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Pottsville hires boys' basketball coach - Jake Wartella

  • FROM STAFF REPORTS
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  • Jul 21, 2020 Updated 12 hrs ago 

POTTSVILLE - A familiar name and face will lead the Pottsville Area High School boys' basketball program next season.

From left, Jake Wartella, Tyler Wilson and David Wilson, all of Pottsville With a unanimous vote, the Pottsville Area School Board hired Jake Wartella as its varsity boys' basketball head coach during Tuesday night's meeting. Wartella, a 2006 Pottsville Area graduate, was a multiple-sport standout for the Crimson Tide and has served as an assistant coach in the Pottsville football and boys' basketball programs.

He replaces Dave Mullaney, who submitted his resignation to the Pottsville Area School Board last month, ending a 13-year tenure with the Crimson Tide that is among the best the Schuylkill League boys' circuit has ever seen.

Mullaney compiled a 282-75 record (.790 winning percentage) at Pottsville that included the last 11 Schuylkill League Division I titles, nine overall Schuylkill League crowns, four District 11 championships and nine trips to the PIAA playoffs.

This past season, Pottsville went 22-6, beat Tamaqua in the Schuylkill League finals, was the District 11 Class 5A runner-up and reached the second round of the PIAA Class 5A playoffs before falling to West Chester East on a buzzer-beater.

                                                   One Hell Of A Ride! Thanks Coach

Mullaney resigns as Tide head coach

leroy boyer / Published: June 19, 2020 

Photo: Lindsey Shuey, License: N/A, Created: 2020:02:12 20:52:32

Lindsey Shuey / Staff PhotographerPottsville's head coach Dave Mullaney coaches the team during the Schuylkill League Boys' Basketball Semifinals against Marian at Martz Hall in Pottsville on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:02:14 20:37:52

JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERPottsville's head coach Dave Mullaney yells to his players during their game against Tamaqua in the Schuylkill League Boys' Basketball Championship game at Martz Hall in Pottsville on Friday evening, February 14, 2020.

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View Image Gallery for HS BOYS' BASKETBALL: Mullaney resigns as Tide head coach Image Gallery for HS BOYS' BASKETBALL: Mullaney resigns as Tide head coach

POTTSVILLE - The all-time winningest boys' basketball coach in Pottsville Area High School history has resigned.

Dave Mullaney submitted his resignation to the Pottsville Area School Board this week, ending a 13-year tenure with the Crimson Tide that is among the best the Schuylkill League boys' circuit has ever seen.

The 42-year-old compiled a 282-75 record (.790 winning percentage) at Pottsville that included the last 11 Schuylkill League Division I titles, nine overall Schuylkill League crowns, four District 11 championships and nine trips to the PIAA playoffs.

This past season, Pottsville went 22-6, beat Tamaqua in the Schuylkill League finals, was the District 11 Class 5A runner-up and reached the second round of the PIAA Class 5A playoffs before falling to West Chester East on a buzzer-beater.

"Honestly, it's just time for me," Mullaney said Friday. "It's been a good run. Thirteen years is a long time. Honestly, I've either been playing or coaching basketball for the past 32 years, and I just felt I needed a break."

Mullaney grew up in Elk County in western Pennsylvania and played for his father, Mike, at St. Marys High School. He then went on to play at St. Vincent's College in Latrobe before beginning his coaching career as a varsity assistant at Derry Area High School. Mullaney spent one year at Derry, one year at Pleasant Valley and a few years at East Stroudsburg South before serving as an assistant men's coach at Wilkes University for two years.

He was hired as Pottsville's head coach in 2007. The Crimson Tide went 13-12 his first season, falling in the first round of the District 11 Class 4A playoffs, then opened the 2008-09 season 2-9.

Led by sophomore standout Nick Schlitzer, Pottsville closed the 2008-09 regular season 7-4, beating Panther Valley by one point on the final day of the regular season to qualify for the District 11 Class 3A playoffs with a 6-6 league mark. Seeded ninth, the Tide beat Blue Mountain, Wilson and Jim Thorpe to reach the district title game before falling to Southern Lehigh.

The magical postseason run qualified Pottsville for the PIAA playoffs - where the Tide lost in the first round to Shamokin - and was a springboard to an 11-year run in which Pottsville was one of the best boys' teams in eastern Pennsylvania.

Since the start of the 2009-10 season, Pottsville has gone 257-48, including an amazing 141-5 record in Schuylkill League Division I contests and 20-2 in the Schuylkill League playoffs. The Tide have played in the last 11 Schuylkill League title games, won District 11 titles in 2010 (3A), 2015 (3A), 2016 (3A) and 2019 (5A) and were district runner-up four other times.

Those records have come despite the Crimson Tide playing a rigorous non-league schedule that has annually featured games against eastern Pennsylvania powers Reading, Berks Catholic, Williamsport, Scranton Prep, Abington Heights, Shamokin and this past season, defending state champion Math, Civics & Science, and with Pottsville playing two years in Class 4A when there was only four PIAA classifications for boys' basketball.

Pottsville's victory Feb. 8 over Lehighton moved Mullaney past Jim Steidle as the Tide's all-time winningest coach with 278 wins.

"I've been around the Schuylkill League my whole life, and he's the best coach in the Schuylkill League ever," Pottsville athletic director Eric Rismiller said. "He's the all-time winningest coach in Pottsville history in any sport. For 13 years he's done an amazing job.

"The culture of Pottsville basketball is all about Dave Mullaney now. I grew up a Jim Steidle fan and I'm still a Jim Steidle fan, but Dave Mullaney set the bar so high, I don't know who can reach it."

Mullaney, whose teams were built around tough man-to-man defense, praised his coaching staff that includes John Toomey, Tom McGeoy, Jake Wartella, Tyler Heffner, young John Toomey and in years past, Bruce Heffner.

"There's been so many great moments," Mullaney said. "The first couple of years were a little bit of a struggle until we got things going. We've had so many great moments over the years with so many great kids. I've had an incredible staff that surrounded me ... I have a lot of weaknesses, and they made up for them. We complemented each other very well."

During Mullaney's tenure, Pottsville had 10 seasons with 20 or more wins, including back-to-back 28-1 campaigns in 2014-15 and 2015-16 during which the Tide had a 51-game regular-season win streak.

Mullaney was named Republican-Herald Coach of the Year three times, had seven players named All-Area Player of the Year - Nick Schlitzer (twice), Brandon Bridy, Travis Blankenhorn (twice), Jordan Melochick and Mason Barnes - and had players named Rookie of the Year or to the All-Area first team 17 other times.

Schlitzer went on to play professionally overseas, while Blankenhorn and Eli Nabholz became professional baseball players.

"Obviously, I'm proud of what our program has been able to do," Mullaney said. "It's been about our kids. In my letter of resignation, I talked about the relationships I was able to form with the kids who came through the program. That made it the hardest to leave.

"We have a good group coming back, and I was able to meet with some of them (Friday) and express my thanks to them."

A high school math teacher, Mullaney plans to remain as a teacher at Pottsville. His successor will have a lot of talent returning, as the Tide's JV team went undefeated this past season.

Rismiller said a search will begin immediately for a new head coach, and he hopes to have one hired by Aug. 1.

"Pottsville is a great place to coach. It's been really fun," Mullaney said. "It's something I've always wanted to do, be a head coach of a high school program. I'm very proud of what we were able to do."

Contact the writer: Lboyer@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6026; @pubsportsboss on Twitter

HS BASKETBALL: Tide's Barnes named to Class 5A All-State team

JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Pottsville's Mason Barnes brings the ball up the court during their PIAA Class 5A playoff game against West Chester East. Barnes was named to the Pennsylvania Sports Writers Class 5A All-State Team released today.

Photo: JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER, License: N/A, Created: 2020:03:10 19:55:31

JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Pottsville's Mason Barnes attempts a three-point-shot as West Chester East's Kieran Hefferan defends during the PIAA Class 5A basketball game at the Geigle Complex in Reading on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

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View Image Gallery for HS BASKETBALL: Tide's Barnes named to Class 5A All-State team Image Gallery for HS BASKETBALL: Tide's Barnes named to Class 5A All-State team

POTTSVILLE - Mason Barnes' senior year has been full of individual and team accolades.

He added one more today.

The Crimson Tide senior point guard was named to the Pennsylvania Sports Writers Class 5A All-State third team for the second straight season after averaging 17.0 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists for the Schuylkill League champions.

A 6-foot-1 point guard, Barnes was The Republican-Herald All-Area Boys' Basketball Player of the Year and finished his career with more than 1,000 points for Pottsville, which finished 22-6 overall and reached the second round of the PIAA Class 5A playoffs before falling to West Chester East on a last-second shot.

"I put my all into the season ... both seasons," said Barnes, also a standout on

the Crimson Tide's district-championship football team. "I was willing to work with my teammates and work with my coaches to do what we needed to do to get where we got to."

Barnes knocked down 50 3-pointers and connected on 77 percent of his foul shots. A slasher on the best scoring defense in the area (43.0 ppg), Barnes also collected 75 steals.

A four-year contributor, Barnes filled a role early in his career as a 3-point shooter, but as he matured grew into the point-guard role. The past two seasons, Barnes has been one of the Tide's go-to players in critical situations.

"I'm just proud of him. He grew a lot over his four years here, and to make All-State in (Class) 5A as a junior and senior is a great accomplishment," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. "He improved greatly over his four years. He was always a really good athlete, but he became a really complete basketball player by the end of his senior year."

Barnes' signature moment came Jan. 31 at Martz Hall, when he scored 43 points in a 69-52 win over rival Blue Mountain that clinched Pottsville's 11th straight Schuylkill League Division I title. He hit on 12-of-15 shots from the field, 5-of-7 from beyond the arc and 14-of-15 from the foul line.

"His overall leadership and his ability to play the point guard position at a high level," said Mullaney when asked what set Barnes apart from other players. "He always played well for us, but he really became a true point guard while still be able to score the ball. That was the biggest difference between his junior and senior years."

The second straight All-State honor caps a senior year that saw Barnes earn Republican-Herald All-Area first-team, Pennsylvania Football Writers and PFN Coaches Select All-State honors in football after excelling as a wide receiver and defensive back.

Barnes caught 50 passes for a school-record 854 yards and 14 touchdowns as a receiver and picked off nine passes as a defensive back as Pottsville won the District 11 Class 5A title and reached the PIAA quarterfinals. He finished his football career with 96 catches for 1,669 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Barnes, who was also Pottsville's football scholar-athlete, decided to continue his academic and athletic careers at DeSales University, where he will play basketball.

"The recruiting process was awesome," Barnes said. "It's amazing when college coaches are showing you love. DeSales was always there for my support, whenever I needed them. Coach (Scott) Coval is a great guy all-around. Assistant coach Darnell Braswell, I played for him in AAU ... he's a great guy, too."

Barnes said picking basketball over football was a tough decision. He selected DeSales over Randolph-Macon on the basketball court, while Lehigh and several Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference schools expressed interest in football.

"I always like basketball a little more than football, but it was a tough thing overall," Barnes said. "I was confused myself what to pick. My gut feeling was basketball, keep my body a little more healthy."

Contact the writer: Lboyer@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6026; @pubsportsboss on Twitter

 

PA Sports Writers

5A All-State Team

First Team

Deuce Turner, 6-1 Sr. G, Malvern Prep

Rahsool Diggins, 6-3 Jr. G, Archbishop Wood

Andrew Carr, 6-10 Sr. F, West Chester East

Michael Carmody, 6-6 Sr. F, Mars

Quadir Copeland, 6-5 Jr. F, Gettysburg

Rodney Gallagher, 6-0 Fr. G, Laurel Highlands

Second Team

Jaylen Stinson, 6-0 Jr. G, Archbishop Wood

Daeshon Shepherd, 6-5 Jr. F, Archbishop Wood

Michael Lucarotti, 6-4 Jr. G, Erie Cathedral Prep

Aaron Lemon-Warren, 6-5 Jr. F, Archbishop Ryan

Gediminas Mokseckas, 6-4 Sr. F, Archbishop Ryan

Josh Parra, 6-5 Sr. F, Milton Hershey

Third Team

Mason Barnes, 6-1 Sr. G, Pottsville

Marcus Randolph, 6-4 Jr. F, Archbishop Wood

Logan Shanahan, 6-6 Sr. F, Unionville

Daryl Coleman, 6-4 Jr. F, Southern Lehigh

Seth Beers, 6-0 Sr. G, Lampeter-Strasburg

Elijah Rosenthal, 6-0 Sr. G, Wallenpaupack

Player of the Year: Deuce Turner, Malvern Prep

Coach of the Year: Tyrone Nesby, Muhlenberg

BOYS' BASKETBALL: Barnes tops All-Area Boys' Team




Tweets by @rhsportsliveLUKE KROPP / PUBLISHED: APRIL 19, 2020


Photo: JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER, License: N/A, Created: 2020:03:10 20:07:54

JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Player of the Year Mason Barnes, seniorPottsville

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:02:28 21:21:25

LINDSEY SHUEY / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Pottsville's Mason Barnes (2) goes for a basket as Southern Lehigh's Kyle Hoff (24) tries to block him during the District 11 Class 5A boys' basketball championship game at Blue Mountain High School in Schuylkill Haven on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.

Mason Barnes entered the 2016-17 boys' basketball season just like any other freshman.

He was a wide-eyed newcomer, simply hoping to contribute to Pottsville's success.

After four years of developing and mastering his craft, he became much more than a role-playing spot shooter. The Crimson Tide guard quickly became one of the best players in the Schuylkill League, and by his senior year, Barnes elevated his game to an entirely new level.

The 6-foot-1 senior could do it all, collecting buckets all over the floor and proving himself as one of the area's best defenders. Barnes passed the eye test in every category.

The top player on the Schuylkill League's best team, Barnes is The 2019-20 Republican-Herald All-Area Player of the Year.

Also receiving highest honors are two head coaches who facilitated major accomplishments at their programs for the first time in a while.

Schuylkill Haven's Fran Murphy, who coached the Hurricanes to their first Division II title and PIAA appearance since 2006, is The Republican-Herald All-Area Co-Coach of the Year.

Panther Valley's Patrick Crampsie shares that honor, rallying the Panthers late in the season to their first District 11 championship since 1986 and their first state playoff victory since that same year.

The Schuylkill League still had two boys' teams, Nativity (Class A) and Tamaqua (Class 4A), alive in the PIAA Tournament, each preparing for its respective quarterfinal match before the season was cut short due to a global pandemic.

It's an unfortunate way to end the year, but the Hilltoppers and Raiders certainly deserve recognition for being the only playoff teams in the area to finish the year with a win.

Mason Barnes

Player of the Year

When asked how Mason Barnes stacks up with some of the greats who left their mark on Pottsville boys' basketball in recent years, Crimson Tide head coach Dave Mullaney took a second to reflect.

"He's up there," the 13th-year coach said of Barnes. "I think if you put it to a vote, (Nick) Schlitzer would probably be one and (Travis) Blankenhorn two, but I think Mason is right up there with those guys.

"Nick was just phenomenal at everything and Travis was just such a great athlete, but as far as the way they played as seniors, I think Mason's in that top tier group with those two."

Barnes played the 2019-2020 season with an intensity like no other.

He paced the Tide in just about every statistic, averaging 17.0 points per game, 7.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists. He knocked down 50 3-pointers and connected on 77 percent of his foul shots. A slasher on the best scoring defense in the area (43.0), Barnes also collected 75 steals.

The most effective part of his game was his efficiency, with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.5 and hitting on 43 percent of his 3-point attempts.

Barnes played a major role in securing Pottsville's 11th consecutive Schuylkill League Division I title and third straight overall league crown and in lifting Pottsville to the District 11 Class 5A title game and into the PIAA second round.

"I have to give credit to my teammates and our coaching staff for pushing me and working with me over the last four years," Barnes said of earning Player of the Year honors. "They definitely pushed me to be the best player I could be, and it feels good to win this award."

Pottsville's season got off to a slow start. Barnes and his senior counterpart, 6-6 center Kevin Schenk, didn't have much time to prepare for basketball after the two football standouts helped the Tide reach the state quarterfinals.

Luckily the pair of athletes found their basketball legs. After starting 1-2, the Tide won 17 of their next 19, including a 10-game win streak, to finish the regular season 18-4. The Tide also ran the table in Division I for the second year in a row, finishing 14-0 in league play.

In a season of sustained success, one game sticks out as Barnes' most sensational night.

The highest-scoring individual performance by any player in the area this season, Barnes racked up a career-high 43 points to lead Pottsville to a 69-52 win over rival Blue Mountain on Jan. 31 at Martz Hall. The victory keyed by Barnes' absolute domination clinched the Division I title in his last-ever meeting with the Eagles.

"It's definitely one I'll never forget," said Barnes, who connected on 12-of-15 shots from the field, 5-of-7 from beyond the arc and 14-of-15 from the foul line that night.

"I started off the game slowly getting buckets. Coach came in at halftime, set the tone, yelled at us a little bit and got our minds ready. I came out the second half willing to do more and kind of let the game take over from there."

Every Player of the Year needs that signature moment.

His scoring numbers didn't jump out every game, but Barnes was a vocal leader on the court and created opportunities for his teammates to score.

That incredible night against Blue Mountain, however, belonged to him. It was the pinnacle of Barnes' development into the prototypical point guard he is today.

He started out as a role player, creating looks as a 3-point shooter his freshman year. By sophomore year, Barnes started handling the point guard position and gained a lot of trust from Mullaney.

His junior year is when everything clicked.

"Junior year, I turned into more of a driver and loved locking down the other teams' best players," Barnes said. "Senior year, I got stronger since football. Coach (Mullaney) pretty much left the offense up to me, let me dictate the game, let me make calls."

Having his high school career end on a buzzer beater - a 38-35 loss to West Chester East in the PIAA second round - will stick with him, but it's not the end of his basketball-playing days.

Barnes is taking his talents to the next level, recently announcing via Twitter his commitment to play basketball at DeSales University, an NCAA Division III program near Allentown that competes in the MAC Freedom Conference.

"He's a great kid to coach. Complete team player," Mullaney said of Barnes. "A lot of our runs in games go through him and I think there's a part of him as an athlete that's really confident and knows when his team needs him and he's able to put it in that extra gear."

Fran Murphy

Co-Coach of the Year

He didn't have much to work with in terms of numbers.

Luckily for Schuylkill Haven head coach Fran Murphy, the talent cycling through his program was generational, and Murphy put it all together perfectly.

The Hurricanes had suffered through some excruciatingly painful boys' basketball seasons in recent years. The current senior class went 3-19 overall as freshmen.

Slowly but surely, the Hurricanes flipped that record on its head, finishing the most recent season 19-3 overall. Haven also captured its first Schuylkill League Division II title since 2006 and won its first postseason game since that same year en route to a District 11 Class AA silver medal.

Seniors like Albe Evans (20.0 ppg), Mason Carter (14.7) and Damyan Miller (8.1) made that possible, accruing plenty of experience over the years.

"Going back, when our two guards were in junior high, our program at the varsity level didn't have a ton of success ahead of them," Murphy said. "We decided when they (Evans and Miller) were in eighth grade that those two kids would end up playing varsity right away.

"Of course we had our struggles when they were freshmen, but they worked hard in the offseason and we were able to improve year by year. We also added Mason Carter, who had a great deal of potential."

Haven, which had the best scoring offense in the area (66.2) despite 14 total athletes in grades 9-12, nearly reached the Schuylkill League championship this season, falling to Tamaqua 77-71 in the semifinals.

The Hurricanes finally secured a postseason win in the district semifinals, a 65-40 triumph over Mahanoy Area.

Unfortunately, their next two matchups were against state powers, resulting in an 85-66 loss to Executive Education in the district title game and a 97-55 runaway to defending state champion Math, Civics & Sciences in the PIAA first round.

"It was tough for the kids. That game was very difficult to get through. But we knew we were successful," Murphy said. "We had success, we had a good season, we just ran into two teams who were very good."

Murphy helped create a winning culture at Schuylkill Haven, and he said he couldn't have done it without assistant coaches Chip Kulp and Jim Duncan.

The biggest factor, he said, was his players' willingness to put in the work.

"It was a fun year. Most of the success we had is due to our kids," Murphy said. "We had a great group with good chemistry."

Patrick Crampsie

Co-Coach of the Year

Without a doubt, Panther Valley head coach Patrick Crampsie has a way of getting the most out of his team.

Especially when it matters most: the postseason.

The Panthers struggled to navigate their Schuylkill League Division I slate this year, finishing the regular season 11-11 overall and 4-10 in league play.

The program with the smallest enrollment in D-I, Panther Valley found its groove heading into the District 11 Class 3A playoffs. As the No. 4 seed, the Panthers had plenty of time to prepare for top-seeded Palmerton.

"Those two and a half weeks leading up to that game against Palmerton, as a staff we felt so much of it was mental," Crampsie said. "Getting the kids to believe that we had a couple-game run in us. Nothing up to this point matters. We had to forget losing a couple games at the end of the year, forget our overall record.

"None of that mattered. All that matter was looking ahead."

Crampsie rallied his troops from a nearly 20-point deficit to defeat the Blue Bombers 66-59 on Feb. 26. Three days later, the Panthers stunned No. 2 Notre Dame-Green Pond 59-53 to win their first district championship since 1986.

The all-senior starting lineup, including guards Brandon Stilitino (14.4 ppg), Erick Marchorro (11.4), Aaron Gutierrez (11.4), Blake White (9.8) and Collin Eidle (2.9), truly left their mark under Crampsie.

"It might've been the best two weeks of practice that we've had in my 18 years," Crampsie said. "They were very self-motivated, not only our starters but our JV guys were jumping in drills. It really was a total team effort."

Behind a 28-point effort from Stilitino and a second-half run, Panther Valley captured a first-round PIAA Tournament win over Dobbins Tech 61-40. The victory was also the Panthers' first state playoff win in 34 years.

In addition to his team, Crampsie credited the late-season rally to community support, his assistant coaches and other supporters who have been there his entire coaching career.

Crampsie thanked his first staff, including Mark Lazar, Terry Bonner, Ken Miller, Brian Carroll and his dad, James Crampsie. His current staff includes Keith Gogal, Andrew Michalik, Shaun Midas and junior high coaches Ryan Eidle, Dave McAndrew and Matt Engler.

"I've been extremely lucky since I first started with the assistants that I've had," Crampsie said on receiving the honors. "I've been blessed since I started. Obviously we had some rough patches along the way this year but I had a great amount of support from our administration and our players stuck with it and bought in."

The First Team

A handful of athletes stood above the rest of the area, flashing their dominance and leading their teams to championships.

The league will look much different next year, as these five players are all seniors:

  • Tyler Fritz, sr., Marian- The 6-3 guard/forward combo did it all. Fritz pumped in an area-leading 28.0 points per game, grabbed 7.8 rebounds and added 2.9 assists while leading the Colts to a Schuylkill League Division III title.

With a season-high of 41 points in a game, Fritz finished with career records in the program for points scored (1,959) most free throws made (464).

  • Kevin Schenk, sr., Pottsville- One of the tallest players in the area, Schenk dominated under and around the basket. Schenk averaged 16.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists and could always be found blocking shots in the paint.

Schenk dunked with authority and knocked down 49 3-pointers on the year. One of his best performances was in Pottsville's final game, locking down a 6-10, NCAA Division I-bound center during the first half.

  • Albe Evans, sr., Schuylkill Haven- The all-time leading scorer in program history, Evans averaged 20.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.8 steals during Haven's division championship run.

Evans buried 297 career 3-pointers (80 this season) and wasn't afraid to pull up from way beyond the arc. His high motor and efficiency combined with his work ethic made him nearly unstoppable, scoring a season-high 34 points in the league semifinals.

  • Lucas Gregoire, sr., Tamaqua- A major factor in clinching Tamaqua's wild-card berth to the Schuylkill League playoffs, Gregoire averaged nearly a double-double with 17.3 points and 9.8 rebounds.

An absolute force inside, the 6-4 power forward posted a season-high 28 points in the Raiders' league semifinal win over Schuylkill Haven. Gregoire helped lead the Raiders into the PIAA Class 4A quarterfinals before the season was cut short.

  • Brayden Knoblauch, sr., Tamaqua- The quarterback of Tamaqua's high-powered team, Knoblauch paced the Raiders with 17.6 points and 5.2 assists per game as Gregoire's counterpart.

Knoblauch, who also pulled down 6.4 rebounds per game, posted his season-high 24 points in three different games and nailed 79 3-pointers while shooting 80 percent from the foul line.

Contact the writer: 570-628-6026

2019-20 Republican-Herald All-Area Boys' Basketball Team

Player of the Year - Mason Barnes, Pottsville, senior guard

Co-Coach of the Year - Fran Murphy, Schuylkill Haven

Co-Coach of the Year - Patrick Crampsie, Panther Valley

First Team

Tyler Fritz, Marian, senior guard/forward

Kevin Schenk, Pottsville, senior forward

Albe Evans, Schuylkill Haven, senior guard

Lucas Gregoire, Tamaqua, senior forward

Brayden Knoblauch, Tamaqua, senior forward

Second Team

Kegan Hertz, Nativity, junior forward

Marquis Ratcliff, Nativity, sophomore forward

Brandon Stilitino, Panther Valley, senior guard

Mason Carter, Schuylkill Haven, senior forward

Macklin Ayers, Upper Dauphin, senior forward

Bo Raho, Williams Valley, senior guard

Honorable Mention

Alex Ketch, sr., Blue Mountain

Chase Mazalusky, sr., Mahanoy Area

Shane Miller, sr., Mahanoy Area

Dante Agosti, jr., Marian

Chris Ritsick, sr., Marian

Blake White, sr., Panther Valley

Mason Ulsh, jr., Schuylkill Haven

Owen Kosar, soph., Shenandoah Valley

Chase Deeter, sr., Tri-Valley

Scotty Zoscin, jr., Weatherly

Bryce Herb, jr., Williams Valley

All-Area Teams

Wrestling - Saturday, March 21

Swimming - Saturday, March 28

Girls' Basketball - Sunday, April 12

Boys' Basketball - Sunday, April 19

BASKETBALL: 2020 Charity Bowl rosters

Tweets by @rhsportsliveSTAFF REPORTS / PUBLISHED: APRIL 19, 2020

2020 Senior Charity Bowl All-Stars

The 46th annual edition of the Schuylkill County Senior Charity Bowl all-star basketball classic was scheduled for Friday, March 27, at Martz Hall before being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event is sponsored by the Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis clubs of Schuylkill County.

Senior players from Mahanoy Area, Marian, Minersville, North Schuylkill, Panther Valley, Shenandoah Valley and Tamaqua represented the North teams, while senior players from Blue Mountain, Nativity, Pine Grove, Pottsville, Schuylkill Haven, Tri-Valley and Williams Valley represented the South stars.

Here's a look at this year's rosters. Congratulations to the seniors who were selected.

 

NORTH GIRLS

Macy Alansky Marian

Alyssa Buchanan Shenandoah Valley

Abby Conroy Shenandoah Valley

Victoria Donovan Shenandoah Valley

Jordan Karmonick Mahanoy Area

Alex Kroznuskie Minersville

Emma Kuczynski Tamaqua

Emily Lawrence Mahanoy Area

Megan Pascoe Panther Valley

Emily Shaud Marian

Emily Titus Tamaqua

Jamie Zuber Tamaqua

Coaches: Chris Conroy, Ali Semanchik, Kristina Nieddu, Shenandoah Valley

SOUTH GIRLS

Brooke Adams Tri-Valley

Maddy Bordner Williams Valley

Abbie Brown Pine Grove

Alli Butler Pine Grove

Allison Clarke Nativity

Kaile Conrad Pottsville

Madi Dalton Pottsville

Emily Fasnacht Blue Mountain

Tori Hunyara Nativity

Emily Kramer Williams Valley

Rachel Lukacz Blue Mountain

Leah Pishock Blue Mountain

Coaches: Scott Forney, Jay Daubert, Nativity

 

NORTH BOYS

Tyler Fritz Marian

Lucas Gregoire Tamaqua

Joe Karvois Shenandoah Valley

Brayden Knoblauch Tamaqua

Erick Marchorro Panther Valley

Chase Mazalusky Mahanoy Area

Shane Miller Mahanoy Area

Dominic Pizzico Minersville

Chris Ritsick Marian

Brandon Stilitino Panther Valley

Barron Stauffenberg Tamaqua

Bryce Weikel North Schuylkill

Coaches: Ethan Eichhorst, Mike Backo, Mahanoy Area; Jim Barron, Tamaqua

SOUTH BOYS

Mason Barnes Pottsville

Mason Carter Schuylkill Haven

Jason Dean Blue Mountain

Chase Deeter Tri-Valley

Albe Evans Schuylkill Haven

Alex Ketch Blue Mountain

Blake Lipko Blue Mountain

Damyan Miller Schuylkill Haven

Bo Raho Williams Valley

Matt Salata Pottsville

Kevin Schenk Pottsville

Riley Stanton Pottsville

Coaches: Mike Masser, Bobby Felty, Mike Wasilus, Tri-Valley

Congrats To The Seniors For A Great Year

Riley, Matt, Kevin, Mason

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Photo By John Liddle

Crimson Tide Lose to West Chester East At The Buzzer in second round


Photo: JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER, License: N/A, Created: 2020:03:10 19:53:51

JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERPottsville's Raeff DiCello drives to the basket as West Chester East's Jack Kushner defends during the PIAA Class 5A basketball game at the Geigle Complex in Reading on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

Photo: JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER, License: N/A, Created: 2020:03:10 19:53:10

JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERPottsville's Kevin Schenk goes to the basket as West Chester East's Andrew Carr defends during the PIAA Class 5A basketball game at the Geigle Complex in Reading on Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

PR11BOYSPOTTSVILLE_1_WEB

View Image Gallery for H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Pottsville falls to West Chester East in second round Image Gallery for H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Pottsville falls to West Chester East in second round

READING - Head coach Dave Mullaney needed his Pottsville boys' basketball team's defense to rise to the occasion.

The challenge: stop Andrew Carr, West Chester East's 6-foot-10 senior who's headed to play ball at the University of Delaware next season.

For the first 21 minutes of Tuesday's PIAA Class 5A second-round game, the Crimson Tide had Carr contained.

Eventually, he broke free.

Carr dominated the fourth quarter with 11 of his game-high 19 points before fellow senior Tym Richardson hit a right-wing 3-pointer as time expired to claim a 38-35 victory at the Geigle Complex in Reading, putting an end to Pottsville's season.

The District 11 runner-up, Pottsville (22-6) led 23-14 with three minutes left in the third quarter, but District 1 champion West Chester East (25-2) scored the final seven points of the frame as Carr and the Vikings started to get hot.

"I think it was just Carr's will," Mullaney said of what allowed the Vikings back into the game. "He's really good, as good as we've played. We knew there was going to be a spurt where they'd get loose."

East advances to the quarterfinals to play District 1 fifth-place Unionville (21-7) on Friday.

The Vikings took their first lead of the night, 27-26, as Carr connected on a basket as he was fouled with 4:48 left in the fourth quarter. He then hit his foul shot, and after senior Mason Barnes put the Tide back in front 29-28 on a 3-pointer with 4:28 to go, Carr netted a layup to give East a 30-29 lead with 3:52 left.

That was the final lead change.

Pottsville took a timeout with 2:09 left before sophomore Mike Sukeena's 3-pointer cut the deficit to 34-23 at the 1:52 mark.

After attempting to run out the clock, Richardson was fouled and hit the first of two free throws to take a 35-32 lead with 42.4 seconds left, but Barnes stormed down the court, drew a foul as his layup fell in and was true on his foul shot to knot the game up at 35-35 with 32.9 left.

Richardson, who posted 13 points, then held the ball as long as he could on East's next possession, turned at the right wing and released his jumper with a hand in his face and about two seconds left. By the time it swished through the net and traveled to the hardwood, time had run out on the Schuylkill League champion's season.

"Our kids completely bought into our game plan and executed it perfectly," Mullaney said. "We put ourselves in a position to beat a really good team.

"We probably just needed to hit a couple more shots, but credit to their (East's) defense. Their defense was really good."

Pottsville's defense was spectacular early.

Senior Kevin Schenk, who paced the Tide with 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds, began the game manned up on Carr and it appeared the 6-6 forward had Carr on lockdown.

Schenk and senior Matt Salata did most of the defensive work on Carr, holding him to just 2-of-8 shooting in the first half. Schenk also scored 15 points in his dominant first half as Pottsville took a 19-12 lead into the locker room.

"Kevin guarded (Carr) a lot. Matt guarded him some. I thought they did a tremendous job individually," Mullaney said. "But it was just a complete team effort there being in the right spots."

In the second half, Carr shot 7-of-7 from the field. East connected on just 5-of-23 from the field in the first half but shot 11-of-18 in the second.

Pottsville hit 13-of-40 (32.5 percent) from the field, but the Vikings outscored the Tide 24-12 over the final 11 minutes.

"Schenk's a great player. They definitely game-planned well and they came out really strong with their defense the entire game," Carr said of Pottsville. "In the second half, I knew I had to be more aggressive, cut really hard to get myself open and I was able to do that and finish some and-1s late."

Barnes finished with 8 points and eight rebounds, while Sukeena and sophomore Raeff DiCello scored five points apiece for the Tide. Salata tallied three rebounds, an assist and a steal.

The Geigle Complex hasn't been friendly to Pottsville in the recent past, and their Reading woes continue.

Last year, Pottsville's season ended at the hands of eventual state runner-up Archbishop Wood in a 61-38 quarterfinal loss at the Geigle Complex.

At the same venue in 2016, the Crimson Tide dropped a 52-47 contest to Lower Moreland in the second round.

In 2014 and 2015, Susquehanna Township knocked out Pottsville in the second round on the same floor.

"I know we've lost a lot of games down here, but that's one of the best teams in the state regardless of classification," Mullaney said of East. "When you come down here and play teams like Archbishop Wood and end up on the wrong end, it's not the facility, it's the teams we're playing."

The road comes to an end for Pottsville's talented group of seniors, but Mullaney said the future looks bright after the junior varsity team went 22-0.

Contact the writer: lkropp@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6010; @LukeKropp on Twitter

Game Summary

PIAA Class 5A Second Round At Geigle Complex, Reading

POTTSVILLE (35) - Schenk 6 3-4 17, Barnes 3 1-1 8, DiCello 2 0-0 5, Stanton 0 0-0 0, Salata 0 0-0 0, Sukeena 2 0-0 5, Heimbaugh 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 4-5 35. WEST CHESTER EAST (38) - Dedda 1 0-0 2, Kushner 0 0-0 0, Carr 9 1-2 19, Richardson 5 1-2 13, Hefferan 1 0-0 3, Duell 0 1-2 1. Totals 16 3-6 38.

Potts (22-6) 8 11 4 12 - 35 WCE (25-2) 5 7 9 17 - 38

3-point FGs: Schenk 2, Barnes, DiCello, Sukeena, Richardson 2, Hefferan


Crimson Tide plays West Chester East

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Geigle Center - 7:30

 

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Pottsville knocks off Northern in PIAA 5A boys basketball playoffs


YORK — Northern’s Nate McGill sliced down the lane for a layup early Friday to open the scoring in his team’s PIAA 5A playoff matchup against Pottsville.

Tyler Weary and Jordan Heisey followed with back-to-back 3s, and the Polar Bears held an 8-4 advantage less than two minutes in. But it all unraveled from there in a sea of Crimson Tide scrappiness that overwhelmed Northern (20-7) and brought its season to an end, 61-43. Pottsville came away with 18 steals — seven in the first half, 11 in the second — and the Polar Bears failed to get a scorer into double-digits. The Crimson Tide (22-5) managed the defensive effort, in part, by keeping their hands in passing lanes.

And no Polar Bear drive to the basket or pass into the paint went unchallenged.

“It was tough,” McGill said. “It was like a lot of teams we’ve played recently. It’s just something we are not used to. In our league, there are a lot of touchy things. We are not allowed to do as much as they are, and it’s something we have to get used to for next year.”

The teams were tied at 18 at the end of the first, but the Crimson Tide pulled ahead 36-25 at the half.

The Polar Bears slowed the onslaught in the third — holding Pottsville to just 6 points — but that quarter went about the way most of the rest of the night did for Northern. Even when the Polar Bears got a clear look, the ball found a way to rim out or take a bad bounce.

“That’s just basketball,” McGill said shaking his head.

And, in that third quarter, Northern still find a way to get outscored as it could muster just 4 points of its own. And the Polar Bears never seriously threatened in the fourth.

THE STARS 

Kevin Schenk scored a game-high 26 for Pottsville and surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career. Mason Barnes added 23.

Weary led Northern with 9, McGill and Alec Welshans each had 8 and Heisey had 7.

GAME-DECIDING MOMENT

The Polar Bears began to sputter midway through the second quarter and the Crimson Tide pounced.

THEY SAID IT 

“This (season) was great for us. We have a lot of talent coming back next year, and we should be good again,” McGill after the loss.

“Credit to them. They stuck to the gameplan. They had a good gameplan against us, and they stuck to it, and took us out of what we wanted to do,” Heisey after the loss.

Pottsville 18 18 6 19 -- 61

Northern 18 7 4 14 – 43

Crimson Tide (61) – Kevin Schenk 26, Mason Barnes 23, Raeff Dicello 2, Mike Sukeena 7, Nico Boris 1, Matt Salata 2.

 

Crimson Tide rolls over Northern York

YORK - The Pottsville boys' basketball team came up short in its quest to win a District 11 championship a week ago.

Coach Dave Mullaney sensed, however, that his Crimson Tide still had plenty to prove this season.

They did Friday night.

Kevin Schenk scored a game-high 26 points, going over 1,000 for his career, while Mason Barnes added 23 during Pottsville's 61-43 rout of Northern York in the opening round of the PIAA Class 5A playoffs at West York High School.

The Crimson Tide (22-5) lost to Southern Lehigh 61-48 in the District 11 championship game last Friday. It was disappointing, but Mullaney felt Pottsville was ready to get back at it. It especially showed during a scrimmage against Class AA state powerhouse Math, Civics and Sciences on Tuesday at Allentown Allen.

"We lost to a good team, don't get me wrong, but I think our guys almost expected to win that," Mullaney said of the district title game loss. "We think we have

a pretty good team and I think our guys want to continue to show that they are not ready to go home yet."

They aren't.

The Crimson Tide advance to take on District 1 champ West Chester East, a 53-33 winner over Gettysburg, on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.

Schenk and Barnes, both seniors, had a lot to do with Pottsville's big night on the offensive end as both did most of their damage in and around the basket.

The 6-foot-6 Schenk came into the night needing 18 points to reach 1,000. After 16 first-half points, he reached the milestone with a right-handed shot over a defender at 6:01 of the third quarter. Schenk might have even put up more points Friday but he spent a good part of the second half on the bench in foul trouble.

In fact, Schenk was on the bench with his third personal foul when his accomplishment was announced to the gymnasium crowd later in the quarter.

By that point, Pottsville was well on its way to the victory.

Barnes, a senior who went over 1,000 career points earlier in the season, scored 13 of his points in the first half as the Crimson Tide took a 36-25 halftime lead.

Barnes grabbed 10 rebounds to complete a double-double. He also added six steals.

"They were doing a lot of switching," Mullaney said of Northern York's defense. "There were some lanes that were open and once we got the ball moving, they had a hard time keeping Kevin and Mason in front and the result was them scoring a lot of points."

Overall, Pottsville finished the night 25-for-47 (53%) from the floor in the game, including an 11-of-18 (61%) performance in the second half.

Another key performer for the Crimson Tide was Matt Salata, another senior. He did his best work on the defensive end.

Nate McGill, a 6-4 junior, came in as the Polar Bears' leading scorer at 17.6 points per game. The 6-0 Salata drew the assignment of guarding McGill and Salata held him to eight points, two in each quarter.

"Matt just made everything tough on him all night," Mullaney said. "He is just tenacious. He never lets up. He had great energy and he's just a great athlete. He can guard anywhere from 5-8 to 6-4. We love everything about Matt Salata."

Tyler Weary led Northern York (20-7), the fourth-place finisher out of District 3, with nine points, while Alec Welshans also scored eight points.

As always seems to be the case, defense got Pottsville headed in the right direction after a slow start.

There were three ties and 10 lead changes during the first 10 minutes of the game. The Polar Bears grabbed a 22-21 advantage at 7:05 of the second quarter on a bucket by Jordan Heisey.

That was Northern York's final lead of the night.

Pottsville started to do a better job of contesting the Polar Bears' 3-point shooters - Northern York hit three 3s in the first quarter - and picked up the overall defensive intensity. The Crimson Tide finished the first half on a 15-3 run to take it 36-25 halftime lead.

Pottsville's advantage slowly grew from there. The Crimson Tide went up 42-29 at 2:38 of the third quarter on a drive by Mason. Pottsville led 52-29 at 5:06 of the fourth on a layup by Mike Sukeena that ended a 10-0 Crimson Tide run to begin the quarter.

Pottsville's largest advantage of the night was 24 points at 60-36 with 1:42 left in the game after a layup by Schenk.

The Polar Bears finished the night 16-for-41 (39%) from the floor on the night, including a 7-of-20 (35%) showing in the second half. Northern York also turned the ball over 23 times in the game.

"Our energy in the first quarter was not where we wanted it to be," Mullaney said. "The last three quarters, I thought we contested every pass, every drive. We were fighting for rebounds. For three quarters, we played how we wanted to play on the defensive end."

Contact the writer: 570-628-6026

 

Game Summary

PIAA Class 5A First Round At West York

POTTSVILLE (61) - Schenk 10 4-4 26, Heimbaugh 0 0-0 0, Barnes 10 2-4 23, DiCello 1 0-0 2, Yost 0 0-0 0, Sukeena 3 0-0 7, McCuller 0 0-0 0, Boris 0 1-2 1, Stanton 0 0-0 0, Salata 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 7-10 61.

NORTHERN YORK (43) - Delafield 0 0-0 0, French 1 0-1 3, Beam 0 0-0 0, Heisey 3 0-0 7, Hamm 1 0-0 3, Weary 3 1-2 9, Ensor 1 2-2 5, Welshans 4 0-0 8, McGill 4 0-0 8, Crager 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 3-5 43.

Potts (22-5) 18 18 6 19 - 61 NY (20-7) 18 7 4 14 - 43

3-point FGs: Schenk 2, Barnes, Sukeena, French, Heisey, Hamm, Weary 2, Ensor

 


Crimson Tide plays Northern York

1st Round Of PIAA State Playoffs 

Friday, March 6, 2020

West York High School - 7:30

 

 

 Pottsville falls to Southern Lehigh in district final


  
                                                                    

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:02:28 20:36:33

 

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:02:28 21:34:52

LINDSEY SHUEY / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Pottsville’s Raeff DiCello looks on after the Crimson Tide fell to Southern Lehigh in the District 11 Class 5A boys’ basketball championship game Friday at Blue Mountain High School.

ORWIGSBURG — Pottsville didn’t have an answer for Daryl Coleman.

Southern Lehigh’s 6-foot-4 junior guard couldn’t be contained, tallying a monster double-double in Friday night’s District 11 Class 5A boys’ basketball championship.

Despite Coleman’s domination, the Tide never felt truly out, gripping onto their last bead of hope until Southern Lehigh scored the game’s final six points to take a 61-48 victory at Blue Mountain High School.

Coleman scored 34 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lift the second-seeded Spartans (22-4) to their first district title since 2009.

In a rematch of last season’s championship, he also ended the No. 1 Crimson Tide’s (21-5) chase for their second straight crown.

“We went with our normal (defensive) rotation on a guy like that,” Pottsville head coach Dave Mullaney said of Coleman. “We’ve played plenty of guys like that with that ability. He was great tonight.

“We usually go with (Matt) Salata to start and rotate Mason (Barnes) on him. Even Mason had trouble with him. He was phenomenal tonight.”

Seniors Kevin Schenk and Barnes led Pottsville with 17 and 12 points, respectively.

It was a tough night shooting for the Tide, who finished 19-of-52 (36.5 percent). After hitting just 7-of-23 in the first half, Pottsville trailed 23-17 at the break, but a Barnes layup and back-to-back 3-pointers by senior Riley Stanton and Schenk tied the game at 25-25 with 5:35 left in the third.

That’s when Coleman took over.

Coming out of a Southern Lehigh timeout, Coleman scored the Spartans’ next 12 points on five possessions. His pair of 3s to cap the 12-2 run suddenly put the Spartans ahead 37-27 at the 2:50 mark.

“I really felt like we were going to win the game at halftime even being down six because I thought our shots weren’t going but we were getting good ones,” Mullaney said. “But, even in the second half, Coleman just never went away. Even when we started to make a run, it seemed like he had a big play in whatever they needed.”

Coleman scored 16 points in the third quarter and finished the night 13-of-22 shooting with four triples. He headed the hot-handed Spartans, who shot 23-of-45 (51.1 percent).

The teams combined for 19 3-pointers, including four apiece by Stanton (12 points) and Southern Lehigh senior Chris Andrews (14 points).

The Tide never led, but the 3-ball kept them relatively close.

Barnes and Schenk each hit a 3 to cut Pottsville’s deficit down to 37-33 with 1:27 left in the third, but senior Kyle Hoff netted a bucket and Coleman turned a steal into a breakaway layup just before the buzzer to take a 41-33 lead into the fourth quarter.

“I think (Coleman) has really come into his own lately. He’s been on an incredible stretch,” Southern Lehigh head coach Ben Tannous said of Coleman, who posted 20 points in the Spartans’ 67-55 semifinal win over Blue Mountain.

“Last year in this championship game he really struggled with physicality, and he just worked through that tonight and really showed the player he’s become in just one year.”

Andrews hit two big 3-pointers to extend Southern Lehigh’s lead to 49-38 with 4:52 left, but Schenk and Barnes responded quickly with 3s of their own to pull back within 49-44 with 4:33 to go.

Another layup by Barnes cut the Spartans’ lead to five again, 51-46, with 3:40 left, but the Tide wouldn’t get any closer as the Spartans started beating Pottsville’s press with long passes to open players downcourt.

“I think Pottsville is one of the best teams in the area,” Tannous said. “The way they were able to spread us out and drive and get to the bucket and knock down threes, it’s unbelievable.”

Andrews and senior Asher Smith each grabbed five rebounds for Colonial League champion Southern Lehigh, which outrebounded the Tide 34-19.

Pottsville, which defeated Bangor 58-41 in the semifinals, attacked the lane at times but didn’t receive a single opportunity at the foul line.

Sophomore Raeff Dicello added seven points, while Barnes pulled down a team-high seven rebounds and added three assists and three steals.

“I’m not disappointed in our guys,” Mullaney said. “I don’t think we played our best, but I think there were points in that game we played well enough to win. But, they were just too good.”

Both teams are headed to the PIAA tournament, which begins Friday, March 6.

Southern Lehigh will face District 3 fifth-place William Penn (20-7), while Pottsville will take on District 3 fourth-place Northern York (20-6) at sites and times to be announced.

Contact the writer: Lkropp@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6010; @LukeKropp on Twitter

Game Summary

District 11 Class 5A Championship At Blue Mountain HS

SOUTHERN LEHIGH (61) — Coleman 13 4-5 34, Andrews 5 0-0 14, Gaughan 1 0-0 2, Smith 1 2-2 4, Hoff 1 0-0 2, Tankred 2 0-0 5, Cyr 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 6-7 61.

POTTSVILLE (48) — Schenk 7 0-0 17, Barnes 5 0-0 12, DiCello 3 0-0 7, Stanton 4 0-0 12, Salata 0 0-0 0, Heimbaugh 0 0-0 0, Sukeena 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 0-0 48.

SL (22-4) 13 10 18 20 — 61 Potts (21-5) 8 9 16 15 — 48

3-point FGs: Coleman 4, Andrews 4, Tankred, Stanton 4,

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle


Crimson Tide Plays Southern Lehigh

at Blue Mountain

This Friday at 7:30 pm

 District XI Championship 

WNEP16 - Pottsville - Bangor

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

 

 Pottsville knocks out Bangor


               

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:02:25 19:03:54

LINDSEY SHUEY / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Pottsville’s Kevin Schenk, left, goes strong to the basket as Bangor’s Nate Owens defends during Tuesday’s District 11 Class 5A boys’ basketball semifinal at Blue Mountain High School. Schenk scored a game-high 23 points and had eight rebounds as the Tide advanced with a 58-41 victory.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:02:25 19:00:34

LINDSEY SHUEY / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Pottsville’s Mason Barnes (2) goes for a basket as Bangor’s CJ Miles (5) tries to block him during their District 11 Class 5A boys’ basketball semifinal at Blue Mountain High School. Pottsville won 58-41.

ORWIGSBURG — Kevin Schenk and Mason Barnes have been playing basketball together since they were little kids.

That chemistry was evident Tuesday night.

The two Pottsville senior standouts combined for 44 points and 16 rebounds as the Crimson Tide downed Bangor 58-41 in a District 11 Class 5A semifinal at Blue Mountain High School.

The victory advances Pottsville (21-4) to the district final for the sixth time in seven years. The Crimson Tide will face Southern Lehigh, a 67-55 winner over Blue Mountain, in Friday’s title game.

“They (carried us). They did it on both ends of the floor,” Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. “Being seniors and having played so much, they weren’t surprised by anything that Bangor did.”

Schenk and Barnes alternated spurts throughout the game, with the 6-foot-6 Schenk leading the way early.

After the Slaters (14-12) took a 9-5 lead midway through the first quarter, Schenk scored seven straight points in a 10-0 Pottsville run that gave the Crimson Tide the lead for good. His floater through the lane as time expired in the first quarter gave the Tide a 15-9 advantage after one frame.

Schenk scored 10 of his game-high 23 points in the first quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers.

“My teammates were getting the ball moving and we were getting open shots. A lot of them were for me in the first quarter,” Schenk said.

“It’s definitely important to hit some threes early on, because then you can drive and create things for everybody else.”

Barnes controlled things in the second quarter, scoring eight of his 21 points. His 3-pointer from the right side gave Pottsville a 26-14 lead with 3:30 left in the first half.

Of the Crimson Tide’s 26 first-half points, Schenk and Barnes combined for 23 of them.

“It’s senior leadership,” Barnes said. “We came into practice with a different mindset. It’s a new season. We just had to come in and do what we’ve been doing all season.

“It’s a do-or-die situation, this game was. We had to hit open shots, create for each other. Hitting shots was key to winning this game.”

Barnes’ biggest contribution, however, may have been on defense, as the 6-1 Barnes quieted Bangor’s leading scorer, 6-4 Nate Owens, while cleaning up on the boards. Barnes pulled seven of his eight rebounds in the first half.

Owens finished with 14 points, but six of those came in the fourth quarter when the outcome was already decided. Gabe Zieba added 10 for the Slaters.

“Mason kind of got on (Owens), and we didn’t anticipate him playing that many minutes on him, but he did a great job,” Mullaney said. “Mason was on him for the majority of the game. We anticipated (Matt) Salata going on him early, but he got into foul trouble, so we decided to go with Mason.”

Bangor scored the final six points of the first half to trail 26-20 at intermission, but Pottsville used a 12-4 run midway through the third quarter to pull away. Schenk had nine points in the third quarter as the Tide led 41-26 after three frames and extended the cushion to 56-36 before both sides emptied the benches.

Pottsville didn’t play a perfect game, committing eight second-half turnovers and missing some free throws in the fourth quarter that could have hurt in a closer game.

Still, it was enough for the Tide to end Bangor’s season for the third time in four years and lock up another trip to the PIAA playoffs.

“When you have the long layoff, you always worry about how your team is going to come out for its first game,” Mullaney said. “I don’t know if we had our ‘A’ game tonight, but we beat a good team by near 20 points. We’re really happy with that. We know how tough it’s going to be Friday night, regardless of who we play.”

Added Schenk: “It’s a good confidence booster going into the district championship game and hopefully a state run.”

Contact the writer: Lboyer@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6026; @pubsportsboss on Twitter

Game Summary

District 11 Class 5A Semifinal At Blue Mountain

BANGOR (41) — Saxe 3 0-1 6, Miles 2 1-2 6, Zieba 4 2-4 10, Owens 3 6-8 14, Colon 1 0-0 2, Farensbach 0 0-0 0, Petersen 0 0-0 0, Giaquinto 0 0-0 0, Kluska 0 0-0 0, Karner 0 0-0 0, Eldridge 1 0-0 3. Totals 14 9-14 41.

POTTSVILLE (58) — Schenk 8 4-5 23, Barnes 8 2-4 21, DiCello 1 3-4 6, Stanton 0 1-2 1, Salata 0 4-4 4, Heimbaugh 1 0-0 3, Yost 0 0-0 0, Sukeena 0 0-0 0, McCuller 0 0-0 0, Boris 0 0-0 0, Snowell 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 14-19 58.

Bang (14-12) 9 11 6 15 — 41 Potts (21-4) 15 11 15 17 — 58

3-point FGs: Miles, Eldridge, Owens 2, Schenk 3, Barnes 3, DiCello, Heimbaugh

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

Crimson Tide plays Bangor

Tuesday February 25, 2020 at 6:00 pm

Blue Mountain High School

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Photo Courtesy of John Liddle


Get a look at these prep hoops palaces.

There's something magical about high school basketball basketball gyms. The bright lights and school tones, the orange accents of the rim and ball and the rich browns of the hardwood give them a unique color contrast all their own.

How the stands are constructed - multi-decked, round or square, end zones or concrete walls - makes gyms unique.

All present a theater setting that is magnificent viewing from virtually every angle.

We set out to feature 10 of the most unique venues in the country, both historic and contemporary. Hundreds were considered and no doubt there are many more left to explore. Help us feature high school basketball gym gems by reaching out on Facebook or Twitter.
Listed in order of appearance in the video above, read on for a quick glance at our featured gyms.

Martz Hall (Pottsville, Pa.)
Home of the Pottsville Crimson Tide
Year opened: 1970
Seating capacity: 4,100
Briefly: Called the "Heaven of Hardwood," the original wooden upper deck bleachers remain and are a fan favorite. Also known by locals as "The Mecca," Kobe Bryant, Billy Owens and Sam Bowie played games there.


Raider Arena (Cleveland, Tenn.)Home of the Cleveland RaidersYear opened: 2016
Seating capacity: 2,700Briefly: The state-of-the-art, $11 million arena, with an NBA-style "floating floor," replaced the 50-year-old Raider Dome that was deemed structurally unsoundhotos by Dan BrowningRaider Arena, Cleveland Tenn.

Hatchet House (Washington, Ind.)
Home of the Washington HatchetsYear opened: 1967
Seating capacity: 7,090Briefly: Originally built in 1925, it was replaced in 1966 with the arena that stands today. An excerpt from stadiumjourney.com: "The nanosecond you walk into the building you feel the aura of various championship teams. ... The echoing of the crowds, and the smell of the thick wooden bleachers mixed in with the odor of old popcorn, flat soda, and stale hot dog buns. The Hatchet House is as advertised, a perfect example of a Hoosier Temple."
John Q. Hammond Arena (Tulsa, Okla.)
Home of the Union RedskinsYear opened: 2003
Seating capacity: 5,662Briefly: A giant video screen is at the center of the $22-million facility, that also hosted the Summit League men's basketball tournament from 2005 to 2008.

Wildcat Den (Chinle, Ariz.)
Home of the Chinle Wildcats
Year opened: 2006
Seating capacity: 7,500
Briefly: Featured prominently in the Netflix series "Basketball or Nothing," the $23 million facility was built on the Navajo Reservation and is reportedly the 14th-largest high school gymnasium in the country. Also featured in the MaxPreps Beyond the X series Rez Ball.  
Sandra Meadows Memorial Arena (Duncanville, Texas)
Home of the Duncanville Panthers and Pantherettes
Year opened: 2003
Seating capacity: 2,000Briefly: Named after the late Meadows, a 25-year coach for the Pantherettes (743-120 record) and a 2002 Women's Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. School colors red and blue dominate the gym.
Hinsdale Central Main Gym (Hinsdale, Ill.)
Home of the Hinsdale Central Red Devils
Year opened: 1952Seating capacity: 4,200Briefly: The bright red looping red ribbons that hang from the ceiling give immediate energy, as do the many bright red features. More than 120 championship banners dating back from 1909 gives Hinsdale Central Gym a definite classic feel as well.
Fighting Scouts Event Center (Fort Defiance, Ariz.)
Home of the Window Rock Fighting Scouts
Year opened: 2004
Seating capacity: 6,500Briefly: Also built in Navajo nation, Window Rock is Chinle's No. 1 rival and many believe they tried to top Wildcat Den with a three-level arena divided between a 4,000-seat main level, 2,500-seat upper level and 40-seat hospitality suit.

New Castle Fieldhouse (New Castle, Ind.)
Home of the New Castle Trojans
Year re-opened: 1959Seating capacity: 7,829
Briefly: Once considered the largest gym in the country when it seated 9,325, The Field House was once tabbed the "Cracker Box" when it sat just 1,800 back in the 1920s before being rebuilt in 1959 at the cost of $875,000.

Reed Conder Gymnasium (Benton, Ky.)
Home of the Marshall County Marshals
Year opened: 1979Seating capacity: 6,000Briefly: Named after a former school superintendent, the late Reed Conder, this is the considered the Taj Mahal of venues in the basketball-rich Bluegrass State. It hosts the Marshall County Hoopfest, which has featured such NBA stars as Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose and programs from more than 20 states.

2020 SCHUYLKILL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS

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H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Pottsville earns 3rd straight league crown with win over Tamaqua  

Luke Kropp / Published: February 15, 2020


Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:02:14 20:43:07

JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Pottsville's Mason Barnes reacts after a 3-point shot during Friday's victory over Tamaqua in the Schuylkill League boys' basketball championship game at Martz Hall. Barnes finished with 15 points in the Crimson Tide's 58-46 win.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:02:14 21:05:51

JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Pottsville's Mason Barnes, left, and Riley Stanton celebrate after the Crimson Tide defeated Tamaqua in the Schuylkill League boys' basketball championship game Friday at Martz Hall. The Tide won 58-46 to capture their third straight league championship.

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POTTSVILLE - Mason Barnes crouched down and slammed the Crimson Tide logo at the center of the Martz Hall floor Friday night.

The thrill of a third straight Schuylkill League boys' basketball championship coursed through his veins.

"I was just feeling my last game at the Mecca," the Pottsville senior guard said. "Wanted to go out with a bang. I'm going to miss this place."

Barnes led the Division I champion Crimson Tide with 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as Pottsville captured a 58-46 victory over Division I wild-card Tamaqua in the league final.

Barnes and fellow senior Kevin Schenk, who added 10 points and a pair of 3-pointers, were freshmen when Pottsville last lost in the league championship in 2017.

Losing the final meaningful league game of the season

on their home court was something they never wanted to do again.

"I was only a freshman so my career was only getting started, but I didn't like the feeling after that loss my freshman year," Barnes said of Blue Mountain's 47-39 win that year. "We put in the work in the offseason, grinded it out throughout the years and got it done tonight. That's all that matters. Three-peat."

Schenk shared the same sentiment.

"Mason actually was a part of the team, I was on JVs," Schenk said. "But just watching it from the side, seeing them lose to Blue Mountain, we definitely didn't want to lose again."

The rest of the senior class, including starters Matt Salata and Riley Stanton, who posted eight and six points apiece Friday, shared in the glory of the three-peat.

The number "3" appeared everywhere.

Sophomore Raeff DiCello, who wears No. 3 for the Tide (20-4), played a crucial role in Pottsville's playoff wins. He scored 27 points in the semifinal round Wednesday and added another 14 points Friday, scoring nine of those points in an 18-0, second-quarter run that put Pottsville ahead to stay.

The 3-ball also played a big role. It kept the Blue Raiders in the game.

Tamaqua (17-7) connected on nine 3-pointers, hitting five in the third quarter as the Raiders tried to mount a comeback after trailing 31-17 at halftime.

Senior Brayden Knoblauch scored a game-high 20 points and hit six triples. Lucas Gregoire added 11 points, including eight in the first quarter to give the Raiders an early lead.

"We needed Brayden. He's our senior leader. He's been here for four years and he's a great shooter," Tamaqua head coach Jim Barron said. "We kind of felt the pressure that the game started getting away, and he did everything he could to keep us in it. We needed every single one of them."

Tamaqua trimmed the deficit to eight at 51-43 after a 7-0 run midway through the fourth quarter and 54-46 at the 2:45 mark.

Senior Nicko Bolletino, who finished with eight points, hit a left-wing trey with 4:16 left and senior Sean Lavine added a bucket off an assist from Gregoire to make it 51-43.

Pottsville used a timeout to stop the run, and Schenk and Knoblauch exchanged 3-pointers out of that break to make it 54-46. Schenk then added a basket and Barnes hit a pair of free throws while the Tide attempted to run out the clock to victory.

What doomed Tamaqua early was Pottsville's 18-0 run that spanned nearly the entire second quarter. After Knoblauch hit a 3 to give Tamaqua a 15-13 lead 12 seconds in, the Raiders missed their next 10 shots and lost eight turnovers as the Crimson Tide ran out to a 31-15 advantage with a minute left before half.

"For 28 minutes I thought we played amazing. The big difference was that four-minute span in the second quarter," Barron said. "I have no problem with our 28 minutes of play. We would beat every other team in the Schuylkill League. We'd beat a lot of teams playing those 28 minutes."

Tamaqua posted a 77-71 victory over Schuylkill Haven in the semifinals and trailed by as many as six that night, but the pressure of the league final may have hit the Raiders after getting behind big, turning the ball over 16 times.

The Raiders shot 18-of-40 (45 percent) from the field and hit 9-of-19 3-pointers.

Pottsville lost only nine turnovers and its breakaway baskets off steals and defensive rebounds boosted its shooting percentage, finishing 23-of-42 (55 percent) from the floor.

Pottsville head coach Dave Mullaney, who recently became the program's all-time wins leader, said he doesn't dwell on past results. His team is only focused on the task at hand: winning the next game.

That mentality led all the way to the Schuylkill League summit once again.

"We really don't talk about getting into the Schuylkill League playoffs and winning the Schuylkill League as our goals every year coming in," Mullaney said. "We don't talk about it. I'm sure maybe the players do.

"We know if we just continue to get better - it sounds like a cliché - but if you continue to get better every day and have enough talent, that can be the end result."

Contact the writer: Lkropp@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6010; @LukeKropp on Twitter

Game Summary

Schuylkill League Boys' BasketballChampionshipAt Martz Hall

TAMAQUA (46) - Knoblauch 7 0-0 20, Bolletino 3 0-0 8, N. Gregoire 0 0-0 0, L. Gregoire 5 1-1 11, Stauffenberg 2 0-0 5, Boyle 0 0-0 0, Lavine 1 0-0 2, Verta 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 1-1 46.

POTTSVILLE (58) - Schenk 4 0-0 10, Barnes 5 3-5 15, DiCello 6 1-2 14, Stanton 2 0-0 6, Salata 4 0-0 8, Heimbaugh 2 0-0 5, Yost 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 4-7 58.

Tam (17-7) 12 5 15 14 - 46 Potts (20-4) 13 18 16 11 - 58

3-point FGs: Knoblauch 6, Bolletino 2, Stauffenberg, Schenk 2, Barnes 2, DiCello, Stanton 2, Heimbaugh

WNEP 16 - Pottsville - Tamaqua

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Photos By John Liddle

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Photos By John Liddle

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Photos By John Liddle

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Photos By John Liddle

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Photos By John Liddle

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Photos By John Liddle

H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: 2nd-quarter run key to Tide's win

   Leroy Boyer / Published: February 15, 2020


Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:02:14 20:15:45

JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Pottsville's Mason Barnes drives to the basket as Tamaqua's Lucas Gregoire defends during Schuylkill League boys' basketball championship action Friday night at Martz Hall.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:02:14 20:01:44

JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Pottsville's Raeff DiCello drives to the basket as Tamaqua's Lucas Gregoire defends during Friday night's Schuylkill League boys' basketball championship game at Martz Hall. DiCello had nine of his 14 points in an 18-0, second-quarter run that lifted the Crimson Tide to a 58-46 win over the Blue Raiders and their third straight league championship.

POTTSVILLE - Tamaqua opened Friday's Schuylkill League boys' basketball championship game against Pottsville by hitting its first seven shots.

When Brayden Knoblauch drained a 3-pointer a few seconds into the second quarter, the Blue Raiders held a two-point lead.

Then it happened.

Just like it seems it always does in big games where Pottsville is involved.

The Crimson Tide cranked up their defensive pressure and put together a run that decided the game.

Pottsville dominated the second quarter en route to a 58-46 victory over Tamaqua that gave the Crimson Tide their third straight league crown and ninth over the past 11 years.

The Tide defense forced eight turnovers and limited the Blue Raiders to 1-for-12 shooting over a seven-minute stretch of the second quarter, producing an 18-0 run that put Pottsville ahead to stay.

"It's energy, that's all it is," Pottsville's Mason Barnes said. "Getting out in the passing lanes, pressure defense, getting our hands in their faces."

Barnes was a key player in Pottsville's run, for several reasons.

First, Tide center Kevin Schenk picked up his second foul with 28.1 seconds left in the first quarter and spent the entire second frame on the bench.

In Pottsville's man-to-man defensive alignment, Crimson Tide coach Dave Mullaney had the 6-foot-1 Barnes guard Tamaqua's center, 6-6 Lucas Gregoire, who scored eight points in the first frame.

Barnes, who has lanky arms, held Gregoire scoreless and limited him to just two shots in the frame while cleaning up the glass on the defensive end. Barnes collected five of his team-high nine rebounds during Pottsville's run.

"I just got physical with him. Not letting him getting back door, staying in the passing lanes and making it hard for him," Barnes said. "It's all positioning, too. Have quick feet in the post so he can't catch it, and just pressure the ball when he has it."

Barnes nearly recorded a triple-double, finishing the game with 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. He scored only three points in the first half, and just two during the Tide spurt.

"If you check some of his games, he's right around a triple-double a lot of times because he gets a ton of assists and a ton of rebounds," Mullaney said of Barnes. "People always look at the point scoring, but he's a great defender, too. He does everything. He fills the stat sheet for us."

Added Barnes: "Not everything is about scoring. If I'm not scoring or my shots aren't falling, I have to do other things to make the team flow. Get rebounds, making plays for my teammates. They were making their shots, so that's what counts."

Defensively, Pottsville harassed the Tamaqua ballhandlers, forcing eight turnovers in the frame. The Blue Raiders had 13 turnovers in the first half and just three in the second half.

The inability to get settled into a half-court set prevented Tamaqua from stopping Pottsville's run until it was too late.

"Defensively, we were really locked in," Mullaney said. "There were some steals in there that led to some fast-break points. Kevin was out, and we went small, but we were able to spread them out. We had a couple of second cutters in there, and that opened it up for some 3-point shots."

Offensively, Pottsville rode the hot hand of sophomore Raeff DiCello, who scored nine of his 14 points in the outburst.

After Knoblauch's triple gave Tamaqua a 15-13 lead, Matt Salata tied the game on a driving layup. DiCello gave Pottsville the lead on a layup off a feed by Nico Heimbaugh, and Barnes made it 19-15 with a layup.

DiCello then scored the game's next seven points, scoring on a layup off a feed by Salata, getting a steal near midcourt for a layup, then draining a 3-pointer from the left corner.

A layup by Heimbaugh and a 3-pointer by Riley Stanton finished the run, which gave Pottsville a 31-15 lead with a minute left in the first half.

"We just stuck to what we usually do. We just kept running our offense," DiCello said. "I'm trying to fill the role that Trevor Sherakas had last year, aside of Mason and Schenk. Mason and Schenk are going to be taking a lot of attention on themselves, so I have to be ready to shoot.

"It feels great. Just trying to help out the team the best I can."

The Crimson Tide were up 31-17 at halftime, led by as many as 17 twice in the second half, then held off a late Tamaqua charge in the fourth quarter.

Pottsville's second-quarter run gave the Tide enough cushion and dug a hole too deep for the Blue Raiders to get out of.

"They dug in a little bit on defense and turned up the intensity. We killed ourselves with turnovers," Tamaqua coach Jim Barron said. "In that time, we were dribbling the ball off our feet, we were dribbling into two guys, we were being soft with the ball.

"For 28 minutes, we played them even. The big difference was that 4-minute span in the second quarter."

Contact the writer: Lboyer@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6026; @pubsportsboss

on Twitter

Football, boys' basketball cross over for Pottsville, Tamaqua 

Luke Kropp / Published: February 14, 2020

High school football season and basketball season tend to overlap for a brief period in early December.

The teams that reached the PIAA football championships in 2019 played their final games during the opening weekend of the 2019-20 basketball slate.

For Tamaqua and Pottsville, who face off in tonight's Schuylkill League boys' basketball championship game at 7:30 p.m. at Martz Hall, their football teams nearly made runs to

Hershey that not only would've affected scheduling and fan turnout, but it would've caused a dilemma for key athletes who played both sports.

Tamaqua reached the PIAA Class 3A football semifinals, ultimately losing to eventual state champion Wyoming Area on Nov. 28. One week earlier, Pottsville lost to Jersey Shore in the Class 4A quarterfinal round.

It concluded two of the most successful seasons either school had ever had, but for a few athletes the success was short-lived.

Preseason basketball was already underway.

Pottsville, the Schuylkill League Division I champion, is powered by a pair of seniors - guard Mason Barnes (17.2 ppg) and forward Kevin Schenk (15.5), both two-way starters on the football team. Also in the Crimson Tide starting lineup is sophomore Raeff DiCello (6.9), a trusty kicker in the fall.

After defeating Division III winner Marian in Wednesday's semifinals, the Tide (19-4) are looking for their third straight league title and fifth in the last six years.

Division I wild card Tamaqua (17-6) runs through its quarterback, point guard Brayden Knoblauch (17.0), and its tight end, 6-foot-6 power forward Lucas Gregoire (17.7).

Republican-Herald All-Area Football Offensive Co-Player of the Year Nate Boyle (5.7) and one of his top linemen, senior classmate Sean Lavine (0.9), provide a spark of energy off the bench for the Blue Raiders, who captured a 77-71 victory over Division II champion Schuylkill Haven to reach the championship.

The overlap of football and basketball goes deep throughout each team's roster with several others appearing on both the gridiron and hardwood.

These teams are familiar with each other on both surfaces.

This is the pair's third meeting of the basketball season, as the Crimson Tide defeated Tamaqua 45-40 on Dec. 30 at Martz Hall and 68-32 on Jan. 21 in Tamaqua.

Back on Sept. 27, Pottsville's football team beat Tamaqua 34-17.

The Blue Raiders, with a high volume of football players fighting for a basketball championship, would love to triumph over the Tide at least once this year.

Last time these teams met in the league final, they almost did.

Tamaqua played a slow-tempo style of basketball against Pottsville in the 2015 championship, limiting the Tide's possessions. The strategy nearly worked, sending the game to overtime, but Pottsville eventually won 33-28.

Will Raiders head coach Jim Barron employ that game plan again tonight?

In search of Tamaqua's first league crown since 1994, can Knoblauch and his offense control the tempo and grind out the clock like the running back Boyle and his O-line did so well during football season?

Or will they need to keep up with Pottsville's quick-strike ability that it has displayed over and over in both sports? Barnes can intercept a pass and take it the distance at any moment. Simply tossing the ball into the 6-6 Schenk in the paint is almost a guaranteed score, such were his goal-line fade routes.

A case can be made for either team to win tonight.

A case can also be made for each student section to jaunt about its football team. The Tide beat Tamaqua as previously mentioned, but the Raiders later defeated Wyomissing, a team that downed Pottsville and two other Schuylkill League squads earlier in the season, in the state quarterfinals.

Pottsville's students will chant "Let's play football!" and Tamaqua's will jab back with "Wyomissing!"

Both have fair points, and it just goes to show how intertwined the 2019-20 football and basketball seasons have been for these two schools.

Contact the writer: Lkropp@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6010; @LukeKropp on Twitter

Schuylkill League Boys' Basketball Championship

Preview Capsule

Pottsville (19-4) vs. Tamaqua (17-6)

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Martz Hall

Tickets: Advance tickets are available at both schools for $5 adults and $3 for students/senior citizens. All tickets will be $5 at the door.

Radio: WPPA 1360 AM, 105.9 FM; WAVT 101.9 FM, Pottsville

Live Updates: Follow Leroy Boyer @pubsportsboss and Luke Kropp @LukeKropp on Twitter

About the Blue Raiders

How they got here: Division I wild card outsized Schuylkill Haven to take a 77-71 victory in Wednesday's semifinal.

Last league championship: Defeated Marian 59-52 in 1994.

Team statistics: Offense (60.9 points per game), Defense (50.3)

Probable starting lineup: Nicko Bolletino (sr., 3.7 ppg., 16 3-pointers), Lucas Gregoire (sr., 17.7, 16 3-pointers), Nathan Gregoire (soph., 6.6, 11 3-pointers), Brayden Knoblauch (sr., 17.0, 60 3-pointers), Barron Stauffenberg (sr., 7.7, 23 3-pointers)

Key reserve: Nate Boyle (sr., 5.7, 15 3-pointers), Sean Lavine (sr., 0.9, 2 3-pointers)

Notes: Lost to Pottsville twice this season. The first meeting, at Martz Hall, was a close battle that ended 45-40. ... Lucas Gregoire towered over Schuylkill Haven's entire team Wednesday, collecting 18 rebounds and scoring 28 points. Knoblauch added four triples and 22 points. ... Raiders hit 14-of-14 foul shots in the fourth quarter to hold off Haven. ... Tamaqua has hit 145 3-pointers this season.

About the Crimson Tide

How they got here: Defensive pressure and sharp shooting led to the Division I champs' 72-50 win over Marian in Wednesday's semifinal.

Last league championship: Beat Blue Mountain 51-35 last season.

Team statistics: Offense (61.7 points per game), Defense (42.4)

Probable starting lineup: Mason Barnes (sr., 17.2 ppg., 41 3-pointers), Raeff DiCello (soph., 6.9, 13 3-pointers), Matt Salata (sr., 4.7, 8 3-pointers), Kevin Schenk (sr., 15.5, 38 3-pointers), Riley Stanton (sr., 5.0, 24 3-pointers)

Key reserves: Nico Boris (jr., 1.3, 3 3-pointers), Nicco Heimbaugh (jr., 4.8, 28 3-pointers), Darren Yost (soph., 1.6, 4 3-pointers)

Notes: Pottsville's winning streak in league play, including playoffs, is now at 43. ... DiCello had a career game Wednesday with 27 points, including five 3-pointers. ... Tide defense swarmed Marian's high-powered offense. It was just the second game all season the league's leading scorer, Tyler Fritz (28.5), was not his team's leading scorer. Chris Ritsick led with 18 points while Fritz had 17. ... Pottsville has hit 181 3-pointers this season. ... Sophomore Mike Sukeena hit four 3s to lift the Tide to a 68-32 win over Tamaqua in their last meeting Jan. 21.

- Compiled by Luke Kropp

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

 Pottsville tops Marian, heads to 11th straight league title game

LUKE KROPP / PUBLISHED: FEBRUARY 13, 2020Photo: Lindsey Shuey, License: N/A, Created: 2020:02:12 20:52:32

LINDSEY SHUEY / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Pottsville head coach Dave Mullaney coaches the Crimson Tide during the Schuylkill League boys' basketball semifinal against Marian on Wednesday at Martz Hall in Pottsville.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:02:12 20:40:04

LINDSEY SHUEY / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Marian's Dante Agosti (4) and Pottsville's Matt Salata (24) fight for control of the ball during Wednesday's Schuylkill League boys' basketball semifinal at Martz Hall in Pottsville. Pottsville returns to the finals after a 72-50 win over the Colts.

POTTSVILLE - Marian needed to start fast if it wanted a chance to beat Pottsville.

If the Colts could steal an early lead in their Schuylkill League boys' basketball semifinal against the Tide, they could slug it out until the end.

Pottsville had other ideas.

The Crimson Tide defense put the clamps on Marian's prolific offense, racing ahead on an early run and never slowing down for a 72-50 victory over the Colts on Wednesday at Martz Hall.

The Division I champion Tide (19-4) jumped out on a 15-0 run that spanned the first 6½ minutes of play, forcing six turnovers during that tear.

"We pride ourselves on that," Pottsville head coach Dave Mullaney said of the Tide defense, which moved with a tenacity that erupts come playoff time. "I thought in the first half we really did a good job. I thought in the second half we kind of let up a little bit. The offensive rebounds we gave up were a little frustrating, but overall our guys were locked in."

The Crimson Tide forced 15 turnovers and lost just six of their own. Meanwhile, sophomore Raeff DiCello was putting on a show.

DiCello paced the Tide with a career highs of 27 points and five 3-pointers, including a left-corner buzzer-beater to give Pottsville a 38-19 lead at halftime.

Senior Chris Ritsick posted 18 points, hitting four triples, and senior Tyler Fritz followed with 17 for Division III champion Marian (19-5).

The night got off to an odd start that allowed Marian to take the first lead of the night. A Pottsville player dunked during pre-game warmups, which led to a technical foul and a pair of free-throw opportunities for Fritz without an opening tip.

Fritz sunk both of his foul shots to give the Colts a 2-0 lead and the ball before a second came off the clock, but Pottsville's defense went into action immediately.

"Their (defensive) help, their switching, their rotations are there, and they make you pay," Marian head coach John Patton said. "Offensively they make you pay but defensively is where we really got hurt because we couldn't get into anything early on."

Senior Kevin Schenk, who posted 11 points and five rebounds, blocked three shots within the first two minutes and threw down a dunk to extend the Tide's lead to 11-2 at the 4:31 mark of the first.

Seniors Mason Barnes had a well-rounded night, tallying 10 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and three steals. Classmate Matt Salata, who was manned up on Fritz, added six points and grabbed a game-high four steals for the Tide, who shot 23-of-43 (53 percent) from the floor.

Pottsville's defensive pressure led to transition buckets, especially in the direction of DiCello.

"He's had a couple big nights earlier in the year. He's a very good player, but it's a product of how Marian was playing us, too," Mullaney said. "Other guys were getting opportunities and they took advantage of it."

The Colts can pride themselves for playing the Tide so well in during the middle frames. Pottsville only outscored Marian 34-33 over the second and third quarters, when Ritsick scored all of his 18 points, hitting a trio of 3s in the third.

But the Colts, who shot 17-of-45 (37 percent) from the field, could never close the gap entirely, as their largest hole during those frames was 30-8 midway through the second.

A right-wing 3-pointer by Ritsick and a bucket by Zack Hnat cut the deficit to as little as 52-39 with half a minute left in the third quarter, but Pottsville's 7-0 run midway through the fourth sealed the win.

"We got behind big early, we mounted a little bit of a comeback, but we just ran out of horses," said Patton, whose team will now prepare for the District 11 Class AA Tournament. "I don't think there were jitters, I think it was just getting used to playing at this pace."

Pottsville has one last test before hitting the District 11 Class 5A Tournament, and it's against a familiar foe.

The Tide will play Division I wild card Tamaqua (17-6) in the championship at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Martz Hall. Tamaqua defeated Schuylkill Haven 77-71 in the first semifinal, but the Blue Raiders have already suffered two losses to Pottsville this season.

Pottsville will look to earn its third consecutive league title in its 11th straight championship game appearance.

Contact the writer: Lkropp@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6010; @LukeKropp on Twitter

Game Summary

Schuylkill League Boys' Semifinal At Martz Hall

MARIAN (50) - T. Fritz 5 7-8 17, Ritsick 7 0-0 18, Agosti 2 2-2 6, L. Fritz 0 2-2 2, Malarkey 0 1-2 1, Goff 0 0-0 0, Cerullo 0 0-0 0, Eroh 0 0-0 0, Cervasio 0 0-0 0, Chambers 0 0-0 0, Hnat 3 0-0 6, Gibson 0 0-0 0, Nyer 0 0-0 0, Pan 0 0-0 0, Wargo 0 0-0 0, Gibson 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 12-14, 50.

POTTSVILLE (72) - Schenk 3 5-6 11, Heimbaugh 3 0-0 8, Barnes 2 6-6 10, DiCello 9 4-6 27, Yost 2 0-0 5, McCuller 1 1-2 3, Boris 0 0-0 0, Stanton 1 0-0 2, Snowell 0 0-0 0, Salata 2 1-2 6. Totals 23 17-22 72.

Marian (19-5) 6 13 20 11 - 50 Potts (19-4) 20 18 16 18 - 72

3-point FGs: Heimbaugh 2, DiCello 5, Yost, Salata, Ritsick 4

Marian1920/IMG_9820.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

Marian1920/IMG_9820.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

Marian1920/IMG_9820.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

Marian1920/IMG_9820.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

Marian1920/IMG_9820.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

Marian1920/IMG_9820.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

Marian1920/IMG_9820.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: A look ahead at the Schuylkill League playoffs

 


LUKE KROPP / PUBLISHED: FEBRUARY 12, 2020


It's Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018.

The Philadelphia Eagles still haven't won a Super Bowl. Ed Sheeran's "Perfect" is the hottest song in America. Marvel Studios is in the editing stage of "Avengers: Infinity War."

Mike Carnahan is The Republican-Herald's boys' basketball beat writer; I'm still in college.

That's the last time Pottsville lost a Schuylkill League game - regular season or playoff - more than two years ago.

On that league night 764 days ago, Blue Mountain junior Drew Grace dropped 35 points to lead the Eagles to a 55-47 win at Martz Hall. Since then, the Crimson Tide have won 42 league games in a row, 38 in the regular season and four in the last two playoffs.

Tonight, in the Schuylkill League boys' basketball semifinals, they'll look to make it 43.

Pottsville ended up winning the Schuylkill League championship in 2018 and earned another title last season. Now the Tide (18-4, 14-0 D-I) are striving for a three-peat as the tournament's only team returning from last year.

Of the three other schools, Pottsville's semifinal opponent, Division III champion Marian (19-4, 10-3), was here most recently, in 2017.

Division I wild card Tamaqua (16-6, 11-3) hadn't reached the league playoffs since 2015, while Division II champion Schuylkill Haven (19-3, 12-1) ended a 13-year drought, its last appearance in 2006.

In recent years, Lourdes dominated D-II and Blue Mountain controlled the wild card berth. Marian's current seniors were freshmen the last time they were here.

With three out of four participants being relatively new to this stage this year, we'll get to take a breath of fresh air and watch some interesting matchups unfold.

We'll also learn quickly how these newcomers can adjust to the big stage and if anyone can challenge the constant contenders in crimson atop the Schuylkill League summit.

Schuylkill Haven

vs. Tamaqua

Schuylkill Haven and Tamaqua face off in the first semifinal at 6 tonight.

The Hurricanes made a complete 180 from the 2016-2017 season, when the current seniors were freshmen.

Haven finished that year 3-19 overall and 1-12 in D-II, but the senior class set a goal, and they clawed and climbed their way to the top.

The Blue Raiders had been knocking on the wild-card door for quite some time and finally reached the threshold, splitting their season series with Blue Mountain but getting help in the standings with North Schuylkill's and Pine Grove's upset wins over the Eagles.

So, how do they match up?

Judging by their first meeting, relatively evenly.

Haven defeated the Raiders in Tamaqua 56-55 on Dec. 27, pulling out to an early lead and finishing them off with a balanced scoring attack.

The Hurricanes have the speed advantage. They go coast-to-coast as if breakaways and transition buckets comprise most of their offensive playbook.

As far as height, Haven and Tamaqua are pretty even across the board, except at center. The Raiders are blessed with 6-foot-4 senior Lucas Gregoire (17.2 ppg) plugging up the post.

He'll be a mountain of his own for the Hurricanes to defend, but it's not an obstacle they haven't dealt with before. Haven forward Mason Carter (14.7) stands around 6-1 and may be their best chance to guard Gregoire should the Hurricanes play man defense.

Seniors Albe Evans (20.0) and Damyan Miller (8.5) and junior Mason Ulsh (15.0) lead the charge for Haven at guard, combining for 121 of the team's 132 3-pointers.

Senior Brayden Knoblauch (16.8) is Tamaqua's primary ballhandler around the perimeter, hitting 56 of the Raiders' 137 triples.

Expect a high-scoring game of runs.

Pottsville vs. Marian

The Crimson Tide host Marian in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m.

Marian played four D-I schools in non-league games this season and won all four - twice against Jim Thorpe and once each against Panther Valley and Lehighton.

That's a great accomplishment for a Class AA team and boosts its District 11 power ranking. Kudos to the Colts.

But, looking ahead to tonight's battle against Pottsville, consider their margins of victory against those like opponents.

Marian beat Lehighton by 17 in early December. The average margin of victory in the other three matchups? Just three points.

The Crimson Tide played two league games apiece against Jim Thorpe, Lehighton and Panther Valley, winning by an astounding 31.9 points per game and by no fewer than 20.

So, on paper, that doesn't sound promising for Marian. Oddsmakers in Las Vegas might tab Pottsville as an overwhelming favorite on that criterion alone, but, to make matters worse, the semifinals are held at Martz Hall, where Crimson Tide haven't lost since their season opener against Philadelphia power Math, Civics & Sciences.

Pottsville hasn't lost in the league semifinals in the last 10 seasons it's won Division I. The last small school to beat the Tide was Mahanoy Area in the 2014 title game.

Now, things can change in an instant in the playoffs. Anything can happen on any given night. But those are the just the facts.

Needless to say, the Colts have their work cut out for them.

They'll need their trusted seniors to rise to the occasion. That includes the league's top scorer, Tyler Fritz (29.0), and classmate Chris Ritsick (11.9).

Fritz, Ritsick and junior Dante Agosti (10.9) combined for 158 of the Colts' 194 3-pointers this season. Junior John Malarkey (3.3) has also been a key player on defense and rebounding.

It'll be tough to slow down the Tide's attack with seniors Mason Barnes (17.5) and 6-foot-6 forward Kevin Schenk (15.7). Size is a strength of Pottsville, especially in this matchup.

Plus, the Tide have a stingy defense, spearheaded by Barnes who has a natural ability to create turnovers and turn steals into buckets on the other end.

Martz Hall is going to be packed with Pottsville students and fans, and they expect their team to win it all once again.

No one is unbeatable, though. Marian would need to start fast and grind out its best performance of the season.

Contact the writer: Lkropp@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6010; @LukeKropp on Twitter.

 

Schuylkill League Boys' Basketball Playoffs

Preview Capsules

First Semifinal

Schuylkill Haven (19-3, 12-1) vs. Tamaqua (16-6, 11-3)

When: Today, 6 p.m.

Where: Martz Hall

Tickets: Advance tickets are available at both schools for $5 adults and $3 for students/senior citizens. All tickets will be $5 at the door.

Radio: WPPA 1360 AM, 105.9 FM; WAVT 101.9 FM, Pottsville

Live Updates: Follow Leroy Boyer on Twitter @pubsportsboss

About the Hurricanes

How they got here: Senior class turned their 3-19 record as freshmen right-side up, the Hurricanes blowing through Division II and suffering their only league loss to D-III champion Marian.

Last league playoff appearance: Lost to Mahanoy Area in 2006 title game.

Team statistics: Offense (66.6 points per game), defense (46.8)

Probable starting lineup: Mason Carter (sr., 14.7, 9 3-pointers), Albe Evans (sr., 20.0 ppg, 64 3-pointers), Jack Higgins (jr., 6.1), Damyan Miller (sr., 8.5, 23 3-pointers) Mason Ulsh (jr., 15.0, 34 3-pointers)

Key reserve: Jacob Houtz (jr., 2.1)

Notes: Defeated Tamaqua 56-55 in a non-league game Dec. 27. ... Hurricanes' only road loss was that Division II-III crossover game at Marian, 75-63, on Jan. 16. They won two neutral-site games to capture the Trojan Tournament at Upper Dauphin to kick off the season ... Haven has hit 132 3-pointers this season. ... Hurricanes tend to rotate just six players. They won't kill you with their size, but they're fast and can pull up from all over the floor.

About the Blue Raiders

How they got here: Punched their ticket to the big dance on the final league day after battling neck-and-neck with Blue Mountain throughout the season for the Division I wild card spot.

Last league playoff appearance: Lost to Pottsville in the 2015 title game.

Team statistics: Offense (60.1 points per game), defense (49.4)

Probable starting lineup: Nicko Bolletino (sr., 3.7, 15 3-pointers), Lucas Gregoire (sr., 17.2, 15 3-pointers), Nathan Gregoire (soph., 6.7, 10 3-pointers), Brayden Knoblauch (sr., 16.8, 56 3-pointers), Barron Stauffenberg (sr., 8.0, 23 3-pointers)

Key reserve: Nate Boyle (sr., 5.4, 14 3-pointers)

Notes: Three league losses came to Pottsville twice and Blue Mountain. ... Knoblauch and Lucas Gregoire account for 56.5 percent of Tamaqua's points. ... Last league championship came in 1994 when the Raiders beat Marian. ... Tamaqua has hit 137 3-pointers this season.

Up next: Winner faces the winner of Pottsville and Marian in the title game Friday night.

Second Semifinal

Pottsville (18-4, 14-0) vs. Marian (19-4, 10-3)

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Martz Hall

Tickets: Advance tickets are available at both schools for $5 adults and $3 for students/senior citizens. All tickets will be $5 at the door.

Radio: WPPA 1360 AM, 105.9 FM; WAVT 101.9 FM, Pottsville

Live Updates: Follow Luke Kropp on Twitter @LukeKropp

About the Crimson Tide

How they got here: Completed their second straight undefeated season in league play to capture their 11th straight division title.

Last league playoff appearance: Beat Blue Mountain in the 2019 title game.

Team statistics: Offense (61.3 points per game), defense (42.0)

Probable starting lineup: Mason Barnes (sr., 17.5, 41 3-pointers), Raeff DiCello (soph., 5.8, 8 3-pointers), Matt Salata (sr., 4.7, 7 3-pointers), Kevin Schenk (sr., 15.7, 38 3-pointers), Riley Stanton (sr., 5.2, 24 3-pointers)

Key reserves: Nico Heimbaugh (jr., 4.6, 26 3-pointers), Mike Sukeena (soph., 5.0, 20 3-pointers)

Notes: Pottsville boasts a 38-game win streak in regular-season division games. Counting the league playoffs, the Tide have won 42 straight league contests, as they seek their third overall title in a row. ... Only home loss this season was in opener against Philadelphia power Math, Civics & Sciences. ... Pottsville has hit 172 3-pointers this season. ... Leading scorer Barnes' season high is 43. ... Last time the Tide missed the league playoffs was 2009, when North Schuylkill defeated Williams Valley in the final.

About the Colts

How they got here: After starting 11-0 overall and 5-0 in D-III, the division came down to the Colts' final suffocation of Nativity in a division tiebreaker as both finished with a 10-3 league record.

Last league playoff appearance: Lost to Blue Mountain in 2017 semifinals.

Team statistics: Offense (66.4 points per game), defense (55.0)

Probable starting lineup: Dante Agosti (jr., 10.9, 51 3-pointers), Logan Fritz (soph., 4.9, 23 3-pointers), Tyler Fritz (sr., 29.0, 57 3-pointers), John Malarkey (jr., 3.3), Chris Ritsick (sr., 11.9, 56 3-pointers)

Key reserves: Julian Cerullo (jr., 1.2), Nick Goff (sr., 1.1), Zack Hnat (sr., 2.9, 3 3-pointers)

Notes: Marian's senior class won the D-III title as freshmen but lost in a rout to Blue Mountain in the 2017 semifinals. ... Colts were the last remaining undefeated team across the entire District 11 at 11-0 after more than a month of play. ... Marian has hit 194 3-pointers this season. ... Leading scorer Tyler Fritz's season high is 41 points.

Up next: Winner faces the winner of Schuylkill Haven and Tamaqua in the league title game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Martz Hall.

- Compiled by Luke Kropp

Schuylkill League Boys' Basketball Playoffs

Preview Capsules

First Semifinal

Schuylkill Haven (19-3, 12-1) vs. Tamaqua (16-6, 11-3)

When: Today, 6 p.m.

Where: Martz Hall

Tickets: Advance tickets are available at both schools for $5 adults and $3 for students/senior citizens. All tickets will be $5 at the door.

Radio: WPPA 1360 AM, 105.9 FM; WAVT 101.9 FM, Pottsville

Live Updates: Follow Leroy Boyer on Twitter @pubsportsboss

About the Hurricanes

How they got here: Senior class turned their 3-19 record as freshmen right-side up, the Hurricanes blowing through Division II and suffering their only league loss to D-III champion Marian.

Last league playoff appearance: Lost to Mahanoy Area in 2006 title game.

Team statistics: Offense (66.6 points per game), defense (46.8)

Probable starting lineup: Mason Carter (sr., 14.7, 9 3-pointers), Albe Evans (sr., 20.0 ppg, 64 3-pointers), Jack Higgins (jr., 6.1), Damyan Miller (sr., 8.5, 23 3-pointers) Mason Ulsh (jr., 15.0, 34 3-pointers)

Key reserve: Jacob Houtz (jr., 2.1)

Notes: Defeated Tamaqua 56-55 in a non-league game Dec. 27. ... Hurricanes' only road loss was that Division II-III crossover game at Marian, 75-63, on Jan. 16. They won two neutral-site games to capture the Trojan Tournament at Upper Dauphin to kick off the season ... Haven has hit 132 3-pointers this season. ... Hurricanes tend to rotate just six players. They won't kill you with their size, but they're fast and can pull up from all over the floor.

About the Blue Raiders

How they got here: Punched their ticket to the big dance on the final league day after battling neck-and-neck with Blue Mountain throughout the season for the Division I wild card spot.

Last league playoff appearance: Lost to Pottsville in the 2015 title game.

Team statistics: Offense (60.1 points per game), defense (49.4)

Probable starting lineup: Nicko Bolletino (sr., 3.7, 15 3-pointers), Lucas Gregoire (sr., 17.2, 15 3-pointers), Nathan Gregoire (soph., 6.7, 10 3-pointers), Brayden Knoblauch (sr., 16.8, 56 3-pointers), Barron Stauffenberg (sr., 8.0, 23 3-pointers)

Key reserve: Nate Boyle (sr., 5.4, 14 3-pointers)

Notes: Three league losses came to Pottsville twice and Blue Mountain. ... Knoblauch and Lucas Gregoire account for 56.5 percent of Tamaqua's points. ... Last league championship came in 1994 when the Raiders beat Marian. ... Tamaqua has hit 137 3-pointers this season.

Up next: Winner faces the winner of Pottsville and Marian in the title game Friday night.

Second Semifinal

Pottsville (18-4, 14-0) vs. Marian (19-4, 10-3)

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Martz Hall

Tickets: Advance tickets are available at both schools for $5 adults and $3 for students/senior citizens. All tickets will be $5 at the door.

Radio: WPPA 1360 AM, 105.9 FM; WAVT 101.9 FM, Pottsville

Live Updates: Follow Luke Kropp on Twitter @LukeKropp

About the Crimson Tide

How they got here: Completed their second straight undefeated season in league play to capture their 11th straight division title.

Last league playoff appearance: Beat Blue Mountain in the 2019 title game.

Team statistics: Offense (61.3 points per game), defense (42.0)

Probable starting lineup: Mason Barnes (sr., 17.5, 41 3-pointers), Raeff DiCello (soph., 5.8, 8 3-pointers), Matt Salata (sr., 4.7, 7 3-pointers), Kevin Schenk (sr., 15.7, 38 3-pointers), Riley Stanton (sr., 5.2, 24 3-pointers)

Key reserves: Nico Heimbaugh (jr., 4.6, 26 3-pointers), Mike Sukeena (soph., 5.0, 20 3-pointers)

Notes: Pottsville boasts a 38-game win streak in regular-season division games. Counting the league playoffs, the Tide have won 42 straight league contests, as they seek their third overall title in a row. ... Only home loss this season was in opener against Philadelphia power Math, Civics & Sciences. ... Pottsville has hit 172 3-pointers this season. ... Leading scorer Barnes' season high is 43. ... Last time the Tide missed the league playoffs was 2009, when North Schuylkill defeated Williams Valley in the final.

About the Colts

How they got here: After starting 11-0 overall and 5-0 in D-III, the division came down to the Colts' final suffocation of Nativity in a division tiebreaker as both finished with a 10-3 league record.

Last league playoff appearance: Lost to Blue Mountain in 2017 semifinals.

Team statistics: Offense (66.4 points per game), defense (55.0)

Probable starting lineup: Dante Agosti (jr., 10.9, 51 3-pointers), Logan Fritz (soph., 4.9, 23 3-pointers), Tyler Fritz (sr., 29.0, 57 3-pointers), John Malarkey (jr., 3.3), Chris Ritsick (sr., 11.9, 56 3-pointers)

Key reserves: Julian Cerullo (jr., 1.2), Nick Goff (sr., 1.1), Zack Hnat (sr., 2.9, 3 3-pointers)

Notes: Marian's senior class won the D-III title as freshmen but lost in a rout to Blue Mountain in the 2017 semifinals. ... Colts were the last remaining undefeated team across the entire District 11 at 11-0 after more than a month of play. ... Marian has hit 194 3-pointers this season. ... Leading scorer Tyler Fritz's season high is 41 points.

Up next: Winner faces the winner of Schuylkill Haven and Tamaqua in the league title game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Martz Hall.

- Compiled by Luke Kropp

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Photo By John Liddle

Coach Mullaney sets school record for wins

278

 

Pottsville 72

Lehighton 34

POTTSVILLE - Pottsville head coach Dave Mullaney set the school's all-time coaching victory record as Mason Barnes' 25 points led the Crimson Tide past Lehighton in a Division I game.

In his 13th season, Mullaney improved his record to 278-70 while the former victory leader, Jim Steidle, was 277-143.

Barnes scored 14 of Pottsville's 21 first-period points and he finished the first half with 21. Kevin Schenk added 11 points for the Crimson Tide.

 

LEHIGHTON (34) - Hunsicker 4 0-0 11, Lorenz 1 0-0 2, Wolverton 4 2-2 10, Smith 0 0-2 0, Costenbader 1 1-2 3, Yturrino 2 1-5 5, Schatz 1 0-0 3, Beatty 0 0-0 0, E. Lutz 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 4-11 34.

POTTSVILLE (72) - Schenk 5 0-0 11, Heimbaugh 1 0-0 3, Barnes 8 6-6 25, Yost 4 0-0 9, McCuller 4 0-0 8, Boris 2 0-0 5, Stanton 1 0-0 3, Snowell 4 0-0 8, Salata 0 0-0 0, DiCello 0 0-0 0. Totals 29 6-6 72.

Leh (8-14, 4-10) 8 5 11 10 - 34 Po (18-4, 14-0) 21 26 13 12 - 72

3-point FGs: Hunsicker 3, Schatz, Schenk, Heimbaugh, Barnes 3, Yost, Boris, Stanton

JV score: Pottsville 74-29

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Coach Mullaney Going For Record 278 Win on Friday Night!!!

 

Crimson Tide Rolls over the Spartans 

Pottsville 86

North Schuylkill 49

FOUNTAIN SPRINGS - Kevin Schenk poured in a game-high 24 points as the Crimson Tide stayed unbeaten in league play with a Division I rout of the Spartans.

Mason Barnes added 15 points and Matt Salata tallied 12 for Pottsville, which drained 10 3-pointers.

Bryce Weikel, Jack Flynn and Gavin Todd each scored 14 points for North Schuylkill.

 

POTTSVILLE (86) - Schenk 9 4-7 24, Heimbaugh 2 0-0 6, Barnes 5 4-4 15, DiCello 2 2-2 8, Yost 1 0-0 3, McCuller 2 0-0 4, Boris 3 0-0 6, Stanton 2 0-0 4, Snowell 2 0-0 4, Salata 5 0-0 12. Totals 33 10-13 86.

NORTH SCHUYLKILL (49) - Weikel 4 3-5 14, Flynn 4 3-4 14, Todd 5 4-4 14, Groody 1 0-0 2, Scott 1 0-0 2, Miller 1 0-0 3. Totals 16 10-13 49.

Po (17-4, 13-0) 19 18 22 27 - 86 NS (5-16, 2-11) 11 7 17 14 - 49

3-point FGs: Schenk 2, Heimbaugh 2, Barnes, DiCello 2, Yost, Salata 2, Weikel 3, Flynn 3, Miller

JV score: Not provided

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Photo By John Liddle


 Barnes lights up Martz Hall

Pottsville clinches 11th straight division title




LUKE KROPP / PUBLISHED: FEBRUARY 1, 2020

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JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Blue Mountain's Bryce Hensley goes to the basket as Pottsville's Riley Stanton defends during the Schuylkill League Division I boys' basketball game at Martz Hall in Pottsville on Friday evening, January 31, 2020. Hensley was called with a foul on the play.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:01:31 19:43:17

JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Pottsville’s Mason Barnes goes to the basket as Blue Mountain’s Jason Dean defends during Friday’s Schuylkill League Division I boys’ basketball game at Martz Hall. Barnes scored 43 points in the Crimson Tide’s 69-52 victory.

POTTSVILLE — Mason Barnes entered Martz Hall on Friday with the “Mamba Mentality.”

The passion for which late NBA superstar Kobe Bryant played the game of basketball, the Pottsville senior guard exuded it when he stepped onto the court.

Barnes lit up the Crimson Tide’s home arena with 43 points — shooting 12-of-15 from the field, 5-of-7 beyond the 3-point line and 14-of-15 on foul shots — as Pottsville pulled away from Blue Mountain for a 69-52 victory in Schuylkill League Division I boys’ basketball action.

With the win, Pottsville (16-4, 12-0 D-I) clinched its 11th straight division title and won an unprecedented 36th straight regular-season league contest with two games left this season.

For Barnes, his career-high 43-point night isn’t a Martz Hall record — Bishop Hannan’s Gerry McNamara’s 55-point performance in 2002 still stands — but he surpassed Bryant’s 1996 total of 36.

It was a special night for the Kobe fan.

“I can’t compare myself to Kobe. I don’t think anyone really can,” Barnes said. “It’s crazy how he played at Martz Hall, too. I’m just cherishing every moment I have here.”

Barnes, who entered Friday averaging 15.9 points on the season, also pulled down a game-high eight rebounds, swiped four steals and added two assists. He scored the first 11 points of the third quarter and assisted on the only other basket in that frame.

Blue Mountain (15-5, 8-4), paced by Blake Lipko’s 16 points, drops one game below Tamaqua (14-6, 9-3) for the wild-card spot in the league playoffs. The Raiders and Eagles split their regular-season series.

The Eagles, however, had Pottsville on the ropes for most of the night. Blue Mountain and Pottsville played a tight third quarter, as the Eagles never trailed by more than six during that frame. high three 3s.

The Eagles stayed in the game by shooting even better than Pottsville, hitting 18-of-29 (62 percent) from the field. They led 11-5 late in the first quarter.

But they committed 17 turnovers to the Tide’s 12 and shot 2-of-8 in the fourth quarter as the Pottsville sealed the victory.

“Our kids played hard, they played smart, they gave themselves an opportunity in the fourth quarter, but a couple things just didn’t go our way down the stretch,” Blue Mountain head coach Dustin Werdt said. “Pottsville made some plays and made their free throws.”

Pottsville will take on either the Division II or III champion in the league semifinals, which are held at Martz Hall.

Barnes and the Tide are looking forward to chasing their third straight league crown.

“It’s a great program. I’m so happy to be a part of it,” Barnes said. “We’re not done yet, though. We’ve still got two more (regular-season) games ahead. We’re going to come in to practice this week and be ready to go for the semis.”

Contact the writer: Lkropp@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6010; @LukeKropp on Twitter

Game Summary

BLUE MOUNTAIN (52) — Cryts 2 4-4 8, Henninger 1 0-0 3, Lipko 6 1-2 16, Devitt 0 0-0 0, Ketch 5 2-2 12, Dean 3 5-8 11, Carr 0 0-0 0, Hensley 1 0-0 2, Caulfield 0 0-2 0. Totals 18 12-18 52.

POTTSVILLE (69) — Schenk 2 3-4 7, Heimbaugh 1 1-3 4, Barnes 12 14-15 43, DiCello 2 0-0 5, Yost 0 0-0 0, Sukeena 0 0-0 0, Stanton 1 0-0 2, Salata 3 1-2 8. Totals 21 19-24 69.

BM (15-5, 8-4) 13 17 12 10 — 52 Po (16-4, 12-0) 15 18 13 23 — 69

3-point FGs: Henninger, Lipko 3, Heimbaugh, Barnes 5, DiCello, Salata

JV score: Pottsville 71-45

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Pottsville clinches league playoff spot



JANUARY 29, 2020



LANSFORD - For the 11th straight year, Pottsville's boys' basketball team has made the Schuylkill League playoffs.

The Crimson Tide clinched their tournament berth Tuesday night as Kevin Schenk tallied 16 points in a 56-36 win over Panther Valley in Division I play.

The Tide (15-4, 11-0 D-I) drained 10 3-pointers in the game while attempting just two foul shots.

Mason Barnes added 15 points for Pottsville.

Erick Marchorro paced Panther Valley with 19 points, including four treys.

 

POTTSVILLE (56) - Schenk 7 0-0 16, Heimbaugh 3 0-0 9, Barnes 6 0-2 15, DiCello 1 0-0 2, Sukeena 2 0-0 5, Stanton 2 0-0 5, Salata 2 0-0 4. Totals 23 0-2 56.

PANTHER VALLEY (36) - Marchorro 7 1-2 19, Stilitino 2 1-2 5, Eidle 3 0-1 6, Hoben 1 0-0 2, White 2 0-0 4, Krapf 0 0-0 0, Turner 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 2-5 36.

Po (15-4, 11-0) 16 17 10 13 - 56 PV (11-8, 4-7) 4 13 7 12 - 36

3-point FGs: Schenk 2, Heimbaugh 3, Barnes 3, Sukeena, Stanton, Marchorro 4

JV score: Pottsville 76-36

 

Kobe Bryant 1978-2020 at Martz Hall

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Kobe Bryant 1978-2020

Pottsville 59. Scranton Prep  62

 Kevin Schenk netted nine of his 20 points in the final period, but the Crimson Tide fell just short in a non-league game against the Cavaliers. Mason Barnes and Riley Stanton added 14 and 10 points, respectively, for the Tide, whose win streak ended at 10 games. Rhys Merritt pumped in 23 points for Scranton Prep, followed by Robert Rossi, who scored 15 of his 17 in the first half.

POTTSVILLE (59): Schenk 8 2-4 20, Heimbaugh 1 0-0 2, Barnes 6 1-2 14, Yost 1 0-0 2, Sukeena 2 0-0 5, Stanton 4 0-0 10, Salata 2 2-2 6  TOTALS: 25 5-8 59

Scranton Prep (62): Stalman 1 0-0 2, Skroff 7 1-2 16, Stark 2 0-0 4, Merritt 8 5-6 23, Rossi 8 1-1 17, McAndrew 0 0-0 0, Ferguson 0 0-0 0, Blake 0 0-00 0 TOTALS: 26 7-9 62 

Pottsville: (14-4)... 13. 20 15 11-- 59

Scranton: (13-3)...  20 16 11 15-- 62

3Point FG'S: Schenk 2, Barnes, Sukeena, Stanton 2, Skoff, Merritt 2 

Pottsville-Scranton Prep

Pottsville Clips the Cardinals 

Pottsville 56

Pine Grove 33

POTTSVILLE — Kevin Schenk knocked down three triples and scored 11 points during a 16-0 run in the second quarter as the Tide took control for the Division I victory.

Mason Barnes led Pottsville with 17, while Schenk finished with 13.

Josh Leininger and Zak Hlavaty scored six apiece to pace Pine Grove.

Pottsville broke the game open with a 21-4 run in the second quarter to give the Crimson Tide a 29-11 lead at halftime.

 

PINE GROVE (33) — Lengle 1 1-2 3, Leininger 3 0-0 6, Boyer 0 1-1 1, Griffiths 1 0-0 2, Morgan 2 0-0 5, D. Geesey 2 0-0 5, Hlavaty 3 0-0 6, K. Geesey 2 0-0 5, Brandt 0 0-0 0, Unger 0 0-0 0, Ibarra 0 0-0 0,Hindman 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 2-3 33.

POTTSVILLE (56) — Schenk 5 0-0 13, Heimbaugh 2 0-0 6, Barnes 6 4-5 17, Sukeena 2 0-0 6, Boris 1 0-0 3, Stanton 1 0-0 3, Snowell 1 0-0 2, Salata 3 0-0 6, Yost 0 0-0 0, McCuller 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 4-5 56.

PG (8-9, 3-7) 7 4 12 10 — 33

Potts (14-3, 10-0) 8 21 10 17 — 56

3-point FGs: Morgan, D. Geesey, K. Geesey, Schenk 3, Heimbaugh 2, Sukeena 2, Barnes, Boris, Stanton

JV score: Pottsville 61-20

H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Pottsville, Sukeena spark third quarter run to rout Tamaqua

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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:01:21 19:42:08

JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERPottsville’s Kevin Schenk goes to the basket during their game againstTamaqua during the Schuylkill League Division I boys’ basketball game in Tamaqua on Tuesday evening, January 21, 2020.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:01:21 19:36:11

JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Pottsville’s Matt Salata looks to pass as Tamaqua’s Lucas Gregoire (33) and Nathan Gregoire (32) defend during Tuesday’s Schuylkill League Division I boys’ basketball game in Tamaqua.

 

TAMAQUA — Mike Sukeena’s breakout performance couldn’t have come at a more opportune time.

The budding Pottsville sophomore made the most of a locally televised game between the top two boys’ basketball teams in Schuylkill League Division I on Tuesday night.

Sukeena scored a career- and game-high 17 points and fueled a massive third-quarter run to help the Crimson Tide race to a 68-32 victory over Tamaqua.

Sukeena hit three of his four 3-pointers within a two-minute span early in the third as Pottsville turned a 12-point halftime lead into a 55-30 rout by the start of the fourth.

“My teammates gave me a chance. They got the rebounds, we got on a run,” said Sukeena in his first year on the varsity squad. “I was just open and I was knocking down my shots.”

The 6-foot-1 guard cracked the starting lineup recently in the absence of Raeff DiCello, who missed the last two games with an illness.

And head coach Dave Mullaney is pleased with the youngster’s progress.

“He’s really an intelligent player. That’s the first thing the coaches loved about him,” Mullaney said of Sukeena. “He plays really hard, he’s a great defender, and, obviously, he can shoot the ball. That combination, we always had really high hopes for him and he’s really starting to shine right now.”

The entire Crimson Tide offense was clicking, too, on Tuesday night, especially during that 25-12, third-quarter run.

Pottsville (13-3, 9-0 D-I) shot 10-for-11 from the field in that frame, including 4-for-5 from beyond the arc.

Meanwhile, Tamaqua (12-4, 7-2) struggled to keep up, hitting only 10-of-38 (26.3 percent) through the first three quarters and 5-of-16 in the third.

It was a much different ballgame from their last meeting, a 45-40 Pottsville win with a bevy of lead changes.

With the win, Pottsville extends its regular-season win streak in league play to 33 and takes a two-game lead over the Blue Raiders in the Division I standings.

The Tide are in good standing to claim their 11th straight division crown in the coming weeks.

“People see that and they think things are easy, but if they knew all the work that went into it with all these players, it’s a lot and we don’t look at it that way,” Mullaney said. “It’s great and we’re proud of that, but it’s just one game at a time.”

As it stands, Tamaqua still holds a one-game lead over three-loss Blue Mountain for the league playoff wild card.

The Raiders last tied the game at 14-14 when Lucas Gregoire muscled in a layup 2:05 into the second quarter. The senior pulled down seven rebounds and scored 16 points, just four away from reaching the 1,000th point of his career.

From that point, however, Pottsville closed out the quarter on a 16-4 run, including two momentum building triples by Riley Stanton, to take a 30-18 lead into the locker room.

The Tide then opened their nearly perfect third quarter with two layups by Mason Barnes, Sukeena’s three 3-pointers and a bucket by Matt Salata within the first four minutes before missing their first shot. At that moment, Pottsville had already built a 45-25 lead.

“They shot the lights out today,” Tamaqua head coach Jim Barron said. “When they had an open shot, they knocked it down. When we had an open shot, we couldn’t put it in the hoop. That was the big difference in the game.”

Nico Boris capped the third with a 3-pointer with two seconds left. Kevin Schenk scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Pottsville, Barnes added 13 points and 14 rebounds, and Stanton posted 11 points.

Nate Boyle tallied six points and Brayden Knoblauch managed five points and five rebounds for the Raiders.

Contact the writer: Lkropp@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6010; @LukeKropp on Twitter

Game Summary

POTTSVILLE (68) — Schenk 6 1-1 14, Heimbaugh 1 0-0 3, Barnes 5 3-4 13, Yost 1 0-0 2, Sukeena 5 3-3 17, McCuller 1 0-0 3, Boris 1 0-0 3, Stanton 4 1-1 11, Snowell 0 0-0 0, Salata 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 8-9 68.

TAMAQUA (32) — Taras 0 0-0 0, Knoblauch 2 0-0 5, Bolletino 0 0-0 0, Milot 0 0-0 0, Boyle 2 0-0 6, Sherry 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, N. Gregoire 1 2-3 4, L. Gregoire 5 5-10 16, Stauffenberg 0 1-2 1, Lavine 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 8-15 32.

Pot (13-3, 9-0) 14 16 25 13 — 68 Tam (12-4, 7-2) 9 9 12 2 — 32

3-point FGs: Sukeena 4, Stanton 2, Schenk, Heimbaugh, McCuller, Boris, Knoblauch, Boyle 2, L. Gregoire

JV score: Pottsville 73-22

WNEP 16 - Pottsville-Tamaqua

Mason Barnes rolls to 1000 points against Jim Thorpe! Congrats to Mason

 

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

WNEP16-Mason Barnes

HS BOYS' BASKETBALL: Pottsville topples Thorpe

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Photo: JACQUELINE DORMER, License: N/A, Created: 2019:08:07 11:22:03

JACQUELINE DORMER / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERPottsville’s Mason Barnes at the annual Schuylkill County Football Coaches Association Media Day at the Schuylkill Country Club in Orwigsburg on Wednesday, August 7, 2019.

POTTSVILLE — Mason Barnes scored his 1,000th career point in a big second quarter as Pottsville downed Jim Thorpe 79-52 in a Schuylkill League Division I boys’ basketball game Thursday night.

Barnes scored 12 of his game-high 29 points in the second frame for Pottsville, helping the Crimson Tide overcome an early 17-13 deficit after one period. The senior sharpshooter finished with five 3-pointers and reached the 1,000-point milestone on a layup with 4:16 left in the first half.

Kevin Schenk added 19 points and Mike Sukeena tallied 10 for Pottsville, which stayed unbeaten in Division I and maintained its one-game lead over Tamaqua atop the division.

Adam Lauer tallied 18 points and Caiden Hurley netted 14 for Jim Thorpe.

 

JIM THORPE (52) — Gilliar 0 0 0-0, Condly 2 0-0 5, Warner 0 0-0 0, Richards 0 0-0 0, Hurley 5 0-0 14, Hendricks 0 0-0 0, Ivey 1 0-0 3, Adames 2 0-0 5, Lauer 7 0-0 18, McHugh 0 0-0 0, Bradley 0 0-0 0, Smith 1 2-2 4, Herron 2 0-2 4, Marykwas 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 2-4 52.

POTTSVILLE (79) — Schenk 8 1-2 19, Heimbaugh 2 0-0 5, Barnes 11 2-2 29, Yost 1 0-0 2, Sukeena 3 2-2 10, McCuller 2 0-0 4, Boris 0 0-0 0, Stanton 3 0-0 7, Snowell 1 0-0 2, Salata 0 1-2 1. Totals 31 6-8 79.

JT (4-11, 2-6) 17 7 13 15 — 52 Pot (12-3, 8-0) 13 28 21 17 — 79

3-point FGs: Hurley 4, Ivey, Adames, Lauer 4, Schenk 2, Heimbaugh, Barnes 5, Sukeena 2, Stanton

JV score: Pottsville 54-20

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

Mason Barnes needs 13 points for 1000.

Thursday Night Crimson Tide hosts Jim Thorpe!

Come out to see Mason become the 19th player in Pottsville History to score 1000.

Crimson Tide Rolls over Lehighton 

Pottsville 74

Lehighton 40

LEHIGHTON — Mason Barnes scored 13 of his 19 points in the first half as Pottsville turned a 17-point halftime lead into a Division I triumph over the Indians.

Raeff DiCello had 17 points and Kevin Schenk added 16 for the Crimson Tide.

Richard Yturrino scored 14 points and Zach Hunsicker tallied 13 for Lehighton.

 

POTTSVILLE (74) — Schenk 7 1-1 16, Heimbaugh 1 0-0 3, Barnes 7 0-2 19, DiCello 6 4-4 17, Yost 0 0-0 0, Sukeena 0 0-0 0, McCuller 2 1-1 5, Boris 0 0-0 0, Stanton 3 0-0 9, Snowell 1 1-2 3, Salata 1 0-2 2. Totals 28 7-13 74.

LEHIGHTON (40) — Strauss 0 0-0 0, Hunsicker 5 3-3 13, Lorenz 1 0-0 3, Wolverton 0 0-0 0, Guyn 1 0-0 2, Smith 0 0-0 0, B. Lutz 0 0-0 0, Haydt 1 0-0 2, Costenbader 0 0-0 0, Yturrino 5 4-4 14, E. Lutz 0 0-0 0, Schatz 3 0-0 6, Nash 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 7-7 40.

Po (11-3, 7-0) 18 22 15 19 — 74 Leh (6-7, 3-4) 12 11 9 8 — 40

3-point FGs: Schenk, Heimbaugh, Barnes 5, DiCello, Stanton 3, Lorenz

JV score: Pottsville 65-28

Pottsville 72

Jim Thorpe 35

JIM THORPE — Kevin Schenk posted a game-high 22 points, including 13 points in the second frame in which Pottsville turned a 12-7 lead into a 40-14 advantage before the break, as the Tide rolled to a Schuylkill League Division I victory.

Mason Barnes scored 12 points and Raeff DiCello added 11 for the Tide, who move to 6-0 in league play.

James Adames led the Olympians with 14 points.

POTTSVILLE (72) — Schenk 6 6-6 22, Heimbaugh 1 0-0 3, Barnes 3 5-7 12, DiCello 4 2-4 11, Yost 0 0-0 0, Sukeena 3 0-0 7, McCuller 0 0-0 0, Boris 0 0-0 0, Stanton 3 0-0 7, Snowell 1 0-0 2, Salata 3 2-2 8. Totals 24 15-19 72.

JIM THORPE (35) — Gillias 0 0-0 0, Condly 3 0-0 6, Richards 1 0-0 2, Burak 0 0-0 0, Hurley 0 0-0 0, Hendricks 1 0-1 3, Ivey 0 0-0 0, Adames 4 4-5 14, Lauer 0 0-1 0, McHugh 1 0-0 2, Herron 3 0-2 6, Marykwas 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 4-9 35.

Pot (10-3, 6-0) 12 30 21 9 — 70 JT (3-10, 1-5) 7 7 10 11 — 35

3-point FGs: Schenk 4, Heimbaugh, Barnes, DiCello, Sukeena, Stanton, Hendricks, Adames 2

JV score: Pottsville 54-20

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

Pottsville 70

North Schuylkill 38

POTTSVILLE - The Tide placed three players in double figures in rolling to the Division I win over the Spartans at Martz Hall.

Mason Barnes led the way with 16 points, followed by Kevin Schenk with 14 and Nicco Heimbaugh with 11.

For North Schuylkill, Jack Flynn was the leading scorer with a game-high 18 points.

 

NORTH SCHUYLKILL (38) - Brown 1 0-0 2, Weikel 3 2-7 9, Flynn 6 4-5 18, Groody 1 0-0 3, Scott 3 0-0 6, Burgos 0 0-0 0, Conti 0 0-0 0, Fisher 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 6-12 38.

POTTSVILLE (70) - Schenk 5 3-6 14, Heimbaugh 2 5-5 11, Barnes 4 7-9 16, DiCello 1 3-4 5, Yost 0 1-2 1, Sukeena 2 2-2 7, Stanton 2 0-0 6, Snowell 2 0-0 5, Salata 2 0-0 5, McCuller, Boris 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 21-28 70.

NS (2-10, 0-6) 12 8 10 8 - 38 Potts (9-3, 5-0) 19 19 13 19 - 70

3-point FGs: Flynn 2, Groody, Weikel, Heimbaugh 2, Stanton 2, Schenk, Barnes, Sukeena, Snowell, Salata

JV score: Pottsville 64-34

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

 

Crimson Tide Left No Doubt Rolls Over Eagles

 

 

ORWIGSBURG - Kings of the hill.

The Pottsville Crimson Tide have a stranglehold on the top spot in the Schuylkill League Division I boys' basketball race.

They've climbed the summit, stuck their flag in the ground, and, just like the children's game King of the Hill, they won't surrender that post until someone figures out how to knock them off.

The Crimson Tide reinforced that narrative with a commanding 74-44 victory over Blue Mountain in Division I play Monday night.

Senior guard Mason Barnes posted a game-high 21 points, grabbed four rebounds and tallied four assists, and senior center Kevin Schenk added 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists as everything seemed to click for Pottsville (8-3, 4-0 D-I).

"I think defense definitely sets the tone, and then when our shots are hitting we play better and it gets us more amped up to keep firing," said Barnes, who buried a season-high four 3-pointers.

Pottsville was deadly from long range, shooting 12-of-17 (70.6 percent) beyond the arc. The Tide connected on 26-of-46 (56.5 percent) from the field before starters were pulled with 3:39 left.

Pottsville broke the game open near the end of the first quarter with a 12-2 run to take a 24-10 lead after eight minutes.

Riley Stanton and Schenk highlighted the run with back-to-back 3s that bookended one of Blue Mountain's 13 turnovers.

The Tide then hit three 3-pointers in a row, the first

by Schenk and a pair by Barnes, in the second quarter to give Pottsville a 35-15 advantage with 4:22 left until halftime.

"I know we have capable guys, it's just about getting their confidence going," Pottsville head coach Dave Mullaney said. "I think we were trying to spread (Blue Mountain) out a little bit and I thought we had some guys who can take it off the dribble and create some of those outside shots."

While everything was falling for the Pottsville offense, its defense wasn't allowing many looks for the Eagles.

Blue Mountain (10-2, 3-2) shot just 4-for-17 in the first half, including just one bucket in the second quarter by Alex Ketch, and trailed 38-19 heading into the locker room.

Ketch, who averaged 18.3 points per game heading into Monday's contest, was held to seven points. Keenan Cryts led the Eagles in scoring with eight, and Bryce Hensley added seven points and a game-high eight rebounds.

"We didn't defend the 3-point line very well and we turned the ball over, and when you do those things against a high-quality opponent like Pottsville, you're going to be in trouble," Blue Mountain head coach Dustin Werdt said.

Blue Mountain started the season 9-0 overall, but the Eagles have dropped two of their last three, including a 70-63 league loss to Tamaqua on Friday.

"We lost to Tamaqua but the next day we beat a good Conrad Weiser team on the road," Werdt said. "I credit our seniors in their leadership for how we rebounded after the Tamaqua loss, and I expect the same from them moving forward.

"There's no doubt in my mind that our four seniors will get the team moving in the right direction."

With the help of some of its newcomers Monday night, Pottsville scored the last nine points of the third quarter to take a 60-30 lead into the final period.

Senior Matt Salata, last year's sixth man who solidified a spot in this year's starting lineup, scored nine points, including a steal-and-score before Barnes hit a step-back 3 at the buzzer to finish off that 9-0 run.

Sophomores Mike Sukeena and Raeff DiCello added 11 and eight points, respectively. Sukeena gave the Tide their biggest lead of the night with a left-corner triple and another bucket to go ahead 71-35 with 4:46 to play.

The victory certainly sent a message.

"It's always a great crowd at Blue Mountain. It always gets wild," Barnes said. "To win against Blue Mountain with the Schuylkill League being wide open, it's nice."

Contact the writer: Lkropp@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6010

Game Summary

POTTSVILLE (74) - Schenk 6 0-0 15, Heimbaugh 0 3-4 3, Barnes 6 5-6 21, DiCello 4 0-0 8, Yost 0 0-0 0, Sukeena 4 0-1 11, McCuller 0 0-0 0, Boris 0 0-0 0, Stanton 2 0-1 5, Snowell 1 0-0 2, Salata 4 0-0 9. Totals 27 8-12 74.

BLUE MOUNTAIN (44) - Myro 1 0-0 2, Cryts 2 4-6 8, Henninger 2 0-0 4, Lipko 2 0-2 4, Devitt 0 1-2 1, Ketch 3 0-0 7, Gibson 0 0-0 0, Dean 0 4-4 4, Carr 1 1-3 3, Hensley 1 5-6 7, Martin 0 0-0 0, Tidmore 1 0-0 2, Caulfield 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 15-23 44.

Pott (8-3, 4-0) 24 14 22 14 - 74 BM (10-2, 3-2) 10 9 11 14 - 44

3-point FGs: Schenk 3, Barnes 4, Sukeena 3, Stanton, Salata, Ketch

JV score: Pottsville 46-29

Pottsville boys down Williamsport

WILLIAMSPORT - It took a week or two for Pottsville to find its basketball legs after an extended football season

The Crimson Tide appear to have hit their stride.

Kevin Schenk and Mason Barnes combined for seven 3-pointers and 43 points as Pottsville scored an impressive 67-51 win over Williamsport in a non-league game Saturday at the Magic Dome.

The victory was the sixth in seven games for the Crimson Tide, who drained 10 3-pointers and used a third-quarter run to pull away.

Schenk finished with four 3-pointers and 22 points, scoring 14 of those in the first half. Barnes added a trio of 3-pointers and collected 21 points.

 

POTTSVILLE (67) - Schenk 8 2-2 22, Heimbaugh 0 0-0 0, Barnes 8 2-2 21, DiCello 4 0-0 9, Sukeena 1 0-0 2, Stanton 3 1-1 9, Salata 2 0-0 4. Totals 26 5-5 67.

WILLIAMSPORT (51) - Ellzy 3 1-1 7, Jones 3 3-4 9, Evans-Mcquay 5 1 1-2 14, Jason 2 0-0 4, Brown 1 0-0 3, Fausnaught 1 0-0 2, Johnson 3 2 0-0 12. Totals 17 4 5-7 51.

Potts (7-3) 16 19 18 14 - 67 Will (3-8) 12 14 17 8 - 51

3-point FGs: Schenk 4, Barnes 3, DiCello, Stanton 2

JV score: Pottsville 58-48

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

Pottsvile Pounds Panthers

 

Pottsville 76

Panther Valley 39

POTTSVILLE - Kevin Schenk scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half and Mason Barnes added 10 points in the first two periods as Pottsville dominated Panther Valley in a Division I game.

Barnes finished with 17 points and Riley Stanton added 12 as Pottsville took a 51-24 halftime lead and coasted from there.

Brandon Stilitino led Panther Valley with 13 points.

 

PANTHER VALLEY (39) - Marchorro 3 1-1 7, Gutierrez 5 0-0 10, Stilitino 4 4-4 13, Kindt 0 0-0 0, Krapf 0 0-0 0, Eidle 2 0-0 4, Hadley 0 0-0 0, Roig 0 0-2 0, Hoben 0 0-0 0, Roth 0 0-0 0, White 1 3-4 5. Totals 15 8-11 39.

POTTSVILLE (76) - Schenk 9 2-2 22, Heimbaugh 2 0-0 6, Barnes 7 1-1 17, DiCello 2 0-0 4, Yost 0 0-0 0, Sukeena 2 0-0 5, McCuller 2 0-0 4, Boris 0 0-0 0, Stanton 5 0-0 12, Salata 3 0-0 6, Bellard 0 0-0 0. Totals 32 3-3 76.

PV (7-3, 2-2) 14 10 8 7 - 39 Pot (6-3, 3-0) 27 24 19 6 - 76

3-point FGs: Stilitino, Schenk 2, Heimbaugh 2, Barnes 2, Sukeena, Stanton 2

JV score: Pottsville 64-33

H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Pottsville captures key win over Tamaqua

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2019:12:30 18:56:49

DAVID MCKEOWN / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Tamaqua's Brayden Knoblauch (11) takes a shot during the Holiday Hoops at Martz Hall on Monday. Knoblauch scored the 1,000th point of his career in the first quarter.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2019:12:30 18:36:20

David McKeown / Staff Photographer Pottsville's Kevin Schenk (0) takes a shot with Tamaqua's Lucas Gregoire (33) and Nathan Gregoire (32) defending during the Holiday Hoops at Martz Hall on Monday, December 30, 2019.

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POTTSVILLE - The bulk of Pottsville's daunting non-league schedule is over.

And, while the Crimson Tide are building consistency and finding their identity as the season progresses, their league schedule ahead is just as formidable.

Tamaqua gave the defending Schuylkill League champions a glimpse at the hurdles in the way of another trophy.

Pottsville and Tamaqua exchanged possession of the lead eight times over the final two quarters of Monday's Holiday Hoops at Martz Hall nightcap. The Crimson Tide ultimately took a 45-40 decision, a marquee victory in Division I.

"I think if you'd ask the coaches in the Schuylkill League Division I, I'd say they think Tamaqua is going to be right at the top there somewhere," Pottsville head coach Dave Mullaney said. "Of course getting a win against a team like Tamaqua is big for our season."

Knotted at 40-40, senior Matt Salata nailed the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:17 left.

"That was a really big shot for Matt in a big moment, and I'm happy for him and all the things he does for us," Mullaney said.

On two separate one-and-one free-throw opportunities while up three points within the final minute, the Tide (5-3, 2-0 D-I) failed to convert the first, leaving the door open for Tamaqua (7-3, 2-1).

Brayden Knoblauch's 3-point attempt with about 10 seconds left rimmed in and out, and Mason Barnes knocked down a pair of foul shots to give Pottsville the final margin with 6.9 seconds left.

Barnes led Pottsville with 15 points and 11 rebounds, followed by Raeff DiCello's 10 points.

Knoblauch scored a game-high 18 points and pulled down eight rebounds, including a pull-up trey from the left wing to tie the game at 40 with 2:14 remaining.

In what was an often physical contest, the Blue Raiders drew just two fouls in the second half.

"It's frustrating. Our kids played their hearts out," Tamaqua head coach Jim Barron said. "They left it all on the floor, and it kind of feels like something was taken away from us."

The Raiders had a chance to celebrate early, though.

The game was stopped just 45 seconds in, as Knoblauch drove from the left wing and hit a 15-foot jumper for his 1,000th career point.

On the season, Knoblauch was averaging just under 20 points per game heading into Monday's game, and the Tide knew they'd have to key on the senior guard.

"Keep him off the 3-point line as best we can," Mullaney said of Pottsville's game plan. "I thought we started doing that OK, but he got loose a bunch of times. He's a really good player, so if you give him any room at all, he's going to knock it down."

Knoblauch sparked a 7-2 run that nearly erased a 22-16 halftime deficit within the first 1:30 of the third quarter.

He later assisted on a Barron Stauffenberg 3-pointer with 3:11 left in the third to give Tamaqua its first lead, 28-27, since early in the first.

"We just talked about the importance of the game at halftime," Barron said. "I said, ‘It's a six-point game. We've got to come out in these first four minutes of the quarter, we can't let it get to double digits.'

"And we know how big of a game this is in the grand scheme of things. Only two teams are coming out of Division I, and this would've been a huge win for us."

Lucas Gregoire added 15 points and 12 rebounds for Tamaqua, including a 3-point play that gave the Raiders their first lead of the fourth quarter, 35-34, and another basket that gave them a 37-36 advantage with 4:35 to go.

DiCello scored the final lead-changing bucket at the 4:00 mark and Barnes netted a floater to extend the lead to 40-37 with 3:17 left.

Kevin Schenk scored six points and grabbed seven rebounds for Pottsville.

Nicco Heimbaugh also scored six points on two 3-pointers. The first gave Pottsville the momentum heading into the locker room, knocking down a triple from the left corner with 5.5 seconds before half. His second, from the same spot with 2.6 on the clock in the third, provided Pottsville a 32-30 lead heading into the final period.

The teams face off again Jan. 21 at Tamaqua.

Contact the writer: Lkropp@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6010; @LukeKropp on Twitter

Game Summary

TAMAQUA (40) - Coleman 0 0-0 0, Knoblauch 7 2-2 18, Bolletino 0 0-0 0, Boyle 0 0-0 0, N. Gregoire 1 0-0 2, L. Gregoire 6 3-3 15, Stauffenberg 2 0-0 5, Lavine 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 5-5 40.

POTTSVILLE (45) - Schenk 3 0-0 6, Heimbaugh 2 0-0 6, Barnes 6 3-5 15, DiCello 4 2-2 10, Yost 0 0-0 0, Sukeena 1 0-0 3, Stanton 0 0-0 0, Salata 2 0-1 5. Totals 18 5-8 45.

Tam (7-3, 2-1) 10 6 14 10 - 40 Pot (5-3, 2-0) 12 10 10 13 - 45

3-point FGs: Knoblauch 2, Stauffenberg, Heimbaugh 2, Sukeena, Salata

JV score: Pottsville 65-20


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Photo By John Liddle

Tamaqua1920/IMG_8980.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

Tamaqua1920/IMG_8980.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

Tamaqua1920/IMG_8980.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

Tamaqua1920/IMG_8980.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

Tamaqua1920/IMG_8980.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

Wilson West Lawn 48

Pottsville 43

WEST LAWN - Kevin Schenk scored 22 points, but Wilson rallied in the fourth quarter and beat Pottsville in a non-league game.

Schenk scored all of his points in the first three periods. Mason Barnes added 11 points for the Crimson Tide, who led 24-16 at halftime.

Stevie Mitchell tallied 16 of his 22 points in the second half for Wilson and tallied his 1,000th career point.

 

POTTSVILLE (43) - Schenk 8 2-2 22, Heimbaugh 0 0-0 0, Barnes 4 3-4 11, DiCello 1 2-2 4, Yost 0 0-0 0, Stanton 0 0-0 0, Salata 3 0-0 6. Totals 16 7-8 43.

WILSON WEST LAWN (48) - Borian 2 0-0 5, Strobel 2 0-0 5, Mitchell 8 6-8 22, Schutt 0 0-0 0, Lockhart 1 0-0 2, Vazquez 2 0-0 5, Balle 0 0-0 0, Timochenko 4 1-1 9. Totals 19 7-9 48.

Potts (4-3) 6 18 11 8 - 43 Wil (6-0) 9 7 15 17 - 48

3-point FGs: Schenk 4, Borian, Strobel, Vazquez

JV score: Pottsville 39-36

It's been said that success is a journey, not a destination.

Stevie Mitchell made such a trip Monday night.

He needed 21 points to reach 1,000 for his career. That's a lot for most guys, just an average night for the Wilson junior.

The Pottsville Crimson Tide made it seem like a far longer trip the way they were shooting and defending and controlling the pace at West Lawn.

They were up eight at the half, the largest deficit the unbeaten Bulldogs had faced this season.

"It was quiet in the locker room (at the half)," admitted Wilson senior Evin Timochenko. "We didn't know how to react."

Turns out the Bulldogs reacted just right. They picked up the pace in the second half, Mitchell found a new gear and he reached a career milestone in the final seconds of the 48-43 win.

His two free throws with 20 seconds left capped Wilson's 8-0 closing run and gave the Berks Conference's leading scorer his 1,000th and 1,001st career points.


1,000 points for Stevie Mitchell #berksgameday

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The win, he said later, "felt better" than the milestone. They were both grand.

He became the sixth player in program history to hit 1,000, and the first junior.

Getting there on this night was doubly difficult.

The Bulldogs (6-0) were playing without point guard Mykell Huffman, who was serving a one-game PIAA suspension, and coming off an emotional win at Reading High.

The Crimson Tide (4-3) played coach Dave Mullaney's game to a T, patiently waiting for high-percentage shots - or for 6-6 center Kevin Schenk to knock one down from behind the 3-point line.

The big guy was lights out for most of three quarters, banging four 3's and scoring a team-high 22 points.

The Tide led 24-16 at the half and by six in the opening minute of the fourth quarter after Mason Barnes hit a pair of free throws.

"The whole first half we played their game," Timochenko said. "We played slow. That's not our game."

Bulldogs coach Matt Coldren changed that by going to a fullcourt trap early in the third quarter. It sped the game up, hurried the Tide into taking quicker shots and took a toll on their legs.

Mullaney has a razor-thin bench and that showed up in the final minutes.

Barnes scored on a sweet backdoor cut for a 43-40 lead with 4:11 left but Pottsville didn't score again.

Mitchell was hemmed in during the first half by Barnes and a collapsing defense that often saw four bodies converge on him.

"We wanted him to see the guy in front of him and two guys on each side of him every time he touched the ball," Mullaney said. "He's just so talented that if you're not perfect he's gonna get a bucket."

Mitchell found a different gear in the final quarter as he scored 10 of his team-leading 22 points. He knifed through the lane for a pair of buckets that cut Pottsville's lead to 39-38 with 6:10 left.

He gave Wilson a brief, one-point advantage when he came up with a steal with 5:03 left.

Junior guard Ryan Strobel, starting in place of Huffman, came up huge in the fourth quarter. He hit a 3 and came up with a pair of steals, taking one for a basket that cut the Tide's lead to 43-42 with 2:44 left.

Timochenko, who finished with nine points and a game-high 12 boards, gave Wilson the lead for good at 44-43 with 1:44 to go when he put back a miss.

Mitchell took it from there. He sliced through traffic, changed hands with the ball in midair, and laid one in for a 46-43 lead with 1:12 left.

"He's just unbelievable at getting in there," Mullaney said.

Less than a minute later Mitchell hit the front end of a one-and-one to join the grand company of Chris Finch (1988), Shane Stafford (1994), Josh Smith (2007), Zach Zweizig (2011) and Travaun Coad (2014).

"Once my teammates started hitting (shots), (Pottsville) couldn't help on me as much, and it was just more wide open for me," Mitchell said. "Luckily we were able to get past that and come home with the win."

The Bulldogs have been challenged several times this season, at Lancaster Catholic, against Bethlehem Liberty and at Reading High. Each time they've come up big in the second half to pull it out.

"Any time you can come away with a win against a well-coached team like Pottsville, especially after playing Reading on Friday, we'll take it," Coldren said, "whether it was a little bit ugly or not."

Pottsvile Rolls over NW Lehigh

 

Pottsville 45

NW Lehigh 29

NEW TRIPOLI - Mason Barnes scored 12 points in the second half as Pottsville pulled away to a non-league triumph over Northwestern Lehigh.

Barnes led all scorers with 14 points. Kevin Schenk added 13 for the Tide, who scored 31 second-half points after leading 14-9 at halftime.

 

POTTSVILLE (45) - Schenk 6 0-0 13, Heimbaugh 2 0-0 6, Barnes 5 4-5 14, DiCello 0 0-0 0, Yost 0 0-0 0, Sukeena 2 0-0 5, McCuller 0 0-0 0, Boris 0 0-0 0, Stanton 1 0-0 3, Snowell 0 0-0 0, Salata 2 0-0 4, Bellard 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 4-5 45.

NORTHWESTERN LEHIGH (29) - Hedelka 2 3-5 7, Fitch 0 0-0 0, Bollinger 2 1-4 5, McCann 0 0-0 0, Castrine 1 0-0 3, Henry 2 0-0 4, Hallman 2 2-4 6, Stitzel 1 0-0 2, Garrido 1 0-0 2. Totals 11 6-13 29.

Potts (4-2) 10 4 18 13 - 45 NWL (3-4) 3 6 7 13 - 29

3-point FGs: Schenk, Heimbaugh 2, Sukeena, Stanton, Castrine

JV score: Pottsville 70-32.


 



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Photo By Joh Liddle

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Photo By Joh Liddle

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Photo By Joh Liddle

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Photo By Joh Liddle

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Photo By Joh Liddle

Crimson Tide Clips the Cardinals

 

Pottsville 60

Pine Grove 31

PINE GROVE - Kevin Schenk posted 24 points, including three triples, as the Crimson Tide rolled to a Division I win over the Cardinals.

Mason Barnes added 12 points for Pottsville, which shot 13-of-14 as a team at the foul line.

Josh Leininger and Cody Griffiths each scored eight points for previously unbeaten Pine Grove.

 

POTTSVILLE (60) - Schenk 7 7-8 24, Heimbaugh 0 0-0 0, Barnes 4 2-2 12, DiCello 1 4-4 7, Yost 1 0-0 2, Sukeena 0 0-0 0, Boris 1 0-0 2, Stanton 1 0-0 3, Snowell 0 0-0 0, Salata 2 0-0 4, McCuller 3 0-0 6, Bellard 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 13-14 60.

PINE GROVE (31) - Lengle 0 0-0 0, Leininger 3 2-2 8, Boyer 0 0-0 0, Giffiths 2 2-2 8, Brandt 0 0-0 0, Morgan 3 0-0 6, Unger 0 0-0 0, Ibarra 0 0-0 0, Hindman 0 0-1 0, D. Geesey 2 0-0 4, Hlavaty 0 0-0 0, K. Geesey 2 0-0 5. Totals 12 4-5 31.

Pott (2-2, 1-0) 13 17 11 19 - 60 PG (4-1, 1-1) 8 7 10 6 - 31

3-point FGs: Schenk 3, Barnes 2, DiCello, Stanton, Griffiths 2, K. Geesey

JV score: Pottsville 69-37

Pottsville 51

Shamokin 43

COAL TWP. - Kevin Schenk scored 18 points to lead three double-figure scorers as Pottsville defeated Shamokin in a non-league game.

Mason Barnes added 12 points, including eight in the fourth period, as Pottsville outscored the Indians 15-6 in the period to take the win. Kevin DiCello added 11.

 

POTTSVILLE (51) - Schenk 7 3-5 18, Barnes 4 4-5 12, DiCello 4 2-3 11, Sukeena 2 0-0 4, Stanton 1 2-2 4, Salata 0 2-2 2, Yost 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 13-17 51.

SHAMOKIN (43) - Massar 5 2-6 12, Frasch 0 2-2 2, Scichittano 1 1-2 3, Tarr 1 0-0 3, Silarski 2 0-0 4, Seddor 2 0-0 6, Reed 4 2-3 13. Totals 15 7-13 43.

Potts (2-2) 8 9 19 15 - 51 Shamokin 11 6 20 6 - 43

3-point FGs: Schenk, DiCello, Tarr, Seddor 2, Reed 3

JV score: Pottsville 59-18

Pottsville-Abington Heights Highlights

Pottsville: Schenk 1 0-0 2   Heimbaugh   3 1-1 10   Barnes 4 1-2  9   Dicello 0 0-0  0  Yost 1 0-0  3   Sukeena 1 0-1  3   Stanton 1 0-0  3  Salata 3 0-0  7  Boris 0 0-0  0   Snowell 0 0-0  0   Totals:  Pottsville  14 2-6  37

Abington Heights Phillip 1 0-1  2, Perkins  4 3-5  12, Nealon 1 2-4  4, Anderson  1 1-2  3, Harry 7 4-7  18, Malone 3 11-  7  Totals: Abington Heights 17 11-19  46 

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Photo By John Liddle

Berkscatholic2019/IMG_8124.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

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Photo By John Liddle

Pottsville - Berks Catholic Highlights

Pottsville Powerhouse

    

H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL:

POTTSVILLE — Mason Barnes led the way with 12 points as Pottsville defeated Berks Catholic 42-21 in non-league boys’ basketball action Tuesday night.

Kevin Shenk was next with nine points, while Riley Stanton added eight points for the Crimson Tide, which outscored Berks 18-3 in the second quarter to take control after a 2-2 deadlock at the end of the first eight minutes.

 

BERKS CATHOLIC (21) — Dominguez 0 0-0 0, Sands 0 0-0 0, Wolfe 0 4-6 4, Jordan 4 1-2 10, Cacchione 0 0-0 0, Russell 0 0-0 0, Kenny 0 0-0 0, Coch 0 0-0 0, Harley 2 0-0 4, Gaines 0 0-0 0, Lutz 0 0-0 0, Givens 1 1-2 3. Totals 7 6-10 21.

POTTSVILLE (42) — Shenk 4 1-2 9, Heimbaugh 2 0-0 6, Barnes 4 3-5 12, Dicello 0 0-0 0, Yost 1 0-0 2, Sukeena 1 0-0 3, Boris 0 0-0 0, Stanton 3 0-0 8, Snowell 0 0-0 0, Salata 1 0-1 2. Totals 16 4-8 42.

BC 2 3 10 6 — 21 Potts (1-1) 2 18 9 16 — 42

3-point FGs: Jordan, Heimbaugh 2, Barnes, Sukeena, Stanton 2

JV score: Pottsville 55-40

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Photo By John Liddle

H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Pottsville drops season opener to MCS

POTTSVILLE - The hangover of an extended football season may have bled into Pottsville's basketball slate.

Several athletes from the Crimson Tide football team that reached the PIAA Class 4A state quarterfinals had to make a quicker-than-normal transition from the gridiron to the hardwood over the past few weeks.

And Math, Civics and Sciences - which doesn't field a football team - of the Philadelphia Public League marched into Martz Hall on Friday night and pounded Pottsville early, racing to a 70-49 win.

The hangover didn't last long, though.

Pottsville (0-1), which entered the season as the fifth-ranked Class 5A program in Pennsylvania, shook off the rust and fought back against the Class AA No. 1 Mighty Elephants (1-0).

Football players Mason Barnes and Kevin Schenk scored 24 and 18 points, respectively, as the Tide outscored MCS 38-35 over the final two quarters.

Barnes tallied all 11 points in the first half for Pottsville as MCS took a 35-11 lead into the intermission. Schenk came on late to score all of his points in the second half.

"Those guys are such good athletes, they've actually been practicing pretty well for not having been around," Pottsville head coach Dave Mullaney said of Barnes and Schenk, the only two returning starters from last year's Schuylkill League championship squad.

"Some of our other football guys who aren't as experienced as them, I think it's hurt them a little bit. But we ran into a really good team and didn't play well."

Pottsville seemed to be looking for a new identity after graduation took a slight toll. The Tide were down 7-0 and had rotated 10 players within the first four minutes, but Barnes hit a 3-pointer to end the scoring drought and fuel some confidence within the team.

Meanwhile, MCS played to its strengths, outsizing

and outrebounding the Tide with an entire starting five at least 6 feet tall.

Tvon Jones, a 6-foot-4 senior, frustrated the Tide with 19 points and five rebounds, while Marcus Middleton and Nisine Poplar each added 13 points.

MCS lead by as many as 29 points, taking a 42-13 advantage when Jones scored a quick bucket off an inbound pass with 5:18 left in the third.

"Pottsville made some adjustments in the second half, but I think they really just dug too deep of a hole the first half," MCS head coach Lonnie Diggs said. "It worked out for us tonight."

The Tide continued to push with short scoring bursts, but they couldn't seem to get on a run before a turnover would allow the Elephants to pull away again.

Barnes converted a three-point play with 11.3 seconds left in the third, and Schenk converted one of his own 25 seconds into the fourth before Barnes drained a 3 from the right wing to cut the Tide's deficit to 12, 49-27.

They'd pull within 12 again at 51-39 and 53-41, but that's as close as they'd get.

"Obviously I was extremely disappointed in how we played in the first half. Everything we talked about and tried to prepare for, we really didn't do," Mullaney said. "But it's really a credit to (MSC), too. They really forced us into some things. I'm extremely impressed with their skill level, their athleticism, their strength."

Raeff DiCello (3), Darren Yost (2) and Mike Sukeena (2) were the only other scorers for Pottsville.

"They're a really talented team and unfortunately we were playing their style in the first half," Mullaney added. "We weren't playing Pottsville basketball."

But, part of Pottsville basketball is scheduling talented opponents early to prepare for the Schuylkill League slate and an extended postseason run on the court.

Pottsville's 2018-19 campaign ended in the PIAA quarterfinals with a loss to another Philadelphia area powerhouse, Archbishop Wood.

Mullaney hopes that with an early matchup against a state-ranked team, the Tide can shake the growing pains and eventually repeat a deep playoff run.

"Our bench is young and inexperienced, so we were trying to work them in and give them confidence. Unfortunately when it's your first varsity game and it's Math, Civics and Sciences, you're a little nervous, and that showed up tonight," Mullaney said. "But we're going to grow from it. I said before the game, whether we win this, we're in a tight game until the end or we get it handed to us tonight, it's going to be good for us."

Contact the writer: Lkropp@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6010; @LukeKropp on Twitter

Game Summary

MATH, CIVICS & SCIENCES (70) - Snead 2 1-1 6, Middleton 4 4-4 13, Edwards 0 1-2 1, Poplar 5 2-2 13, Barron 2 3-4 7, Nixon 0 0-2 0, Fleming 3 1-2 7, Jones 8 3-4 19, Wood 1 2-2 4. Totals 25 17-23 70.

POTTSVILLE (49) - Schenk 8 1-1 18, Barnes 8 5-5 24, DiCello 1 1-2 3, Yost 1 0-0 2, Sukeena 0 2-2 2, Stanton 0 0-0 0, Snowell 0 0-0 0, Salata 0 0-0 0, McCuller 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 9-10 49.

MCS (1-0) 16 19 14 21 - 70 Potts (0-1) 7 4 18 20 - 49

3-point FGs: Snead, Middleton, Poplar, Schenk, Barnes 3

JV score: Pottsville 40-25

 

MCS/IMG_8115.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

MCS/IMG_8115.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

MCS/IMG_8115.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

MCS/IMG_8115.jpg
Photo By John Liddle

DATE

   

 Class

 

12/6/2019

Pottsville Crimson Tide   49

Math, Civics & Sciences   70

2A

L

12/10/2019

Pottsville Crimson Tide   

Berks Catholic 

4A 

 

12/13/2019

Pottsville Crimson Tide 

Abington Heights   

5A 

 

12/16/2019

Pottsville Crimson Tide

Jim Thorpe Olympians

4A

 

12/18/2019

Pottsville Crimson Tide 

Shamokin Indians   

3A

 

12/20/2019

Pottsville Crimson Tide 

Pine Grove Cardinals

3A

 

12/21/2019

Pottsville Crimson Tide 

Northwestern Lehigh   

4A

 

12/29/2019

Pottsville Crimson Tide

Wilson Bulldogs  

4A

 

12/30/2019

Pottsville Crimson Tide 

Tamaqua Blue Raiders 

4A

 

1/3/2020

Pottsville Crimson Tide 

Panther Valley Panthers   

3A

 

1/4/2020

Pottsville Crimson Tide   

Williamsport Millionaires 

6A

 

1/6/2020

Pottsville Crimson Tide 

Blue Mountain Eagles 

5A

 

1/9/2020

Pottsville Crimson Tide

North Schuylkill Spartans

4A

 

1/13/2020

Pottsville Crimson Tide 

Lehighton Indians   

3A

 

 1/16/2020

Pottsville Crimson Tide 

Jim Thorpe Olympians 

4A 

 

1/21/2020

Pottsville Crimson Tide 

Tamaqua Blue Raiders 

4A 

 

1/24/2020

Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Pine Grove Cardinals 

4A

 

1/25/2020

Pottsville Crimson Tide 

Scranton Prep. 

4A

 

1/28/2020

Pottsville Crimson Tide 

Panther Valley Panthers  

 3A

 

1/31/2020

Pottsville Crimson Tide  

Blue Mountain Eagles  

5A 

 

 2/4/2020

Pottsville Crimson Tide  

North Schuylkill Spartans  

4A 

 

2/7/2020

Pottsville Crimson Tide 

Lehighton Indians 

4A

 
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