POTTSVILLE BOYS BASKETBALL

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"ROLL TIDE"

 

Come out and Support the Tide Tonight!

Crimson Tide plays Allentown Central Catholic at 8:00 pm at Blue Mountain High School for the Distrcit XI AAA Title 

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Coach Jake says bring Home the Championship!

 

District 11 Class 3A boys basketball capsule

Who's in the District 11 Class 3A boys basketball title game?

DISTRICT 11 CLASS 3A BOYS CHAMPIONSHIP

•Who: Central Catholic (No. 3, 16-9) vs. Pottsville (No. 1, 26-0).

•When/where: 8 tonight at Blue Mountain H.S.

•What's next: Winner will play District 2 No. 3 (Honesdale or Valley View); loser will play District 4 champ (Shamokin or Milton) March 6 in first round of PIAA tournament.

CENTRAL CATHOLIC

Coach: Dennis Csensits (third season, 69-14)

Projected starters: 5-10 Jr. G Zay Jennings 19.8 ppg; 6-0 Sr. G/F Ben Pratt 10.6 ppg; 6-1 Sr. F Jack Nosovitch 4.3 ppg; 6-4 Fr. F Shackyll Dezonie 5.2 ppg; 6-0 Sr. G/F Bryce Maley 7.0 ppg.

Key reserves: 6-4 Fr. F Kevin Kern 2.0 ppg; 5-9 Fr. G Jay Vaughan 3.5 ppg; 6-3 Jr. F Alex Friel 2.9 ppg.

About the Vikings: Average 55.3 ppg, allow 51.8 ppg. … Advanced with a 64-50 win over No. 6 seed Saucon Valley and a 59-48 win over No. 2 Salisbury, increasing the program's postseason win streak over Colonial League opponents to 23. … Have rebounded with two wins after losing to Stroudsburg 69-47 in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference quarterfinals. … In win over Salisbury, Jennings led a balanced attack with 17 points — nine in the fourth quarter. Maley had a season-high 16 and Nosovitch added 11 points. Pratt had nine points, seven rebounds and six assists. … Have won four straight district crowns and are trying to become first boys team in District 11 history to win five consecutive championships. … Have won 10 straight district tournament games since losing to Pottsville 63-58 in the 2010 3A final. … In the district finals for the sixth straight year and 25th time since 1985 and own a 17-7 record in title games. … Vikings also won four straight district titles from 1992-95. … Defeated Pottsville 64-34 in last year's district final when now University of Michigan freshman Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman scored a season-high 34.          

POTTSVILLE

Coach: Dave Mullaney (eighth season, 166-50)

Projected starters: 6-1 Sr. G Connor Hinchcliffe 4.4 ppg; 5-7 Sr. G Ty Painter 3.2 ppg; 6-2 Sr. G Travis Blankenhorn 16.5 ppg; 6-2 Jr. G Jordan Melochick 9.4 ppg; 6-5 Sr. F Eli Nabholz 12.0 ppg.

Key reserves: 6-1 Sr. G Derek Shuman; 6-1 Jr G Christian Witman; 5-10 So. G Jordan Abdo; 6-6 Fr. F Ian Renninger.

About the Tide: Average 60.6 ppg, allow 31.8 ppg. … Advanced by beating at No. 9 Blue Mountain 60-31 and No. 4 Tamaqua 50-35 . … Blankenhorn had 20 points in Crimson Tide's semifinal win, including 14 in first half. Melochick tied a season high with 19 in quarterfinal win over Blue Mountain, while Blankenhorn added 15 and Nabholz 10. ... Blankenhorn is averaging 17.5 points per game during district playoffs, Melochick 13.5 and Nabholz 8.5. … All five starters played in last year's district title game and two state playoff games. … Won sixth consecutive Schuylkill League Division I title, then beat Tamaqua 33-28 in overtime in final. … Twenty-six wins have come by an average of 28.7 points. Closest margin was 49-46 win over Berks Catholic on Jan. 28. ... Blankenhorn (University of Kentucky), Nabholz (Penn State) and Hinchliffe (La Salle) are going to play Division I baseball in college. … Have won five district titles, the last coming in 2010 with a 63-58 win over CCHS.

Keith Groller's prediction: CCHS 59-58, but it will take Vikings' best effort of season.

2015 Schuylkill League Champions

26-0 

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 Tide reach Class AAA finals with win over Tamaqua

By Mike Carnahan
Published: February 25, 2015

MINERSVILLE — The Pottsville boys’ basketball team already has a Schuylkill League championship this season.

The Crimson Tide will now get to play for a District 11 title, too.

Travis Blankenhorn scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the first half as top-seeded Pottsville built an early lead and downed No. 4 Tamaqua 50-35 in a District 11 Class AAA semifinal Tuesday at Minersville’s Thomas Fitzpatrick Gymnasium.

The Crimson Tide (26-0) will be playing for a district championship for the second consecutive year. In the process, Pottsville, currently ranked No. 6 in Class AAA in the most recent Pennlive.com state boys’ rankings, earned a berth in the PIAA Tournament.

“This was one of our goals as a team, to play for a district title,” Blankenhorn said. “We are happy we are here.

“We will be ready for anyone.”

The Crimson Tide will get another crack at third-seeded Allentown Central Catholic (16-9) in the finals at 8 p.m. Friday at Blue Mountain High School. The Vikings beat No. 2 Salisbury 59-48 in the other semifinal.

ACC beat the Crimson Tide 64-34 in last year’s title game, the Vikings’ fourth consecutive championship.

Tamaqua (20-6), meanwhile, will take on the Falcons (21-6) in the consolation game at 6 p.m. Friday at Bethlehem Freedom High School, with the winner advancing to the state playoffs.

Tuesday was Pottsville’s fourth win over the Blue Raiders this season, the most recent

being a 33-28, overtime victory in the Schuylkill League championship game Feb. 13.

Round 4 wasn’t as close as Round 3, but it was hardly easy for the Crimson Tide.

Blankenhorn knocked down four of Pottsville’s seven 3-pointers in the game to help the Crimson Tide crack the Raiders’ 2-3 zone. Pottsville opened the game on a 10-1 run and led 19-12 at halftime.

The Crimson Tide’s best offensive quarter came in the third when they knocked down four 3s to build a 36-22 lead. Pottsville put the game away in the fourth from the foul line, hitting 12-of-14.

Overall, the Crimson Tide finished the night hitting 14-for-29 (48 percent) from the field.

“They made it difficult,” Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said about the Raiders’ 2-3 zone. “I think our guys tried to go off the dribble, but I just think they are really good in that zone. I think we got more short-corner touches, which was an emphasis tonight. We thought we could expose that in a 2-3, and I think we penetrated just enough to get some open looks.”

Blankenhorn’s performance was his best offensive night since he had 23 points and knocked down five 3-pointers Jan. 31 against Panther Valley.

“Warm-ups felt pretty good,” Blankenhorn said. “Definitely my teammates driving and getting me open, a lot of the credit goes to them.”

Bo Rottet led the Raiders with 17 points, while Brett Kosciolek added 11 points and eight rebounds. Tamaqua had a poor-shooting first half, hitting 5-of-19 (26 percent), but were only behind 19-12 at halftime after Rottet drained a jumper at the buzzer.

However, the Raiders also struggled from the floor in the third quarter, hitting 2-of-8.

“I don’t think we shot that well in the first half compared to them,” Tamaqua coach Caszy Kosciolek said. “We got good shots, but they just didn’t go down for us.

“Pottsville is a very good basketball team and we are proud of the fact that we played them as tough as anybody on their schedule in the last two games. That shows a lot about the character of our kids.”

Blankenhorn scored eight of his points in the first quarter, knocking down two 3s from the corner and scoring on a layup. A Jordan Abdo steal turned into a transition layup for Eli Nabholz with 2:06 left in the first, giving Pottsville its early 10-1 lead.

Blankenhorn added five more points in the second period. Tamaqua was within 13-10 at 4:03 before the Crimson Tide went on a 6-0 run to go up 19-10 with 52 seconds left in the half.

Everybody got involved offensively for Pottsville in the third quarter as five players scored, led by five by Connor Hinchliffe. The Crimson Tide hit 6-of-10 from the floor, with five of those buckets coming off assists.

“We just ran a good offense and got everybody involved,” Blankenhorn said. “Everybody had a good game and everybody can score on our team, so we were just sharing the ball with whoever was open.”

Game Summary

District 11 Class AAA Semifinal

At Minersville High School

TAMAQUA (35) — Shilko 0 0-0 0, Blaker 0 0-0 0, Miller 0 0-0 0, Rottet 4 8-9 17, Zuber 0 0-0 0, MacDonald 1 1-2 3, Skripko 2 0-0 4, Kosciolek 5 0-0 11, Berezwick 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 9-11 35.

POTTSVILLE (50) — Hinchliffe 2 0-0 5, Painter 0 5-6 5, Blankenhorn 6 4-5 20, Melochick 2 3-4 8, Witman 0 0-0 0, Abdo 1 3-4 5, Nabholz 3 0-1 7. Totals 14 15-20 50.

Tam (20-6) 6 6 10 13 — 35 Pot (26-0) 10 9 17 14 — 50

3-point FGs: Rottet, Kosciolek, Hinchliffe, Blankenhorn 4, Melochick, Nabholz

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Crimson Tide Rolls Over Blue Mountain

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JIM THORPE — Blue Mountain hung tough with Pottsville for first 12 minutes of Friday’s District 11 Class AAA boys’ basketball quarterfinal.

But the Crimson Tide’s inside game, especially Jordan Melochick, and their defense took over and turned the game into a rout.

Melochick tied a season high with 19 points, including nine in the second quarter, as top-seeded Pottsville closed the first half on a 13-0 run and rolled to a 60-31 victory over the ninth-seeded Eagles at Jim Thorpe High School.

Pottsville opened the game on a 9-0 run, but Blue Mountain, which opened the playoffs with a 52-48 win over Lehighton in the first round Tuesday, battled back in it.

The Eagles got within a point twice and were down 16-14 after a jumper by Connor Kerstetter with 4:10 left in the first half.

But Blue Mountain’s hopes for an upset quickly vanished.

The Eagles (12-12) missed their last two shot attempts from the floor in the half and turned the ball over three times. The Crimson Tide (25-0) started to push the ball inside, hitting 7-of-9 shots in the quarter, and built a 29-14 halftime lead.

Pottsville then opened the second half with a 9-0 run to go up 38-14 and put the game away.

“Our offense just wasn’t clicking at first,” Melochick said. “But then once the second quarter came around, we started clicking.

“I think our defensive pressure really got our offense going.”

Next up for the Crimson Tide is their fourth meeting this season with No. 4 Tamaqua (20-5) in Tuesday’s semifinals. The Raiders beat No. 5 North Schuylkill 39-33 in a quarterfinal-round game Friday.

Pottsville’s most recent match-up with the Raiders was in the Schuylkill League championship game Feb. 13, a 33-28 overtime win.

Melochick had his best offensive game Friday since he had 19 at Lehighton on Jan 10. His performance included a perfect 8-for-8 showing from the floor and 3-of-4 from the foul line.

The 6-foot-2 junior forward had two three-point plays during the second quarter. He also scored on an alley-oop pass from Connor Hinchliffe and hit 1-of-2 from the line after a drive with 4.4 seconds left in the first half to give Pottsville its 15-point halftime advantage.

Eli Nabholz also scored six points in the quarter, all in the paint, while Travis Blankenhorn had five.

“We knew we have some mismatches, with Travis, Eli and myself, so we tried to get the ball in the paint more,” Melochick said.

Blankenhorn finished with 15 points and five rebounds, while Eli Nabholz had 10 points and seven boards.

Brayden Lewis had 10 points to pace the Raiders, while Mark Chelius added seven points and Kerstetter had five rebounds.

After Kerstetter’s bucket midway through the second quarter, the Eagles didn’t score again until Lewis hit two free throws at 5:21 of the third quarter. Blue Mountain’s next points came on Lewis’ layup at 2:37 of the third and made it 43-18.

Blue Mountain had a decent night shooting, finishing 10-for-25 (40 percent), but turned the ball over 18 times.

“They played great defense,” Eagles coach Dustin Werdt said. “Every time you play them it is a struggle to score. They are so big and strong, and offensively they really attacked the paint on us in the second quarter and we really didn’t have much of an answer.”

Turnovers plagued Pottsville during the first quarter as the Crimson Tide committed six. But Pottsville was much crisper from the second quarter on, turning it over just five times the rest of the night.

The Crimson Tide dominated the inside, reflected by their 25-for-45 (56 percent) shooting night. Pottsville also outrebounded Blue Mountain 27-15.

“Our mentality tonight was we wanted to come out and defend as hard as we have all season,” Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. “I really think we did that. I don’t know if it is the best we’ve defended all season, but our energy level was real high and I think we fed off of that.”

“I think that a big part of it also (was) us getting the ball into the post. Our post touches in the first half, we scored on a very high percentage of those.”

Game Summary

District 11 Class AAA quarterfinals

At Jim Thorpe H.S.

BLUE MOUNTAIN (31) — NStramara 1 2-2 4, Kerstetter 2 0-0 4, Barton 0 1-2 1, Welsh 0 0-0 0, Lewis 4 2-4 10, Chelius 2 2-8 7, Albertini 1 0-0 3, Zerbe 0 2-2 2, Biever 0 0-0 0, Bobbin 0 0-0 0, Caulfield 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 9-18 31.

POTTSVILLE (60) — Hinchliffe 0 0-0 0, Painter 1 0-0 2, Blankenhorn 6 0-0 15, Melochick 8 3-4 19, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 2 2-2 6, Abdo 2 0-2 4, Nabholz 5 0-0 10, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Renninger 1 2-4 4. Totals 25 7-12 60.

Blue Mt. (12-12) 6 8 4 13 — 31 Pottsville (25-0) 9 20 16 15 — 60

3-point FGs: Chelius, Albertini, Blankenhorn 3


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Crimson Tide plays Blue Mountain on Friday at Jim Thorpe!!!

I don't know why, we are playing in Jim Thorpe! 

 

Can someone stop either Parkland or Pottsville in district boys basketball tournaments?

Can someone stop either Parkland or Pottsville in district boys basketball tournaments?

Keith Groller

The Morning Callkgroller@mcall.com@KeithGroller

 

APRIL BARTHOLOMEW, MORNING CALL FILE PHOTO

EPC MVP Devante Cross leads a balanced Parkland attack.

 

Which star will shine the most during district boys basketball tournament?

Which team is primed to pull an upset in district boys basketball tournament?

Can a Colonial League team end Central's five-peat hopes in boys 3A?

Just like it always has been in the real estate world, the District 11 boys basketball tournament is all about location.

No, not the location of the games, but where your team finds itself in terms of the classification bracket.

There was considerable movement this year in terms of class.

Most notably, defending Class 2A champ Notre Dame is now in the 3A mix and defending Class A champ Mahanoy Area is in 2A.

Pottsville, which has fluctuated between 3A and 4A for years, is in 3A this year.

But Bangor and Southern Lehigh, whose lone district crowns were in 3A, are now in 4A, where they will have to contend with newly crowned Eastern Pennsylvania Conference champion Parkland.

With the exception of unbeaten Pottsville and once-defeated Parkland, consistency has been elusive throughout the boys basketball landscape.

And considering the recent spate of bad weather, getting consistent practice time also has been elusive. More tricky weather remains in the district forecast.

Once the games begin, here are some of the things to look for as 31 teams go for the gold and spots in the state tournament:

Best players

You have to start with the league players of the year — Parkland's Devante Cross in the EPC and Wilson's Phil Pierfy in the Colonial League.

They both have been great this winter.

There may not be a star out there of the magnitude of Central Catholic graduate and Michigan freshman Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, who was a big part of four straight Vikings district titles, but there are many other standout players who can carry their teams in big games.

Those players include Parkland's Sam Iorio and Kyle Stout, Stroudsburg's Danny Cuevas, Southern Lehigh's Noah Kandt, Bangor's Michael Martino, Emmaus' David Kachelries, Easton's Hassan Greenfield and Whitehall's Brett Radocha in Class 4A and Central Catholic's Zay Jennings, Tamaqua's Bo Rottet and Brett Kosciolek, Salisbury's Dasheen Reid, Saucon Valley's Mike Kane and Pottsville's Travis Blankenhorn in 3A.

Schuylkill expressway

We know for certain that a Schuylkill League team will win the 2A title because the tiny four-team field features all Schuylkill members.

The Schuylkill also has a 50-50 shot of winning the Class A championship since Shenandoah Valley and Nativity BVM are in the mix along with talented Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg and Lincoln Leadership Academy squads in another four-team bracket.

Best chance for a title-game rematch

Pottsville and Central Catholic rank as solid favorites to meet again for the gold.

As the No. 1 seed, the Crimson Tide is in the upper half of a bracket that features all Schuylkill teams and all potential opponents Pottsville has already defeated.

Pottsville is 9-0 against potential foes en route to the final.

Central Catholic, meanwhile, is in the lower half of the bracket with five Colonial League members. CCHS hasn't lost to a Colonial League team in the district tournament since then star player Bron Holland and Bangor defeated the Vikings in the 1988 3A final.

Ironically, Central could be vulnerable in Friday night's quarterfinals against Notre Dame, which is coached by Pat Boyle. Boyle was a member of that 1988 Vikings' team.

Of course, Notre Dame must first beat Saucon Valley for Boyle to get a crack at his alma mater.

If it happens, Boyle also would be coaching against a family member. Boyle's mother and CCHS senior Jack Nosovitch's mother are first cousins.

Most compelling story lines

You have to start with Central Catholic's quest for a fifth straight 3A title, which would be unprecedented. Unlike the past few years, the Vikings are not favored this time as Pottsville is undefeated and state-ranked; CCHS has scuffled finding offensive consistency.

In 4A, it will be interesting to see if anyone can knock off Parkland, which will likely be facing several familiar faces. The Trojans have met and defeated everyone in the 12-team field except Colonial League members Bangor and Southern Lehigh.

It also be interesting to see if any of the season's biggest surprise teams — Palisades, Northampton and Nazareth — can continue to surprise and survive the week.

One of the fun potential matchups would be Northampton against Bangor on Saturday in the quarters because Konkrete Kids coach Coy Stampone is a proud Slaters graduate and, like Bangor coach Holland, is a disciple of the legendary Bill Pensyl.

In Class A, it'll be interesting to see if anyone can stop a powerful Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg under the direction of the Spartans' iconic coach, Bob Mullen. This is a team that has lost only to Tamaqua and North Schuylkill and hasn't been defeated since the second week of the season.

Lincoln Leadership is a talented team and has a chance to reach the Class A final for the first time, but Notre Dame has beaten Lincoln twice and the second time it was 68-32.

Best chance for an upset

Both No. 10 seeds in 4A and 3A have a chance to beat the No. 7 seeds.

Why? Because they've already beaten them.

In 4A, No. 10 Northampton has defeated No. 7 Whitehall twice and in 3A, Palisades beat Wilson just a few weeks ago to clinch a district berth,

Staying in 4A, No. 11 Nazareth already has defeated No. 3 Stroudsburg, but for that rematch to happen the Blue Eagles would first have to get by No. 6 Liberty, which looked very good in the EPC tournament last week.

It wouldn't shock me if No. 12 Easton knocked off hard-to-figure No. 5 Emmaus, although the Green Hornets generally play well at home.

Best chance for a blowout

Parkland will play either Southern Lehigh or Pocono Mountain West in its quarterfinal-round game on Saturday at Easton and the Trojans will be heavy favorites to beat either team. The Trojans already have defeated the Panthers 80-53 this season.

Freshman flashes

Northampton's Aidan Ellwood will get his first district experience as will several rising stars at CCHS. Nazareth's Jahan Dotson and Notre Dame's Jack Reichenbach also could make an impact.

Teams with the most to prove

Bangor has to prove it can win at the 4A level because the school is not likely to get smaller in enrollment and the Slaters are going to have to find a way to compete with some of the EPC's elite.

The same applies to the Colonial League members at the 3A level. Pottsville and Central Catholic are always going to be obstacles, but teams like Salisbury, Saucon Valley and Wilson have shown in spurts that they can knock off teams from other leagues and need to do it more consistently at this time of year.

Stroudsburg, which was clearly the best team in the EPC's Mountain Division, needs to show its dominance in Monroe Country can translate to success elsewhere.

Players with the most to prove

Liberty's Ludwin Gonzalez has been a good player all season for the Hurricanes, but struggled in the league final against Parkland.

Also, Stroudsburg's Cuevas didn't have the best of nights against Liberty in the EPC semis.

Wilson's Pierfy had an outstanding senior season one year after suffering a major injury. However, the truly great players lead teams to championships and he has his last chance to lead the Warriors to a gold medal.

The picks

4A: Parkland. It's going to take a team playing exceptionally well, almost flawlessly for 32 minutes, to prevent the Trojans from earning a three-peat.

3A: Central Catholic. I know Pottsville is unbeaten and several Colonial League teams are capable of upsets. But I have a feeling that the Vikings' best basketball is ahead of them. Dennis Csensits is a quality coach.

2A: Mahanoy Area. The Golden Bears will likely have to face a gritty Minersville team, but they call them Golden Bears for a reason.

A: Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg. It's a shame that the Spartans didn't go into the Colonial League as originally planned because we'd know truly how good they are.

kgroller@mcall.com

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Athlete of the Week


              

Photo: JACQUELINE DORMER, License: N/A, Created: 2015:01:03 15:21:44 Photo: JACQUELINE DORMER, License: N/A, Created: 2015:01:24 20:02:56                             

 

                              

JACQUELINE DORMER/STAFF PHOTO Pottsville’s Eli Nabholz came up big in overtime to help the Crimson Tide defeat Tamaqua in last Friday’s Schuylkill League boys’ basketball final.

Name: Eli Nabholz

High school: Pottsville Area High School

Grade: Senior

Sport: Boys’ basketball

Accomplishments: Scored 15 points in two games during Crimson Tide’s run through Schuylkill League playoffs, a 59-31 win over Mahanoy Area in the semifinals last Wednesday and a 33-28, overtime victory over Tamaqua in the championship game last Friday. Scored five points in overtime Friday, hitting go-ahead bucket and 3-of-4 from foul line. Also grabbed three defensive rebounds in overtime to help Pottsville seal the win.

Age: 17

Hometown: Pottsville

Family: Mary Jo (mother), John (father)

Athletes I admire: Tom Brady, Justin Verlander

Favorite sports teams: Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots

What grade did you start playing basketball: Kindergarten

How does playing basketball help with baseball: “Mostly in just competing. In baseball, especially as a pitcher, you start one day and then have five days off and start again, and then you have your whole offseason where you are just working out. In basketball offseason, we are not only getting stronger and better physically, but we are competing as well, learning how to compete a lot better in basketball. It definitely helps to stay in shape.’’

What are one or two things you’ve improved on this basketball season that helped you in Friday’s championship game: “I think just confidence wise, that was my biggest improvement. I think it helps fit into the team aspect a little bit more.”

How satisfying is it to win the league title knowing that Pottsville was the favorite all season: “This one was definitely the hardest because we were the favorite. Everybody was gunning for you and everybody had a plan to beat you. We just had to prepare that much harder.”

Goals for the rest of the season (Crimson Tide are No. 1 seed in District 11 Class AAA playoffs): “We are just worried about Friday night (versus tonight’s Blue Mountain-Lehighton winner). Right now, that is the most important thing and we will let the rest take care of itself. We just don’t want to stop playing. That is what it comes down to.”

Post-graduation plans: Attend Penn State University to play baseball and study political science.

 

 

2015 Schuylkill League Champions

24-0 

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WNEP Highlights

Pottsville - Mahanoy Area Highlights-WNEP

  Crimson Tide win Schuylkill League title in thriller over Tamaqua

By Mike Carnahan
Published: February 14, 2015

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After a year’s absence, Pottsville is back on top of the Schuylkill League in boys’ basketball.

The way the Crimson Tide had to do it made it all the more memorable.

Eli Nabholz scored five of his nine points in overtime as Pottsville was finally able to put away Tamaqua for a thrilling, 33-28 victory in Friday’s league championship game at Martz Hall.

“It was stressful, but it was a lot of fun,” Nabholz said.

The Crimson Tide (24-0) kept their undefeated season alive, but it was far from easy. Still, in what was a rare close game for Pottsville this season, the Tide found a way to get it done in crunch time.

The championship was the fifth in the past six years for the Crimson Tide, who lost 45-44 in last year’s championship game to Mahanoy Area.

Pottsville avenged that loss with a 59-31 rout of the Golden Bears in Wednesday’s semifinals. Now, Pottsville went out a winner in what will be its final game this season at Martz Hall.

“It was very exciting and very close,” Travis Blankenhorn said. “It was a good team win. We played a good team game.”

Pottsville, the Division I champ, won the

two regular-season meetings against the Raiders by double digits, including a 53-26 blowout Jan. 27 at Martz Hall. The third go-around was far different.

A spread offense by Tamaqua (19-5), the Division I wild card, frustrated Pottsville a little bit and kept the game close. Just when the Crimson Tide appeared to be pulling away, Tamaqua rallied in the fourth quarter and tied the game on a 3-pointer by Russell Blaker with 1:12 remaining in regulation.

But overtime belonged to Pottsville, especially Nabholz.

Not only did the 6-foot-5 center give the Crimson Tide the lead for good on their first possession, he was 3-for-4 from the foul line and grabbed three defensive rebounds in the extra session to help seal the victory.

“It is just the will to win,” Nabholz said of his overtime performance. “After last year we had a bitter taste in our mouth. I just wanted to pull my weight and make sure I did whatever I could to help us win and so did everybody else.”

Nabholz finished the game with five rebounds and two blocks. Blankenhorn led the Crimson Tide with 10 points.

Bo Rottet had 10 points and five rebounds to pace the Raiders, who were playing in their first league championship game since beating Marian for the title in 1994. He scored six of his points in the fourth quarter as Tamaqua rallied from a 20-13 deficit to force overtime.

Brett Kosciolek added eight points and four rebounds for the Raiders.

The Crimson Tide won their previous 23 games this season by an average margin of 30.3 points per game. Their closest victory was a 49-46 win Jan. 28 at Berks Catholic.

Friday was new territory for Pottsville, but nobody ever seemed rattled.

“I think we had confidence the whole game,” Blankenhorn said. “We knew that if we stuck together as a team, we would be all right.”

Blankenhorn set up Nabholz on the Crimson Tide’s first possession when he kicked out the ball to the wing after penetration. Nabholz, his foot on the 3-point line, knocked down the jumper to make it 26-24.

After Nabholz grabbed a Tamaqua miss, he quickly got the ball out to Blankenhorn, who ended up scoring a transition layup to make it 28-24.

The Raiders got back to within 1 on their next possession when Kosciolek knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner.

Pottsville then sealed the game from the foul line.

Ty Painter hit both ends of a 1-and-1 situation with 1:28 to go. After Nabholz rebounded another miss, he was fouled and hit the second of a double-bonus situation with 54.5 seconds left.

Nabholz rebounded another Raiders’ miss, was fouled again, and hit both ends of the double-bonus to make it 33-27 with 38.6 seconds remaining.

Tamaqua missed three shots in its final possession. Eventually, Nate MacDonald grabbed an offensive rebound, was fouled and hit the first of a 1-and-1 with 2.5 seconds left. He missed the second and the clock ran out as the teams scrambled for the rebound.

The Martz Hall crowd of 3,215 people then erupted one last time as the Crimson Tide rushed to the center of the court to celebrate a championship.

“It is just a blessing to come out, especially here in front of so many people,” Nabholz said. “The crowd was great tonight both ways. Tamaqua had a great game plan. We always say we need to come out and play our game. It took us a little bit to get into our game but we did. Hats off to Tamaqua, they played a great game.”

The victory gave Pottsville the No. 1 seed for the District 11 Class AAA playoffs and settled Tamaqua into fourth. The Blue Raiders open district play with a quarterfinal game next Saturday against North Schuylkill, while Pottsville will face the winner of Tuesday’s first-round game between Lehighton and Blue Mountain.

Game Summary

Schuylkill League Boys’ Championship

At Martz Hall

TAMAQUA (28) — Blaker 1 0-0 3, Miller 1 0-1 2, Rottet 4 1-1 10, Zuber 1 0-0 2, MacDonald 1 1-2 3, Skripko 0 0-0 0, Kosciolek 2 2-2 8. Totals 10 4-6 28.

POTTSVILLE (33) — Hinchliffe 1 0-0 2, Painter 0 2-2 2, Blankenhorn 4 3-4 11, Dunkel 0 0 0-0 0, Melochick 0 3-6 3, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 0-0 0, Abdo 2 0-0 6, Nabholz 2 5-6 9. Totals 9 13-18 33.

Tam (19-5) 0 7 6 11 4 — 28 Pot (24-0) 2 8 9 5 9 — 33

3-point FGs: Blaker, Rottet, Kosciolek 2, Abdo 2

2014-15 — Potttsville

2013-14 — Mahanoy Area

2012-13 — Pottsville

2011-12 — Pottsville

2010-11 — Pottsville

2009-10 — Pottsville

2008-09 — N. Schuylkill

2007-08 — Shamokin

2006-07 — Blue Mountain

2005-06 — Mahanoy Area

2004-05 — Mahanoy Area

2003-04 — Pottsville

2002-03 — Blue Mountain

2001-02 — Shamokin

2000-01 — Shamokin

1999-2000 — Pottsville

1998-99 — Mahanoy Area

1997-98 — Shamokin

1996-97 — Shamokin

1995-96 — Shamokin

1994-95 — Pottsville

1993-94 — Tamaqua

1992-93 — Pottsville

1991-92 — Shamokin

1990-91 — Mahanoy Area

1989-90 — Lourdes

1988-89 — Pottsville

1987-88 — Lourdes

1986-87 — Pine Grove

1985-86 — Panther Valley

1984-85 — Pottsville

1983-84 — Pottsville

1982-83 — Pottsville

1981-82 — Saint Clair

1980-81 — Pottsville

1979-80 — Pottsville

1978-79 — Mahanoy Area

1977-78 — N. Schuylkill

1976-77 — N. Schuylkill

1975-76 — Tamaqua

1974-75 — Blue Mountain

1973-74 — Blue Mountain

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 Tamaqua's slow-down stategy nearly produces upset

By Leroy Boyer
Published: February 14, 2015
              
                

Caszy Kosciolek calls it his “4 to score” offense.

A spread-the-floor, patient, slow-down offensive set that makes for boring basketball, but one that can help an underdog hang with a heavy favorite.

The Tamaqua coach utilized the strategy in Friday’s Schuylkill League boys’ championship game against Pottsville at Martz Hall.

After a 27-point loss to Pottsville on the same floor 18 days ago, Kosciolek felt the strategy would give his Blue Raiders the best chance to knock off the unbeaten Crimson Tide.

It nearly worked.

Tamaqua held the ball for the nearly the entire first quarter, and stayed in the “4 to score” set the entire game. The result was a low-scoring, nail-biting, thrilling boys’ final that Pottsville pulled out 33-28 in overtime.

“Their defense is the toughest, probably on this side of the state,” Kosciolek said of Pottsville’s man-to-man, aggressive defense. “We figured if we could spread them out, be patient, take the very best shot.

“We want to try to score, but if we can’t, we want to keep the offense moving, keep people spread and try to make them vulnerable.

“You can’t stay enough how smart (his Blue Raiders) played and how selfless they are in order to play a game like this.”

Tamaqua slowed the tempo from the outset — running nearly four minutes off the clock on one possession — and the game was scoreless until Pottsville’s Travis Blankenhorn scored on a jumper with two seconds left in the first quarter.

The teams combined for just five shots in the first quarter, with Pottsville going 1-for-2 from the field and Tamaqua shooting 0-for-3.

The pace picked up somewhat in the second quarter, as the Crimson Tide outscored the Blue Raiders 8-7.

Instead of an up-and-down, high-scoring game that most people figured they would see, the slow-paced contest had Pottsville leading 10-7 at halftime.

“They got us out of our game a little bit,” Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. “They had a great game plan. Them slowing it down as much as they did got us out of what we wanted to do offensively.

“You want to minimize possessions,” Mullaney continued. “They did a great job of doing that.

“We haven’t seen a dribble spread in a long time. There are ways to defend it. We made some adjustments trying to keep it out of the middle of the floor. In the first half we allowed them to get it into the middle, and you can run that offense all day if you allow them to do that.”

While Tamaqua was slowing the game down offensively, the Blue Raiders were able to slow down Pottsville’s offense just as effectively on the defensive end of the floor.

Tamaqua played a tight 2-1-2/2-3 zone that sagged 6-foot-7 Brett Kosciolek deep into the lane, but also extended at times to prevent the Crimson Tide from making skip passes across the zone for open 3-point shots.

Pottsville was patient against it, running its motion offense in search of a good shot, but struggled to hit from the outside against it.

“Any zone defense, you have to shade their shooters, and that’s what we did,” Kosciolek said. “I thought we did a good job of finding where Blankenhorn was most of the time. It’s a game plan you use against the personnel that’s there. We shaded shooters, and we did a good job of man principles in that zone defense in knowing where their weapons were.

“We did a nice job when the ball went into the short corner and we defended the high post.”

The combination of Tamaqua’s patient offense and its tough defense forced the game into a crawl for three-plus quarters. Pottsville shot 0-for-4 from beyond the arc before sophomore Jordan Abdo came off the bench to hit a pair of 3-pointers late in the third quarter, and finished 2-for-9 from 3-point range.

“They had a good strategy defensively, and we have good shooters out there. But we needed to be more aggressive against it,” Mullaney said. “There’s other ways to score against a zone other than just hitting 3s. There are other things we could have gotten that we worked on, they just did a great job in it. We weren’t hitting from the perimeter, and they could tighten it up a little more.”

Tamaqua opened up its offensive attack in the fourth quarter after falling behind 20-13 with 4:41 left, and rallied to tie it and force overtime. Eli Nabholz tallied five of his nine points in the extra session to help Pottsville win it.

The victory gives Pottsville (24-0) the No. 1 seed in the upcoming District 11 Class AAA Tournament and sets up a quarterfinal contest between Tamaqua and North Schuylkill.

The Tamaqua-North Schuylkill winner could get Pottsville in the semifinals.

On a different floor, in a different environment, Tamaqua’s slow-down strategy may not have worked. It worked to near perfection Friday.

“(Pottsville) is very good,” Kosciolek said. “We’re not into moral victories, but no one has taken this team into overtime. I told our kids this is something for us to build on going into district play. We learned a lot about ourselves, too.”

 

H.S. BOYS BASKETBALL: Raiders get another shot at Crimson Tide in Schuylkill League finals


           

Photo: JACQUELINE DORMER, License: N/A, Created: 2015:02:11 19:41:40 PR13BOYSPREVIEW_1_WEB                             

 

                                                          

Schuylkill League Boys’ Basketball Championship

Tonight, at Martz Hall

Tamaqua (19-4, Division I wild card)

vs. Pottsville (23-0, Division I champion), 8 p.m.

About the Blue Raiders

Head coach: Caszy Kosciolek (4th season)

How got here: Beat Division II champ Minersville 59-53 in Wednesday’s semifinal

Last appearance in title game: 1994 — Beat Marian 59-52

Previous league titles (since 1966): Two (1976, 1994)

Team statistics: Offense (58.0 points per game), defense (43.3 ppg)

Probable starting lineup: G Russell Blaker (jr., 6-1, 8.5 points per game), G Bo Rottet (sr., 6-0, 17.3), F Nate MacDonald (sr., 6-1, 5.7), F Tyler Skripko (sr., 5-10, 3.4), F-C Brett Kosciolek (sr., 6-7, 17.2)

Key reserves: G Ben Miller (sr., 6-1, 1.3), G Thaddaeus Zuber (fr., 5-9, 1.4), G Ernie Shilko (sr., 5-8, 1.7)

About the Crimson Tide

Head coach: Dave Mullaney (8th season)

How got here: Beat Division III champ Mahanoy Area 59-31 in semifinal

Last appearance in title game: 2014 — Lost to Mahanoy Area 45-44

Previous league titles (since 1966): 14 — 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1989, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2004, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Team statistics: Offense (62.2 points per game), defense (31.9 ppg)

Probable starting lineup: G Connor Hinchliffe (sr., 6-1, 4.7), G Ty Painter (sr., 5-7, 3.2), G Travis Blankenhorn (sr., 6-2, 16.7), G-F Jordan Melochick (jr., 6-2, 9.3), F-C Eli Nabholz (sr., 6-5, 12.4)

Key reserves: F Jed Dunkel (sr., 6-2, 2.3), G Derek Shuman (sr., 6-1, 1.1), G Christian Witman (jr., 6-1, 1.9), G Jordan Abdo (soph., 5-10, 6.2)

Game notes

Rottet (23 in the game) and Kosciolek (18) combined for 26 second-half points as the Raiders pulled away in their semifinal win over the Miners. Rottet scored 16 of his points in the second half and finished the night 12-for-15 from the foul line. ... Crimson Tide were down 11-2 early in the first quarter against the Golden Bears before holding a 57-20 scoring advantage the rest of the game. Blankenhorn led the Crimson Tide with 12 points. ... Third meeting between two this season. Crimson Tide used a fourth-quarter run to pull away and win 57-40 on Jan. 5 and then dominated the second meeting, winning 53-26 on Jan. 27. ... Game features three 1,000-career point scorers: Blankenhorn (1,489), Kosciolek (1,430) and Rottet (1,044). Blankenhorn and Kosciolek reached their milestones last season, Rottet did it last week. ... Crimson Tide are ranked No. 7 in Class AAA in most recent PennLive.com rankings. Raiders are a team to watch in Class AAA. ... Crimson Tide would wrap up a No. 1 seed for the District 11 Class AAA playoffs with win. Tamaqua would improve on its No. 4 ranking with a victory.

— Complied by Mike Carnahan

The first was a competitive game.

The second go around was a rout.

So what will the third meeting this season between Pottsville and Tamaqua bring?

For certain, it is the most important match-up of them all. It is title time tonight when the Crimson Tide (23-0) take on the Raiders (19-4) for the Schuylkill League boys’ championship at 7:30 p.m. at Martz Hall.

Pottsville, the Division I champ, is playing in its sixth consecutive league title game and is looking to win its fifth championship in the past six years. The Crimson Tide beat Division III champ Mahanoy Area 59-31 in the semifinals Wednesday, avenging last year’s title-game loss to the Golden Bears.

Tonight is new territory for Tamaqua, the Division I wild card.

The Raiders are playing in their league final since a 59-52 victory over Marian in 1994. Tamaqua reached tonight’s championship with a 59-53 victory over Division II champ Minersville in Wednesday’s semifinals.

“They are really excited,” Tamaqua coach Caszy Kosciolek said about getting another crack at the Crimson Tide. “It is really their first taste of Martz Hall in the postseason. Their confidence level is as high as I’ve seen it. I think we are ready to go.”

Let’s recap the first two meetings:

Jan. 5 at Tamaqua, Pottsville 57-40: Travis Blankenhorn poured in 30 points as the Crimson Tide took their first lead midway through the first quarter and led the rest of the way. But Tamaqua wouldn’t go quietly and cut the deficit to 39-31 early in the fourth quarter before Pottsville finished the game on an 18-9

run. Ty Painter added 10 points for the Crimson Tide. Brett Kosciolek (14) and Bo Rottet (11) reached double figures for the Raiders.

Jan. 27 at Martz Hall, Pottsville 53-26: The game was never close as the Crimson Tide led 28-11 at halftime and rolled to the win. The Raiders shot 10-for-38 (26 percent) from the floor and turned the ball over 12 times. Blankenhorn scored all of his game-high 14 points in the first half, while Jordan Melochick (11) and Eli Nabholz (11) also reached double figures. Rottet (12) led the Raiders.

If history is any guide, tonight’s game should be closer than the scores from the regular season.

The last time the Schuylkill League boys’ final featured teams that meet twice during the regular season was in 2011 and 2012 between Pottsville and Pine Grove.

After grabbing 39-27 and 62-34 victories during the regular season, Pottsville edged the Cardinals 51-49 in the 2011 championship game that came down to the wire.

In 2012, Pottsville won 48-36 and 43-33 during the regular season and then pulled away late in the title game for a 38-31 victory.

“It is easier because you see a lot of their plays the whole year and we are used to playing them,” Pottsville senior Connor Hinchliffe said about playing the same team three times on one season. “We know their players just as good as our own players. It is kind of hard because one day they can come out and shoot fire, and the next … When we played them at home, they couldn’t hit anything and we beat them pretty good. You just can’t take anyone lightly.”

For Tamaqua to pull off the upset against the No. 7-ranked Class AAA team in the state, Caszy Kosciolek knows the Raiders need to figure out how to have success against Pottsville’s tough man-to-man defense.

The Crimson Tide’s defense dominated the second meeting between the clubs, as it during Wednesday’s semifinal win over Mahanoy Area. The Golden Bears shot 12-for-41 (29 percent) and turned the ball over 24 times.

“We have to get into the rhythm of our offense,” Coach Kosciolek said. “We can’t allow them to take us out of our rhythm. That is going to be a critical factor.”

Crimson Tide coach Dave Mullaney believes Pottsville needs to defend well, too, especially Brett Kosciolek (17.2 points per game, 1,430 career points) and Rottet (17.3, 1,044). The Crimson Tide also need to attack, and yet be patient, on offense, no matter what defense the Raiders show.

“They have two really, really good players and we are going to have to defend them,” Mullaney said. “We are going to have to make sure we keep (Russell) Blaker off the 3-point line, he’s a very good player. We are going to have to be aggressive going against what ever defense they have. We anticipate some 3-2 zones, 2-3 zone, a little man, whatever they play, we need to be aggressive against them.”


Pottsville - Mahanoy Area Highlights-WNEP

 

Schuylkill League Boys' BB: Pottsville overwhelms Mahanoy Area

by mike carnahan
Published: February 12, 2015

              

Photo: JACQUELINE DORMER, License: N/A, Created: 2015:02:11 19:52:55

JACQUELINE DORMER/STAFF PHOTO Pottsville's Connor Hinchliffe hauls down a rebound over Mahanoy Area's Brian Miller during the semifinals of the Schuylkill League at Martz Hall in Pottsville Wednesday, February 11, 2015.

Photo: JACQUELINE DORMER, License: N/A, Created: 2015:02:11 19:48:59

JACQUELINE DORMER/STAFF PHOTO Pottsville's Jordan Melochick splits Mahanoy Area's defenders Mike Joseph (30) and Mike Wronski (22) during Wednesday’s Schuylkill League semifinals at Martz Hall. The Tide beat the Bears 59-31.                                                          

Pottsville’s defense has overwhelmed the opposition at times this season.

That was the case Wednesday night.

The Crimson Tide’s intensity on defense allowed Pottsville to overcome an early deficit and roll to a 59-31 victory over Mahanoy Area in the Schuylkill League boys’ basketball semifinals at Martz Hall.

Travis Blankenhorn had 12 points and Jordan Abdo came off the bench to score 10 as the Crimson Tide (23-0) reached the title game for the sixth consecutive year.

Pottsville will take on Division I wild card Tamaqua (19-4) for the championship at 8 p.m. Friday at Martz Hall. The Raiders beat Division II champ Minersville 59-53 in Wednesday’s other semifinal.

It will be third meeting between the Crimson Tide and Tamaqua this season. Pottsville won 57-40 on Jan. 5 and 53-26 on Jan. 27.

“It is always good to play at Martz Hall,” said Pottsvile senior Connor Hinchliffe, who had eight points Wednesday. “There is nothing better than playing at Martz Hall with everyone here and are looking forward to seeing us play.”

The Crimson Tide’s 45-44 loss to Mahanoy Area during last year’s title game denied Pottsville a fifth straight league title. Avenging that loss provided a little extra motivation Wednesday.

“Mahanoy is a good team,” Pottsville’s Ty Painter said. “We came in with a chip on our shoulder and we wanted to make sure we got back to the finals again.”

It was a little shaky early for the Crimson Tide as the Golden Bears (18-5) hit their first four shots to take an 11-2 lead 3:21 into the game.

The rest of the night belonged to Pottsville.

The Crimson Tide, the Division I champs, tied the game at 13 early in the second quarter, starting a 21-4 scoring advantage in the period to give Pottsville a 32-17 halftime advantage.

Division III champion Mahanoy Area got to within 34-22 midway through the third quarter, but the Crimson Tide put the game away with a 19-2 run that lasted into the fourth.

A big factor was Pottsville’s man-to-man defensive intensity.

After the Golden Bears’ early lead, the Crimson Tide put the clamps on Mahanoy Area. Pottsville made it difficult for the Golden Bears to get any kind of rhythm going in their half-court sets. Mahanoy Area rushed what shots it did get and finished the

night 12-for-41 (29 percent) from the floor. The Golden Bears also committed 25 turnovers.

The defensive effort started with Painter, who was matched up on Mahanoy Area point guard Mike Joseph.

“They have great players all around,” Painter said. “He’s a good ball-handler. We just kept putting pressure on them, don’t let them catch the ball and keep it up defensively.”

Hinchliffe added nine rebounds and three steals on the night. He also hit some big buckets in the first half.

Hinchliffe had a 3-pointer with 23 seconds in the first quarter from the corner on a kick-out pass from Eli Nabholz that pulled Pottsville to within 13-11.

After a reverse, baseline layup by Nabholz early in the second quarter tied the game at 13, Hinchliffe gave the Crimson Tide the lead for good on their next possession when he scored off a Jordan Melochick missed 3-pointer. Hinchliffe hit another 3 with 4:08 left in the first half from the top of the circle to make it 22-13.

Hinchliffe, who came in averaging 4.5 points per game, has seen his offense pick up the last couple of games. He 16 points combined during Crimson Tide wins over Lehighton and Jim Thorpe last week.

“I think early in the year it was just kind of a confidence issue,” Hinchliffe said. “Not many 3s were going in, but I think I just needed to get that first good game to stay confident. Now, when I get an open shot, I feel confident I am going to knock it down.

Matt Yedsena had 10 points to pace the Golden Bears, while Joseph added eight.

A turnaround jumper in the lane by Miller on Mahanoy Area’s opening possession, followed by a 3-pointer by Joseph and back-to-back 3s by Miller and Yedsena gave the Golden Bears their early 11-2 led. But Mahanoy Area didn’t score again in the first quarter until a Mike Wronski layup with 45 seconds left.

Their next field goal of the game came with 1:04 remaining in the first half, making it 29-17 Pottsville.

“The first quarter, we did everything we talked about the last two days,” Mahanoy Area coach Scott Hudson said. “ We boxed out perfectly, ran our sets, set hard screens. But they picked up their defense and sort of shut us down a little bit at the guard position and sort of gave us some problems.

“Give them credit, their defense picked it up.”

Game Summary

Schuylkill League Boys’ Semifinal

At Martz Hall

POTTSVILLE (59) — Hinchliffe 3 0-0 8, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 2 0-1 3, Blankenhorn 3 6-6 12, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Dunkel 2 0-0 4, Melochick 2 5-5 9, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 1 0-0 2, Abdo 5 0-0 10, Nabholz 3 2-2 6, Coyle 1 0-0 3, Renninger 0 0-0 0, Schenck 1 0-0 2, O’Pake 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 13-14 59.

MAHANOY AREA (31) — Erbe 0 0-0 0, R. Derr 0 0-0 0, Yedsena 4 0-0 10, M. Derr 0 0-0 0, Styka 1 0-0 2, McGee 0 0-0 0, Wronski 2 0-0 5, Fedor 0 0-0 0, Miller 2 1-2 6, Joseph 3 0-0 8. Totals 12 1-2 31.

Pot (23-0) 11 21 14 13 — 59 Mah (18-5) 13 4 9 5 — 31

3-point FGs: Hinchliffe 2, Painter, Coyle, Yedsena 2, Wronski, Miller, Joseph 2

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HERE WE GO!!!

 

Schuylkill League Boys' Basketball Semifinal Capsules

By Mike Carnahan
Published: February 11, 2015


Schuylkill League

Boys’ Basketball Semifinals

Tonight, at Martz Hall

Tamaqua (18-4, Division I wild card)

vs. Minersville (18-3, Division II champ), 6 p.m.

About Tamaqua

Head coach: Caszy Kosciolek (4th season)

Previous Schuylkill League playoff appearances (since 1985): Five

Last appearance: 1995 — Lost to Pottsville in semifinals

League rankings: Offense (3rd, 58.0 points per game), defense (3rd, 42.8 ppg)

Probable starting lineup: G Russell Blaker (jr., 6-1, 8.6 points per game), G Bo Rottet (sr., 6-0, 17.0), F Nate MacDonald (sr., 6-1, 5.7), F Tyler Skripko (sr., 5-10, 3.5), F-C Brett Kosciolek (sr., 6-7, 17.2)

Key reserves: G Ernie Shilko (sr., 5-8, 1.7), G Ben Miller (sr., 6-1, 1.4), G Thaddaeus Zuber (fr., 5-9, 1.2)

About Minersville

Head coach: Cliff Woodford (8th season)

Previous Schuylkill League playoff appearances (since 1985): Three

Last appearance: 2011 — Lost to Pine Grove 54-47 in semifinals

League rankings: Offense (6th, 53.8 ppg), defense (4th, 43.0 ppg)

Probable starting lineup: G Colin Hashin (sr., 5-8, 6.1), G Jon McBreen (jr., 6-2, 7.4), G Chris Leshko (jr., 6-2, 12.4), F David Graham (jr., 6-0, 11.0), F Spencer Tobin (sr., 6-1, 8.8)

Key reserve: F Brian Brennan (jr., 6-2, 3.5)

Game notes

Two teams met during the regular season Dec. 8 with the Raiders winning 45-33. Rottet had 23 points in the contest, while Graham had 10 for the Miners. ... Miners enter on eight-game winning streak. That includes a 46-45 win over North Schuylkill on Jan. 31 and a 59-58 victory over Shenandoah Valley on Saturday. Leshko had the go-ahead bucket in both games. ... Leshko is the league’s top 3-point shooter, averaging 2.4 per game. ... Rottet went over 1,000 points for his career last week, joining Kosciolek, who did it last season. ... Tamaqua will likely play a 2-3 zone, but will show other zone looks, too. Miners will play man-to-man. ... Both teams — Tamaqua (Class AAA) and Minersville (Class AA) — are listed as others to watch in latest PennLive.com Pennsylvania High School Rankings.

Mahanoy Area (18-4, Division III champ)

vs. Pottsville (22-0, Division I champ), 7:30 p.m.

About Mahanoy Area

Head coach: Scott Hudson (1st season)

Previous Schuylkill League playoff appearances (since 1985): 17 overall, 5 titles (1991, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2014)

Last appearance: 2014 — Beat Pottsville 45-44 in championship game

League rankings: Offense (5th, 53.9), defense (2nd, 42.3)

Probable starting lineup: G Matt Yedsena (jr., 6-0, 15.7), G Mike Wronski (jr., 5-9, 8.2), G Mike Joseph (soph., 5-8, 8.9), F Peter Luddy (sr., 5-9, 2.3), F-C Brian Miller (sr., 6-3, 15.4)

Key reserves: F Marcus Styka (jr., 6-1, 2.4)

About Pottsville

Head coach: Dave Mullaney (8th season)

Previous Schuylkill League playoff appearances (since 1985): 17 overall, 10 titles (1985, 1989, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2004, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)

Last appearance: 2014 — Lost to Mahanoy Area 45-44 in championship game

League rankings: Offense (2nd, 62.3) defense (1st, 31.9)

Probable starting lineup: G Connor Hinchliffe (sr., 6-1, 4.5), G Ty Painter (sr., 5-7, 3.2), G Travis Blankenhorn (sr., 6-2, 16.9), G-F Jordan Melochick (jr., 6-2, 9.3), F-C Eli Nabholz (sr., 6-5, 12.7)

Key reserves: F Jed Dunkel (sr., 6-2, 2.2), G Derek Shuman (sr., 6-1, 1.2), G Christian Witman (jr., 6-1, 1.9), G Jordan Abdo (soph., 5-10, 6.0)

Game notes

Rematch of last year’s title game. All five of Pottsville’s likely starters tonight started in that game. Miller played for the Golden Bears and scored two points. ... With their 59-29 win over Jim Thorpe last Friday, Crimson Tide became first boys’ team from Schuylkill League to finish with undefeated regular season since Mahanoy Area (2006-07). ... Golden Bears were on an 11-game winning streak before going 2-2 in their final four regular-season games. ... Crimson Tide have simply overwhelmed their opponents this season, winning their games by an average margin of 30.4 points per game. ... Both teams will play a man-to-man. ... Crimson Tide are ranked No. 7 in Class AAA in latest PennLive.com rankings. Golden Bears are a team to watch in Class AA.

— Complied by Mike Carnahan

UNDEFEATED!!!!!!

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Photos By John Liddle

 

Perfection is preserved.

Eli Nabholz scored 14 points, while Travis Blankenhorn added 13 as Pottsville capped its undefeated regular season with a 50-29 Schuylkill League Division I victory over Jim Thorpe on Friday in Martz Hall.

With the win, the Crimson Tide became the first team in program history to accomplish that feat. Pottsville is also the first team from the Schuylkill League to end the regular season with a perfect record since Blue Mountain in 2002-03.

Blankenhorn tallied all 13 of his points in the middle two quarters as the Tide outscored the Olympians 28-12 in that stretch.

Shane Snisky led Jim Thorpe with nine points, while Chris Micciche had eight.

JIM THORPE (29) — Carroll 1 0-0 3, Elmore 0 0-2 0, Micciche 3 1-2 8, Green 0 0-0 0, Luicina 0 0-0 0, McElmoyle 2 0-0 5, S. Snisky 3 3-4 9, Everitt 1 1-2 4, Joyce 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 5-10 29.

POTTSVILLE (50) — Hinchliffe 2 1-1 6, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 1 0-0 3, Blankenhorn 6 0-0 13, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Dunkel 1 0-0 2, Melochick 0 1-2 1, Shuman 1 1-2 3, Witman 0 2-2 2, Abdo 0 0-0 0, Nabholz 6 2-2 14, Coyle 1 0-0 3, Renninger 0 1-2 1, Schenk 1 0-0 2, O’Pake 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 8-11 50.

JT (8-14, 4-10) 6 7 5 11 — 29 Pt (22-0, 14-0) 13 13 15 9 — 50

3-point FGs: Carroll, Micciche, McElmoyle, Everitt, Hinchliffe, Painter, Blankenhorn, Coyle

JV score: Pottsville 50-31

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Senior Night

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Perfection is preserved.

Eli Nabholz scored 14 points, while Travis Blankenhorn added 13 as Pottsville capped its undefeated regular season with a 50-29 Schuylkill League Division I victory over Jim Thorpe on Friday in Martz Hall.

With the win, the Crimson Tide became the first team in program history to accomplish that feat. Pottsville is also the first team from the Schuylkill League to end the regular season with a perfect record since Blue Mountain in 2002-03.

Blankenhorn tallied all 13 of his points in the middle two quarters as the Tide outscored the Olympians 28-12 in that stretch.

Shane Snisky led Jim Thorpe with nine points, while Chris Micciche had eight.

 

JIM THORPE (29) — Carroll 1 0-0 3, Elmore 0 0-2 0, Micciche 3 1-2 8, Green 0 0-0 0, Luicina 0 0-0 0, McElmoyle 2 0-0 5, S. Snisky 3 3-4 9, Everitt 1 1-2 4, Joyce 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 5-10 29.

POTTSVILLE (50) — Hinchliffe 2 1-1 6, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 1 0-0 3, Blankenhorn 6 0-0 13, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Dunkel 1 0-0 2, Melochick 0 1-2 1, Shuman 1 1-2 3, Witman 0 2-2 2, Abdo 0 0-0 0, Nabholz 6 2-2 14, Coyle 1 0-0 3, Renninger 0 1-2 1, Schenk 1 0-0 2, O’Pake 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 8-11 50.

JT (8-14, 4-10) 6 7 5 11 — 29 Pt (22-0, 14-0) 13 13 15 9 — 50

3-point FGs: Carroll, Micciche, McElmoyle, Everitt, Hinchliffe, Painter, Blankenhorn, Coyle

JV score: Pottsville 50-31


CRIMSON TIDE'S PERFECT SEASON 22 - 0
 
The Crimson Tide Completed the first perfect season in the school history tonight with a 50-29 victory over Jim Thorpe!!!! 
 
Pottsville (22-0): Hinchliffe 2 1-1 6, Gerchak 0 0-0  0, Painter 1 0-0 3, Blankenhorn 6 0-0 13, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Dunkel 1 0-0 2, Melochick 0 1-2 1, Shuman 1 1-2 3, Witman 0 2-2 2,Abdo 0 0-0 0, Nabholz 6 2-2 14, Coyle 1 0-0 3, Renninger 0 1-2 1, Schenck 1 0-0 2, O'Pake 0 0-0 0, Totals: 19 8-11 (50)
 
Jim Thorpe (): Carroll 1 0-0 3,Elmore 0 0-0 0, Micicle 3 1-2 8,  Green 0 0-0 0, Luciana 0 0-0 0, Mcelmoyle 2 0-0 5, Snisky 3 3-4 9, Everitt 1 1-2 4, Joyce 0 0-0 0, T totals: 10 5-10 (29)
 
3 point FG'S: Carroll, Micciche, McElmoye, Everitt, Hinchliffe, Painter, Blankenhorn, Coyle 

CRIMSON TIDE 22 - 0

Crimson Tide continue's it's run to the perfect regular season, The Tide plays Jim Thorpe in it's final game at home,  The Tide victory would be the First Time in School History that a team remained undefeated in the regular season!!!! 

Pottsville 58

Lehighton 33

Travis Blankenhorn scored nine points and Connor Hinchilffe contributed eight during a 22-4 first-quarter run for the Crimson Tide in a Division I rout of the Indians at Martz Hall.

Blankenhorn finished with a game-high 16 points, while Hinchliffe added 10 for Pottsville.

Jordan Knappenberger hit four 3-pointers to pace Lehighton with 14 points.

 

LEHIGHTON (33) — Ruzicka 0 0-0 0, Cordova 0 0-0 0, Crum 2 0-0 4, Zwetolitz 2 0-0 6, Ortiz 1 2-3 4, Williams 0 0-0 0, Buchinsky 0 0-0 0, Chambers 0 0-0 0, Knappenberger 5 0-0 14, Greene 2 1-2 5. Totals 12 3-4 33.

POTTSVILLE (58) — Hinchliffe 4 1-1 10, Painter 0 0-0 0, Blankenhorn 6 1-1 16, Thomas 1 1-2 3, Dunkel 1 0-0 2, Melochick 2 3-4 8, Shuman 1 0-0 3, Witman 0 0-0 0, Abdo 2 2-2 7, Nabholz 4 0-0 9, Coyle 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 8-10 58.

Leh (13-8, 6-7) 4 14 8 7 — 33 Po (21-0, 13-0) 22 8 17 11 — 58

3-point FGs: Zwetolitz 2, Knappenberger 4, Hinchliffe, Blankenhorn 3, Melochick, Shuman, Abdo, Nabholz

JV score: Pottsville 51-30


Crimson Tides improves to 21 - 0 with a 58-33 victory over Lehighton!

Pottsville 79

Panther Valley 32

LANSFORD — Travis Blankenhorn scored 23 points, and Eli Nabholz added 15 as Pottsville roughed up Panther Valley in a Division I game that clinched the divisional title for the Tide.

Jordan Melochick recorded 14 points for Pottsville, which led 40-22 at the half.

 

POTTSVILLE (79) — Hinchliffe 1 2-2 4, Gerchak 0 0-0 0, Painter 2 1-1 5, Blankenhorn 9 0-0 23, Thomas 1 4-4 7, Dunkel 0 0-4 0, Melochick 5 3-4 14, Shuman 1 0-0 2, Witman 1 0-0 2, Abdo 1 0-0 2, Nabholz 7 1-2 15, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Renninger 1 1-3 3, Schenck 0 0-0 0, O’Pake 1 0-0 2. Totals 30 12-20 79.

PANTHER VALLEY (32) — Keo 0 0-0 0, Dubosky 4 1-2 10, Vermillion 1 0-3 2, Stanko 0 0-0 0, Micholik 2 0-0 6, Miller 1 0-0 2, Hudicka 2 0-0 5, Blasko 3 0-0 7, Morgans 0 0-0 0, Eickoff 0 0-0 0, Weng 0 0-0 0, Fisher 0 0-0 0, Mehmeti 0 0-0 0.Totals 13 1-5 32.

Pott (19-0, 12-0) 19 21 22 17 — 79 PV (3-16, 1-11) 14 8 2 8 — 32

3-point FGs: Blankenhorn 5, Thomas, Melochick, Dubosky, Micholik 2, Hudicka, Blasko

JV score: Pottsville 59-17


 

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

Thursday January 29, 2015 12:01 AM

By Mike Drago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JV score: Pottsville 38-23

Crimson Tide Improves to 19 - 0

 

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

 

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

Berks Catholic      16    6    9    15  (46)

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

Clearing off the recorder: Berks Catholic next for Pottsville


By Mike Carnahan, Republican-Herald Sport Writer


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


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


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


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

 

H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Defense lifts Pottsville over Tamaqua


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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

The defense showed up for all four quarters Tuesday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game Summary

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

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

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

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

JV score: Pottsville 63-16

 

Defense lifts Crimson Tide to victory


By Mike Carnahan, Republican-Herald Sports Writer

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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




North Schuylkill gave Pottsville everything it could handle Saturday evening.

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

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

The game was closer than the final indicated.

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

Then Nabholz took over.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was as close as the Spartans got.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game Summary

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

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

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

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

 

                              

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Mark Chelius had 17 points for Blue Mountain.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

BOYS' BB NOTEBOOK: Mid-season report


I am running a bit behind this year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DIVISION I

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

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

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

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

Jim Thorpe (5-9, 2-5)

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

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

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

Lehighton (10-5, 3-4)

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

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

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

North Schuylkill (10-3, 4-3)

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

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

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

Panther Valley (3-12, 1-7)

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

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

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

Pine Grove (2-13, 0-7)

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

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

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

Pottsville (15-0, 8-0)

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

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

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

Tamaqua (13-2, 7-1)

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

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

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

DIVISION II

Lourdes (4-10, 1-6)

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

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

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

Minersville (10-3, 6-1)

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

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

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

Schuylkill Haven (7-8, 3-4)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Williams Valley (9-5, 5-2)

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

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

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

DIVISION III

Mahanoy Area (12-2, 2-7)

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

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

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

Marian (6-7, 3-4)

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

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

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

Nativity (9-6, 4-3)

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

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

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

Shenandoah Valley (7-8, 5-2)

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

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

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

Weatherly (3-9, 1-6)

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

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

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

BERKS LEAGUE

Hamburg (0-17, 0-6)

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

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

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

TRI-VALLEY LEAGUE

Upper Dauphin (12-3, 7-1)

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

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

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

INDEPENDENT

Gillingham Charter (0-11)

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

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

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

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

Power poll

Through Jan. 17

W-L Pvs

1. Pottsville 15-0 1

2. Tamaqua 13-2 2

3. Mahanoy Area 12-2 7

4. Minersville 10-3 4

5. North Schuylkill 10-3 6

6. Blue Mountain 8-6 5

7. Lehighton 10-5 3

8. Upper Dauphin 12-3 10

9. Williams Valley 9-5 9

10. Nativity 9-6 8

— Complied by Mike Carnahan


Travis 25 - Muhlenberg 23!

 

Pottsville 74

Muhlenberg 23

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

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

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

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

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

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

JV score: Pottsville 54-27

What Can I Say!!!!  Tide Rolls !

 

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

 

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

Pine Grove:   6   0   4   8   (18) 

 

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

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

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

 

 

Pottsville 73

Pine Grove 18

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

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

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

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

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

JV score: Pottsville 53-14


 

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

Eli Nabholz added 15 points for Pottsville.

Brian Carroll’s five points paced Jim Thorpe.

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

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

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

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

 Crimson Tide rolls over Jim Thorpe

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Pottsville 58

Lehighton 38

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crimson Tide Improves to 12 - 0

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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Crimson Tide Pounces on the Panthers

 

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

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

 

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

Panther Valley      11   11     0    6    (28) 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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Pottsville 80

Panther Valley 28

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

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

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

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

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

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

JV score: Pottsville 50-15

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


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

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

Travis Blankenhorn has had quite a week.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

JV score: Pottsville 64-17

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Crimson Tide Improves to 10 - 0

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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Crimson Tide Improves to 10 - 0

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 Blankenhorn, 4th-qarter run lift Tide past Tamaqua

By Mike Carnahan
Published: January 6, 2015              

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was as close as Tamaqua got.

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

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

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

coach Dave Mullaney said. “I needed that.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game Summary

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

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

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

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

JV score: Pottsville 56-27

 


Crimson Tide hold off Tamaqua

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

Pottsville Leads WNEP Rankings - 1/5/2015

 

BOYS RANKINGS:

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

9-0, The Tide Rolls

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

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

Tamaqua (10-2) 11   8   8   13  (40)

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

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

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

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Tide remain unbeaten with rout of Williamsport

 


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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There was plenty to be happy with.

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

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

Pottsville was just as solid on the defensive end.

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

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

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

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

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

Game Summary

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

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

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

3-point FGs: Hankins, Benjamin, Blankenhorn 3

JV score: Pottsville 53-52


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Photo By John Liddle

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POTTSVILLE-WILLIAMSPORT GAME TIME MOVED

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

 

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


            

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

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

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

So far, it has been.

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

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

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

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

Pottsville has been that good.

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

All of the