with 12 points. Connor "Hitman" Hinchliffe and Jordan Abdo each added 8 points. When the Tide got into some foul trouble the whole team responded with tough defense.

The Highlight of the night, was "Coach" Jake Guzick dance routine celebrating a Tide victory. The Tide play their next game Monday night at Martz Hall against Jim Thorpe. 

 

POTTSVILLE (58) — Hinchliffe 3 2-2 8, Painter 1 0-0 3, Blankenhorn 5 2-3 12, Dunkel 1 0-0 2, Melochick 7 4-4 19, Witman 1 0-0 2, Abdo 3 1-2 8, Nabholz 2 0-0 4. Totals 23 9-11 58.

LEHIGHTON (38) — Crum 5 7-9 17, Zwetolitz 0 0-0 0, Williams 1 0-0 2, Chambers 5 0-3 11, Knappenberger 3 0-0 8, Greene 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 7-12 38.

Pot. (12-0, 6-0) 6 13 23 16 — 58 Leh. (9-4, 2-4) 6 8 15 9 — 38

3-point FGs: Painter, Melochick, Abdo, Chambers, Knappenberger 2

PV15/IMG_0295.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PV15/IMG_0295.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PV15/IMG_0295.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

Crimson Tide Pounces on the Panthers

 

   The Crimson Tide rolled to it's highest point total this season with a 80-28 victory over Panther Valley. A well round scoring effort by the Tide, with Travis "Money" Blankenhorn leading the charge with 15 points, followed by Eli "Big Easy" Nabholz's 13 points. Connor "Hitman" Hinchcliffe added his season high with 10 points, as did Jed Dunkels with his season high of 8 points, Jordan "Melo" Melochick added 9 points.

    Every member of the team got extended playing time.The Tide led 20-11 after the first quarter and streched it's led to 45-22 at half. The Tide's deffense shut out the Panthers in the third period 19-0, The Tide closed out the game with a 80-28 final. The Tide will play lehighton on Saturday.

 

Pottsville (11-0)   20   25   19   16   (80)

Panther Valley      11   11     0    6    (28) 

 

Pottsville: Hinchliffe 4 0-0 10, Gerchak 0 2-2 2, Painter 1 0-0 2, Blankenhorn 7 0-0 15, Thomas 2 0-0 5, Dunkel 4 0-3 8, Melochick 4 0-0 9, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 1 0-0 2, Abdo 2 1-2 5, Nabholz 5 2-3 v13, Coyle 1 0-0 3, Renninger 1 2-4 4, Schenck 1 0-0 2, O'Pake 0 0-0 0 Totals: 33 7-14 (80)

 

Panther Valley: Kea 0 0-0 0, Dubosky 1 5-6 7, Vermillon 2 0-0 6, Stanko 0 0-0 0, Micholik 1 2-2 5, Nase 1 2-2 4, Miller 0 0-0 0, Hudicka 2 1-4 6, Eickoff 0 0-0 0, Weng 0 0-0 0, Fisher 0 0-0 0, Blasko 0- 0-0 0, Emmert 0 0-0 0, Morgans 0 0-0 0, Mehmeri 0 0-0 0, Totals: 7 10-14 (28)  

 

3-Point FG's: Hinchliffe (2),Blankenhorn, Thomas,Nabholz,Coyle,Vermillon (2),Micholik,Hudicka 

PV15/IMG_0295.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PV15/IMG_0295.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

 

Pottsville 80

Panther Valley 28

Travis Blankenhorn led a trio of double-digit scorers with 15 points as the Crimson Tide rolled past the Panthers in a Division I rout to clinch a spot in the District 11 Class AAA playoffs.

Eli Nabholz tallied 13 points and Connor Hinchliffe had 10 for Pottsville, which had a 45-22 lead at halftime.

PANTHER VALLEY (28) — Keo 0 0-0 0, Dubosky 1 5-6 7, Vermillion 2 0-0 6, Stanko 0 0-0 0, Miholick 1 2-2 5, Nase 1 2-2 4, Miller 0 0-0 0, Hudicka 2 1-4 6, Eickoff 0 0-0 0, Wang 0 0-0 0, Fisher 0 0-0 0, Blasko 0 0-0 0, Emmert 0 0-0 0, Mehmeti 0 0-0 0. Totals 7 10-14 28.

POTTSVILLE (80) — Hinchliffe 4 0-0 10, Gerchak 0 2-2 2, Painter 1 0-0 2, Blankenhorn 7 0-0 15, Thomas 2 0-0 5, Dunkel 4 0-3 8, Melochick 4 0-0 9, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 1 0-0 2, Abdo 2 1-2 5, Nabholz 5 2-3 13, Coyle 1 0-0 3, Renninger 1 2-4 4, Schenk 1 0-0 2, O’Pake 0 0-0 0. Totals 33 7-14 80.

PV (2-10, 0-5) 11 11 0 6 — 28 Pot (11-0, 5-0) 20 25 19 16 — 80

3-point FGs: Vermillion 2, Miholick, Hudicka, Hinchliffe 2, Blankenhorn, Thomas, Melochick, Nabholz, Coyle

JV score: Pottsville 50-15

PV15/IMG_0295.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PV15/IMG_0295.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PV15/IMG_0295.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

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H.S. Boys' BB Roundup: Pottsville boys crush Shamokin


Photo: JACQUELINE DORMER, License: N/A, Created: 2013:12:13 09:24:37

Travis Blankenhorn of Pottsville Area High School. Jacqueline Dormer/Republican-Herald 12/13/13

Travis Blankenhorn has had quite a week.

The Pottsville senior tallied 20 or more points for the third time in five days Wednesday, scoring a game-high 23 as the Crimson Tide decked Shamokin 65-43 in a non-league boys’ basketball game at Martz Hall.

The Kentucky baseball recruit showcased his basketball skills in front of a live TV audience, scoring eight of his points in a 19-3, second-quarter run that gave Pottsville (10-0) a 37-14 halftime lead.

Blankenhorn scored 24 points in a rout of Williamsport on Saturday, then tallied 30 in Monday’s Schuylkill League win over Tamaqua.

Eli Nabholz added 16 points and Jordan Melochick netted 14 points for the Crimson Tide, who weren’t threatened the rest of the way.

Jakob Weaver paced Shamokin (9-3) with 13 points.

 

SHAMOKIN (43) — Sebasovich 1 2-4 4, Dirienzo 2 4-4 8, Reiprich 2 2-2 6, Weaver 4 3-4 13, Moyer 0 0-0 0, Campbell 1 0-0 3, Fegley 0 0-0 0, Taylor 2 5-7 9. Totals 12 16-21 43.

POTTSVILLE (65) — Hinchliffe 3 0-0 7, Painter 0 1-2 1, Blankenhorn 8 6-10 23, Dunkel 1 0-0 2, Melochick 5 3-4 14, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 0-0 0, Abdo 0 2-2 2, Nabholz 7 2-4 16. Totals 24 14-22 65.

Sham (9-3) 11 3 14 15 — 43 Potts (10-0) 18 19 14 14 — 65

3-point FGs: Weaver 2, Campbell, Hinchliffe, Blankenhorn, Melochick

JV score: Pottsville 64-17

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Crimson Tide Improves to 10 - 0

 

   The Crimson Tide improves it's record to 10-0, with a 65-43 victory over the Shamokin Indians at Martz Hall. The "Big Three" is back with Travis "Money" Blankenhorn showing the way with 23 points, followed by the "Big Easy", Eli Nabholz 16 points and Jordan "Melo" Melochock's season high 14 points. 

    The Tide open the first quarter with a 18-11 led and pushed the led to 37-14 at the half, outscoring Shamokin 19-3 for the quarter. The Tide made it 51-28 after third periods. The Tide closed out the game in the fourth quarter for a 65-43 victory. The Tide will play Panther Valley in it's next game tommorow.

Pottsville: (10-0) 18   19   14   14 (65)

Shamokin: (9-3)  11    3    14  15  (43)

 

Pottsville: Hinchliffe 3 0-0 7, Painter 0 1-2 1, Blankenhorn 8 6-10 23, Dunkel 1 0-0 2, Melochick 4 3-4 14, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 0-0 0, Abdo 0 2-2 2, Nabholz 7 2-4 16, Totals: 24 14-22 (65)

Shamokin:Sebasovich 1 2-4 4, Dirienzo 2 4-4 8,Reiprich 2 2-2 6, Weaver 4 3-4 13, Moyer 0 0-0 0,Campbell 1 0-0 3, Fegley 0 0-0 0, Taylor 2 5-7 9, Totals: 12 16-21 (43)

 3 pointers:Weaver (2), Campbell, Hinchliffe, Blankenhorn, Melochick 

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Crimson Tide Improves to 10 - 0

 

   The Crimson Tide improves it's record to 10-0, with a 65-43 victory over the Shamokin Indians at Martz Hall. The "Big Three" is back with Travis "Money" Blankenhorn showing the way with 23 points, followed by the "Big Easy", Eli Nabholz 16 points and Jordan "Melo" Melochock's season high 14 points. 

    The Tide open the first quarter with a 18-11 led and pushed the led to 37-14 at the half, outscoring Shamokin 19-3 for the quarter. The Tide made it 51-28 after third periods. The Tide closed out the game in the fourth quarter for a 65-43 victory. The Tide will play Panther Valley in it's next game tommorow.

Pottsville: (10-0) 18   19   14   14 (65)

Shamokin: (9-3)  11    3    14  15  (43)

 

Pottsville: Hinchliffe 3 0-0 7, Painter 0 1-2 1, Blankenhorn 8 6-10 23, Dunkel 1 0-0 2, Melochick 4 3-4 14, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 0-0 0, Abdo 0 2-2 2, Nabholz 7 2-4 16, Totals: 24 14-22 (65)

Shamokin:Sebasovich 1 2-4 4, Dirienzo 2 4-4 8,Reiprich 2 2-2 6, Weaver 4 3-4 13, Moyer 0 0-0 0,Campbell 1 0-0 3, Fegley 0 0-0 0, Taylor 2 5-7 9, Totals: 12 16-21 (43)

 3 pointers:Weaver (2), Campbell, Hinchliffe, Blankenhorn, Melochick 

 

 Blankenhorn, 4th-qarter run lift Tide past Tamaqua

By Mike Carnahan
Published: January 6, 2015              

Photo: JACQUELINE DORMER, License: N/A, Created: 2015:01:05 20:10:00

JACQUELINE DORMER/STAFF PHOTOPottsville’s Ty Painter dishes off a pass during their game against Tamaqua in the Schuylkill League Division I boys’ high school basketball game at Tamaqua Area High School in Tamaqua Monday evening, January 5, 2015.

Photo: JACQUELINE DORMER, License: N/A, Created: 2015:01:05 19:48:37

JACQUELINE DORMER/STAFF PHOTOPottsville’s Travis Blankenhorn drives to the basket as Tamaqua’s Tyler Skripko defends in the Schuylkill League Division I boys’ high school basketball game at Tamaqua Area High School in Tamaqua Monday evening, January 5, 2015.

TAMAQUA — Pottsville faced a fourth-quarter challenge for one of the few times this season Monday.

The Crimson Tide answered the challenge and turned it into another double-digit victory.

Travis Blankenhorn had a season-high 30 points, but it was a big fourth quarter that allowed Pottsville to finally pull away for a 57-40 victory over Tamaqua in a Schuylkill League Division I contest at the Tamaqua Athletic Center.

The Crimson Tide (9-0, 4-0 D-I) led 31-19 at half, but the Blue Raiders (9-2, 3-1) slowly chipped away and cut the deficit to 39-31 with 5:31 left in the game.

That was as close as Tamaqua got.

Pottsville, ranked eighth in the state in Class AAA in the most recent Pennlive.com Pennsylvania high school boys’ basketball rankings, finished the game on an 18-9 run.

The Crimson Tide shot 4-for-6 from the field in the fourth quarter and hit 9-of-14 from the foul line to remain undefeated on the season and take a one-game lead over Tamaqua and Blue Mountain in the division.

“I haven’t had to sweat like that all year,” Crimson Tide

coach Dave Mullaney said. “I needed that.”

Ty Painter scored 10 points, knocking down three 3-pointers, for Pottsville, while Eli Nabholz grabbed 10 rebounds and had two blocks.

Jordan Melochick added nine points, five steals, three assists and two blocks for the Crimson Tide, hitting 5-of-6 from the foul line in the fourth quarter to help Pottsville seal the victory.

“I think we just stuck to our defensive principles,” Melochick said. “It was a hard game, playing here in Tamaqua with all the crowd and everybody screaming.”

Brett Kosciolek, who led the Raiders with 14 points and 10 rebounds, pulled Tamaqua to 39-31 when he hit 1-of-2 from the free-throw line after he was fouled on a lob pass inside.

Pottsville proceeded to score on its next four possessions as everybody contributed to the run.

Painter hit a 3 from the corner to start the spurt, while Kosciolek scored to make it 42-33.

Nahbolz hit a 3 from the top of circle on Pottsville’s next trip down the floor. After a Tamaqua miss, Blankenhorn scored on a move inside. Melochick followed with a steal, and Blankenhorn scored on a dump-down inside from Nabholz. He was fouled on the bucket, but missed his foul shot, making it 49-33 with 3:41 remaining in the game.

“They made a couple of runs tonight and I think we responded,” Mullaney said.

Bo Rottet scored on the baseline to cut the deficit to 49-35, but the Crimson Tide hit 8-of-11 from the free-throw line to finish the game.

Rottet added 11 points and five assists for Blue Raiders, while Nate MacDonald grabbed 11 rebounds.

Melochick was responsible for guarding Rottet, who came in averaging 19.3 points per game, most of the night and held him to one off his season low of 10. Painter and Blankenhorn also helped out on Rottet.

“I just wanted to keep him off the 3-point line and make sure he doesn’t get any 3s off,” Melochick said. “I know I have my teammates behind me if he drives.”

Despite the loss, the Raiders became just the second team this season to crack 40 points against Pottsville. The Crimson Tide had came in allowing 30.4 points per contest.

Tamaqua played well, but was done in by a bad shooting night, hitting 16-for-48 (33 percent) from the field.

“Believe or not, we were happy with our performance today,” Raiders coach Caszy Kosciolek said. “We were right there in the second half. But what we failed to do was to execute on offense. We didn’t get multiple passes on possessions to get a high-percentage shot. That was one thing where we sputtered a little bit.”

Blankenhorn scored 22 of his points in the first half as Tamaqua came out in a 3-2 zone. His performance Monday followed a 24-point game Saturday against Williamsport.

“I am happy that I have teammates who don’t get mad when I shoot,” Blankenhorn said.

Game Summary

POTTSVILLE (57) — Hinchliffe 0 1-2 1, Painter 3 1-3 10, Blankenhorn 10 7-10 30, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 1 7-9 9, Witman 0 0-0 0, Abdo 1 0-0 2, Nabholz 2 0-2 5. Totals 17 16-26 57.

TAMAMQUA (40) — Shilko 0 0-0 0, Blaker 3 0-0 9, Miller 0 0-0 0, Rottet 4 2-2 11, Zuber 0 0-0 0, MacDonald 1 0-0 2, Skripko 2 0-1 4, Kosciolek 5 3-4 14. Totals 15 5-7 40.

Pot (9-0, 4-0) 18 13 7 19 — 57 Tam (9-2, 3-1) 0 0 0 0 — 00

3-point FGs: Painter 3, Blankenhorn 3, Nabholz, Blaker 3, Rottet, Kosciolek

JV score: Pottsville 56-27

 


Crimson Tide hold off Tamaqua

By Mike Carnahan, Republican-Herald Sports Writer
TAMAQUA — Pottsville faced a fourth-quarter challenge for one of the few times this season Monday.
The Crimson Tide answered the challenge and turned it into another double-digit victory.
Travis Blankenhorn had a season-high 30 points, but it was a big fourth quarter that allowed Pottsville to finally pull away for a 57-40 victory over Tamaqua in a Schuylkill League Division I contest at the Tamaqua Athletic Center.
The Crimson Tide (9-0, 4-0 D-I) led 31-19 at half, but the Blue Raiders (9-2, 3-1) slowly chipped away and cut the deficit to 39-31 with 5:31 left in the game.
That was as close as Tamaqua got.
Pottsville, ranked eighth in the state in Class AAA in the most recent Pennlive.com Pennsylvania high school boys’ basketball rankings, finished the game on an 18-9 run.
The Crimson Tide shot 4-for-6 from the field in the fourth quarter and hit 9-of-14 from the foul line to remain undefeated on the season and take a one-game lead over Tamaqua and Blue Mountain in the division.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of Tuesday’s Republican-Herald.

Pottsville Leads WNEP Rankings - 1/5/2015

 

BOYS RANKINGS:

RANKTEAMRECORDPREVIOUS RANK
1Pottsville9-0-
2Lewisburg8-0 -
3Loyalsock8-1-
4Scranton Prep7-2-
5St. John Neumann9-0-
6Shamokin8-2 -
7Mid Valley9-0-
8Lehighton
8-1-

9-0, The Tide Rolls

The Pottsville Crimson Tide rolled to 9 and 0, with a 57-40, hard earned victory over Tamaqua Blue Raiders on their home court, The Tide give the Blue Raiders their second defeat of the season and the first one in league play. The Crimson Tide was led by Travis "Money" Blankenhorn's season high 30 points, he had 22 points in the first half. Ty Painter added 10 points for the Tide with his season high point total. The Tide led 18-11 after the first period, With Blankenhorn adding 12 of that total. The Tide then push their led to 31-19 at half, with Blankenhorn another 10, to finish the first half with 22 points. The Third quarter was tight with Tamaqua out scoring the Tide 8-7, to end the third period with a score of 38-27 Tide. The Tide plulled away with 19-13 quarter to end the game at 57-40 victory.

Pottsville (9-0) 18   13   7   19  (57)

Tamaqua (10-2) 11   8   8   13  (40)

Pottsville: Hinchliffe 0 1-2 1, Painter 3 1-3 10, Blankenhorn 10 7-10 30, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 1 7-9 9, Witman 0 0-0 0, Abdo 1 0-0 2, Nabholz 2 0-2 5, Totals 17 16-26 (57)

Tamaqua: Shilko 0 0-0 0, Blaker3 0-0 9, Miller 0 0-0 0, Rottet 4 2-2 11, Zuber 0 0-0 0, McDonald 1 0-0 2, Skripko 2 0-1 4,Kosciolek5 3-4 14, Totals: 15 5-7 40

3 Point FG's:Blaker (3), Rottet, Kosciolek, Painter (3), Blankenhorn (3), Nabholz 

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Tide remain unbeaten with rout of Williamsport

 


Photo: JACQUELINE DORMER, License: N/A, Created: 2015:01:03 15:25:43

JACQUELINE DORMER/STAFF PHOTO Pottsville’s Jordan Melochick drives to the basket as Williamsport’s Micah Peterson defends during Saturday’s non-league game at Martz Hall. The Crimson Tide’s remained undefeated on the season with a 62-32 victory.

Photo: JACQUELINE DORMER, License: N/A, Created: 2015:01:03 15:28:16

JACQUELINE DORMER/STAFF PHOTO Pottsville’s Travis Blankenhorn converts an alley-oop pass into a lay-up during Saturday’s non-league game against Williamsport at Martz Hall. Blankenhorn scored a season-high 24 points as the Crimson Tide remained unbeaten with a 62-32 rout of the Millionaires.

 

There must be something about facing Williamsport that brings out the best in Pottsville’s Travis Blankenhorn.

The senior guard was almost perfect against the Millionaires on Saturday afternoon. So were the rest of the Crimson Tide for that matter.

Blankenhorn scored 24 points and Eli Nabholz added 18, while the defense turned in another shutdown performance to lead Pottsville to a 62-32 rout of Williamsport in a non-league contest at Martz Hall.

Blankenhorn tallied a career-high 33 points during the Crimson Tide’s 53-37 win at Williamsport last season. Blankenhorn’s output Saturday was a season high, beating the 22 he scored against Salisbury on Dec. 20.

Blankenhorn finished the game 10-of-12 from the field, including a 3-for-5 performance from beyond the arc. He scored 19 of his points in the first half, with 13 coming in the second quarter, as Pottsville (8-0) raced out to a 31-14 halftime advantage.

“I guess my teammates got me open a lot today and I was able to knock my shots down,” Blankenhorn said.

Nabholz, who missed the Crimson Tide’s 77-30 victory over Nativity on Tuesday with a concussion, returned to the starting lineup Saturday and was a perfect 9-of-9 from the field. He did most of his damage in the second half where he scored 12 points. Eight came in the third quarter as Pottsville held a 19-5 scoring advantage to take a 50-19 lead and put the game away.

“Just going out and trying to do the same offensive principles: Post up, one pass, back

seal and try to get a lob,” Nabholz said. “There just wasn’t a lot of backside help today, so we got a couple of lay-ups from the passes.”

Jordan Melochick added seven rebounds and four assists for the Crimson Tide, while Blankenhorn had six boards and Connor Hinchliffe collected five assists.

Sophomore Isaiah Hankins led the Millionaires (4-5) with 12 points.

Saturday’s victory was eighth time this season Pottsville won by 15 or more points, and the seventh consecutive game decided by 20 or more points. It was the perfect tune up for what will be a big three-game stretch for the Crimson Tide, which starts Monday at Tamaqua (9-1, 3-0 D-I) in a showdown of the two remaining Schuylkill League Division I teams undefeated in the division.

Pottsville then hosts Shamokin (7-2) in a non-game Wednesday and travels to Lehighton (8-1, 2-1) next Saturday.

“We haven’t always been happy after some wins, but we are happy after today,” Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. “Williamsport is a great program and that was a great win for us.”

There was plenty to be happy with.

Offensively, the Tide were efficient and patient against Williamsport’s pressure defense, whether the Millionaires were playing man-to-man or a 1-3-1 zone. Pottsville had tons of looks inside and finished the game 26-for-40 (65 percent) from the field.

“We thought if we handled their pressure and ran our half-court offense that there were going to be openings for us,” Mullaney said. “For the most part we were able to work inside out.”

Pottsville was just as solid on the defensive end.

Williamsport came into Saturday’s game averaging 67.6 points per contest, but struggled against the Crimson Tide in half court. The Millionaires shot 10-of-41 (24 percent) from the field and turned the ball over 16 times.

“They are definitely (athletic) and they could take us off the dribble,” Blankenhorn said. “One of our keys was to just kept them in front and if they went backdoor, just have another person to help. We had a lot of help defense.”

Pottsville led 10-7 late in the first quarter before going on a 21-7 run to close the first half. Blankenhorn had all five of the Crimson Tide’s field goals during the second quarter, including all three of his 3s. His last came with 2 seconds left in the half when he knocked down a trey from the top of the circle off a pick.

Blankenhorn’s first-half shooting opened up the inside game even more in the third quarter. All of Nabholz’s points in the third came inside the paint, topped off with a putback with 1 minute to go. Melochick finished off the quarter, scoring on a lay-up with 4 seconds remaining to make it 50-19.

“They pressed a little bit,” Nabholz said. “We weren’t able to get a lot of shots but all of us got lay-ups in the second half.”

Game Summary

WILLIAMSPORT (32) — Gosly 1 3-5 5, Scott 3 0-0 6, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Chestnut 0 0-0 0, Peterson 0 1-2 1, Hankins 4 3-3 12, Williams 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Carson 0 2-2 2, 1 1-2 4, Ali 0 2-2 2. Totals 9 12-16 32.

POTTSVILLE (62) — Hinchliffe 0 2-2 2, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 1 0-2 2, Blankenhorn 10 1-2 24, Thomas 2 0-1 4, Dunkel 0 0-1 0, Melochick 2 0-0 4, Witman 1 0-0 2, Abdo 1 4-4 6, Nabholz 9 0-0 18, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Renninger 0 0-2 0, O’Pake 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 7-14 62.

Wil (4-5) 7 7 5 13 — 32 Pot (8-0) 14 17 19 12 — 62

3-point FGs: Hankins, Benjamin, Blankenhorn 3

JV score: Pottsville 53-52


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POTTSVILLE-WILLIAMSPORT GAME TIME MOVED

Pottsville freshmen will play at 12:00, The JV'S will play at 1:30 and Varsity will play at 3:00 pm. 

 

H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Tests coming up for Pottsville


            

Photo: David McKeown, License: N/A, Created: 2014:12:30 19:37:38

DAVID MCKEOWN/STAFF PHOTO Pottsville’s Travis Blankenhorn (3) takes the ball to the basket while Nativity’s Cullen Hoppel (14) defends during Tuesday’s Battle of the Hills game at Martz Hall.

This is supposed to be Pottsville’s year in boys’ basketball.

So far, it has been.

The Crimson Tide have overpowered their opponents during a 7-0 start, winning by an average margin of 28.2 points per game.

Along the way, Pottsville, ranked No. 8 all season in Pennsylvania in the Pennlive.com/Patriot-News Class AAA rankings, rolled past Blue Mountain 65-29 on Dec. 18 and held North Schuylkill to six first-half points in a 55-21 victory Dec. 22. Crimson Tide coach Dave Mullaney was concerned about facing Salisbury in an afternoon, non-league game Dec. 20, but Pottsville won that one easily too, 58-32.

In their annual Battle of Hills matchup against Nativity on Tuesday, the Crimson Tide overcame a slow first half and a very game Hilltoppers team by outscoring them 50-12 in the second half in a 77-30 victory.

Are Blue Mountain, North Schuylkill and Nativity that bad? Not at all. The three are likely to qualify for the District 11 playoffs, and all three will be in the running for a spot in the Schuylkill League playoffs in their respective divisions.

Pottsville has been that good.

“We played Pottsville,” Blue Mountain coach Dustin Werdt said after the Eagles’ loss Dec. 18. “I don’t think you are going to see too many teams come out of here having a good offensive night.”

All of the early-season blowouts mean the Crimson Tide haven’t had to play any tight games during the fourth quarter. That won’t be the case come postseason, and learning how to win close games now will be critical down the road.

“I am concerned, but at the same time most of the guys playing have played in those games in the past and we do have some experienced guys,” Mullaney said. “We are going to have close ones coming up this week.”

Challenges will indeed be forthcoming, starting Saturday when Williamsport (4-4) comes to Martz Hall for a 3 p.m. tip.

The two teams have split their two meetings the past two years. On Dec. 18, 2012, at Martz Hall, the Crimson Tide gave the then-Class AAAA No. 7 state-ranked Millionaires a tussle before losing 45-37. Williamsport went on to lose to eventual PIAA runner-up Chester in the second round of the state playoffs at Martz Hall in March.

Last season, Pottsville won 53-37 at Williamsport.

The Millionaires are coming off a 54-48 loss to Carlisle on Tuesday that snapped a three-game winning streak. Williamsport is averaging 69 points per game offensively.

It is the test that Mullaney and the rest of the Crimson Tide need and are looking forward to.

“I think Williamsport is a great program and they are going to test us before you get into the Tamaquas, Lehightons and Shamokins,” Mullaney said. “You want to have another good game under your belt. We need to be tested, and I think that is the only way for some of these guys to get their attention. We didn’t have their attention before tonight’s game.”

More challenges are coming down the road, too.

Pottsville’s schedule over the next 10 days includes games at Tamaqua (9-1, 3-0 D-I) on Monday and at Lehighton (8-1, 2-1) on Jan. 10 as the first cycle of Division I games finishes up. The Crimson Tide will also host Shamokin (6-2) in a non-league game Jan. 7. There is also the second time through the division schedule.

And as a tune-up for the postseason, the Crimson Tide will travel to Berks League, District 3 and perennial state power Berks Catholic on Jan 28.

Hurricanes making great strides early

If there is one team in the Schuylkill League that has to be the most improved to this point in the season, it has to be Schuylkill Haven.

At 5-3, the Hurricanes have won as many games this past December as they have in the past two years, when they went a combined 5-39, including an 0-22 mark last season.

A big focus of coach Fran Murphy was for Schuylkill Haven to be competitive in every game. Outside of a 69-55 loss at Millersburg on Dec. 22, that’s what the Hurricanes have been so far.

Schuylkill Haven owns non-league wins over three Division I teams — Pine Grove, Jim Thorpe and Panther Valley — and, despite losing both games, the Hurricanes had held Upper Dauphin (47) and Tamaqua (41) to their season low in points.

Defense and controlling the tempo have led the way. The Hurricanes haven’t put up big offensive numbers (44 points per game), but they are allowing 40.9 defensively per game. That type of defense will keep them in every game.

I think Schuylkill Haven (1-1 Division II) will be a factor in the division race. A big test will be at division-leading Minersville (6-2, 2-0) on Monday.

Annual Rhoades Classic set for Saturday

The 6th annual Rhoades Foundation Classic is scheduled Saturday at Lebanon Valley College with three games on tap.

It starts with Mahanoy Area vs. Mount Carmel at 5:30 p.m. Conestoga Valley faces Lower Dauphin at 7 and it’s Annville-Cleona vs. Palmyra at 8:30. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students, and all of the proceeds benefit the Rhoades Foundation.

Let’s talk districts

It is only the beginning of January, but it is never too early to look at the district rankings. The playoffs will have a different look to them this season with the new PIAA classifications that are in place for the next two years.

In Class AAA, Pottsville and Tamaqua are ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively, with Allentown Central Catholic (6-3) third and Salisbury (8-1) fourth. The Raiders need just two more wins to qualify for the tournament. Lehighton is sixth, North Schuylkill (5-2) eighth and Blue Mountain (4-4) ninth.

In Class AA, the top five teams are from the Schuylkill League. In order, they are Minersvile, Mahanoy Area (5-2), Williams Valley (5-3), Schuylkill Haven and Marian (3-5).

Nativity (5-3) is second in Class A behind Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg (8-2). The only other team right now in Class A with a winning record is No. 3 Lincoln Leadership Academy (6-5).

Stats are on the way

The first area statistical leaders will be published in Tuesday’s edition of The Republican-Herald. As always they will include individual scoring and 3-point leaders, along with team offense, defense, 3-point shooting and foul shooting.

(Carnahan is the boys’ basketball beat writer for The Republican-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @mdcarnahan71 and read his blog at http://blogs.republicanherald.com/ac/)

Boys’ Basketball

Power Poll

Though Jan. 1

W-L Pvs

1. Pottsville 7-0 1

2. Tamaqua 9-1 2

3. Lehighton 8-1 5

4. Minersville 6-2 6

5. Blue Mountain 4-4 6

6. North Schuylkill 5-2 4

7. Mahanoy Area 5-2 3

8. Nativity 5-3 8

9. Williams Valley 5-3 10

10. Upper Dauphin 8-2 NR

— Compiled by Mike Carnahan


Crimson Tide Dunks The Hilltoppers

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H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Big 2nd half keys Crimson Tide rout of Nativity


        

Photo: David McKeown, License: N/A, Created: 2014:12:30 19:34:34

Pottsville’s Christian Witman takes a shot over Nativity’s Jeff Yordy during the Battle of the Hills.

Photo: David McKeown, License: N/A, Created: 2014:12:30 19:57:55

DAVID MCKEOWN/STAFF PHOTOS Nativity’s Dominic Piccioni, right, looks for room to operate as Pottsville’s Ty Painter applies defensive pressure during Tuesday night’s Battle of the Hills at Martz Hall. Looking on is Nativity’s Eric Nelson (35).

It is not uncommon for Pottsville’s man-to-man defense to take over a game.

It took until early into the second half for it to happen Tuesday. Once the Crimson Tide got rolling, though, what was a close game quickly turned into a rout.

Travis Blankenhorn had a game-high 19 points, while Jordan Melochick scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half as Pottsville used a big third-quarter run to roll past Nativity 77-30 in the Battle of the Hills at Martz Hall.

The Hilltoppers hung tough with the Crimson Tide for the first half and pulled to within 27-21 when Jeff Yordy hit a deep 3-pointer from the wing early in the third quarter.

Nativity never got that close again.

Pottsville (7-0) followed by scoring 18 answered points and went on a 26-3 run during the quarter to go up 53-24 and put the game away for good.

“I just felt like we all knew we had to step our defense up and come out and play a lot harder than we did,” Blankenhorn said. “Coach (Dave Mullaney) got us motivated to do that and we did.

“In the second half, we just came out and played the defense that we know.”

How good was the Crimson Tide’s defense in the second half?

Pottsville held the Hilltopers to 2-of-15 (13 percent) from the floor over the final 16 minutes, with both field goals 3s by Yordy in the third quarter, and 12 total points. The Crimson Tide also forced Nativity into 13 second-half turnovers.

Melochick added 10 rebounds on the night to finish with a double-double, to go along with three assists, three steals and two blocks. Ty Painter and Jordan Abdo had nine points apiece for the

Crimson Tide, who were without Eli Nabholz and Pat Schenck.

Nabholz, Pottsville’s starting center, suffered a concussion early during the Crimson Tide’s 55-21 win at North Schuylkill on Dec. 22 and is expected to be cleared to play Saturday night against Williamsport.

Yordy led Nativity (5-3) with 16 points and nine rebounds. The Hilltoppers, who had their five-game winning streak snapped, hit six 3s in the game as their outside shooting helped keep them in the game in the first half.

Yordy’s 3s early in second half made it even closer, but then the night unraveled for the Hilltoppers as they started to get worn down.

“When he hit that 3, I thought that was going to be a pick-me-up,” Nativity coach Kevin Kennedy said. “But you talk about a tough Pottsville team that plays tough defense and they are well-coached. The thing is, Pottsville is 10 deep and they just kept bringing in subs. Our kids were tired. They just wore them down. They really did.”

Not only did the Crimson Tide pick up on the defensive end, they were more aggressive offensively, too.

Pottsville seemed to settle for 3-pointers in the first half and didn’t do all that well, finishing 2-for-15 (13 percent) from beyond the arc in the half and 10-of-30 (33 percent) overall from the floor.

In the second half, the Crimson Tide turned Nativity’s misses and turnovers into transition points at the other end and were much aggressive in the half court against Nativity’s 2-3 zone. Pottsville ended up 18-for-31 (58 percent) from the floor in the second half, including a 5-of-10 showing from 3-point land.

“In the second half, our guys were attacking the basket on the offensive end,” Mullaney said. “I think once we decided we were going to attack gaps and make plays, it made the zone a little easier to attack.”

Blankenhorn, who fouled out early in the fourth quarter, did most of his damage in the first half when he scored 15 of his points. A highlight of his night was a two-handed jam off a fast break that started on a Melochick steal.

“Melo gave me a pass ahead and I didn’t see anyone in front of me, so I just went up for the dunk,” the 6-foot-2 Blankenhorn said.

Game Summary

Battle of the Hills

At Martz Hall

NATIVITY (30) — Piccioni 2 2-2 8, Greco 0 0-0 0, Petzel 0 0-0 0, Hoppel 1 0-0 3, Yordy 4 5-6 16, Hunyara 0 1-2 1, Adams 1 0-4 2, Belding 0 0-0 0, Nelson 0 0-0 0, White 0 0-0 0, Shatalsky 0 0-0 0. Totals 8 8-14 30.

POTTSVILLE (77) — Hinchliffe 3 2-2 8, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 3 0-0 9, Blankenhorn 7 4-7 19, Thomas 3 0-1 8, Dunkel 0 2-4 2, Melochick 5 2-4 13, Shuman 0 2-2 2, Witman 2 0-0 4, Abdo 4 1-3 9, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Renninger 0 1-2 1, O’Pake 1 0-0 2. Totals 28 14-25 77.

Nat (5-3) 5 13 6 6 — 30 Pot (7-0) 14 13 26 24 — 77

3-point FGs: Piccioni 2, Hoppel, Yordy 3, Painter 3, Blankenhorn, Thomas 2, Melochick,

JV score: Pottsville 62-17

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Crimson Tide Rolls To 7 - 0

The Crimson Tide defeated Nativity Green Wave by the score of 77-30. The Tide was led by Travis "Money" Blankenhorn's 19 points and Jordan "Melo" Melochick dumped in 13 points. The Tide led by the score of 14 - 5 after the first quarter and led at half time by the scoce 27-18. The Tide then turned up the heat on Nativity in the third quater when Pottsville ran up a 26-6 score with all around defense being played by everyone. The Tide closed out the game with a 24-6 forth quarter to end the game at 77-30 victorty. The Tide moves on to play Williamsport at home this saturday.

Pottsville   14   13   26   24 (77)

Nativity       5   13    6    6   (30)

Pottsville: Hinchcliffe 3 2-2 8, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 3 0-0 9, Blankenhorn 7 4-7 19, Thomas 2 0-1 8, Dunkel 0 2-4 2, Melochick 5 2-4 13, Shuman 0 2-2 2, Witman 2 0-0 4, Abdo 4 1-3 9, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Renninger 0 1-2 1, O'Pake 1 0-0 2, Totals: 28 14-25 (77)

Nativity: Piccioni 2 2-2 8, Greco 0 0-0 0, Petzel 0 0-0 0, Hoffel 1 0-0 3, Yordy 4 5-6 16, Hunyara 0 1-2 1, Adams 1 0-4 2, Belding 0 0-0 0, Nelson 0 0-0 0, White 0 0-0 0, Shatalsky 0 0-0 0 Totals: 8 8-14 (30)

3-pointers: Painter (3), Blankenhorn,Thomas (2), Melochick,Piccioni (2), Hoffel, Yordy (3), 

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Crimson Tide Stick it to the Spartans!

 The Crimson Tide continued on it's winning ways with a 55 to 21, victory over the North Schuylkill Spartans on their home Floor. Travis "Money" Blankenhorn led the Tide with 13 points, followed by Jordan "Melo" Melochick 11 points and a Break out game by Muldeen Thomas 10 points, the best of his career. The Tide jumped out to a 9 to 4 score in the first quarter and led 26-6 at half time. Durning the game Eli "Big Easy" Nabholz suffered a mild concussion, which limited his play.  The Tide came out in the second half to extend the lead to 38-13 at the end of the third quarter. The Tide closed out the game at a 55-21 score. The Tide's record in the division is now 3-0. The Tide will take a couple of days off before playing Nativity Green. Wave on December 30 at home in the Lions Club Classic.

Pottsville:  9.  17.  11.  17. (55)

North Schuylkill  4.  2.  7.  8  (21)

Pottsville: Hinchliffe 0 0-2 0, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 2 0-0 5, Blankenhorn 5 3-4 13. Thomas 4 0-2 10, Dunkel 2 0-0 4, Melochick 3 5-6 11, Shuman 0 0-0 0. Witman 1 1-1 3, Abdo 3 1-2 7. Nabholz 1 0-0 2, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Renninger 0 0-0 0, Schenck 0 0-0 0, O'Pake 0 0-0 0'. Totals: 21 10-17 (55)

North Schuylkill:Carney 0 0-0 0, Marlowe 0 0-0 0, Hillbish 0 0-0 0, Murray 5 4-5 14, Wood 0 0-0 0, Mazur 0 0-0 0, Mercado 1 2-3 4, Smith 0 1-3 1, Mazeika 1 0-0 2, Bottof0 0-0 0, Karlonis0 0-0 0, Shewmaker 0 0-0 0, Beaton 0 0-0 0, Jordan 0 0-2 o, Totals: 7 7-13 (21)

 

3 Pointers: Painter, Thomas 2 

 

 

Martz Hall  Mystery Solved!!

After extensive research was done by NASA, MIT and the CIA. THe Martz Hall Mystery has been solved. Applying the rules of Physics, You must apply a certain amount of pressure to the floor in order to reach maxium lift off to achieve the perfect dunk!

 After spending weeks, reviewing all the reports that were submitted by NASA, MIT and the CIA to determine the necessary repairs to the "Black Hole" on Martz Hall Basketball court.  The area has been fixed, and is ready for lift off at the next home game.

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Crimson Tide drives a stake Into Salisbury!

The Crimson Tide continued it's winning ways by defeating previously unbeaten Salisbury 58 to 32. The Crimson Tide were led by Travis "Money" Blankenhorn's 22 points, followed by Jordan "Melo" Melochick, with his best game, of the year adding 13 points and The "Big Easy" Eli Nabholz's 10 points. The Crimson Tide jumped out to a 13 to 5 first quater lead and pushed it to a 33 to 11 half time lead. The Tide continued to pour it on Salisbury, taking a 45 to 26 lead at the end of 3 quarters. The Tide finished the game off in the fourth quater for a final victory of 58 to 32. The Tide travels to North Schuylkill, Monday night for a league game.

Pottsville: 13   20   12   13 (58)

Salisbury:  5   6   15   6 (32)

Pottsville: Hinchliffe 1 2-2 4, Painter 1 0-0 3, Blankenhorn  7 5-6 22, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick  4 4-5 13, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 -0-0 0, Abdo 3 0-1 6, Nabholz 4 1-2 10, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Totals 20 12-16 (58)

Salisbury: Jones 0 0-0 0, Webber 1 0-1 2, Cooperman 0 0-0 0, Brown 0 0-0 0, Reinenbach 0 1-2 1, Castello 1 0-0 2, Carson 0 0-0 0, Slutsky 0 2-2 2, Belletiere 6 2-4 14, Reid 2 5-6 9, Fairclough 1 0-0 2, Tiao 0 0-0 0, Rosers 0 0-0 0, Totals: 11 10-15 (32) 

 3-Point Fg's: Painter, Blankenhorn (3), Melochick, Nabholz

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 Tide roll past Blue Mountain

By Mike Carnahan
Published: December 19, 2014                

It is early, but four games into the regular season, Pottsville has been as good as advertised.

One the Crimson Tide’s biggest rivals couldn’t slow them down Thursday.

Eli Nabholz had a game-high 17 points and Travis Blankenhorn added 12, while the defense helped start a late first-half run that lifted Pottsville to 65-29 victory over Blue Mountain in a Schuylkill League Division I contest at Martz Hall.

Thursday’s win was the fourth double-digit victory in four games for Pottsville (4-0, 2-0 D-I) this season. The 36-point margin of victory over the Eagles was the largest for the Crimson Tide, surpassing Monday’s 61-26 win over Pine Grove.

“We played well,” Nabholz said. “We played well against Governor Mifflin (a 64-40 victory last Friday). Last game against Pine Grove we might have taken a little step back, there was not as much intensity. We put a lot of it together today and we definitely got better today.”

Blankenhorn and Connor Hinchliffe had eight rebounds apiece for Pottsville, while Nabholz added six boards and three blocks. Ty Painter and Jordan Melochick each had three assists.

Mark Chelius, the only returning starter this season for Blue Mountain (2-4, 1-1), had 12 points. The Eagles were coming off a 72-55 win over North Schuylkill on Monday.

A Pottsville-Blue Mountain matchup has provided plenty of drama through the years. This wasn’t one of those nights. The Crimson Tide are deep and experienced with five seniors in their starting lineup. The Eagles are young, starting one senior, two juniors and two sophomores.

It turned out to be a rough night offensively for Blue Mountain. The Eagles shot 10-for-34 (29 percent) from the floor and turned the ball over 17 times.

“We played Pottsville,” Blue Mountain coach Dustin Werdt said. “I don’t think you are going to see too many teams come out of here having a good offensive night. I think we helped them a little bit with some turnovers and we gave them some easy buckets. They defend well. They are strong and quick and get out into the passing lanes.”

The game was close early as Pottsville led 10-7 after the first quarter. The Crimson Tide threatened to pull away early in the second quarter, opening with an 8-0 run to go up 18-7 with 3:35 left in the first half. Nabholz finished off the run, scoring on a putback.

Blue Mountain stuck around, cutting cut the deficit to 18-13 with 1:57 remaining on a 3-pointer by Dean Stramara and three-point play by Chelius off a baseline drive.

Then the Crimson Tide took over for good, putting together a 22-4 run that lasted into the second half.

The defense helped spark it.

Blankenhorn started the run with a pull-up jumper. Hinchliffe then had back-to-back steals, converting both for layups, making it 24-13 with 24 seconds left in the first half.

Hinchliffe got into the passing lane on both steals, the type of defense Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney felt was lacking at times last season.

“He got out into the passing lanes and that changed the game,” he said. “It is coming. This group, the problem is we do have the capability of scoring some points, but we want to make sure we are doing it on both ends. Slowly but surely we are coming along.”

Blankenhorn finished off the half by hitting a 3-pointer off a screen from the top of the circle with 2 seconds left to make it 27-13.

Nabholz scored eight of his points during the third quarter as Pottsville build a 42-17 advantage with 3:32 to go after Jordan Abdo knocked down a 3 from the corner.

The Crimson Tide led 50-25 after three quarters.

Pottsville finished the night 25-for-51 (49 percent) from the floor, including a 7-of-22 (31 percent) showing from 3-point land. Everybody seemed to get involved Thursday.

“We know where everybody is going to be and the offense started to flow tonight,” Nabholz said. “It was just working together as a team, running the motion offense. We got so many guys open tonight. I just happened to open a couple of times.”

Game Summary

BLUE MOUNTAIN (29) — Puzzi 0 0-0 0, Stramara 2 1-2 6, Kerstetter 0 0-0 0, Barton 0 0-0 0, Welsh 0 1-2 1, Lewis 2 0-0 4, Donovan 0 0-0 0, Chelius 4 2-2 12, Albertini 2 0-0 6, Granito 0 0-0 0, Zerbe 0 0-0 0, Biever 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 4-6 29.

POTTSVILLE (65) — Hinchliffe 3 0-0 6, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 2 0-0 5, Blankenhorn 5 1-2 12, Thomas 1 0-0 2, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 2 3-3 7, Shuman 2 0-0 5, Witman 1 1-1 3, Abdo 1 2-2 5, Nabholz 7 1-1 17, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Renninger 0 0-0 0, Schenk 1 0-0 3. Totals 25 8-9 65.

BM (2-4, 1-1) 7 6 12 4 — 29 Pot (4-0, 2-0) 10 17 23 15 — 65

3-point FGs: Stramara, Chelius 2, Albertini 2, Painter, Blankenhorn, Shuman, Abdo, Nabholz 2, Schenk

JV score: Pottsville 50-28

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Crimson Tide Soars Past The Eagles

The "Big Easy", Eli Nabholz led the Tide with 17 points, Travis "Money" Blankehorn added 12 points and Jordan "Melo" Melochick chipped in 7 points, as the Tide with a well balanace attack soared pass Blue Mountain 65-29 at Martz Hall. The Crimson Tide improved their record to 4 and 0. The Tide will take their show on the road, Saturday against the Salisbury Falcons,  

Pottsville:  10   17   23   12  (65)

Blue Mountain:   7   6   12   4   (29) 

Pottsville 

Hinchliffe 3 0-0 6, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 2 0-0 5, Blankenhorn 5 1-2 12, Thomas 1 0-0 2, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 2 3-3 7, Shuman 1 0-0 3, Witman 2 1-1 5, Abdo 1 3-3 5, Nabholz 7 1-1 17, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Renninger 0 0-0 0, Schenck 1 0-0 3,  Totals: 25 8-9 (65)

Blue Mountain

Puzzi 0 0-0 0, Strammara 2 1-2 6, Kerstetter 0 0-0 0, Barton 0 0-2 0, Welsh 0 1-2 1, Lewis 2 0-0 4, Donovan 0 0-0 0, Chelius 4 2-2 12, Albertini 2 0-0 6, Granto 0 0-0 0, Zerbe 0 0-0 0, Biever 0 0-0 0 Totals: 10 4-8 (29)

 

 

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Pottsville clips The Cardinals Wings   

Pottsville 61

Pine Grove 26

Travis Blankenhorn and Jordan Abdo each scored 13 points as Pottsville dumped Pine Grove in a Division I game.

Nine of Blankenhorn’s 13 points came in a 21-5 third period for the Tide.

Pine Grove’s Kobe D’Agostino led all scorers with 18 points, going 10-for-10 from the foul line.

PINE GROVE (26) — Rossi 0 0-0 0, Snedden 1 0-1 3, Soper 0 0-0 0, Kaufman 0 0-0 0, Kreiser 0 0-0 0, Leininger 0 1-2 1, D’Agostino 3 10-10 18, Weinus 0 0-2 0, Griffiths 0 0-0 0, Fick 0 2-4 2, Omlor 0 0-2 0, Mars 0 2-2 2. Totals 4 15-23 26.

POTTSVILLE (61) — Hinchliffe 2 0-0 4, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 0 0-0 0, Blankenhorn 6 0-3 13, Thomas 0 3-3 3, Dunkel 2 1-1 5, Melochick 2 0-0 4, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 1 1-3 3, Abdo 4 4-4 13, Nabholz 2 3-4 8, Corral 2 0-0 4, Renninger 1 0-0 2, Schenk 0 0-0 0, O’Pake 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 12-19 61.

PG (1-3, 0-1) 5 4 5 12 — 26 Pott. (3-0, 1-0) 13 7 21 20 — 61

3-point FGs: Snedden, D’Agostino 2, Blankenhorn, Abdo, Nabholz

JV score: Pottsville 65-9

 
 
 Tide look to roll again

                                                                  

The best way to describe the 2014-15 Schuylkill League boys’ basketball season is uncertainty and plenty of change.

Such is the case at Mahanoy Area. For the first time since 1981, Mickey Holland will not lead the Golden Bears as head coach. The job now belongs to Scott Hudson, who was a sophomore at Mahanoy Area during Holland’s first season 33 years ago and has been involved with the program in some capacity ever since.

Then there is the new addition to the league in Lehighton and how much of an impact the Indians will make in the Division I race.

There is also the question of who will emerge as the front runners for the Division II and III titles. Both races are wide open this season and will bring plenty of intrigue as the year moves on.

There are, however, no such uncertainties and changes at Pottsville. The Crimson Tide’s expectations are always high, and this season is no different.

The Tide are loaded again, and the expectations may be turned up a little bit more.

Not only is Pottsville coming off a 24-6 campaign, but all five starters — seniors Travis Blankenhorn, Eli Nabholz, Ty Painter and Connor Hinchliffe, along with junior Jordan Melochick — are back.

Last season, the Crimson Tide’s drive for a fifth consecutive overall league title ended with a 45-44 loss to Mahanoy Area in the championship game. But 2013-14 could hardly be considered a failure.

Pottsville won its fifth straight division title by beating Blue Mountain 51-42 in a tiebreaker contest Feb. 8. The Crimson Tide also reached their first District 11 Class AAA title game since 2010 and then won their first PIAA playoff game since 1974 with a 58-38 victory over Lower Moreland on March 7. Pottsville proceeded to give eventual state runner-up Susquehanna Township a fight in the second round before losing 52-45 on March 11.

Blankenhorn, a 6-foot-2 guard, stepped into more of a leadership role and responded with the best season of his career, averaging 18.2 points per game, including 61 3-pointers. He was The Republican-Herald Co-Player of the Year with Mahanoy Area’s Dylan Mahmod. Blankenhorn also hit 1,000 points for his career during a 56-30 victory over Williams Valley in the league semifinals Feb. 11.

Nabholz (12.0 ppg), a 6-5 forward, had the best season of his high school career, too, becoming a threat both in and out of the paint. Melochick (9.8 ppg) nearly averaged double figures in scoring, while Connor Hinchliffe (6.1 ppg., 24 3s) was second on the team in 3-pointers and Ty Painter (2.8) became more confident offensively as the season went along.

What could make the Crimson Tide even scarier is that there is depth this season, so much so that last year’s starting five could be different this season.

To that end, coach Dave Mullaney wants Pottsville to be more aggressive on both ends of the floor. He wants the Tide’s man-to-man defense to be even tighter, and his motion offense to run crisper sets.

He knows there is a lot of work to do.

“We are nowhere where we want to be,” he said. “I really want to see us offensive rebound better than we have in the past. I want to see us play defense like we have in the past as well. Last year I don’t think we were a great defensive team. And just continue to build confidence. The talent is there, it is just the job of the coaching staff to kind of put it all together and reach our potential.”

Blankenhorn knows this season could be special, too. Now the Crimson Tide have to go out and get it done.

“We still have to go out and play the game,” he said. “Nothing is guaranteed. We have to keep focused, keep getting better and take nothing for granted.”

Pottsville and the rest of Division I have to deal with Lehighton as it enters from the now defunct Mountain Valley Conference.

The Indians (14-11, 7-7 MVC) might be new to the league, but are familiar with a few of the teams they will play. Lehighton lost to Pottsville in the District 11 Class AAA quarterfinals the past two years, and also have played Tamaqua, Jim Thorpe, Panther Valley and Marian in non-league games in the recent years.

Two of the Indians’ leading scorers return in senior guard Jordan Knappenberger (13.7) and junior forward Tyler Crum (13.0). The rest of Lehighton’s starters will be new.

“It is different basketball in the Schuylkill League compared to where we came from,” Indians coach Rich Oertner said. “The Mountain Valley, the kids were more athletic, but their basketball IQ wasn’t there. I think the basketball IQ in the Schuylkill League is pretty high. The kids and the coaches are fundamentally sound. We were usually the smarter team, but now some of the better teams are smarter than we are. That will be a change.”

Lehighton’s first league game is Monday at home against Panther Valley.

Here are some other items to look for this winter:

• In addition to Blankenhorn, Nativity’s Jeff Yordy (1,191) and Tamaqua’s Brett Kosciolek (1,034) are returning as 1,000-point scorers in the league this season.

• In addition to Hudson, Jim Thorpe’s Jason McElmoyle and Gillingham Charter’s Pete Sanfilippo are also new head coaches.

• The postseason classifications have changed for some schools for the new PIAA two-year cycle.

Class AAA includes Blue Mountain, Jim Thorpe, Lehighton, North Schuylkill, Pottsville and Tamaqua; Mahanoy Area, Marian, Minersville, Panther Valley, Pine Grove, Schuylkill Haven and Williams Valley are Class AA; and Nativity, Shenandoah Valley, Tri-Valley, Weatherly and Gillingham Charter are Class A. Upper Dauphin is still Class AA and Hamburg stays Class AAA in District 3, while Lourdes remains in Class A in District 4.

Here’s a breakdown of the division races:

Division I

Lehighton should be in contention for the division title. So, who else might challenge Pottsville?

A good place to start is Tamaqua.

In addition to Kosciolek, senior Bo Rottet (15.0 ppg, team-leading 346 points, 50 3-pointers) has developed into one of the best point guards in the league. Also returning is junior guard Russell Blaker (5.3 ppg, 24 3s), who averaged 10.7 points per game over Tamaqua’s final six contests.

The Raiders have gone 27-20 the past two seasons, qualifying for the District 11 Class AAA playoffs twice. They have plenty of offensive firepower, but the keys to taking the next step and competing for a league title will be defense and rebounding.

If those areas improve, this could be the year the Raiders qualify for the league playoffs for the first time since 1995.

Blue Mountain and North Schuylkill are always in the mix and this winter will be no different. Both have starters to replace, but if recent history is any guide, they should be just fine.

That is especially true for the Eagles, who have just one starter back in junior guard Mark Chelius (6.9 ppg). Three other letterwinners return in senior Dean Stramara, junior Ian Donovan and sophomore Connor Kerstetter. The three combined to score 86 points last season.

Blue Mountain was in the same position at the start of 2012-13 and ended up going a combined 39-13 over the following two seasons, qualifying for the league playoffs twice.

Two starters are back for the Spartans, including 6-5 forward Tevin Murray (12.5 ppg), The Republican-Herald Rookie of the Year. Also returning is sophomore guard Major Jordan (6.6 ppg).

The Spartans needed to replace four starters at the beginning of last year and finished 16-7. North Schuylkill nearly played for the District 11 Class AA title, but were done in by a bad fourth quarter during a 52-46 loss to Catasauqua in the semifinals.

 

Blue Mountain

Head coach: Dustin Werdt (12th season)

Last year: 21-7 overall, 11-1 D-I. Division wild-card, District 11 Class AAA third-place finisher, PIAA qualifier

Returnees: Dean Stramara (sr., G), Nico Granito (sr., F), Mark Chelius (jr., G), Ian Donovan (jr., G), Christian Puzzi (jr., F), Connor Kerstetter (soph., F-C), Aaron Albertini (soph., G), Brayden Lewis (soph., F),

Newcomers: Jack Barton (sr., F), Spencer Welsh (soph., G), Mason Zerbe (soph., G-F), Jakob Biever (fr., C)

Outlook: The Eagles took a major graduation hit, losing four starters. The guards are versatile, with some who can hit from the perimeter, while others are slashers. The youth is a concern and Werdt is looking for the Eagles to commit to playing defense on every possession. Division playoff contender.

 

Jim Thorpe

Head coach: Jason McElmoyle (1st season)

Last year: 2-20, 1-11 D-I

Returnees: David Everitt (sr., F), Shane Snisky (sr., F), Brett Luicina (sr., G), Jordan McElmoyle (jr., G), Rayan Green (jr., F), Christopher Micciche (soph., G), Brendan Carroll (soph., G)

Newcomers: Jalil Veney (sr., G), Abraham Johnson (sr., F), Alec Lauer (jr., F), Rocco Twardzick (jr., F), Owen Snisky (soph., G), Matthew Elmore (soph., F)

Outlook: The Olympians will be one of the more experienced teams in the division with four starters back. They have some size, too. McElmoyle likes the chemistry they are developing. How much of an impact the Olympians could make in the division remains to be seen.

 

Lehighton

Head coach: Rich Oertner (4th at Lehighton, 14th overall)

Last year: 14-11, 7-7 Mountain Valley Conference. MVC semifinalist, District 11 Class AAA quarterfinalist

Returnees: Jordan Knappenberger (sr., G), Tyler Crum (jr., F),

Newcomers: Tom Ruzicka (sr., G), Tyler Williams (sr., F), Nick Chambers (jr., C), Tanner Zwetoliz (jr., G-F-C), Ben Cordova (jr., C), Hunter Green (jr., F), Nick Skrincosky (soph., F)

Outlook: The Indians have their two leading scorers back with team speed a strength. The goal is to qualify for districts. Oertner believes doing that depends on how well the football players adapt to basketball. Division playoff contender.

 

North Schuylkill

Head coach: Curt Ziegmont (12th season)

Last year: 16-7, 8-4 D-I. District 11 Class AA semifinalist

Returnees: Ryan Hillbish (sr., G), Jordan Marlow (jr., G), Tevin Murray (jr., F), Major Jordan (soph., G-F),

Newcomers: Justin Heaton (sr., F), John Mercado (sr., G), Chris Karlonis (sr., F), Conor Carney (sr., G), Ryan Mazeika (sr., F), Alex Mazur (jr., G),

Outlook: The Spartans have two of the better younger players in the league in Murray and Jordan and the task is to find three new starters to built around them. Ziegmont likes the athleticism and depth as the Spartans seek to find their identity. They should be in the division mix, too.

 

Panther Valley

Head coach: Patrick Crampsie (13th season)

Last year: 10-12, 4-7 D-I

Returnees: Chad Dubosky (sr., F), Cee Keo (sr., G), Ethan Vermillion (sr., F), Charles Nase (jr., F), Anthony Miholick (soph., G), Matt Hudicka (jr.)

Newcomers: Nate Miller (jr.), Sam Stanko (jr.), Tristian Blasko (fr., F)

Outlook: The Panther lost two of their leading scorers to graduation and the new faces must take over the offensive load. There is more athleticism and length than in previous years and that should help improve the defense.

 

Pine Grove

Head coach: Frank D’Agostino (2nd season)

Last year: 4-18, 1-11 D-I

Returnees: Kobe D’Agostino (sr., G), Mark Weinus (sr., F), Luke Rossi (sr., F),

Newcomers: Austin Fick (sr., F-C), Brett Mars (sr., F), Kyle Fidler (jr., F), David Snedden (soph., G), Jake Leininger (fr., G-F), Collin Griffiths (soph., G-F),

Outlook: D’Agostino has progressed into one of the best guards in the league as the Cardinals look to develop players to build around him. They have a good mix of strength and athleticism as well as some shooters to hit from the perimeter. The program is still rebuilding. Goals are to make districts and have a signature win against a quality opponent.

 

Pottsville

Head coach: Dave Mullaney (8th season)

Last year: 24-6, 11-1 D-I. Division I champion, Schuylkill League runner-up, District 11 Class AAA runner-up, PIAA Class AAA second round

Returnees: Travis Blankenhorn (sr., G), Eli Nabholz (sr., F), Ty Painter (sr., G), Connor Hinchliffe (sr., G), Derek Shuman (sr., G), Jed Dunkel (jr., F), Jordan Melochick (jr., G), Christian Witman (jr., G)

Newcomers: Pat Coyle (sr., G), Muldeen Thomas (jr., G), Pat Schenk (jr., G), Tanner Gerchak (jr., G), Jordan Abdo (soph., G), Ian Renninger (fr., F)

Outlook: The expectations are always high for the Crimson Tide and this season is no different. All five starters return and the newcomers are pushing them for playing time, so there is plenty of depth to back the talent already in place. Division I and overall league favorite.

 

Tamaqua

Head coach: Caszy Kosciolek (4th season)

Last year: 13-10, 6-6 D-I. District 11 Class AAA qualifier

Returnees: Brett Kosciolek (sr., G-F), Bo Rottet (sr., G), Tyler Skripko (sr., F), Russell Blaker (jr., G), Ben Miller (sr., G), Nate MacDonald (sr., F)

Newcomer: Thaddaeus Zuber (fr., G)

Outlook: The Raiders have plenty of offensive punch. In order to take the next step and compete for a division title, the defense has to improve. If that happens, the Raiders could find themselves in the running for a spot in the league playoffs.

Division II

This is a wide-open division, with at least four teams having a shot depending how things shake out.

Senior guard Cody Miller (9.0) and junior forward Nick Rodichok (10.3) are back for Williams Valley, the two-time defending division champs. The Vikings don’t have much experience after that, and how quickly the newcomers come around could be the key to the Vikings winning another division title.

Lourdes has the most starters returning with four. However, the Red Raiders are still young with just three seniors and only one, Luke Holleran (4.8 ppg), expected to see any significant playing time.

Lourdes returns its leading scorer in 6-5 sophomore center Larry Czeponis (10.7 ppg), junior forward Jordan Fobia (9.2 ppg) and sophomore guard Kenny Pawelizyk (6.6 ppg). The guards are quick and Red Raiders may press more to take advantage of that.

The two starters returning for Minersville are point guard Collin Hashin (6.8 ppg) and forward Spencer Tobin (7.8 ppg), both seniors. Two of the new starters, juniors Jon McBreen (5.7 ppg) and Chris Leshko (5.0 ppg), saw plenty of playing time last year.

Tri-Valley came up a win short of qualifying for districts last season and return its leading scorer in junior forward Jaden Buchanan (9.5 ppg). Juniors Bryce Yearsley (4.0 ppg) and Bryce McNally (1.7 ppg) both started on and off last year.

The Bulldogs likely won’t be a high-scoring team, so their success could come down to how well they play defense.

 

Lourdes

Head coach: Pete Long (13th season)

Last year: 12-12, 3-10 D-II. District 4 Class AA qualifier

Returnees: Luke Holleran (sr., F), Jordan Fobia (jr., G), Michael Padula (soph., G), Larry Czeponis (soph., C), Kenny Pawelizyk (soph., G), Coby Feese (soph., F)

Newcomers: Billy Allen (sr., F), Vinnie Bucanelli (jr., G)

Outlook: The Red Raiders are young and will be led by a strong sophomore class. Quick guards could lead to more pressure defense. Should be improved and will be in the division-title hunt.

 

Minersville

Head coach: Cliff Woodford (8th season)

Last year: 16-8, 10-3. District 11 Class AA semifinalist

Returnees: Spencer Tobin (sr., F), Collin Hashin (sr., G), Jon McBreen (jr., G), Chris Leshko (jr., G), Dylan Stephen (jr., G)

Newcomers: Storm Fekette (sr., G), Zach Brown (sr., G), Tom Moran (sr., C), Dave Graham (jr., F), Brian Brennan (jr., F), Adam Stoppie (jr., F), Justin Fedornak (jr., C), Israel Martinez (jr., F),

Outlook: The Miners lost their two leading scorers to graduation, but have experience returning. The outside shooting should improve, while a quicker lineup should mean more of the man-to-man defense that Woodford wants to play. Without much height, the key to a successful season could come down to rebounding. A division title contender.

 

Schuylkill Haven

Head coach: Fran Murphy (3rd season)

Last year: 0-22, 0-13 D-II

Returnees: Zavier Webb (sr., F), Danny Blugis (sr., G), Mike Ulsh (sr., F), Brad Fryer (sr., C), J.T. Hughes (jr., G), Austin Charles (jr., F-C), Ethan Conage (jr., G)

Newcomers: None

Outlook: The Hurricanes have only one place to go that is up. They’re working hard to improve and have another year of experience, with Blugis and Webb three-year starters. There isn’t much size, so rebounding will be important. The goals are be competitive in every game and grab a more few wins.

 

Tri-Valley

Head coach: Mike Masser (4th season)

Last year: 10-12, 6-7 D-II

Returnees: Jericho Zemencik (sr., C), Jaden Buchanan (jr., G-F), Bryce McNally (jr., G), Bryce Yearsley (jr., G), Dan Opozda (jr., F)

Newcomers: Justin Ziegmont (soph., G), Ashton Buchanan (fr., G), Logan Yoder (fr., F)

Outlook: The Bulldogs lost three starters to graduation and have only one senior starting. The guards are more experienced and that should help cut down on the turnovers that have hurt in recent years. The key to the season could be how well the Bulldogs play defense. Should be in the division title mix.

 

Williams Valley

Head coach: Denny Kasper (20th season)

Last year: 19-5, 11-2 D-II. Division II champ, District 11 Class AA qualifier

Returnees: Cody Miller (sr., G), Nick Rodichok (jr., F)

Newcomers: Peppe Mini (jr., G), Siul Sepulveda (jr., G), Garrett Zimmerman (jr., F), Landon Bordner (jr., C)

Outlook: Two solid scorers return for the Vikings, who lost four key players to graduation, including three starters. Kasper likes the work ethic and attitude. The concerns are the lack of experience and playing consistently as a team. Some new faces will have to step up for the recent success to continue. If that happens, the Vikings will be in the division race, too.

Division III

Mahanoy Area went out in style last season during Holland’s final year.

The Golden Bears won their first overall league title since 2006. They also won their second consecutive District 11 Class A title and reached the second round of the PIAA playoffs.

Not only is Hudson new, so is the entire starting lineup.

The only starter expected to return was senior point guard Jason Richmond (5.8 ppg), but he tore his ACL early during football season and likely won’t play at all this winter.

Two of the new starters are senior forward Brian Miller (5.9 ppg) and junior guard-forward Matt Yedsena (4.0 ppg). Miller has had some spot starts in the past, while Yedsena’s playing time increased as last season went along.

Hudson is stressing fundamentals, and like Holland, defense and patience on offense.

Marian is the deepest team in the division and will use it to its full advantage. Among the key people returning are senior forwards Mike Vercusky (8.0 ppg), Nick Wesner (3.0) and Chris Weber along with senior guard Matt Karnish (2.8) and sophomore guard Ethan Kuczynski (5.5).

Nativity is coming off its best season since 2007. Other than Yordy, however, the only other returning starters are senior Dominic Piccioni (3.2 ppg) and senior guard-forward Cullen Hoppel (4.7 ppg). Piccioni took over for Hoppel when he went down with serious concussion suffered against Tri-Valley on Jan. 10. Hoppel has fully recovered and will be back in the lineup.

The Hilltoppers want to run an up-tempo offense. They aren’t very deep, however, and their starters will see a ton of minutes.

 

Mahanoy Area

Head coach: Scott Hudson (1st season)

Last year: 25-3, 13-0 D-III. Division III champion, Schuylkill League champion, District 11 Class A champion, PIAA Class A second round

Returnees: Brian Miller (sr., F-C), Jason Richmond (sr., G, injured) Matt Yedsena (jr., G-F)

Newcomers: Peter Luddy (sr., F), Cody Price (sr., F), Mike Wronski (jr., G), Marcus Styka (jr., F), Mike Joseph (soph., G), Randy Derr (soph., F)

Outlook: Not only is Hudson replacing a legend, he also has to replace all five starters. This group of players has had success at the junior varsity level and if that translates to the varsity level, the Golden Bears will be in the division-title hunt again.

 

Marian

Head coach: John Patton (5th season)

Last year: 9-14, 7-6 D-III. District 11 Class A quarterfinalist

Returnees: Mike Vercusky (sr., F), Matt Karnish (sr., G), Chris Weber (sr., F), Nick Wesner (sr., F), Ethan Kuczynski (soph., G)

Newcomers: Chris Carmona (sr., F), Adam Cortes (jr., G), Aaron DeAngelo (jr., F), Hunter Puza (jr., G), John Woitko (jr., G), Ryan Karchner (soph., G-F), Brandon Mohammed (soph., F), Ian Myers (soph., F), Kyle Plesh (soph., F)

Outlook: The Colts have a ton of depth with 16 players on the varsity roster. All 16 could play. They don’t have a go-to scorer yet and plan on mixing and matching lineups each game. The record should improve. Division title contender.

 

Nativity

Head coach: Kevin Kennedy (3rd season)

Last year: 17-7, 10-3 D-III. District 11 Class A semifinalist

Returnees: Jeff Yordy (sr., G), Dominic Piccioni (sr., G), Cullen Hoppel (sr., G-F), Sean Greco (sr., F), Travis Hunyara (jr., F-C)

Newcomers: Ayden Adams (jr., G-F), Eric Nelson (jr., C), Simon Petzel (jr., G), Andrew Belding (jr., F)

Outlook: Yordy will lead the Hilltoppers, and the challenge will finding new faces to step into the starting lineup and contribute. Defense and rebounding will be a key, while the lack of depth might be a concern. Should be in the division running, too.

 

Shenandoah Valley

Head coach: Robbie Miller (5th season)

Last year: 5-17, 4-9 D-III

Returnees: Ian McCole (jr., G-F), Noah Allegretta (soph., G)

Newcomers: Josh White (jr., F), Julio Cabrera (jr., F), Ricardo Chagolla-Rojas (jr.), Joel Santana (soph., G), Isaiah Alvarez (soph., F), Bobby Ryan (soph.), Matt Creasy (soph.), Jermaine McNeil (soph.), Noah Raisner (soph.)

Outlook: The Blue Devils are deep and athletic at the guard position. They put a ton of work in during the offseason and Miller believes it is starting to show. Should be improved, but how many more wins it leads to remains to be seen.

 

Weatherly

Head coach: Ron Cann (8th season)

Last year: 5-17, 1-12 D-III

Returnees: Luke Reiner (sr., G), Brett Kelly (sr., G), Nick Miller (sr., G), Luke Figas (jr., G), Dillon Bizarre (jr., C)

Newcomers: Gary Buck (jr., F), Zach Moon (fr., G), Zach Peiser (soph., C)

Outlook: The Wreckers return two double-digit scorers in Reiner (11.0 ppg, 30 3-pointers) and Figas (10.3). There is experience among the starters, but there isn’t off the bench. The first five will see plenty of minutes. Could make some noise in the division.

Tri-Valley League

Upper Dauphin

The Trojans finished third in the league last season and reached the District 3 Class A quarterfinals for the second consecutive year.

Upper Dauphin didn’t have much trouble scoring points (56.8 ppg last year) and will be led this season by junior guard Matthew Miller, the Trojans’ second-leading scorer at 13.4 points per game, including a team-leading 41 3-pointers.

Also back are seniors Joseph Trently (5.3 ppg, 33 3-pointers), Dakotah Wiest and Ted Calnon, along with junior Alex Uhler (5.9 ppg).

 

Upper Dauphin

Head coach: Anthony Weaver (5th season)

Last year: 13-11, 9-7 TVL. District 3 Class AA quarterfinalist

Returnees: Joseph Trently (sr., G), Dakotah Wiest (sr., C), Ted Calnon (sr., G), Matthew Miller (jr., G), Alex Uhler (jr., F), Jordan Gessner (jr., G)

Newcomers: Maxwell Snyder (jr., G), Kolby Bond (jr., G), Drake Lenker (jr., G), Travis Deitrich (jr., G), Calen Reigner (jr., F), Andrew Norris (jr., F)

Outlook: The Trojans should be able to put the ball in the hoop, with experienced offensive threats back. There is plenty of depth, too. Size is lacking, so rebounding will be a key. A return trip to the district playoffs is a strong possibility.

Berks League

Hamburg

The Hawks lost two of their most productive offensive players to graduation and will look to three returnees — seniors Dan Fink (1.8 ppg) and Nick Schlottman (6.7) and junior Logan Adams (22 points) — to pick up the slack.

Hamburg has some size inside in 6-6 Jared Lesher (22 points) and 6-7 Quinn Nabozny, and their development could lead to an improvement for an offense that averaged 38.4 points per game last season.

The defense (61.1 points allowed per game), must improve, too.

Berks Catholic, which lost in the league championship game last season to Wilson 43-41, is one of the Section II favorites again. Conrad Weiser and Fleetwood should be in the mix, too.

 

Hamburg

Head coach: Ryan McGinley (2nd season)

Last year: 3-19, 0-10 Berks II

Returnees: Dan Fink (sr., G), Nick Schlottman (sr., G-F), Logan Adams (jr., G)

Newcomers: Jared Lesher (jr., F), Lucas Hauck (jr., F), Quinn Nabozny (soph., F)

Outlook: McGinley continues his quest to rebuild the Hawks’ program. New scorers need to step up, while the team needs to continue to improve in all facets of the game. If that happens, the Hawks could be more competitive and earn a few more victories.

Independent

Gillingham Charter

The Wolf Pack, who will once again play their home games at the Simon Kramer Institute in New Philadelphia, are in their third season as a program and still searching for their first victory.

Not only does Gillingham Charter have a new head coach, the Wolf Pack are also playing a 21-game regular-season schedule. They have also doubled the number of players from seven last year to 14 this winter.

Since the program is still fairly new and a good many of the players are still gaining experience, it was rough most nights last season. Guard-forward Storm Hutchinson is the only senior, while juniors Isaiah Thompson, Nate Woodling, Blake Broadhurst and Lake Miller each bring two years of varsity experience.

 

Gillingham Charter

Head coach: Pete Sanfilippo (1st season)

Last year: 0-11

Returnees: Storm Hutchinson (sr., G-F), Isaiah Thompson (jr., G), Nate Woodling (jr., F), Blake Broadhurst (jr., G), Lake Miller (jr., F)

Newcomers: Damy Cintron (jr., G), Enoch Holbert (fr., F), Jetsiel Rivera (fr., F), Jadiel Rivera (fr., G)

Outlook: The Wolf Pack are a young team with only one senior, but do have experience returning. The program has more players than its ever had and will play a full schedule of games. The hope is to continue to become more competitive, see the program continue to grow and finally get a win.

Schuylkill League

Boys’ Basketball

2013-14 Standings

DIVISION I

Leag. Over.

*Pottsville 11-1 24-6

#Blue Mountain 11-1 21-7

North Schuylkill 8-4 16-7

Tamaqua 6-6 13-10

Panther Valley 4-8 10-12

Jim Thorpe 1-11 2-20

Pine Grove 1-11 4-18

DIVISION II

*Williams Valley 11-2 19-5

Minersville 10-3 16-8

Tri-Valley 6-7 10-12

Lourdes 3-10 12-12

Schuylkill Haven 0-13 0-22

DIVISION III

*Mahanoy Area 13-0 25-3

Nativity 10-3 17-7

Marian 7-6 9-14

Shenandoah Valley 4-9 5-17

Weatherly 1-12 5-17

 

Division I tiebreaker

Pottsville 51, Blue Mountain 42

League semifinals

Mahanoy Area 49, Blue Mountain 35

Pottsville 56, Williams Valley 30

Championship

Mahanoy Area 45, Pottsville 44

District champions

Mahanoy Area (District 11 Class A)

State qualifiers

Class AAA — Blue Mountain, Pottsville (reached second round); Class A — Mahanoy Area (reached second round)

All games start at 7:30 p.m.

 

Pottsville 63

Governor Mifflin 40

Eli Nabholz scored 19 points, knocking down five 3-pointers on the night, as the Crimson Tide rolled past the Mustangs in a non-league game at Martz Hall.

Nabholz had eight of his points in the first quarter as Pottsville raced out to an 18-3 lead. Travis Blankenhorn scored 12 of his 16 points in the first half for the Crimson Tide.

GOVERNOR MIFFLIN (40) — Obid 5 1-2 12, Tisdale 0 0-0 0, Sczepkowski 0 0-0 0, Buchanan 1 0-0 3, Peters 2 5-6 11, Hoff 2 0-1 4, Rodriguez 2 0-2 4, Willet 1 0-2 2, Bortz 0 0-0 0, Smith 1 0-0 2, Strausser 0 0-0 0, Klahr 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 6-13 40.

POTTSVILLE (63) — Hinchliffe 0 0-0 0, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 2 2-2 7, Blankenhorn 6 4-7 16, Thomas 1 2-2 4, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 2 3-6 8, Shuman 1 0-0 3, Witman 0 0-0 0, Abdo 2 0-0 6, Nabholz 6 2-2 19, Coyle 0 0-1 0, Renninger 0 0-0 0, Schenk 0 0-0 0, O’Pake 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 13-20 63.

GM (1-3) 3 8 15 14 — 40 Potts. (2-0) 18 14 15 16 — 63

3-point FGs: Obid, Buchanan, Peters 2, Painter, Melochick, Shuman, Abdo 2, Nabholz 5

JV score: Pottsville 55-22

Scorbitz -Martz Hall App

Maxpreps

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 Crimson Tide Opens up with Victory over Wilson
 
The Crimson Tide opened up the season with a 48-33 victory over the Wilson Bulldogs.  Travis Blankenhorn led the Tide with 12 points, followed by Eli Nabholz 11 points. The Tide played a tough defense holding Wilson to 33 points. The Tide will be playing Governor Mifflin this Friday at home.
 
Pottsville Crimson Tide 
Hinchliffe 2 0-0 4, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 1 2-2 4, Blankenhorn 4 2-3 12, Dunkel 1 0-2 2, Melochick 0 1-2 1, Shuman 1 0-0 3, Witman 1 1-5 3, Abdo 2 0-0 6, Nabholz 4 3-4 11, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Renninger 1 0-0 2, Schenk 0 0-0 0, Totals 17 9-18 (48) 
 
Wilson Bulldogs
McElroy 4 1-3 11, Deboath 2 0-0 4, Jackson 0 4-6 4, Rapplleye 0 0-0 0, Sload 1 4-7 6, Jollah 0 0-2 0, Lubas 1 5-6 7, Hollenbach 0 0-2 0, Awurumibe 0 0-0 0, Marlon 0 1-2 1, Totals 8 15-28 (33)
 
Pottsville (1-0) 9  15   13  11  (48)
Wilson (0-1) 5   8   6   14  (33) 
 
3-Pointers: McElroy (2), Blankenhorn (2), Abdo (2), Shuman (1) 
 

"Here We Go"

Tide opens up against Wilson Bulldogs

 

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2014 - 2015 Season

   

W - L

Pottsville Crimson Tide   48

Wilson Bulldogs  33

W

Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Governor Mifflin Mustangs  

W

Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Pine Grove Cardinals  

W

Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Blue Mountain Eagles  

W

Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Salisbury Falcons


Pottsville Crimson Tide.  

North Schuylkill Spartans


Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Nativity Green Wave  


Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Williamsport Millionaires  


Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Tamaqua Blue Raiders  


Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Shamokin Indians  


Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Panther Valley Panthers  


Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Lehighton Indians


Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Jim Thorpe Olympians  


Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Pine Grove Cardinals  


Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Muhlenberg Mules  


Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Blue Mountain Eagles  


Pottsville Crimson Tide  

North Schuylkill Spartans  


Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Tamaqua Blue Raiders  


Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Berks Catholic


Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Panther Valley Panthers  


Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Lehighton Indians  


Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Jim Thorpe Olympians  


Print

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2014 - 2015 Crimson Tide Team

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Crimson Tide ranks 8th in the state AAA Bracket

1. Archbishop Carroll(12, 23-5) — previous ranking: 5 — Packing D-I recruits Derrick Jones and Ernest Aflakpui into the same frontcourt for the third year in a row, Paul Romanczuk’s Patriots won’t have another chance to reel in a state title with that tandem in Carroll uniforms — unless they get it done this season. Just a sophomore, David Beatty’s emergence could be the key to developing more space for Jones and Aflakpui to operate in the paint.

2. Neumann-Goretti(12, 27-4) — previous ranking: 1 — Although Carl Arrigale’s 14-man Neumann-Goretti roster features 11 guards, fortunately he’s got three really, really good ones returning from a Saints squad that last March claimed its fourth state title in five seasons by topping Susquehanna Twp. in overtime. All-stater Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble (St. Joseph’s) should get plenty of looks with Ja’Quan Newton off to Miami (Fla.), but Quade Green and Vaughn Covington are mighty good, too.

3. Susquehanna Twp.(3, 23-8) — previous ranking: 2 — With four starters returning from last season’s state finalists — including all-state guard Nehemiah “Bud” Mack — Vince Rogers’ Indians already were looking forward to tipping off the 2014-15 season. Once Dejour Williams returned following two seasons at Harrisburg to rejoin Mack, Joe Marshall, Quintin Ward and Roman Letterlough in the Susquehanna lineup, expectations quickly grew even bigger. Yet another rugged schedule of games will test the Indians on a nightly basis.

4. Indiana(7, 20-3) — previous ranking: NR — Packing plenty of size — the Stapletons, Riley and Dylan, Blake Shields, Kevin Jack and Jacob Zilinskas are 6-3 or taller — the Indians are heavy favorites to capture the WPIAL’s Section 3 crown. And with Chris McConnell manning the backcourt — he’s the nephew of former Penn State All-American Suzie McConnell and the cousin of former Class AAA player of the year T.J. McConnell — Indiana can get opponents in a number of ways.

5. Uniontown (7, 22-3) — previous ranking: HM — While the Red Raiders had a sparkling 2013-14 campaign derailed in the second round of states by Farrell, Rob Kezmarsky’s club has more than enough firepower to make another lengthy run. Start with versatile 6-7 forward Joe Campbell, an inside-outside threat who can finish from all over the floor. Jeremy Perkins, Deandre Winfrey and Lyric Ellis will provide balance for a really athletic Uniontown club.

6. Imhotep Charter(12, 20-7) — previous ranking: HM — Andre Noble’s Panthers may have bowed out of last year’s Class AAA state playoffs prematurely — Imhotep was eliminated by Susquehanna Twp. in the opening round — but the chances of that happening again are mighty, mighty slim. Especially since Devin Liggeons (Wagner) and lightning-quick guards Jaekwon Carlyle and Daron Russell likely will take turns having the ball in their hands.

7. Mars(7, 15-10) — previous ranking: HM — Although flush with sophomores last season, Rob Carmody still found a way to guide his youthful group of Planets into the state playoffs. While Carmody’s club was eliminated by Central Valley in the opening round, just having that experience should be a plus going forward. Especially for 6-5 hammer John Castello, who last season averaged a double-double (16.8 ppg, 15.6 rpg). Freshman Robby Carmody may be ready to pitch in, too.

8. Pottsville(11, 24-6) — previous ranking: HM — Since Dave Mullaney’s Crimson Tide returns all five starters from a hard-working club that gave Susquehanna Twp. all sorts of problems in a state second-rounder, opposing coaches may be checking into Martz Hall to check out Pottsville. Forwards Travis Blankenhorn, Eli Nabholz and Jordan Melochick averaged in double figures a season ago.

9. Scranton Prep(2, 21-3) — previous ranking: HM — While the Cavaliers didn’t qualify for the state playoffs, enthusiasm is running high since Andrew Kettel’s club returned the backcourt tandem of Tim Rose (Binghamton) and Bobby Casey. Both averaged 14-plus points per outing. They’ll get tested often, too, since Prep has juiced up its schedule by adding Parkland, Georgetown Prep and Roman Catholic.

10. Beaver Falls (7, 20-8) — previous ranking: 8 (AA) — Just two seasons removed from winning a PIAA Class AA title, Doug Biega’s Tigers now find themselves chasing Class AAA gold. Can it happen? Sure. Particularly since Beaver Falls returns speedy guard Javon Turner and sophomore bigs Donovan Jeter (6-5) and Josh Creach (6-6). Another youngster, freshman Torian Leak, also is expected to start.

OTHERS TO WATCH: Allentown Central Catholic (11) 29-1, Ambridge (7) 17-7, Berks Catholic (3) 24-6, Bishop McDevitt (3) 27-3, Cathedral Prep (10) 15-8, Del-Val Charter (12) 19-8, GAR Memorial (2) 21-7, Greater Johnstown (6) 12-11, Hampton (7) 24-5, Holy Ghost Prep (1) 23-7, Huntingdon (6) 15-9, Lewisburg (4) 23-4, Manheim Central (3) 24-5, New Castle (7) 31-0, Philly Electrical (12) 19-12, Somerset (5) 16-9, Steel Valley (7) 15-5, Strong Vincent (10) 17-9.

 

BOYS' BB: High-scoring trio

Nativity’s Jeff Yordy was mentored by his father Mike, a star at Saint Clair in the late 1980s.

Tamaqua’s Brett Kosciolek has fond memories of playing HORSE with his aunt Anne Marie Kosciolek, one of the best female players in Pennsylvania at Marian in the 1970s.

When he was in junior high, Pottsville’s Travis Blankenhorn used to watch former Pottsville standout Nick Schlitzer display his skills for the Crimson Tide.

Yordy, Kosciolek and Blankenhorn were introduced to basketball at an early age and the game has remained a part of each for their entire lives. It likely always will.

The Schuylkill League is known for its defense, but the three have excelled offensively as Yordy (25.0 points per game), Kosciolek (18.8 ppg) and Blankenhorn (16.5 ppg) finished 1-2-3 in the league in scoring average last season.

The three are back for their senior seasons, bringing with them a special feat in a defensive-oriented league: All three are returning 1,000-point scorers. Yordy has 1,191 career points, Blankenhorn 1,106 and Kosciolek 1,034.

The three hit the century mark last season.

Yordy was first, reaching his milestone Jan. 27, 2014, with a 37-point performance on Lawton’s Hill against Weatherly, a 79-48 Hilltoppers’ victory. Kosciolek was next, hitting the mark Feb. 6, 2014, scoring 22 points in a 59-40 victory at Panther Valley. Blankenhorn followed, scoring 10 on Feb. 12, 2014, a 56-30 victory over Williams Valley in the Schuylkill League semifinals at Martz Hall.

All three are multi-sport athletes, and what makes them even more unique is that baseball, not basketball, is their main sport. Both Blankenhorn (University of Kentucky) and Kosciolek (Rider) have signed NCAA Division I letters of intent to play baseball when they graduate. Yordy is still deciding between Elizabethtown College and Lebanon Valley.

Still, they have fit basketball into their busy athletic careers, and their offensive skills have evolved since they were freshmen. Most important-

ly, the three have also been committed to helping their programs win.

Here’s a look at the high school careers of Yordy, Kosciolek and Blankenhorn and their paths to 1,000 career points and beyond.

Yordy follows in his father’s footsteps

One could say Jeff Yordy was destined to play basketball. Mike Yordy finished with 1,154 career points at Saint Clair from 1985-89, and was also a part of the Saints’ last high school boys’ team after the school closed following his senior year.

“I’ve had a hoop in my living room since I was able to walk,” Jeff Yordy said. “There are pictures of me shooting and stuff.

“My dad loved it and he wanted me to get into it as young as I could.”

Reaching 1,000 career points wasn’t on Yordy’s mind when he was a freshman and he never kept track of his career numbers. It wasn’t until his junior year that he realized the milestone could be reached.

Yordy was also the league’s leading scorer as a sophomore, averaging 17.8 pointer per game. He poured in 596 points last year.

When Yordy first started out, he was mostly a perimeter player. But during his sophomore and junior years, he’s worked on scoring off the dribble and driving to the basket more.

“My sophomore year I knew I was going to play a lot more than my freshman year, so that is what I wanted to work on,” Yordy said. “So I worked on that and got pretty good at it. And last year I kept getting better.”

The Hilltoppers have also become a winning program during Yordy’s time at Nativity, going 29-19 the past two seasons. Last year the Hilltoppers had their best season in seven years, going 16-7 overall and reaching the District 11 Class A semifinals for the first time since 2007.

Of the three, Yordy is the only one that takes part in any extensive organized basketball over the summer in a league in Tamaqua, while playing American Legion baseball for Schuylkill Valley.

Yordy played golf for Nativity his sophomore and junior years. This past fall, went out for football for the first time in high school and was a standout receiver for the Hilltoppers, leading the area with 51 catches for 1,045 yards and 17 touchdowns.

One area Yordy feels he needs to improve upon is his 67 percent career foul-shooting average. He is the only experienced scorer returning for Nativity and is working on being able to distribute the basketball more to his teammates.

Kosciolek key part of Tamaqua’s revival

Basketball was in Brett Kosciolek’s family, too.

His father Caszy, who is in his fourth season as the Blue Raiders’ head coach, also played the sport. Brett figures he picked up a ball when he was 2 years old, shooting baskets at a Little Tykes hoop. He also remembers playing HORSE with his aunt Ann Marie (Kosciolek) Clausius, who scored 2,164 career points at Marian from 1972-76. She was also Pennsylvania’s first female to score 2,000 career points in 1976.

The game has stuck with him.

“It is a competitive sport,” he said on why he has stuck with it. “It is fun. I like to challenge myself.”

Kosciolek has been a starter since he was a freshman and had an immediate impact for the Raiders. Getting to 1,000 career points was always a goal of his.

“It was in the back of my mind,” he said. “I knew it was possible. I knew it was going to be challenging, but I did it somehow.”

Kosciolek’s best season was his sophomore year when he scored 390 points, a 16.3 average per game. He scored 320 last season (18.8 per game) and would have had more but missed six games with a concussion.

Kosciolek used to play on travel basketball teams when he was young, but due to baseball he doesn’t play much organized basketball in the offseason and over the summer anymore. He is also used to playing sports year-round and was a member of the Tamaqua football team his freshman and sophomore years.

“I just fit it in,” Kosciolek said of basketball. “We’ve gone from season to season my whole life, pretty much.”

Kosciolek also helped turned the Raiders into a winning program as Tamaqua has gone 27-20 the past two seasons.

At 6-foot-7, Kosciolek has the ability to hit 3-pointers but also score in the paint. He was more of a perimeter player as a freshman and has developed more of an inside game as he’s developed.

That has been a big focus of his work offensively this preseason. Kosciolek is working on his defense, too. He, and rest of the Raiders, know defense is something that has to improve if Tamaqua wants to contend for a Division I title this season and make a run in the District 11 Class AAA playoffs.

“Right now we have the talent to score but if we hold our opponents, we know we can go decently far,” he said.

Blankenhorn helps Tide continue winning ways

Like Yordy and Kosciolek, Blankenhorn doesn’t remember when he first picked up a basketball and has been playing the sport competitively since the Biddy leagues. He grew up watching Schlitzer play for the Crimson Tide and just missed playing along side of him by one year.

“I didn’t get a chance to play with him, but it would have been pretty cool if I did,” Blankenhorn said.

Reaching 1,000 points for his career was always a goal in Blankenhorn’s mind when was a freshman.

“It is kind of like a milestone in your varsity career, making 1,000 points,” he said. “That is what a lot of people talk about. Winning was most important, but making 1,000 points while doing that and helping the team, that is always good.”

Blankenhorn played a complimentary role alongside Brandon Bridy his first two seasons, averaging 11 points per game as a freshman and 13.7 as a sophomore. When Bridy graduated following the 2012-13 season, Blankenhorn stepped up and put up the best offensive numbers of his career last year, scoring 545 points. He was The Republican-Herald Co-Player of the Year with Mahanoy Area’s Dylan Mahmod.

Pottsville went 24-6 in 2013-14, winning its fifth consecutive Division I title and reaching the league championship game for the fifth consecutive year. The Crimson Tide also made it to their first District 11 Class AAA title game since 2010 and won their first PIAA playoff game since 1974.

Blankenhorn was mostly a 3-point shooter as a freshman, but added more dimension to his offensive game by learning to score in the post and drive to basket.

“When I was a freshman I didn’t get a lot of post touches or anything, so I definitely worked on a lot of those moves,” Blankenhorn said. “I felt like my dribbling got better so I could drive more. I felt my game got better as time went on because when I was a freshman, I was primary just a shooter.”

Blankenhorn’s focus this preseason is working on his ball-handling skills.

“I could be a lot better,” he said.

For most of his high-school career, Blankenhorn was a standout in football, too, playing wide receiver, defensive back, punter and kick returner for the Crimson Tide. However, he didn’t go out for football this past fall. Blankenhorn competed in numerous showcase baseball tournaments this past summer in the hopes of getting drafted in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft next June.

He isn’t home much over the summer, so Blankenhorn doesn’t have much of an opportunity to pick up a basketball. Still, the game will always be a part of him even as he turns his attention to baseball for good when he graduates.

“I just love to do it,” Blankenhorn said. “Even when I get older playing baseball, if I am playing baseball when I get older, I am still going to want to play around, shoot around with a basketball with my friends.”

Milestone numbers

Jeff Yordy, Nativity

Date reached 1,000 career points: Jan. 27, 2014, vs. Weatherly

Career point total: 1,191

Career point average: 17.8 in 67 games

 

Brett Kosciolek, Tamaqua

Date reached 1,000 career points: Feb. 6, 2014, vs. Panther Valley

Career point total: 1,034

Career point average: 16.4 in 63 games

 

Travis Blankenhorn

Pottsville

Date reached 1,000 career points: Feb. 12, 2014, vs. Williams Valley

Career point total: 1,106

Career point average: 14.5 in 76 games

Philadelphia University - Kutztown University Game

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Kutztown downs Philadelphia U. at Martz Hall

              

If the Crimson Tide Invitational becomes an annual event at Martz Hall, it couldn’t have gotten off to a better, or more exciting, start.

Pocono Mountain West graduate Tynell Fortune scored a game-high 19 points, while Kutztown hit 9-of-12 from the foul line in the second overtime during the Golden Bears’ thrilling 75-72 non-conference victory over Philadelphia University in front of 1,124 fans Tuesday.

The contest was the final of three college basketball games at Martz Hall this past week, starting with a Penn State Hazleton-Penn State Schuylkill men’s and women’s doubleheader last Thursday. Tuesday’s contest was supposed to be headlined by a head-to-head meeting between Pottsville graduates Nick Schlitzer (Philadelphia) and Brandon Bridy (Kutztown).

However, it never happened.

Schlitzer, a senior who graduated from Pottsville in 2011 as the Crimson Tide’s all-time leading scorer with 1,884 points, had a double-double for Philadelphia (2-3) with game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds. Bridy, a sophomore and 2013 Pottsville grad, spent Tuesday as he has the entire season — watching from the bench with a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

Tuesday was the first time Schlitzer played at Martz Hall since the Crimson Tide beat Pine Grove 51-49 for the Schuylkill League championship Feb. 18, 2011. He got the loudest ovation of the night during pre-game introductions. A few fans even stood up.

“It was amazing,” Schlitzer said. “To see so many familiar faces in the crowd, I just appreciate people coming back and seeing me play. It means a lot to me. I wish we could have gotten the win.”

Despite not playing, Bridy was also introduced to his hometown crowd before the game.

“It was great,” he said. “The fans, I love this building. I played here for four years. It is great to come back and see how much support you get when you go away and still come back and people following you.”

Bridy injured his shoulder about four weeks ago in practice while going for a rebound. He had surgery last Friday and is looking to be 100 percent in six months.

He will be red-shirted this season.

The injury itself is unusual since Bridy, whose last high school game at Martz Hall was a 35-21 Pottsville win over Mahanoy Area in the Schuylkill

League title game Feb. 15, 2013, never missed a game throughout his high school career with an injury.

“This is going to be a tough challenge to overcome,” Bridy said. “Every day I just have to keep working at it and think positive. It was strange being back in my home court and not playing against one of my best friends.”

Still, Bridy and the rest of the Golden Bears got enjoy a much-needed win.

Kutztown (2-3) came in off a 63-60 loss to West Chester on Saturday. The Golden Bears’ only win prior to Tuesday was a 71-62 victory Manfield last Wednesday.

“It is a huge win for us,” Bridy said. “It hopefully gets us on a good winning streak.”

Derek Johnson added 19 points for the Rams, while Peter Alexis had 15.

Howard Sellars finished with 17 points for Kutztown, while Josh Johnson and Austin Beidelman added 13 apiece. Johhson also grabbed 11 board and had four dunks.

Schlitzer became a complete offensive player during his playing days for the Crimson Tide and displayed those same skills Tuesday. He wanted to play well, and for the most part, did, finishing the night 8-for-18 from the floor and 5-for-5 from the foul line.

“It was just more of an excitement,” Schlitzer said. “You get to play in your old gym. You get a little jitters, but it is just more excitement.”

Schlitzer, the Rams’s leader in scoring (22.2 points per game) and minutes per game (38.5) coming in, scored Philadelphia’s first two points of the game, hitting two foul shots after he was fouled on a spin move in the lane. He hit a corner jumper later in the half, and then hit three foul shots with 5 minutes left in the half after he was fouled on a 3-point attempt.

Schlitzer scored 15 of his points in the second half, including several key one late.

Back-to-back buckets by Schlitzer, a back-down move inside and layup off a cut inside, gave Philadelphia a 55-53 advantage with 3:39 remaining in regulation. Schlitzer also knocked down consecutive buckets in the first overtime, scoring on a drive and then with 40.8 seconds left, on a fall-away jump from the corner. He appeared to be trapped at first but made himself some space and hit the shot.

That gave the Rams a 63-60 lead.

However, Kutztown battled back one last time and tied the game when Sellars drained a 3 from the top of the circle with 20 seconds remaining. Schlitzer took the last shot for the Rams, but his shot in traffic from just outside the foul line with 2 seconds to go hit the rim.

The game was tied one last time at 69 with 1:47 to go, but Fortune gave Kutztown the lead for good, hitting two foul shots after he was fouled on a drive. The Rams’ Kaison Randolph made it a one-point game on a 3 with 4 seconds left before Fortune hit both ends of a double bonus to make it 75-72. 3-point try from Johnson in the corner bounced away and the Bears held on for the win.

“We had a lot of chances down the stretch, including myself” Schlitzer said. “We just weren’t able to come through. It is frustrating but we have to move on.”

Game Summary

Crimson Tide Invitational

At Martz Hall

PHILADELPHIA UNIVERSITY (72) — Alexis 7-11 1-3 15, Johnson 6-15 5-5 19, Huggins 1-2 0-0 2, Gibbs 3-9 2-2 9, Schlitzer 8-18 5-5 22, DiCicco 1-5 0-2 2, Randolph 1-1 0-0 3, Long 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-61 13-17 72.

KUTZTOWN (75) — Johnson 6-12 1-2 11, Selby 1-2 1-2 5, Beidelman 5-9 2-2 13, Fortune 6-15 5-7 19, Brooks 2-5 0-0 4, Ridgeway 1-3 0-0 2, Sellars 6-9 1-2 17, Sherman 0-0 0-0 0, Dietrich 0-0 0-0 0, Peal 2-8 0-0 4. Totals 29-63 10-15 75.

Philly U. (2-3) 26 31 6 9 — 72 Kutztown (2-3) 27 30 6 12 — 75

3-point FGs: Johnson 2, Gibbs, Schlitzer, Randolph, Beidelman, Fortune 2, Sellars 4

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Men’s basketball falls to Kutztown in double OT, 75-72

Schlitzer, who last played in Martz Hall in 2011 as a member of the Pottsville Crimson Tide, played all 50 minutes in Tuesday's game, shot 8-of-18 from the field and dished out three assists for the Rams (2-3).

Junior forward Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) contributed 19 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals in 50 minutes of action. Junior forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) added 15 points, five rebounds and three blocks.

Philadelphia owned a 51-44 lead after Johnson recorded a steal and fastbreak slam dunk with 8:30 left in regulation. Kutztown (2-3) responded with a 9-2 run over a 4:28 span to knot the score at 53 on an Austin Beidelman jumper.

Schlitzer made a layup 20 seconds later to put the Rams back in front and junior guard Andre Gibbs (Smyrna, Del./Smyrna) pushed the lead to 57-53 with two successful free throws with 2:42 remaining.

Josh Johnson scored the final four points of regulation, including a dunk with 29 seconds on the clock, to tie the score at 57 and send the game to overtime.

After falling behind 60-57, Philadelphia went on a 6-0 run, capped off by four straight points from Schlitzer, to move ahead 63-60 with 39 seconds to play. Coming out of a timeout, the Golden Bears' Howard Sellars drained a 3-pointer with 20 seconds remaining to make it a 63-63 affair.

Schlitzer's game-winning 3-point attempt with two seconds on the clock missed the mark and the game went to double overtime.

The second extra session started the same way the first one did with Kutztown getting out to a quick lead (67-63).  Alexis tied the score at 69 at the 1:59 mark with a layup.

Kutztown would go 4-for-6 from the free throw line over the next 1:31 to reestablish a four-point lead (73-69). On Philadelphia's next trip down the floor, Kaison Randolph (Trenton, N.J./Pennington Prep) buried a 3-pointer with six seconds left to close the gap to 73-72 and give the Rams life.

Three seconds later, Tynell Fortune sank two free throws to push the Golden Bear advantage to 75-72. Philadelphia had one last attempt with 2.1 seconds remaining, but Johnson's game-tying 3-point attempt was no good.

Fortune led the Golden Bears with 19 points in 37 minutes. Sellars finished up with 17 points.

Philadelphia heads to West Chester for a non-conference game on Saturday, Nov. 29 at 3 p.m.

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Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

PhillyKtown/_MG_3181.jpg
Photos By John Liddle

Crimson Tide Players Named to National Honor Society

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CRIMSON TIDE BASKETBALL PLAYERS SCORE OFF THE COURT

Four members of this years Crimson Tide Basketball team have been named to The National Honor Society. Derek Shuman, Connor Hinchliffe, Eli Nabholz and Ty Painter, all Seniors players who also excelled in the classroom.  Congratulations to our players for a great job! 

 

Tide closing in on the 2014-2015 season

 

-Team dedicates offseason for individual improvement

 

 

Summer League

 

Beginning in June our freshmen, JV, and Varsity teams began competing in our summer league at Barefield.  Our summer league continues to grow and now has a total of 22 teams.   With three teams competing, we have up to 24 players in our program competing each Tuesday and Thursday evening at our Barefield Complex.  Our varsity team was able to compile a 6-6 record in a very competitive Adult league, which continues to attract the very best adult teams and players within Schuylkill and its’ surrounding counties.  Our JV-A team went undefeated through the Junior Varsity league, while our freshmen ended with a winning record.  We are excited to see our summer league continue to grow and improve each and every year!

 

Skill Development

 

We try to pride ourselves to devoting most of our offseason to skill development.  We feel this is the number one priority for us as a program each offseason.  As we get closer to the season, we will begin to focus more on our system, but the majority of our offseason workouts involve making our players better individually.  Our skill development sessions ran Monday through Thursday mornings at Barefield and focused primarily on dribbling, passing, and shooting.   These skill sessions were often led by Nick Schlitzer and Brandon Bridy, former star players for the Tide and current college players.  Nick also ran his own day camp in July in which 27 players of ours attended.  Brandon, along with Saige Spece, another former Tide player who is now playing at Bloomsburg, helped Nick with the advanced skill development camp.

 

Strength Training

 

One area we noticed we fell short as a program in comparison to the elite teams in the state last season, was in strength, quickness, and explosiveness.  Our trainer, Dan Slotterback, who is certified in strength training, has our kids training at an all-time high.  Through strength training three days a week in the summer and two days a week during the fall, we feel we are going to be ready to meet the physical and athletic demands to compete with the very best in the state this year.

 

Team Camp

 

Our Varsity and JV teams returned to the Kutztown AFBE team camp in mid-July.  Once again, the camp provided plenty of competition from teams from the Northeast and abroad.  Our Varsity Team recorded a 9-4 record and lost a close semi-final game.  Our JV’s won their division, and did so in such an impressive fashion, they were moved up to varsity competition for the playoffs.

 

Fundraising

 

Our booster club has had another successful offseason of fundraising.  In the spring, we hosted our AFBE basketball tournament for the 2nd straight year.  In early June, we ran our sticky bun fundraiser, which was used to defer some of the cost for our beach trip.  Once again, we ran our 3 on 3 tournament at Barefield, along with our golf tournament at Hidden Valley.  This year the weather cooperated and we had a great turnout for both!  Our last fundraiser before the season will be the Philadelphia University vs Kutztown University basketball game we our hosting at Martz Hall.  Given the fact we will have two of our former star players participating, we anticipate a large crowd on November 25th at Martz!

 

Beach Trip to Stone Harbor

 

The summer of 2014 marked the first year for a beach trip for our program.  We were able to take 12 of our junior and senior players on a four day, three night beach trip to Stone Harbor at the end of July.  While the kids were able to enjoy some free time at the beach, we also got some great competition at neighboring Middle Township High School. Though competing with the Middle Twp current players, as well as former players, who are now playing collegiately and professionally, our kids were exposed to a great deal of talent.

 

 

Philadelphia University Rams

vs

Kutztown University Golden Bears

November 25, 2014 at 7;00 pm

at

Martz Hall, Pottsville

 

 Pottsville Boys Basketball Game

Crimson & White Game

at 5:30 pm

Admission: $5.00 

 

ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT POTTSVILLE BOYS BASKETBALL PROGRAMS

 

See Former Tide Players: Nick Schlitzer (Philadelphia) & Brandon Bridy (Kutztown) 

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Brandon Bridy - Kutzstown University 2013

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Crimson Tide Boys Basketball

This site was created to improve communication among our team members and to keep our fans up-to-date with the latest action and scores from our games. By including such things as the schedule, standings, and directions to Martz Hall, I hope this site will improve game attendance.

Contact us at: roll@ctideboysbasketball.com

This Site Is Donated By Craig S.L. Shields