Crimson Tide Season

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Pottsville Crimson Tide   53

Danville Ironmen   34


Pottsville Crimson Tide   43 

Wilson Bulldogs   58


Pottsville Crimson Tide   58 

Governor Mifflin Mustangs   44 


Pottsville Crimson Tide   53  

Williamsport Millionaires   37


Pottsville Crimson Tide   72

Pine Grove Cardinals   32


Pottsville Crimson Tide   71

Berwick Bulldogs   29


Pottsville Crimson Tide   50

Tamaqua Blue Raiders   41


Pottsville Crimson Tide   73

Hamburg Hawks   39


Pottsville Crimson Tide   59

Nativity Green Wave   25


Pottsville Crimson Tide   53

Blue Mountain Eagles   36


Pottsville Crimson Tide   54

North Schuylkill Spartans   44


Pottsville Crimson Tide   66

Panther Valley Panthers   34


 Pottsville Crimson Tide.  46

Salisbury.  56


Pottsville Crimson Tide  43

Shamokin Indians   38


Pottsville Crimson Tide  73

Jim Thorpe Olympians  25


Pottsville Crimson Tide   46

Muhlenburg Mules   40


Pottsville Crimson Tide  52

Pine Grove Cardinals   17


Pottsville Crimson Tide   43

Tamaqua Blue Raiders   24


Pottsville Crimson Tide   33

Blue Mountain Eagles   51


Pottsville Crimson Tide   55

North Schuylkill Spartans   39


Pottsville Crimson Tide   60

Panther Valley Panthers   20


Pottsville Crimson Tide   62

Jim Thorpe Olympians   22


Pottsville Crimson Tide   51

Blue Mountain Eagles   42


Pottsville Crimson Tide   56

Williams Valley Vikings   30


Pottsville Crimson Tide   44

Mahanoy Area Bears   45


Pottsville Crimson Tide   69

Lehighton   33


Pottsville Crimson Tide   56

Blue Mountain Eagles   42


Pottsville Crimson Tide   34

Allentown Central Catholic Vikings   64


Pottsville Crimson Tide   58  

Lower Moreland   38


Pottsville Crimson Tide   45

Susquehanna Township   52



  Susquehanna Township eliminates Pottsville

by kevin keating (CORRESPONDENT kkeating@republicanherald.com)
Published: March 11, 2014

READING - Trailing by 10 early in the third quarter and with its season beginning to slip away, Pottsville stuck with its game plan.

In just two minutes, the Crimson Tide nearly completely erased Susquehanna Township's lead.

The go-ahead score never came for Pottsville.

Susquehanna Township's sibling duo of Gabe and Bud Mack helped the Indians close out a 52-45 victory over the Tide in the second round of the PIAA Class AAA boys' basketball state tournament Tuesday night at the Geigle Complex, ending Pottsville's successful postseason run.

The District 3 champion Tribe (21-7) advance to face Lancaster Mennonite, a 68-64 winner over Chartiers Valley, in Friday's state quarterfinals.

Pottsville (24-6) refused to fade quietly into the warming March air even after falling behind by 10 to start the second half.

The Tide played their hallmark stingy man-to-man defense, containing the Tribe throughout. Offensively, shots weren't finding their way through the twine in the early going as Pottsville hit just 4-of-22 from the field in the first half.

Something clicked early in the third quarter, though, as the Tide used an 11-2 run to pull within a point at 26-25.

"I was really proud of the way we just continued to believe in our game plan the entire time," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. "First half, we had some open looks that didn't fall. We knew if we just stuck with the game plan and defensive rebounding. That was so crucial to us, and our kids did an absolutely great job. We knew some shots would fall late."

Pottsville had several open looks draw iron in the fourth quarter and harmlessly bounce into the hands of Susquehanna Township rebounders to stifle the Tide's late runs.

"I knew Pottsville was solid," Hanna coach Vince Rogers said. "Their record speaks for itself. I knew they were going to be ready.

"They were physical and strong. They battled. They battled with us. Those kids don't have anything to hang their heads down on."

Eli Nabholz delivered another huge performance for the Tide, finishing with a team-high 21 points and six rebounds. Nabholz had some success in the post, then moved outside and drained four 3-pointers to help Pottsville's comeback bid.

Defensively, Nabholz had to contend with 6-foot-6 center Quintin Ward, while the Tide's guards were busy trying to deal with both Macks on the perimeter and driving to the rim.

"Eli … he's played so big for us down the stretch," Mullaney said. "His ability to score inside and out is such a difficult guard for people. We probably don't give him enough credit on the defensive end. He does a great job on that end. He's grown so much in that regard. Obviously, his rebounding has been tremendous all year."

The Macks proved to be the difference, especially down the stretch.

Bud Mack finished with a game-high 22 points, knocking down 6-of-8 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter. Gabe Mack added 11 points, with all 11 coming in the final stanza.

"I really believe that it was (numbers) 3 and 4 (Bud and Gabe Mack)," Mullaney said. "They're great players and their ability to make tough shots. I was really proud of our defensive effort. We forced them to take shots, but they're that good. They made them."

Travis Blankenhorn added 15 points for Pottsville, which loses just one senior - reserve forward John Toomey - to graduation.

"John symbolizes everything that we want from a Pottsville basketball player," Mullaney said. "I think the best compliment that I can give him is he's just as good a teammate as I've ever been around. We will miss him a lot."

The Crimson Tide return all five starters next season. The first victory in states since 1974 are certainly steps to build on for 2014-15.

"I think tonight, obviously we're disappointed with the loss, but we definitely showed that we belong with the top teams in the state," Mullaney said. "I think our guys, with some of the teams that we played down the stretch, it's really going to carry over to the next year."

Pottsville (45) Hinchliffe 2 0-0 6, Painter 0 0-0 0, Blankenhorn 7 0-0 15, Toomey 0 0-0 0, Melochick 1 1-1 3, Nabholz 5 7-8 21. Totals 15 8-9 (45)

Susquehanna Township (52) Blair 1 0-0 2, Milberry 1 0-0 2, Mack 5 9-12 22, Mack 3 5-6 11, Turner 0 0-0 0, Marshall 3 0-2 6, Ward 4 1-2 9, Letterlough 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 15-22 (52)


Pottsville (24-6)          8    6   14   17 --- (45)

Susquehanna (21-7)  13    7   14   18  -- (52) 

3-point FG's: Hincliffe 2, Blankenhorn, Nabholz 4, B. Mack 3 

  Pottsville tames Lions to advance to 2nd round of state playoffs

by kevin keating (correspondent kkeating@republicanherald.com)
Published: March 7, 2014   

ORWIGSBURG - Eli Nabholz doesn't really concern himself with making matchups in the post "personal."

Sure, Pottsville's 6-foot-5 big man embraces the challenge of playing better around the rim than his opposing defender.

Nabholz just tries to let his opportunities come to him within the Crimson Tide's offensive sets.

That's usually a good thing, since Pottsville does its best to work the ball inside-out on the offensive end.

In Friday's PIAA Class AAA first-round playoff game, Nabholz received plenty of chances to flourish in the paint and capitalized on most of them.

Nabholz tallied a game-high 25 points, helping Pottsville to a 58-38 rout of Lower Moreland at Blue Mountain High School to advance in the state playoffs for the first time in 40 years.

"I don't know if it was any different. It's something that we stress every game, working inside-out," Nabholz said. "Today instead of passing the ball out of the post, I just had opportunities to score today.

"I try to not get personal," he continued. "I try to focus on the things we work on as a team - working inside-out, getting the ball in the post. If I have a chance to make a move, I make a move. If not, I find somebody. I wouldn't say it's personal, but I definitely take it as a challenge to be better than my opponent."

The victory puts the District 11 runner-up Crimson Tide (24-5) into Tuesday's second round against District 3 champion Susquehanna Township, a 65-47 winner over Imhotep Charter, at a site and time to be determined.

Nabholz was a major reason for Pottsville's success against District 1 runner-up Lower Moreland (16-10).

The junior connected on 9-of-13 shots from the field, scoring 14 points in the first half to give Pottsville a 33-17 lead at intermission.

"Definitely with Eli, we wanted to get him the ball as much as possible," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. "But also I thought we were driving the ball, too, and that was creating open looks for us."

It certainly was.

Travis Blankenhorn amped up the scoring for Pottsville in the second quarter, knocking down a jumper and a driving layup before hitting two 3-pointers to help extend the Tide's lead from 10-8 after a quarter to double digits by the 2:44 mark of the second period.

"They didn't really have anything to answer Eli," Blankenhorn said. "He did a great job, so we kept on giving it to him.

"They were doubling down on Eli then. He was kicking it back out."

Defensively, the Tide locked down on the Lions.

Jordan Melochick and Ty Painter kept Lower Moreland point guard Danny Duffy in check, holding the 5-9 sophomore point guard to just four points.

"Overall, I was pretty happy with our defensive effort," Mullaney said. "In particular I thought Jordan Melochick did a good job on (Duffy). Their point guard is very good, averaging about 14 points and over eight assists a game. I thought Jordan really did a great job on him along with Ty Painter."

Pottsville also kept 6-5 center Phil Madden and 6-4 forward Nick Cerruti in check as well.

"I think our defense in the first half, we played fairly well," Nabholz said. "I think that got us going more offensively. It definitely helped out with the pace of the game and that kind of stuff."

The Crimson Tide used a 14-0 run that started with a free throw by Nabholz at the 1:21 mark of the second and finished with a Melochick 3-pointer with 4:43 left in the third to bury the Lions.

From there, the Tide controlled the clock to secure the program's first state playoff win since 1974.

"It's taking that next step as a program," Mullaney said. "We'd love to be recognized on a state level, and this is definitely a step in the right direction.

"This has been a great group to be around," Mullaney added. "They're all close friends, which makes it that much better. We're excited for the next challenge. We know Tuesday's going to be difficult whether it's Susquehanna Township or Imhotep - they're both very talented teams. We're going to approach it the same way and hopefully get a win on Tuesday."

Pottsville (58) Hinchliffe 1 0-0 2, 3 0-0 8, Blankenhorn 7 2-2 18, Toomey 0 0-0 0, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 2 0-0 5, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 0-0 0, Nabholz 9 6-8 25, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Hampford 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 8-10 (58)


Lower Moreland (38) Cerutti 3 2-2 9, Titus 1 0-0 2, Turelsky 0 0-0 0, Zaubroulis 5 4-4 14, Madden 2 0-0 4, Duffy 2 0-0 4, Fazio 0 0-0 0, Millian 0 0-0 0, Rhoades 0 0-0 0, Cerutti 2 1-2 5, Smelda 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 7-8 (38)

3 Point FG's: Cerutti, Painter 2, Blankenhorn 2, Melochick, Nabholz

 ACC rolls past Tide in AAA final

by kevin keating (correspondent kkeating@republicanherald.com)
Published: February 28, 2014
BETHLEHEM - The fanfare and reputation that Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman towed with him into Friday's District 11 Class AAA final against Pottsville lived up to its billing.

Abdur-Rahkman played every bit like the Division I basketball player that he has the offers and potential to become.

The 6-foot-4 senior knocked down a pair of 3-pointers from the top of the key to kick start the unbeaten Vikings, who dominated the Crimson Tide on their way to a fourth straight district title with a 64-34 victory at Bethlehem Freedom's Joseph McIntyre Gym.

Abdur-Rahkman finished with a game-high 34 points, increasing his career total to 2,052 points to pass Billy McCaffrey as the Vikings' all-time leading scorer.

Both teams advance to the PIAA Class AAA state playoffs, which begin March 7. ACC (27-0) meets District 3 sixth-place West York, while Pottsville (23-5) will await the loser of today's District 1 final between Holy Ghost Prep and Lower Moreland.

Pottsville, one of the top defensive teams in the Schuylkill League, had no answer for Abdur-Rahkman, who scored from beyond the arc, inside the paint and added a two-handed flush on a breakaway following a steal in the second quarter that brought the crowd to its feet.

It wasn't a case of the Tide giving up what they could to Abdur-Rahkman and trying to lock down the rest of the Vikes.

"I wish that was the case," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. "We were actually trying to ... we actually sunk and were supposed to be helping every time he caught the ball. I don't think we did a great job of that. But at times, he's that good that it doesn't matter if you're helping or not. He can play. He can score."

In reality, Abdur-Rahkman had plenty of help from his mates, especially from the perimeter, as ACC bagged 10-of-20 3-point attempts.

Zay Jennings hit three triples, Brian McCarthy added two, Ben Pratt drilled one and Abdur-Rahkman knocked down four.

Pottsville was able to limit 6-8 center Brendan Wagner to just 10 points, and 6-5 forward Jean Lee Baez left the game with an injury in the first half. However, Wagner contributed 14 rebounds as the Vikings outrebounded the Tide 35-16.

"I always think playing a team like that is going to help you moving forward," Mullaney said. "I can't think of too many positives.

"I think as far as us defending in the post, we did what we wanted to do," he continued. "You're always going to give up something against a team of that caliber. We though we'd give up some outside shooting. Unfortunately, they made everything."

Travis Blankenhorn led Pottsville offensively with 16 points, while Eli Nabholz added 10. Nabholz had the Tide's only two 3-pointers as Pottsville went 2-of-13 from beyond the arc and finished 13-of-43 from the field.

Fortunately, it's not the end of the road for Pottsville. Mullaney and his staff rallied their troops in the locker room with the intention of refocusing the Tide for next week's game, which could land at Blue Mountain's gym.

"We were just talking about that with our guys. We'll get a game at Blue Mountain next Friday," Mullaney said. "A game that, if we play our game, we could get a victory. We've just got to come back, refocus and get ready for next week."


Pottsville (34) Hinchliffe 0 0-2 0, Painter 1 0-0 2, Blankenhorn 7 2-2 16, Toomey 1 0-0 2, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 1 2-4 4, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 0-0 0, Nabholz 3 2-4 10, Hampford 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 6-10 (34)


Allentown Central Catholic (64) Baez 0 0-0 0, Maley 0 0-0 0, Vaughan 0 0-0 0, Abdul-Rahkaman 14 2-3 34, Pratt 1 0-0 3, McCarthy 2 0-0 6, Kohli 1 0-0 2, Guensch 0 0-0 0, Shephard 0 0-0 0, McKee 0 0-0 0, Stevens 0 0-0 0, Nosovitch 0 0-0 0, Wagner 5 0-0 10, Jennings 3 0-0 9. Totals 26 2-3 (64)


Pottsville (23-5)          7    8   10    9 --- (34)

Allentown CC (27-0)  15  16  17   16 --- (64)


3-point Fg's: Nabholz 2, Abdul-Rahkman 4, Pratt, McCarthy 2, Jennings 3


District XI - CLASS AAA

First round
Tuesday, Feb. 18
Saucon Valley 72, Northern Lehigh 39
Wednesday, Feb. 19
Lehighton 85, Tamaqua 59

Friday, Feb. 21
Allentown C.C. 80, Saucon Valley 52
Bethlehem Catholic 73, Salisbury 66
Blue Mountain 67, Southern Lehigh 51
Pottsville 69, Lehighton 33

Tuesday’s scores
ACC 81, Bethlehem Catholic 68
Pottsville 56, Blue Mountain 42

Friday, Feb. 28
No. 2 Pottsville (23-4) vs. No. 1 Allentown Central Catholic (26-0), Freedom High School, 7 p.m.
No. 3 Blue Mountain (20-6) vs. No. 5 Bethlehem Catholic (12-13), Martz Hall, 4:30 p.m.

Photos By John Liddle


Painter quietly making contributions for Crimson Tide

By Mike Carnahan Herald Sports Writer
Following Pottsville’s 56-42 victory over Blue Mountain in the District 11 Class AAA semifinal Tuesday, coach Dave Mullaney talked a little bit about the Crimson Tide getting to their first championship game since 2010.
“We had some inexperienced guys (at the start of the season) but we knew we had some pretty good athletes,” he said. “At the beginning of the year we talked about having three (Travis Blankenhorn, Eli Nabholz, Jordan Melochick) we thought who would be consistent scorers and to find some other guys and those other guys are stepping up.”
One has been Connor Hinchliffe. The other has been Ty Painter.

Painter might never be the offensive threat Blankenhorn, Nabholz, Melochick, all of whom are averaging in double figures, and, to a lesser extent, Hinchliffe have become. But Painter has certainly improved as the season has gone on.
For starters, he appears to be gaining more confidence offensively and is taking more shots than he did earlier in the year.
He scored six points Tuesday. He drove to the hoop twice early in the game, missing his first shot inside but scoring on the second. He was fouled in the process and hit the free throw for a three-point play, giving the Crimson Tide the lead for good at 4-3 5 minutes into the game. Painter added a 3-pointer early in the third quarter, one of the seven 3s Pottsville hit in the game, on a kick-out pass from underneath by Nabholz. The Crimson Tide led at that point 35-23.
“Ty can shoot the ball, we all know that,” Nabholz said. “We all have confidence in him and now he has confidence in himself that he can step up and shoot. It opens up a lot of other things for other people.”
Painter added three assists and also came up with two other key plays.
Pottsville turned the ball on its first possession on a steal by the Eagles’ Kyle Slane, who appeared to be headed in for a layup. But Painter got back on defense and blocked the attempt.
Then in the fourth quarter with Blue Mountain attempting to get back in the game with full-court pressure, Painter looked to be trapped in a double team near the half-court line. But he somehow got the ball to the other side of the court to Blankenhorn, who then drove to the hoop on scored. It gave Pottsville a 53-40 advantage with 2:34 left in the game.


 Balance attack, early 3-pointers lift Crimson Tide past Blue Mountain

by mike carnahan (staff writer mcarnahan@republicanherald.com)
Published: February 25, 2014

MINERSVILLE - The ability to knock down 3-pointers has been a big part of Pottsville's offense this season.

That certainly has been the case when the Crimson Tide have faced rival Blue Mountain.

Tuesday was no different.

Four first-half 3-pointers helped No. 2-seeded Pottsville build an early lead it never lost in a 56-42 victory over the No. 3 Eagles in a District 11 Class AAA semifinal at Thomas Fitzpatrick Gymnasium.

Eli Nabholz paced a balanced offensive attack with a game-high 16 points for Pottsville (23-4), which advances to the district game for the first time since 2010. The Crimson Tide face undefeated Allentown Central Catholic in Friday's title game at 7 p.m. at Bethlehem Freedom

The top-seeded Vikings (26-0), who are currently No. 3 in the state in Class AAA in the most recent PennLive.com rankings, beat No. 5 Bethlehem Catholic 81-68 in Tuesday's other semifinal.

The victory also means Pottsville is headed to the PIAA Tournament for the first time since 2011, when the Tide qualified in Class AAAA after beating Pocono Mountain West in the consolation game.

"It is absolutely an amazing feeling, especially after the last two years not being able to," Nabholz said. "We're in the running to obtain two of our goals this year, which is win a district championship and make a run in the state playoffs. We are on course."

Will Bornstein had 14 points to lead the Eagles (20-6), who will take on Bethlehem Catholic (12-13) in Friday's consolation game at 4:30 p.m. at Martz Hall, with the winner heading to states.

Tuesday was the fourth meeting between the Crimson Tide and Blue Mountain this season, with Pottsville winning two of the three, including a 51-42 victory in the Schuylkill League Division I tiebreaker Feb. 8.

In its previous two wins over Blue Mountain, Pottsville hit a combined 14 3-pointers. In its lone loss to the Eagles, 51-33 on Jan. 27, it had three.

The Crimson Tide finished the night 7-for-12 (58 percent) from beyond the arc Tuesday. The 3s opened up the right of the Crimson Tide's offense as they ended up shooting 19-for-32 (59 percent) from the floor on the night, including an 11-for-13 (85 percent) performance in the second half.

What made Pottsville even more dangerous was that all five starters hit at least one 3. Connor Hinchliffe and Travis Blankenhorn had two apiece, while Ty Painter, Jordan Melochick and Nabholz each had one.

Blankenhorn and Melochick each finished with 13 points.

"I think just having five guys on the court that are comfortable shooting the ball, it just fits into our offense," Nabholz said. "If that is how the game ends up starting and gets us off and running, it is a good thing for us."

Pottsville knocked down three 3s in the first quarter, while Painter added a three-point play, to build a 13-8 lead after eight minutes. A bucket inside and a 3-pointer from Nabholz, followed by a foul-line jumper from Hinchliffe after he pumped-faked a defender into the air and moved for a more open shot, got the Crimson Tide out to a 20-10 advantage with 4:59 left in the first half.

"We don't really talk about that, but obviously we just keep preaching the same thing: We want to try and get as many inside outs as we can," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said of the first-half 3s. "We want to get the ball, post touches on drives and if that resulted in a 3, then that's great."

Nabholz scored all of his points during the second and third quarters, including a buzzer-beating tip-in off a missed shot at the first-half buzzer to make it 24-19.

Pottsville then opened the second half on an 18-4 run to go up 42-23 with 2:03 left in the third quarter.

Blue Mountain tied to crawl back in the game in the fourth, getting to within nine points twice, the final at 49-40 after two foul shots by Skyler Panchari at 3:40. But that was as close as the Eagles got. Pottsville pushed the lead back to double digits on spin move by Melochick and layup from Blankenhorn.

The Crimson Tide's defense played a big role in Tuesday's win, too. Pottsville controlled the tempo and took away the Eagles' transition game. Blue Mountain's only transition points came from Kyle Slane in the fourth quarter.

"The tempo of the game was in our favor absolutely," Mullaney said. "That is all we preach. If we can hold them down in transition, we have a good chance to win."


Pottsville (56) Hinchliffe 3 0-1 8, Painter 2 1-1 6, Blankenhorn 5 1-3 13, Toomey 0 0-0 0, Melochick 3 6-7 13, Nabholz 6 3-3 16. Totals 19 11-16 (56)

Blue Mountain (42) Stramara 0 0-0 0, Bornstein 5 3-4 14, Kerstetter 0 0-0 0, Harding 0 0-0 0, Slane 2 0-0 5, Grapsy 3 0-0 8, Chelius 3 0-2 6, Panchari 3 3-4 9. Totals 16 6-10 (42)

Pottsville (23-4)               13   11   20   12   (56)

Blue Mountain (20-6)          8   11    9   14   (42)

3-Point FG's: Borstein, Slane, Grapsy 2, Painter, Blankenhorn 2, Melochick, Nabholz 



-----------------------------Class AAA----------------------------

  Tues Feb 18

Fri Feb 21

Tues Feb 25

Fri Feb 28








 1 Allentown Central Catholic


@Allen 7:30

 1 Allentown Central Catholic 80 - 52


8 Saucon Valley


 8 Saucon Valley 72 - 39




9 Northern Lehigh


@Allen 7:30

1 Allentown Central Catholic 81- 68


 4 Salisbury


@Allen 6:00

 5 Bethlehem Catholic 73-66


 5 Bethlehem Catholic


@ Freedom 7:00


 2 Pottsville


@ Blue Mt 7:30

 2 Pottsville 69 - 33


7 Lehighton


Wed Feb 19

 7  Lehighton 85 - 59




10 Tamaqua


@ Minersville 7:00

 2 Pottsville 56 - 42


 3 Blue Mt


@ Martz Hall 7:30

 3 Blue Mt 67 - 51


 6 Southern Lehigh



5 Bethlehem Catholic




@ Martz Hall 4:30

  3rd place

3 Blue Mt







-----------------------------Class AAA----------------------------

  Tues Feb 18

Fri Feb 21

Tues Feb 25

Fri Feb 28







  1 Allentown Central Catholic   



@Allen 7:30


8 Saucon Valley

  8 Saucon Valley 72 - 39    



9 Northern Lehigh



  4 Salisbury   



@Allen 6:00



  5 Bethlehem Catholic   




  2 Pottsville   



@ Blue Mt 7:30


7 Lehighton


Wed Feb 19




10 Tamaqua



  3 Blue Mt   



@ Martz Hall 7:30



  6 Southern Lehigh   









  3rd place








Amazing Pottsville comeback falls just short

Mahanoy Area captures Schuylkill League boys' crown

Dylan Mahmod turned in one of his best offensive games of the season to help Mahanoy Area build a big lead.

Then Mahmod and teammate Larry McNeil made two of the biggest defense plays of night with under 10 seconds to go.

After walking off the Martz Hall floor disappointed last year, the Golden Bears didn't want to leave it Friday night.

Mahmod poured in a game-high 21 points, and Mahanoy Area's defense came up big late to lift the Golden Bears to a thrilling 45-44 victory over Pottsville in the Schuylkill League boys' basketball championship game.

After the Crimson Tide won last year's title game over Mahanoy Area 35-21, Friday's victory by the Golden Bears (22-2) denied Pottsville (21-4) its fifth consecutive league championship.

The league title was the first for Mahanoy Area since 2006, and the program's seventh overall.

"Honestly, there is no better feeling than this," Mahmod said as he clutched the championship trophy. "Coming in here, knowing that they are four-time, back-to-back-to-back-to-back champs, it just feels amazing. We felt that everybody was against us. That's how we like it, I guess, that why we like it. We like being the underdogs."

McNeil added 11 points and three steals for Mahanoy Area, which built a 27-12 advantage midway through the third quarter, led 29-17 at the end of the third and had a 40-25 cushion with 2:26 remaining.

But Pottsville turned up the pressure defensively, started hitting shots and turned the rout into a thriller. The Crimson Tide tied the game at 44 with 11 seconds left when John Toomey spotted Eli Nabholz open underneath for a layup.

Mahmod gave the Golden Bears the lead for good, hitting the second of two foul shots in a double-bonus situation with 8.9 seconds left.

Mahanoy Area was 6-for-13 from the foul line in the fourth quarter, but finally sealed the victory with its defense.

Trailing by one point, Pottsville had a chance for victory. Blankenhorn dribbled up the court and drove to the basket, but Mahmod swatted his shot out of bounds with 3.7 seconds to go.

After a Mahanoy Area timeout, Pottsville attempted to get the ball into Blankenhorn underneath. But McNeil got his hands up to steal the ball, and then was fouled with 1.5 seconds remaining.

He missed both ends of the double bonus, but all Pottsville could get was a heave down court by Nabholz that fell short as the Bears' celebration began.

"I knew the ball was going to Blankenhorn," said McNeil, who gave credit to assistant coaches Robert Killian and Scott Hudson for scouting what was coming. "He's a great scorer and a great player. I knew the ball was going to him. I was like 'Just play defense, play my butt off for these last seconds and get this win.' They lobbed it and I was in the right spot at the right time."

After the Golden Bears were awarded their medals, the student section sang the alma mater to them. Then the players went up into stands to celebrate with the fans.

"To come out of this with a 'W,' I am on cloud nine," Mahanoy Area coach Mickey Holland said.

Mahmod scored 15 of his points over the first three quarters, including seven in a 10-0 Golden Bears' run to open the third quarter.

Mahmod opened the third with a 3-pointer from the wing, then used a pump fake to get his defender up in the air and drive in for a layup. After McNeil hit a 3 on a cross-court pass from Jason Richmond, Mahmod scored on a hard drive down the lane. He missed the foul shot to complete the three-point play, but the Golden Bears had their biggest lead of the night up to that point at 27-12 with 3:23 left in the third.

"Basically, I didn't think about it," Mahmod said. "The main thing coming in here, we weren't even thinking about offense, we just knew we had the confidence to score. We just had to play good solid defense."

Travis Blankenhorn led Pottsville with 15 points, while Jordan Melochick and Nabholz added 13 apiece. Nabholz scored 10 of his points in the fourth quarter and Melochick nine as Pottsville hit 10-of-17 from floor in the fourth after going 7-for-30 over the first three.

The win was extra special for McNeil, who missed last year's championship game with a broken wrist. He returned for the Golden Bears' District 11 Class A championship run.

"It is greatest feeling," McNeil said. "To come back and play this year, playing through this and help us win this, it is just amazing." Game Summary

Pottsville (44) Hinchliffe 0 0-0 0, Painter 1 0-0 3, Blankenhorn 6 2-2 15, Toomey 0 0-0 0, Melochick 5 2-3 13, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Nabholz 5 0-0 13: Totals 17 4-5 (44)

Mahanoy Area (45) Richmond, McNeil 3 4-9 11, Mahmod 7 4-8 21, Miller 1 0-0 2, Cavenas 0 1-2 1, Kuzma 3 0-0 6: Totals 16 9-19 (45)

Mahanoy (22-2)   9   8   12   16   (45)

Pottsville (21-4)   7   5    5    27   (44)

3 Point FG's: McNeil, Mahmod 3, Painter, Blankenhorn, Melochick, Nabholz 3


Pottsville shoots for 5th straight title in rematch vs. Golden Bears


Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2014:02:11 19:29:50

andy matsko/staff photo Pottsville's Travis Blankenhorn leads his team in scoring at 18.7 points per game. As a result, he will be a focal point of the Mahanoy Area defense during tonight's Schuylkill League title game.                                                                                                                               

Here we go again.

For the second time in the past five years, and just the third time since 1985, there is a rematch for the Schuylkill League boys' basketball championship.

This time, Division I champ Pottsville (21-3) is taking on Division III champ Mahanoy Area (21-2) again in tonight's title game at 7:30 at Martz Hall.

The Crimson Tide are going for their fifth consecutive league championship, winning last year over the Golden Bears 35-21. Pottsville also beat Pine Grove in both 2011 and 2012.

The other rematch championship game was in 1997, with Shamokin beating Schuylkill Haven after winning the year before.

Pottsville downed Williams Valley 56-30 in Tuesday's semifinal, while Mahanoy Area beat Blue Mountain 49-35. The Golden Bears haven't won a league title since 2006, beating Schuylkill Haven, and are the last "small school" team in the league to win a championship.

There are plenty of similarities between the teams:

- Both have played plenty of basketball during the offseason, no doubt helping both get to this point;

- Both have averaged around the same amount of points per game, with the Golden Bears at 58.2 points per game and the Crimson Tide at 55.2;

- To that end, both are balanced offensively, too, as each has three players averaging double figures in scoring;

- Both are also known for their defense. Mahanoy Area has allowed 32.7 points per game and Pottsville 35.7, ranking them first and second in the league.

For Mickey Holland, who currently has 610 career wins in his 33 years as Golden Bears' coach, he believes containing Pottsville means containing junior guard Travis Blankenhorn, who has emerged as the Crimson Tide's leading scorer. He finished the regular season second in the league in scoring behind Nativity's Jeff Yordy and enters tonight averaging 18.7 points per game, including 52 3-pointers.

"Blankenhorn is a major concern," Holland said. "He is probably overall the best player in the league. But then you have to take into consideration the other weapons they have and balance everything up."

Junior center Eli Nabholz is averaging 11.8 points per game for Pottsville, while sophomore forward Jordan Melochick is at 10.0.

Senior guard Dylan Mahmod leads the Golden Bears at 13.1 points per game, followed by senior guard Larry McNeil (11.8) and senior center Tyler Cavenas (11.0). Mahanoy Area has also hit 160 3-pointers as a team this season, with McNeil (42), Mahmod and junior point guard Jason Richmond (31) leading the way.

"I think the way they position themselves on the offensive end," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said on what concerns him the most. "They really spread you out. They obviously have Cavenas in the middle, which we have to give a lot of attention to. At the same time, while you are providing your attention in there, they have very capable 3-point shooters and that makes it really difficult."

Holland believes winning tonight is going to come down to the basics and isn't making any changes to what the Golden Bears have done all season.

"All the tweaks and stuff that you make, it makes a difference and they make a huge difference, but not as big a difference as the fundamentals you go over with your guys year in and year out," he said. "They are going to run some stuff that is going make that harder and harder to do. But if you stay solid, stay solid, stay solid, you are going to stay true to yourself and not try and go and make huge wholesale changes all over the place."

Mullaney isn't expecting a repeat of last year's title game when the Crimson Tide jumped out to a 23-9 halftime lead, forcing 14 first-half turnovers.

"It is going to be a tight game," he said. "I really believe it is going to be a close game and it might come down to more things like turnovers and rebounding.

"They are too talented. They are not going to have 21 points, I can tell you that."

A victory tonight would benefit Pottsville much more than Mahanoy Area in seeding for the District 11 playoffs. The Crimson Tide are currently No. 2 in the Class AAA behind Allentown Central Catholic (23-0) and if the Crimson Tide win tonight and the Vikings lose to Parkland in Saturday's Lehigh Valley Conference title game, Pottsville would move up to No. 1.

The Golden Bears have locked up the No. 1 seed in the Class A playoffs.

Pottsville tops Blue Mountain for Division I boys’ crown

District XI AAA Standings  2/6/2014

1Allentown Central Catholic 20000.859232
2Pottsville Area 19300.746970
3Blue Mountain 19200.736810
4Salisbury Township 15600.683814
5Bethlehem Catholic 111000.641091
6Lehighton Area 12900.601593
7Southern Lehigh 13800.601253
8Saucon Valley 13900.600665
9Northern Lehigh 12900.572394
10Tamaqua Area 13800.559094
11Wilson Area 91200.479131
12Panther Valley 101200.445900
13Palisades 61500.381540
14Northwestern Lehigh 51600.353479
15Palmerton Area 21800.287614
16Jim Thorpe Area 22000.275707

Crimson Tide Rolls To Easy Win Over Jim Thorpe

The Crimson Tide rolled to a 62-22 victory over Jim Thorpe. The Tide was lead by The "Big Easy" Eli Nabholz's 21 points and Travis "Money" Blankenhorn's 17 points. The Tide jumped out to a 46-7 half time lead. The Tide then pushed it to a 57 - 18 score after three periods. The Tide's Travis" Money" Blankenhorn needs 21 points to reach the 1000 points scored for his career. Hopely, he will reach that in the one game playoff against Blue Mountain on Saturday For The Division I Title Game.

Pottsville (62) Hinchliffe 2 0-1 4, Jackson 0 0-0 0, Painter 1 0-0 3, Blankenhorn 6 5-6 17, Toomey 2 0-0 4, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 3 0-2 6, Shuman 1 0-0 2, Witman 0 0-0 0, Nabholtz 8 5-5 21, Coyle 1 0-0 3, Hampford 1 0-0 2: Totals 25 10-14 (62)

Jim Thorpe (22) Carroll 1 0-0 3, Miechiche 3 3-4 11, Micciche 2 0-0 6, McElmoyle 1 0-0 2: Totals 7 3-4 (22)

Pottsville(19 -3, 11-1)   22   24   11    5    (62)

Jim Thorpe (1-11)    2    5   11    4 (22)

3 Point FG's: Carroll, Miechiehe 2, Micciche 2, Painter, Coyle

Crimson Tide Pounds The Panthers

The Crimson Tide pounded Panther Valley by the score of 60-20 at Martz Hall. The Tide's well rounded night was led by Travis "Money" Blankenhorn's 15 points, followed by the "Big Easy" Eli Nabholz's 11 points.  All of the team played tonight on Senior Night, The Tide's Two Seniors are John Toomey and Damarr Jackson, who played their last Schuylkill League Regular Season game at Martz Hall. Ty Painter added two 3 pointers and scored a total of eight points in his best shooting night. The Tide at one point went on a 35 point scoring streak to put the game away. The Tide will travel to Jim Thorpe on Thursday night to close out the regular season.

Pottsville (60) Hinchliffe 3 0-0 6, Jackson 0 0-0 0, Painter 3 0-0 8, Blankenhorn 6 2-2 15, Toomey 2 0-0 4, Dunkel 1 0-0 2, Melochick 3 0-1 6, Shuman 2 1-2 6, Witman 0 0-0 0, Nabholz 3 5-6 11, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Hampford 1 0-0 2: Totals 24 8-11 (60)

Panther Valley (20) Szcercina 2 3-3 8,Stano 0 1-2 1,Hudicka 1 0-0 2, Ferryman 1 2-2 4, Vermillion 1 0-0 2, Weng 1 0-0 3: Totals 6 6-7 (20)

Pottsville (18-3, 10-1)   21   21   13   5   (60)

Panther Valley (10-11, 4-7)    7    0    6    7   (20)

3 Point Fg's: Szczecina, Weng, Painter 2, Blankenhorn, Shuman 


Tide bounce back with win over Spartans

By Mike Carnahan, Republican-Herald Sports Writer
It wasn’t exactly the type of bounce-back game that Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney was expecting.
Still, a game-high 24 points from junior Travis Blankenhorn, as well as a big second quarter, were enough to lift the Crimson Tide to a 55-39 victory over North Schuylkill in a Schuylkill League Division I contest Wednesday at Martz Hall.
“We are happy that we won but we are not very good right now,” Mullaney said.

Pottsville's Travis Blankenhorn drives to the basket as North Schuylkill's Bobby Grigas (15) and Matt Manbeck (12) defend during Wednesday's Schuylkill League Division I contest at Martz Hall. (Jacqueline Dormer/Republican-Herald Photo)

Pottsville (17-3, 9-1 D-I) was coming off a 51-33 loss to Blue Mountain on Monday, snapping its 51-game division winning streak that dated to 2010. That loss makes every game a must win for the Crimson Tide in order to force a potential one-game playoff for the division title with the Eagles and to get the opportunity to go for their fifth consecutive league title.
That was a message Mullaney was trying to get across to the Crimson Tide in his talk between the first and second quarters Wednesday. Pottsville responded and outscored the Spartans (12-5, 7-3) 14-5 in the quarter, turning a 17-14 lead into a 31-19 halftime advantage.
“We could have played a lot better than we did (in the first quarter),” Blankenhorn said. “I just felt we came together as a team. We just played our hearts out.”

   Blankenhorn grabbed 11 rebounds to complete a double-double. He also had four assists. Eli Nabholz added 12 points, five rebounds and three blocks for Pottsville, which won the earlier season meeting against the Spartans 55-44 on Janaury 8, while Ty Painter had four assists.

   Matt Manbeck had 10 points and seven rebounds to lead the Spartans, while Major Jordon added nine points and five boards. The loss, all but ended North Schuylkill's hopes for for a chance at a three way tie for the Division Title with Pottsville and Blue Mountain. The Spartans still have an outside shot at earning a tie for the division wild card, but need to win thier final two league games against Pine Grove and Blue Mountain and get some help.

   "Second quarter, we didn't get back a few times, didn't point out, didn't find our guys," Curt Ziegmont said. "They hit some shots. Offensively, we didn't make it easy on ourselves. We missed some shots inside the paint, missed our foul shots throughout the quarters.

   "I'm proud of our guys. We played our hearts out. We went after them for 32 minutes, 90 some feet, forced them into some turnovers and some spots that normal teams don't do against them."

The Spartans shot 2 for 13 from the floor in the second quarter, while Pottsville was 5 for 7.

   Connor Hinchliffe who had nine points in the game, opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer for the Tide. After Boby Grigas scored on a baseline jumper for North Schuylkill, Blankenhorn hit a 3 from the top of the circle off a pick, while Nabholz hit two foul shots to make it 25-16 at 5:05.

   Manbeck knocked down a 3 on the Spartans' next possesion, their final field goal of the half as Pottsville finished on a 6-0 run. Nabholz scored on a transition lay-up from Blankenhorn, Blankenhorn scored on another fast break lay-up off a dish from Painter.

Blankenhorn then scored on a drive with 1:10 remaining, making it 31-19. "A lot of my points come from my teammates," he said. "That definitely gets me open. I owe a lot of credit to them."

   The Spartans cut the deficit to none midway through the Third quarter, but Pottsville was able to build its lead up to 47-31 after Blankenhorn hit two key 3's later in the quarter. His first came with 1:13 remaining, and he hit a fall-awey trey just before the buzzer. "Blankenhorn is a stud," Ziegmont said. "He is a big time player who hit some big time shots."

   After shooting 12 for 37 durning Monday's loss to Blue Mountain, Pottsville hit 20 for 33 (61 percent) on Wednesday. However, the Crimson Tide also turned the ball over 18 times against the full-court pressure North Schuylkill used most of the game. 

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Tide Rolls past North Schuylkill

The Crimson Tide got back to it's winning ways with a 55-39 victory over the North Schuylkill Spartans. The Tide improves it's record to 17-3 for the season. The Tide were lead by Travis "Money" Blankenhorn's 24 points, followed by Eli "Big Easy" Nabholz 12 points and Connor "The Hitman" Hinchliffe 9 points with Jordon "Melo" Melochick added 8 points for a well balanced game. The Tide lead 31-19 at the half and 47-31 at the end of the third quarter. The Tide will take on Panther Valley on Monday night at Martz Hall and close out the regular season against Jim Thorpe away. If the Tide wins those two games, there will be a one game playoff against Blue Mountain for the Division 1 Title and then on to the Schuylkill League Playoffs.

Pottsville (55) Hinchliffe 3 1-2 9, Painter 0 0-0 0, Blankenhorn 6 7-8 24, Toomey 1 0-0 2, Melochick 4 0-0 8, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Nabholtz 5 2-2 12. Totals 19 10-12 (55)

North Schuylkill (39) Ennis 1 1-1 3, Marlow 0 0-0 0, Hillibish 0 2-2 2, Murray 1 6-10 8, Manbeck 4 1-2 10, Grigas 3 0-2 7, Damiler 0 0-0 0, Mazeika 0 0-0 0, Jordan 3 3-6 9. Totals: 12 13-23 (39)

Photo Coursey Of Pottsville Republican/Dave McKeown

Photo Coursey Of Pottsville Republican/Dave McKeown

Photo Coursey Of Pottsville Republican/Dave McKeown

 Blue Mountain knocks off Pottsville
by mike carnahan (staff writer mcarnahan@republicanherald.com)Published: January 27, 2014
ORWIGSBURG - For Blue Mountain boys' basketball senior starters Will Bornstein, Skyer Panchari, Kyle Slane and Shane Grapsy, this was a long time coming.It's been more than five years since the Eagles had beaten their bitter rivals. Monday, Blue Mountain not only did it, but did so in impressive fashion.Bornstein remained hot offensively, scoring 14 of his 20 points in the second half as Eagles got the tempo up their liking and rolled by Pottsville 51-33 in a Schuylkill League Division I contest.After a first-half slugfest, Blue Mountain (15-2, 9-1 D-I) was able to get out and run more in the second half. That, coupled with a solid defensive effort from the start, turned a 21-18 Eagles halftime lead into a blowout, as Blue Mountain outscored the Crimson Tide 30-15 over the final 16 minutes.When the final buzzer sounded, the Eagles' student section emptied and ran across the gymnasium floor to celebrate with the Eagles."It means a lot," said Bornstein, who has reached double figures in scoring in his last nine games. "We wanted it really bad. That's a good team and we wanted to go out there and win."The victory snapped Blue Mountain's 11-game losing streak against Pottsville (16-3, 8-1), the four-time defending division and overall Schuylkill League champ. The Eagles' last win over Pottsville before Monday was a 54-36 victory on Dec. 12, 2008.The Tide won the first meeting of the season 53-36 on Jan. 4.Blue Mountain's victory also snapped the Crimson Tide's 51-game division winning streak that dated to a loss to Jim Thorpe on Jan. 15, 2010.The victory put the Eagles into first place in the division, and if they and Pottsville both win their remaining league games, the two will play a tie-breaker game for the division title.Both still have to face third-place North Schuylkill (12-4, 7-2), a 81-33 winner over Jim Thorpe on Monday. The Tide host the Spartans on Wednesday, while Blue Mountain hosts North Schuylkill on Feb. 6."If feels great to do it in front of our home crowd," Panchari said. "That was nuts, getting the win, bleachers clearing. What more can you ask for?"Slane added eight points, six rebounds and four assists for Blue Mountain, while Grapsy contributed eight rebounds and six assists.Travis Blankenhorn led Pottsville with 20 points.Blue Mountain's win Monday started with defense. The Eagles came in allowing 39.6 points per game and Blue Mountain coach Dustin Werdt thought the Crimson Tide's guards bullied the Eagles inside during the first meeting of the season. This time around, the Eagles took that away, forcing Pottsville into more contested 3-pointers."We pressured the ball well and we contested most shots," Werdt said. "They didn't have very many clean looks. Overall, defensively the kids just played a great game."The Crimson Tide were held to 12-for-37 (32 percent) from the floor Monday, including a 3-for-19 performance from 3-point land."We wanted to defend the 3-pointer," Bornstein said. "We didn't want them to get a lot of open shots. Help defense, we wanted to help in the post because they like to post our guys up and we did."Offensively, Blue Mountain finished 17-for-27 (63 percent), including 10-for-15 (67 percent) in the second half as the Eagles got out in transition more in the half.After Blankenhorn hit two foul shots to make it 23-22 Blue Mountain at 5:57 of the third quarter, the Eagles went on a 13-4 run to finish the third quarter.Bornstein scored seven of his points in the run, hitting a short jumper, completing a three-point play on a cut inside and later grabbing a defensive rebound and taking the ball to the other end of the court to score on a layup.Panchari finished off the quarter, scoring on a fast-break layup off a pass from Grapsy, making it 36-26.The Eagles opened the fourth quarter on a 13-2 run to put the game away as Bornstein scored on a full-court, in-bounds pass from Grapsy to make it 49-28 with 2:11 left in the game.

Photo Coursey Of Pottsville Republican/Dave McKeown

Photo Coursey Of Pottsville Republican/Dave McKeown

Photo Coursey Of Pottsville Republican/Dave McKeown

Blue Mountain Tops the Crimson Tide

Blue Mountain defeat the Crimson Tide at Blue Mountain's home court by the score of 51-33. It is the Crimson Tide's, first loss in the Schuylkill League in over four years. The loss stop's the Tide's streak at 68 concessive league games in a row.   Travis Blankenhorn led the Tide with 20 points, followed by Jordan Melochick's 8 points. The score was 21-18 Blue Mountain at the half, but Blue Mountain put together a 15-8 run in the Third quarter to pull away from the Tide. The Tide were off their game all night and  a well played game by Blue Mountain lead to the defeat.  Pottsville and Blue Mountain are tied atop the Division I standings, if both teams, win the rest of their games, there will be a playoff for the Division Title at a neutral site, to determined the Division Chanps, with the loser gaining the wild card spot.

Pottsville (33) Hinchliffe 1 0-0 3, Painter 0 0-0 0, Blankenhorn 6 6-7 20, Toomey 0 0-0 0, Melochick 4 0-0 8, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 0-0 0, Nabholz 1 0-0 2. Totals: 12 6-8 (33)

Blue Mountain (51) Bornstein 7 5-7 20, Harding 0 0-0 0, Slane 4 1-1 11, Grapsy 0 0-0 0, Chelius 1 2-3 4, Donvan 0 0-0 0, Panchari 5 6-6 16. Totals: 17 14-17 (51)

District XI AAA Standings  1/27/2014

1Allentown Central Catholic 16000.851585
2Pottsville Area 16200.758766
3Blue Mountain 14200.728782
4Salisbury Township 12500.684773
5Southern Lehigh 11500.628489
6Bethlehem Catholic 8800.627355
7Lehighton Area 9600.593623
8Northern Lehigh 10700.585387
9Saucon Valley 10800.574005
10Wilson Area 8800.528371
11Tamaqua Area 9800.519851
12Panther Valley 9800.484104
13Palisades 41100.377484
14Northwestern Lehigh 41300.354060
15Palmerton Area 11400.281623
16Jim Thorpe Area 21400.280922

Photo By John Liddle

Photo By John Liddle

Photo By John Liddle

Photo By John Liddle

"Tide runs over the Blue Raiders"

The Crimson Tide scored a 43-24 victory over Tamaqua Blue Raiders. The victory was the Crimson Tide's 68th victory in a row over Schuylkill League teams. The Tide was led by Travis "Money" Blankenhorn's 23 points, followed by Eli "Big Easy" Nabholz 10 points and Jordan "Melo" Melochick added 7 points. The Tide jumped out to a 29-7 half time lead, and a 40-16 spread after 3 quarters. The Tide improved to 16 - 2 for the season. The Tide will face it's biggest game of the season on Monday Night at Blue Mountain, this game is for the Division 1 lead and top playoff spot for the Schuylkill League Championships.

Pottsville (43) Hinchliffe 1 0-0 2, Jackson 0 0-0 0, Painter 0 0-0 0, Blankenhorn 9 1-3 23, Toomey 0 1-2 1, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 3 0-0 7, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 0-0 0, Adams 0 0-0 0, Nabholz 4 2-3 10, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Hampford 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 4-8 (43)

Tamaqua (24) Blaker 2 0-0 5, Rottet 4 0-0 8, Frantz 2 0-0 5, Macdonald 1 0-2 2, Marcin 1 0-0 2, Van Buskirk 1 0-0 2. Totals: 11 0-2 (24)

Photo By John Liddle

Crimson Tide Clips the Cardinals Wings

The Crimson Tide breezed to an Easy Victory over Pine Grove with a 52 -17 win. The Tide was led by Eli "Big Easy" Nabholz with 9 points and Conor "The Hitman" Hinchliffe also with 9 points. The "Big Easy" returned after missing a couple of games for the Tide. The Tide came out quickly to a 27-7 half-time led and never looked back. Ten of Pottsville players add points to the totals. This was Pottsville 67th win in the row against Schuylkill League teams. The Tide plays Tamaqua on Thursday and then to the Big Game against Blue Mountain.

Photo By John Liddle

Pottsville (52) Hinchliffe  4 0-0 9, Jackson 1 0-0 2, Painter 2 0-0 4, Blankenhorn 2 0-0 4, Toomey 2 0-0 4, Dunkel 1 1-3 3, Melochick 2 0-0 4, Shuman 3 0-0 7, Witman 3 0-0 6, Adams 0 0-0 0, Nabholz 2 5-8 9, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Hampford 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 6-11 (52)

Pine Grove  (17) Rossi 1 0-2 2, Blankenhorn 0 0-0 0, White 2 0-0 4, D'Agostino 1 1-2 3, Snedden 1 0-0 2, Weinus 1 2-2 4, Fidler 1 0-0 2. Totals: 7 3-6 (17)

3-Point FG's: Hinchliffe, Shuman

Photo By John Liddle

Photo By John Liddle

Photo By John Liddle

Photo By John Liddle

Photo By John Liddle



Team - OffenseGames PlayedPFPPG
Blue Mountain1060060.0
Mahanoy Area1164358.5
Williams Valley1055155.1
North Schuylkill1054254.2
Upper Dauphin1158553.2
Panther Valley1256847.3
Jim Thorpe1249040.8
Shenandoah Valley1144940.8
Pine Grove1450335.9
Schuylkill Haven1031631.6
Team - DefenseGames PlayedPAPPG
Mahanoy Area1136733.36
Williams Valley1036236.20
Blue Mountain1039639.60
North Schuylkill1041841.80
Schuylkill Haven1050650.60
Shenandoah Valley1157252.00
Panther Valley1264553.75
Pine Grove1477355.21
Upper Dauphin1160755.18
Jim Thorpe1267756.42
Team 3-PT. ShootingGames Played3's3/GP
Mahanoy Area11847.64
Panther Valley12695.75
Upper Dauphin11575.18
Williams Valley10484.80
Shenandoah Valley11474.27
Jim Thorpe12443.67
Blue Mountain10363.60
North Schuylkill10353.50
Schuylkill Haven10343.40
Pine Grove14191.36
Team - Foul ShootingFTMFTAPCT.
Blue Mountain1121570.713
Williams Valley1211930.627
Upper Dauphin921470.626
Mahanoy Area731180.619
Pine Grove1402320.603
North Schuylkill1011710.591
Shenandoah Valley741300.569
Schuylkill Haven34640.531
Jim Thorpe741430.517
Panther Valley691370.504
Individual ScoringGPTPPPG
Yordy - Nativity921523.89
Blankenhorn - Pottsville1325519.62
Kosciolek - Tamaqua1120518.64
D'Agostino - Pine Grove1423216.57
Szczecina - Panther Valley1219716.42
Ney - Upper Dauphin1117616.00
Rottet - Tamaqua1218515.42
Manbeck - North Schuylkill1015315.30
Sedesse - Williams Valley912714.11
Mackornick - Shenandoah1115113.73
McNeil - Mahanoy Area1115013.64
Rautzhan - Williams Valley1012812.80
Nabholz - Pottsville1316512.69
Agosti - Marian1113712.45
Panchari - Blue Mountain1012012.00
Reiner - Weatherly89511.88
Rodichok - Williams Valley1011111.10
Kaledas - Nativity910011.11
Melochick - Pottsville1314110.85
Cavenas - Mahony Area1010810.80
Kisha - Hamburg1313810.62
Murray - North Schuylkill1010610.60
Storm - Shenandoah1111610.55
Miller - Upper Dauphin1111410.36
Barter - Hamburg1313410.31
Mahmod - Mahanoy Area99210.22
Czeponis - Lourdes1212010.00
Micciche - Jim Thorpe1212010.00
Bornstein - Blue Mountain1010010.00
Chelius - Blue Mountain1010010.00
Individual Scoring - 3 PointsGPTOT3/PG
Blankenhorn - Pottsville13322.5
McNeil - Mahanoy Area11282.5
Rottet - Tamaqua12292.4
Szczecina - Panther Valley12282.3
Herb - Shenandoah9171.9
Kelly - Weatherly8151.9
Reiner - Weatherly8151.9
Micciche - Jim Thorpe12221.8
Richmond- Mahanoy Area11201.8
Agosti - Marian11181.6
Trently - Upper Dauphin11161.5
Miller - Mahanoy Area11151.4
Figas - Weatherly9131.4
Stano - Panther Valley12151.3
Miller - Upper Dauphin11141.3
Blugis- Schuylkill Haven10131.3
Kisha - Hamburg13161.2
Ferryman - Panther Valley12141.2
Ney - Upper Dauphin11131.2
Yearsley - Tri-Valley11131.2
Yordy - Nativity9111.2
Paweilizyk - Lourdes12131.1
Miller - Williams Valley10111.1
Slane - Blue Mountain10111.1
St. Hill - Jim Thorpe9101.1
Sedesse - Williams Valley9101.1
Kalesas - Nativity9101.1
Masser - Tri-Valley891.1
Fobia - Lourdes12121.0
Mussoline - Marian11111.0
Ridichok - Williams Valley10101.0




Pottsville Defeats Muhlenberg

Travis Blankenhorn had a game high 27 points, including eight of his team's 15 feild goals, as The Crimson Tide claimed a non-league victory over the Muhls at Martz Hall.

Pottsville grabbed a 26-14 halftime lead, but Muhlenberg trimmed the deficit to 34-29 at the end of the third quarter. However, Pottsville held a 12-11 scoring edge in the fourth quarter to hold on for the win.

 Jordan"Melo" Melochick added 10 points for the Crimson Tide. Jalen Flynn led Muhlenberg with 20 points.

Pottsville (46) Hinchliffe 2 0-0 4, Painter 1 0-0 3, Blankenhorn 8 7-9 27, Toomey 1 0-1 2, Melochick 3 4-6 10, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 0-0 0, Hampford 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 11-16 (46)

Muhlenberg (40) Brown 0 0-0 0, Flynn 9 0-0 20, Chantz 0 0-0 0, Benjamin 0 0-0 0, Stinson 4 0-0 8, Fidler 0 0-0 0, Richard 3 0-0 7, Rangel 1 0-0 2, Hine 1 0-0 3. Totals: 18 0-0 (40)

Pottsville (14-2)   17    9    8   12    (46)

Muhlenberg  (4-12)    7    7   15   11   (40)

3-Point Fg's: Flynn 2, Richard, Hine, Blankenhorn 4, Painter 







Pottsville Routs Jim Thorpe 73-25


Travis Blankenhorn and Jordan Melochick had 16 points apiece as the Crimson Tide posted a dominating Division I win over the Olympians.

Kevin Hampford added 12 points and Connor Hinchliffe chipped in with 10 for Pottsville, which opened the game on a 21-8, first-quarter run. The Crimson Tide improves it's record to 13-2 and the 65th straight victory against Schuylkill League teams.

Pottsville (73) Hinchcliffe 4 2-3 10, Jackson 0 0-0, Painter 2 1-2 5, Blankenhorn 7 0-0 16, Toomey 1 1-2 3, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 7 2-3 16, Shuman 1 0-0 2, Witman 0 0-0 0, Adams 3 0-0 6, Coyle 1 0-0 3, Hampford 5 0-0 12. Totals: 31 6-10 73

Jim Thorpe (25)  Carroll 1 0-2 3, Micciche 1 0-0 2, Carroll 1 0-0 2, Lawarence 0 0-0 0, Micciche 5 0-0 11, Green 0 0-2 0, Mcelmoyle 0 0-0 0, Sinsky 0 0-0 0,Jefferson 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 2-8 25

Jim Thorpe (2-11), (1-5)   8   6   7   4 -- (25)

Pottsvile (13-2) (6-0)  21   17   17   18 -- (73)

3 Point FG': Micciche, Blankenhorn 2, Coyle, Hampford 2

District XI AAA Standings  1/18/2014

1Allentown Central Catholic 14000.858456
2Pottsville Area 13200.764463
3Blue Mountain 11200.705710
4Salisbury Township 11400.695986
5Southern Lehigh 10500.627597
6Bethlehem Catholic 6600.620230
7Lehighton Area 9500.608342
8Northern Lehigh 10500.605016
9Tamaqua Area 9400.584335
10Saucon Valley 9700.583138
11Panther Valley 9600.552666
12Wilson Area 6700.514762
13Northwestern Lehigh 51000.431055
14Palisades 41000.399069
15Jim Thorpe Area 21300.313000
16Palmerton Area 11200.296240





Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2014:01:13 19:38:21

charlie roth/times - shamrock photo Pottsville's Jordan Melochick, right, pressures Shamokin's Ryan Sebasovich during Monday's non-league game. The Crimson Tide downed the Indians 43-38.

COAL TOWNSHIP - If Pottsville and Shamokin go on to win their respective league and district titles, they'll both look back on the Crimson Tide's 43-38 win in a non-league matchup Monday at Shamokin as a key game.

The road is likely to be a little tougher for the Indians, though.

Shamokin (10-1), which lost for the first time, will likely have to spend several weeks, if not the rest of the season, without its leading scorer and rebounder, Austin Stine, who went high for a rebound in the first two minutes of the game and landed awkwardly. Stine was taken for X-rays and, according to Shamokin coach Chris Zimmerman, may have broken bones in his wrist or wrists.

Even without Stine, the Indians and the Tide, who were playing without Eli Nabholz (concussion), battled each other tooth and nail on every possession for 32 minutes.

Shamokin, which made just 3-of-21 shots in the first half, managed to hang tough and trailed by just one point at 39-38 with 29.5 seconds left when Pottsville called timeout after a Shamokin basket. Jordan Melochick then sank four straight foul shots on two possessions, making him 9-for-9, to clinch the win for Pottsville (11-2).

Travis Blankenhorn, with 19 points and eight rebounds, was too much inside for Shamokin without Stine. Blankenhorn scored 12 of the Tide's 24 points in the first half. Melochick finished with 15.

"We've had to adapt our game a little without Eli Nabholz," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. "He gives us another scorer, but we feel we have three guys who can score, especially in the halfcourt.

"I think both teams played extremely hard. This was probably our best overall defensive effort of the year, and I can't say enough about how hard Shamokin played. They're coached really well. Playing here tonight was like us playing at Blue Mountain. That's what it was like."

Shamokin understandably took some time to get going after Stine's injury. The Indians shot 1-of-10 from the field in the first quarter as Pottsville took a 12-5 lead, but Shamokin only trailed 24-17 at halftime and 31-24 after three quarters.

Pottsville went up by nine, 35-26, early in the fourth quarter, but Shamokin quickly came back with a 3-pointer. That set up a battle of wits and timeouts between the teams and coaches the rest of the way.

Dan Delbaugh and Jakob Weaver scored 13 and 10 points, respectively, to lead the Indians.

"Our kids played with a lot of heart and so did theirs," Zimmerman said. "It wasn't the prettiest game to watch on both ends, but when you play as hard as both teams did, that's what's going to happen sometimes. That's the name of the game.

"Their defense is as good as anybody we play. If anybody we play plays better half-court defense, I want to know where they are."

Pottsville (43)   Hinchcliffe 1 1-3 3, Painter 1 2-3 4, Blankenhorn 7 4-4 19, Toomey 1 0-0 2, Melochick 3 9-9 15, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 0-0 0, Hampford 0 0-1 0. Totals: 13 16-20 (43)

Shamokin (38)   Sebasovich 2 1-1 5, Weaver 3 2-2 10, Delbaugh 3 5-9 13, Stine 0 0-0 0, pappas 2 0-0 4, Dirienzo 0 0-0 0, Reiprich 1 0-0 2, Taylor 1 0-0 2, Moyer 1 0-0 2, Donahue 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 8-12 (38)

Pottsville (11-2)   12   12    7   12 -- (43)

Shamokin (10-1)   5   12    7    14 -- (38)

3Point FG's: Bankenhorn, Weaver 2, Delbaugh


Tide Losses To Salisbury 

Pottsville clinched a spot in the District 11 Class AAA playoffs Friday.

Saturday, the Crimson Tide got a look at a potential district postseason opponent.

That look showed Pottsville it has some work to do if the Crimson Tide want to make a long playoff run.

Austin Uhl had a double-double, while Salisbury's quickness got the better of Pottsville in the Falcons' 56-46 non-league victory at Martz Hall.

Uhl finished the game with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Eddie Sanchez added 11 points for Salisbury (9-3), while Justin Aungst, the Falcons' leading scorer at 16.6 points per game, tallied 10.

Pottsville (11-2), which had its 10-game winning streak snapped with the loss, clinched a district berth with Friday's 66-34 rout of Panther Valley.

Salisbury beat the Crimson Tide 45-39 in last season's District 11 Class AAA consolation game. After Saturday's contest, Pottsville and Salisbury are now ranked second and third, respectively, behind Allentown Central Catholic in the Class AAA power ratings.

"I don't know if we are ready to beat a team that is that consistent, that well coached and has that talent level," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. "We don't do things consistently to beat a team like that. Hopefully in another month things will be different."

Travis Blankenhorn had a game-high 20 points and Jordan Melochick scored 17 for Pottsville, which played from behind most the game.

The Falcons built an 11-point lead at the end of the first quarter at 16-5, but Pottsville battled back to go up 26-25 at halftime. Salisbury then went up 41-31 at the end of the third quarter before the Crimson Tide cut the deficit to 47-46 after a steal and layup by Blankenhorn with 3:39 left in the game.

The Falcons, however, responded.

On his team's next possession, Brendan Reichenbach hit his second 3-pointer of the game on a kick-out pass from Sanchez, making it 50-46 at 3:14. Salisbury then iced the game from the foul line, going 6-for-9 over final 1:36.

"I start five seniors and I have guys who are experienced," Salisbury coach Jason Weaver said. "We've been in these situations before and I don't think they are intimated by anybody, which is a good thing. We respect everybody, but we have seniors who are playing well together."

The Crimson Tide also learned they will likely be without center Eli Nabholz for a few games. Nabholz was knocked in the head during a foul as made a move inside early in the second quarter.

At first, it was believed Nabholz had just a bloody nose, but after the game, Mullaney said Nabholz suffered a concussion and wasn't sure how much time he'd miss.

"We going to have to find a way to play without him," Mullaney said. "That obviously had an effect on the game, too."

Pottsville couldn't overcome the Falcons quickness, especially defensively, and it lead to plenty of Salisbury baskets in the paint. The Falcons ended up shooting 20-for-35 (57 percent) from the floor, while the 56 points was just second time this season Pottsville had allowed more than 50 in a game. The other was 58 against Wilson West Lawn on Dec. 11.

"They have a lot of guys who are good at penetrating off the dribble," Mullaney said. "We didn't do a good job of keeping people in front and our help defense is nowhere where it needs to be. They opened our eyes tonight."

Offensively, the Crimson Tide shot 16-for-44 (36 percent) and turned the ball over 12 times, while the 46 points were a season low.

Still, Pottsville had its chances to pull closer late in the game. With 1:36 to go, Aungst missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but Pottsville couldn't control the rebound and the ball went of bounds. Sanchez was eventually fouled and hit both ends of his 1-and-1, making it 52-46.

Pottsville then turned the ball over on its next possession. Naveed Hadian was fouled, hit the first of a double-bonus situation, but the ball went off Pottsville on the miss after the second attempt. Hadian was fouled again and hit both ends of the double bonus to put the game away.

Weaver was glad to finally win a tight contest after losing to Emmaus 53-49 on Jan. 4. The Falcons' other two losses this season were to Blue Mountain (62-51 on Dec. 6) and Parkland (69-52 on Dec. 30).

"We knew the physicality of those guys," Weaver said. "We knew what to expect up here are far as physicality and I think my guys responded to it."

Pottsville (46)  Hinchcliffe  1 12 4, Painter 0 0-0 0, Blankenhorn 7 3-3 20, Toomey 0 0-0 0, Melochick 6 4-7 17, Witman 0 0-0 0,  Nabholz  2 0-0 5. Totals 16 8-12 (46)

Salisbury (56) Hadian 2 5-7 9, Sanchez 4 2-2 11, Reichenbach 3 1-2 9, Vangeli 0 2-2 2, Aungst 5 0-1 10, Uhl 6 1-3 13, Fairclaugh 1 0-0 2, Totals 21 11-17 (56)

Pottsville (11-2) (5-0)            5   21       5   15   (46)

Salisbury (9-3)                     16    9     16    15   (56)

3-Points FG's: Sanchez, Reichebach, 2, Hinchcliffe, Blankenhorn 3, Melochick

Crimson Tide Rolls To "Easy" Win over Panther Valley

The Tide rolled to a Easy 66-34 win over Panther Valley. The Tide was led by Eli "Big Easy" Nabholz with 18 points, followed by Travis "Money" Blankehorn 13 points and Connor "The Hitman" Hinchcliffe 10 points. The Tide jumped out to a first quarter lead of  19 to 8 and led at half time 38-12. The Tide poured it on in the third, outscoring the Panthers 15 to 6 to lead, 53-18 after three periods. The defense were once again led by Jordan "Melo" Melochick tough defense. Jordan always draws the task of defending the best player on the other team. That task, he fulfilled by limiting the Panther's star player to 4 points durning the first three quarters.The starters would play no more, leaving the fourth quarters to some well earn playing time for the rest of the team. Christian Witman turned in his best game of the year by adding 8 points for the Tide.

Pottsville (66)  Hinchcliffe  4 0-0 10, Jackon 1 0-0 2, Painter 1 0-0 2, Blankenhorn 5 1-3 13, Toomey 0 1-2 1, Dunkel 2 0-0 4, Melochick 2 1-1 5, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 4 0-0 8, Adams 1 0-0 2, Nabholz 7 3-3 18, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Hampford 1 0-0 3. Totals 27 6-9 (66)

Panther Valley (34) Dubosky  2 1-2 5, Szczecina 5 0-2 14, Keo 1 0-0 2, Kusko 1 0-0 3, Stano 1 0-0 2, Owens 1 0-0 3, Ferryman 2 0-0 5, Nase 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 1-4 (34)

Pottsville (11-1) (5-0)           19   19   15   13   (66)

Panther Valley (7-4) (1-3)     8     4     6    16   (34)

Photo Courtsey of Pottsville Republican & David McKeown

Photo Courtsey of Pottsville Republican & David McKeown

Photo Courtsey of Pottsville Republican & David McKeown

Photo Courtsey of Pottsville Republican & David McKeown


Pottsville outlasts North Schuylkill in key division battle

Posted on January 9, 2014 by mcarnahan

By Mike Carnahan, Republican-Herald Sports Writer

FOUNTAIN SPRINGS — North Schuylkill figured to be the last team to give Pottsville a challenge during the first half of the Schuylkill League Division I schedule.
The Spartans did for a half. But then the Crimson Tide took control of the game and now have control of the division.
Travis Blankenhorn led a another balanced offensive attack with a game-high 16 points as Pottsville pulled away in the second half for a 54-44 victory over North Schuylkill on Wednesday.
Coming off a 53-36 win over Blue Mountain on Saturday, the Crimson Tide (10-1, 4-0 D-I) entered the game tied with the Spartans (6-3, 3-1) for the division lead. Leading 29-23 at halftime, Pottsville used a 19-9 scoring advantage in the third quarter to put the game away.
The Tide extended their lead to 18 points early in the fourth quarter en route to their ninth straight win and 47th consecutive Division I victory.
“I was really happy with the team effort,” Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said.

It seemed like everybody contributed something for the Tide.

Jordan Melochick added 13 points, while Eli Nabholz netted 12 for Pottsville. The Tide were crisp and efficient on offense, working the ball around for high-percentage shots inside the paint.

The Crimson Tide finished the night 22 for 40 (55 percent) from the floor, with six players having at least two assists. John Toomey,Nabholz,Melochick, and Blankenhorn dished out three assists apiece. Nabholz also grabbed six rebounds and four blocks, while Blankenhorn collected five boards.

  “We have some smart guys and they made some nice adjustments with what North Schuylkill was doing” Mullaney said. “They are so intense defensively and so well coached, you have to do everthing 100 percent and do them the right way to have any chance of scoring.”

   Tevin Murray had a double-double for the Spartans with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Matt Manbeck and Jake Damiter added eight points apiece.

   North Schuylkill led 17-16 early in the second quarter after Manbeck scored on a putback, was fouled and converted the three point play. But, after a good offensive start, the Spartans finished the night 13-for-43 (30 percent) from the floor.

  “I was very happy with the first quarter,” North Schuylkill coach Curt Ziegmont said “Everybody knows how smothering their defense can be at times, so I was pretty pleased with that.”

   Offensive rebounding also kept North Schuylkill in the game in the first half. The Spartans grabbed seven offensive boards over the first 16 minutes, resulting in nine second-chance points.

   But North Schuylkill had just two offensive rebounds in the second half, both coming with under 1:20 left in the game when the outcome was decided.

“I just think we got worn down a little bit,” Ziegmont said. “In a game like this, the atmosphere, we can’t go as deep as we normally do every night, which I think started to wear our guys down.

   “But give credit to Pottsville, when they make you earn everything offensively and then they work you defensively by running their motion they do so well, they just wear you down.”

One player who stood out for Mullaney was Melochick, who scored Pottsville’s first six points of the second half and tallied eight in the third quarter. He got the inbounds pass from the side to start the half, drove to the hoop and scored. Melochick then scored on a cut inside and put in another two when Ty Painter outhustled a North Schuylkill player for an offensive rebound and dished to Melochick for a layup.

   Melochick finished off the third quarter by knocking down a jumper just before the buzzer, putting Pottsville up 48-32.

   “He does so much for us,” Mullaney said. “With some of the things they were doing switching on defense, I thought he made some nice reads. He’s just a smart player.”


Pottsville (54) – Hinchcliffe 2 0-0 6, Painter 1 0-0 3, Blankenhorn 7 0-0 16, Toomey 2 0-0 4, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 6 1-2 13, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 0-0 0, Adams 0 0-0 0, Nabholz 5 1-2 12, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Hampford 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 2-4 54


North Schuylkill (44) – Carney 0 0-0 0, Marlow 0 0-0 0, Hillibish 1 0-0 3, Murray 4 3-3 11, Manbeck 3 2-3 8, McDonald 0 0-0 0, Damiter 2 3-6 8, Mazeika 2 3-3 7, Karlonis 0 0-0 0, Heaton 0 0-0 0, Jordan 3 0-0 7. Totals 15 11-15 44

Pottsville (10-1), (4-0) --        16   13   19   6 --  (54)

North Schuylkill (6-3), (3-1)   14    9    9   12 --  (44)

3-point FG’s: Hinchlife 2, Painter, Blankenhorn 2, Nabholz, Hillibish, Damiter, Jordan



Photo Courtsey of Pottsville Republican & David McKeown

Photo Courtsey of Pottsville Republican & David McKeown

Crimson Tide Rolls Past North Schuylkill

The Crimson Tide defeated North Schuylkill on their home floor 54-44. The Tide rolled to a 20 point, 3rd quarter lead and then coasted to it's 64th win in a row against Schuylkill League Teams. The Tide was led by Travis "Money" Blankenhorn with 16 points, followed by Jordan "Melo" Melochick with 13 points and the "Big Easy" Eli Nabholz 12 points. The Tide led 29-23 at the half. The Tide then applied it's usual tough Defense to start the second half and pulled away from the Spartans. The Tide travels to Panther Valley, this Friday, in it's quest for its five straight league championship.

Pottsville (54) Hincliffe 2 0-0 6, Painter 1 0-0 3, Blankenhorn  7 0-0 16, Toomey 2 0-0 4, Melochick 6 1-2 13, Nabholtz 5 1-2 12, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 0-0 0, Adams 0 0-0 , Coyle 0 0-0 0, Hampford 0 0-0 0 Totals: 23 2-4 (54)

North Schuykill (44) Hillbish 1 0-0 3, Murray 2 4-6 8, Mannbeck 3 2-3 8, Dainikes 3 - 3-4 10, Karlonis 2 3-3 7, Jordan 3 0-0 7 Totals 14 12-16  (44)

Team - OffenseGames PlayedPFPPG
Blue Mountain846157.6
Mahany Area950556.1
North Schuylkill844755.9
Upper Dauphin950055.6
Williams Valley842252.8
Panther Valley943548.3
Jim Thorpe1042142.1
Shenandoah Valley1040640.6
Pine Grove1141037.3
Schuylkill Haven824831.0
Team - DefenseGames PlayedPAPPG
Mahanoy Area929232.4
Williams Valley827834.8
North Schuylkill832941.1
Blue Mountain833842.3
Schuylkill Haven842853.5
Shenandoah Valley1053653.6
Panther Valley948453.8
Upper Dauphin948553.9
Jim Thorpe1055355.3
Pine Grove1164058.2
Team 3-PT. ShootingGames Played3's3/GP
Mahanoy Area9647.1
Upper Dauphin9495.4
Panther Valley9475.2
Williams Valley8405
Shenandoah Valley10424.2
Jim Thorpe10404
Blue Mountain8303.8
North Schuylkill8303.8
Schuylkill Haven8293.6
Pine Grove11161.5
Team - Foul ShootingFTMFTAPCT.
Blue Mountain931290.721
Panther Valley1171650.709
Williams Valley861370.628
Mahanoy Area631010.624
Pine Grove1141950.585
North Schuylkill811390.583
Upper Dauphin811400.579
Schuylkill Haven27500.54
Shenandoah Valley601120.536
Jim Thorpe591160.509
Individual ScoringGPTPPPG
Yordy - Nativity717725.3
Blankenhorn - Pottsville1020620.6
Kosciolek - Tamaqua1020320.3
Ney - Upper Dauphin916218
D'Agostino - Pine Grove1118717
Szczecina - Panther Valley915216.9
Manbeck - North Schuylkill812615.8
Maskornick - Shenandoah1014014
Sedesse - Williams Valley79413.4
Nabholz - Pottsville1013013
McNeil - Mahanoy Area911412.7
Reiner - Weatherly67612.7
Rottet - Tamaqua1012612.6
Rautzhan - Williams Valley810112.6
Kisha - Hamburg1012412.4
Barter - Hamburg1011511.5
Panchari - Blue Mountain89111.4
Storm - Shenandoah1010810.8
Murray - North Schuylkill88610.8
Melochick - Pottsville1010610.6
Micciche - Jim Thorpe1010610.6
Chelius - Blue Mountain88510.6
Ferryman - Panther Valley99410.4
Agosti - Marian89210.2
Individual Scoring - 3 PointsGPTOT3/PG
Blankenhorn - Pottsville10252.5
McNeil - Mahanoy Area9202.2
Kelly - Weatherly6132.2
Szczecina - Panther Valley9192.1
Rottet - Tamaqua10202.0
Reiner - Weatherly6122.0
Micciche - Jim Thorpe10191.9
Herb - Shenandoah8141.8
Trently - Upper Dauphin9141.6
Figas - Weatherly7111.6
Kisha - Hamburg10151.5
Blugis- Schuylkill Haven8121.5
Ney - Upper Dauphin9131.4
Richmond- Mahanoy Area9131.4
Miller - Mahanoy Area9131.4
Agosti - Marian9121.3
Slane - Blue Mountain8101.3
Sedesse - Williams Valley791.3
Miller - Williams Valley8101.3
Stano - Panther Valley9111.2
Ferryman - Panther Valley9111.2
St. Hill - Jim Thorpe9101.1
Yearsley - Tri-Valley10111.1
Miller - Upper Dauphin9101.1

1Allentown Central Catholic 8000.872997
2Pottsville Area 9100.763817
3Blue Mountain 6200.695156
4Salisbury Township 6300.688600
5Lehighton Area 6200.652665
6Northern Lehigh 6200.651777
7Southern Lehigh 6400.600342
8Panther Valley 6300.598804
9Bethlehem Catholic 3500.579917
10Tamaqua Area 6300.565190
11Saucon Valley 3500.529089
12Palisades 3600.446503
13Wilson Area 4500.439577
14Northwestern Lehigh 3600.433776
15Palmerton Area 1700.327578
16Jim Thorpe Area 2800.322482

Photo By John Liddle

Photo By John Liddle

 Balanced Tide upend Blue Mountain

Pottsville's trademarks during its current four-year Schuylkill League championship run are its man-to-man defense and the play of superstar players such as Nick Schlitzer and Brandon Bridy.

That tough defense is still there, but this season's Crimson Tide offense might be the most balanced they've had the past few years.

Saturday was a perfect example, especially when Travis Blankenhorn missed a good part of the second half with an injury.

Junior Eli Nabholz paced three Pottsville players in double figures with a game-high 19 points, including 14 in the second half, as the Crimson Tide pulled away for a 53-36 Division I victory over rival Blue Mountain at Martz Hall.

Pottsville (9-1, 3-0 D-I) came into the game with three players averaging double figures in scoring - Blankenhorn (21.6 points per game), Nabholz (12.3) and Jordan Melochick (11.2).

Saturday it was Nabholz's turn to shine as his 19 matched his career high that he scored in the season-opener against Danville. Connor Hinchliffe, who entered averaging 6.0 ppg, added a career-high 13 points for Pottsville, with 10 coming in the first half, while Blankenhorn had 12.

The Crimson Tide also hit seven 3-pointers in game, as Blankenhorn and Nabholz had two apiece, while Ty Painter, Melochick and Hinchliffe each had one. Painter had four assists, while Melochick grabbed six rebounds and Blankenhorn five.

"I think, as far as half-court offense, I think it is maybe the best team that we've had because we have multiple guys who can do things," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said.

Saturday's victory was eighth straight for the Crimson Tide, while their Division I winning streak extends at 46.

Pottsville joins North Schuylkill (6-2, 3-0) as the lone remaining unbeaten teams in the division following the Spartans' 69-31 victory over Jim Thorpe on Saturday.

North Schuylkill travels to Pottsville on Tuesday.

Mark Chelius led the Eagles (6-2, 3-1) with 14 points and three assists. Skyler Panchari also grabbed six rebounds for Blue Mountain, which lost its second straight after opening the season 6-0.

"We talked about defending the 3s," Eagles coach Dustin Werdt said. "They hit seven 3s and that's too many. And they got contributions from some people who aren't their leading scorers, typically, and got some shots from other kids."

Blankenhorn went down to the court awkwardly at 6:26 of the third quarter when he collided with Panchari after dishing the ball to Nabholz for a layup. Blankenhorn was helped across Martz Hall to the trainer's room. He came out of the room early in the fourth quarter and returned with 5:19 left in the game.

"Obviously we were a little worried," Nabholz said. "He's our best player, but we got together as a group. We just said we have to keep playing hard and that just means we have to play harder. We came out until he got back in there, we really busted it."

Pottsville did, increasing its 25-18 halftime lead to 43-30 at the end of the third quarter.

Nabholz scored eight of his points in the third, hitting a 3-pointer, scoring off Blankenhorn's assist and finish off his quarter by muscling his way inside for a layup. He was fouled on the bucket and completed the three-point play.

After shooting 10-for-25 (40 percent) in the first half, the Crimson Tide was 10-for-14 (71 percent) from the floor in the second half.

"Those were critical moments of the game," Mullaney said. "I know we have other guys who can play, but anytime a guy like that goes down, you worry. I thought our guys really stepped up at that point.

"I think Connor Hinchliffe had a great game for us, I think Ty Painter had a great game for us, along with the guys who always play well for us. Different guys stepped up in this game when they needed to."

The Eagles cut the deficit to 44-36 early in the fourth after Kyle Slane and Shane Grapsy hit back-to-back 3s. But Pottsville finished the game on a 9-0 run.

"Pottsville's good at controlling runs," Werdt said. "You make a little mini run and they find a way to stop what you were doing. They hit some shots. We turned the ball over too much (nine in the game) and we gave up too many 3s."

Photo By John Liddle

Photo By John Liddle

Photo By John Liddle

The "Big Easy" leads the Crimson Tide to a win over rival Blue Mountain"

Eli "Big Easy" Nabholz led the Crimson Tide to a victory of Blue Mountain at Martz Hall 53-36. Eli led the team with a game high 19 points, followed by Connor Hinchcliffe's 13 points and Travis Balnkenhorn's 12 points. The Tide were without Travis "Money" Blankenhorn for almost a quarter, as Travis suffered a banged up knee. Travis later returned to play in the game. All members of the team stepped up to fill the gap and increased the led over Blue Mountain.  Jordan "Melo" Melochick clamped down on one of Blue Mountain best players and held him to 4 points for the game. It was a great all around effort for the Tide who extended it's Schuylkill league streak to 63 straight games against Schuylkill league teams.

Pottsville (53) Hinchliffe 5 2-4 13, Painter 1 1-2 4, Blankenhorn5 0-0 12, Toomey 0 0-0 0, Melochick 2 0-0 5, Nabholtz 7 3-4 19  Totals: 20 6-10 (53)

Blue Mountain (36) Stramara 0 0-0 0, Bornstein 1 1-4 4, Harding 0 0-0 0, Slane 3 0-0 8, Grapsy 2 0-0 6, Chelius 6 1-1 14, Panchari 2 0-0 4, Totals 14 2-5 (36)

Photos By John Liddle

Photos By John Liddle

Photos By John Liddle

Photos By John Liddle

 Pottsville rolls past Nativity in Battle of the Hills

Pottsville's Travis Blankenhorn never gauges how he is going to shoot in a game by the pre-game warm-up.

Monday was no different.

"It was OK," he said. "It wasn't my best but it felt good in the game."

Indeed it did.

Blankenhorn continued his hot start to the season, pouring in a game-high 27 as Pottsville turned it on in the second half and pulled away for a 59-25 victory over Nativity in the annual Battle of the Hills at Martz Hall.

Blankenhorn came in averaging 20.9 points per game and he rarely missed Monday.

Blankenhorn finished the game 9-for-13 from the floor, including a 5-for-8 showing from 3-point land. Three of his 3-pointers came over the first 11 minutes of the game as the Crimson Tide (8-1) slowly built an 18-11 lead early in the second quarter.

Blankenhorn was also 4-of-5 from the foul line in the game.

The performance was Blankenhorn's second highest of the season. His career, and season high, was 33 at Williamsport on Dec. 17.

The outside shooting helped carry Pottsville's offense in the first half as the Crimson Tide had trouble getting it inside against the Hilltoppers' 2-3 zone.

"It was a team effort," Blankenhorn said. "They played a tough zone. We were a little confused in the beginning. We knew what we were supposed to be doing but they played good defense. It was a good team effort to make our shots."

Jordan Melochick added nine points for Pottsville, while Eli Nabholz had eight points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.

The win was the seventh consecutive for the Crimson Tide.

Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney wasn't all that happy with how the Crimson Tide played in the first half, especially when it came to attacking the zone.

The second half was a different story.

After shooting 8-for-20 (40 percent) in the first half, the Crimson Tide were 14-for-22 (64 percent) from the floor in the second as they were able to get more easy buckets inside the paint. As a team, Pottsville had 12 assists over the final 16 minutes.

"I think we were more aggressive," Mullaney said. "I think we moved the ball better. I think we had more guys attacking and not being passive. Once we started to do that, things started to open up."

Jeff Yordy led the Hilltoppers (5-2) with 15 points but the rest of Nativity's offense couldn't get much going. Melochick guarded Yordy, who came in averaging 27 points per game, and held the junior guard to 6-for-15 shooting.

Nativity came in averaging 62.5 points per game and its pervious season low was 51 in the season opener against Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg on Dec. 11.

"I thought Jordan did a great job all night," Mullaney said. "He took a lot of shots and a lot of tough shots. And he made a lot of tough shots but that is all you can do, force shots into bad ones."

Still, the Hilltoppers, who had their five-game winning streak snapped, hung with Pottsville. They were down 11-7 after the first quarter and 24-13 at halftime.

Nativity head coach Kevin Kennedy was looking for a much better start to the second half but instead, Pottsville opened on a 12-4 run to make it 36-17 after Blankenhorn hit a 3-pointer from the wing at 3:48.

"I felt confident coming into halftime that if we could have went on a little bit of a run, right off the get-go and scored six or eight points, I think Pottsville would have known they were in for a game," Kennedy said. "The complete opposite happened. We came out cold and they hit a couple of buckets and built that lead. That was tough.


Pottsville (59) Hinchliffe 3 0-0 7, Jackson 1 0-0 2, Painter 1 0-0 3, Blankenhorn 9 4-5 27, Toomey 0-0-0 0, Dunkel 1 0-0 2, Melochick 3 2-2 9, Shuman 0 0-0 0, Witman 0 0-0 0, Adams 0 0-0 0, Nabholz 4 0-0 8, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Hampford 0 1-2 1  Totals: 22 7-9 59

Nativity (25) Hoppel 0- 0-0 0,Hunyara 0 0-2 0, Yordy 6 2-2 15, Kaledas 1 1-2 3, Palamar 1 1-2 3, Sabol 1 0-0 2, Mickey 0 0-0 0, Greco 0 0-0 0, DiNicola 0 0-0 0, Piccioni 0 0-0 0, McGovern 0 0-0 0  Totals: 10 4-4-25


Pottsville (8-1)  11  13  16  19 -- 59

Nativity (5-2)     7    6    9    3 -- 25


3-point FG's: Yordy, Hinchliffe, Painter, Blankenhorn 5, Melochick

Photos By John Liddle

Photos By John Liddle

Photos By John Liddle

Photos By John Liddle


Battle of the guards at the Battle of HillsPosted on December 30, 2013 by mcarnahan 0 Comments By Mike Carnahan, Republican-Herald Sports Writer
The annual Battle of Hills boys’ basketball contest between Nativity and Pottsville hasn’t been all that competitive recently.
Perhaps tonight’s game at Martz Hall, which tips off at 7:30 p.m. following the girls’ game, will be different.
For certain, the Hilltoppers (5-1) bring the strongest team into the contest that they have had in the past few years.
After losing to Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg 56-51 in its season opener Dec. 11, the Hilltoppers have won five consecutive games. Outside of a 73-70 overtime victory over Weatherly in the first round of the Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech Tournament on Dec. 20, their wins haven’t been that close, with the average margin of victory 18.6 points per game. That included a 75-45 rout of Weatherly last Friday.
Of course, Pottsville (7-1) is playing well, too.
After a 58-34 loss to Wilson West Lawn on Dec. 11, the Crimson Tide have won six in a row, and their games haven’t been all that close, either. Their average margin of victory during the winning streak has been 25.8 points per game, including a 73-39 victory over Hamburg on Saturday.
Tonight’s game also features two of the hottest offensive players in the Schuylkill League in Nativity’s Jeff Yordy and the Tide’s Travis Blankenhorn.
Yordy, who won the individual scoring title last season at 17.5 points per game, has picked right up where he left off in spring. The junior guard is averaging 27 points per game so far and has cracked 30 points twice this year, scoring 31 during a 65-37 victory over Shenandoah Valley on Dec. 19 and a season- and career-high 34 last Friday in the win over the Wreckers.
After averaging 13.4 points per game last season – good for seventh in the league – Blankenhorn, also a junior guard, is averaging 20.9 points per game. His season high, which is also a career high, was 33 in a 53-37 victory over Williamsport on Dec. 17.
The Crimson Tide will be the favorite again tonight and if Nativity has any chance of pulling off the upset, a strong start is a must.

 "Crimson Tide Hammers Hamburg"

This afternoon the Crimson Tide continued its winning ways with an 73-39 victory over the Hamburg Hawks. The Tide was led by Travis "Money" Blankenhorn's 21 points followed by the "Big Easy" Eli Nabholz and "Jordan "Melo" Melochick, each with 12 points a piece. Ty Painter put up his best numbers of the season with 8 points. The Crimson Tide coasted in the second half with the starters not seeing any action in the fourth quarter. The next game for the Tide is the "Battle of the hills" versus cross town rival Nativity on Monday night.

Pottsville (73) Hinchliffe 3 0-1 7, Jackson 0 0-0 0, Painter  1 6-6 8, Blankenhorn 8 3-4 21, Toomey 0 2-3 2, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Melochick 5 0-1 12, Witman 0 0-0 0, Adams 2 0-1 5, Nabolz 5 2-2 12, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Hampford 2 0-0 6, Totals 24 13-18 73

Hamburg (39) Fink 0 0-0 0, Barter 4 2-2 10, Siedel 1 0-0 2, Schlottman 2 2-2 7, Warner 2 0-0 4, Kisha 6 1-2 16, Lesher 0 0-0 0, Totals 15 5-6 39

Pottsville (7-1) 26  19  20  8 -- 73

Hamburg (1-8)  7  10  8  14 -- 39

3 point FG's: Blankenhorn 2, Melochick 2, Hampford 2, Adams, Hinchliffe, Kisha 3, Schlottman

Photo Courtsey of Pottsville Republican

Photo Courtsey of Pottsville Republican


 Defense lead Crimson Tide past Tamaqua

by mike carnahan (staff writer mcarnahan @republicanherald.com)

Published: December 23, 2013

TAMAQUA - It's a story line that's been written plenty of times in the past, and will be written plenty of more times in the future.

The Pottsville boys' basketball program under coach Dave Mullaney is all about man-to-man defense.

"Coach Mullaney just appears to be a defensive guru," Tamaqua coach Caszy Kosciolek said.

Monday was no different. And the Crimson Tide may have found themselves two new defensive stoppers, too.

Travis Blankenhorn (17 points), Jordan Melochick (16) and Eli Nabholz (15) all hit double figures for Pottsville, but it was its defensive effort that led the way again in a 50-41 victory over Tamaqua in Schuylkill League Division I contest at the Tamaqua Athletic Complex.

The victory was the 45th consecutive in the division for the Crimson Tide (6-1, 2-0 D-I). And despite four new starters, they have picked right up where they left off last year when they allowed 36.3 points per game.

In its first seven games this season, Pottsville is giving up 39.2 points per game. The most it allowed in a game this year came during a 58-43 loss to Wilson West Lawn on Dec. 11.

"Great defensive effort, a great team effort," the Crimson Tide's Ty Painter said. "Help on defense, we contested all their shots. They had to work for everything they got. They are a good team. It was a good win for us."

Painter, a junior, and Melochick, a sophomore, are two of the new starters for Pottsville this season. And both were the main defensive heros for the Crimson Tide on Monday, although everybody had a part.

For most of the game, Melochick was responsible for guarding the Raiders' 6-foot-7 forward, Brett Kosciolek, while Painter drew the assignment of Tamaqua point guard Bo Rottet.

Rottet finished the night with 17 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, while Kosciolek added 14. But it turned out to be a rough night for both.

Almost every time Kosciolek got the ball, Melochick was right on him and got help for a double- and sometimes triple-team on Kosciolek, who finished the night 4-for-17 from the floor.

"I just really had to crowd him and make sure he had to put the ball on the floor," Melochick said. "I didn't want him to put any 3s up so he had to put the ball on the floor. I got help from my teammates."

The Raiders were 14-for-41

(34 percent) from the floor Monday and a focus of the Crimson Tide's defense was shutting down the 3-pointer. The Raiders came in averaging 6.2 3s per game but were 2-for-12 from beyond the arc Monday, Rottet, who knocked down seven 3s in Saturday's 69-43 rout of Hamburg, hit both.

"Pottsville does that to a lot of teams," Caszy Kosciolek said. "We didn't shoot it particularly well. They take you out of what you want to do. They contest passes, they contest shots, and you got one shot and done."

Offensively, Pottsville was 21-for-37 (57 percent) shooting Monday, taking advantage of several opportunities inside off cuts to the basket and low-post moves.

The key quarter turned out to be the third. The Crimson Tide led 24-19 at 7:36 after the Raiders' Zach Wargula scored on a cut inside. But Pottsville went on a 15-6 run from there, hitting 7-for-10 from the floor.

Blankenhorn started the run, scoring on a move inside. Melochick then put in layup off a back-side cut, Nabholz hit a jumper from the top of the circle and Melochick put in his own miss to make it 33-23 Crimson Tide at 4:06 of the third.

"We always stress that, coming out, first 4 minutes of the third quarter," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. "We thought that if we could win the first four minutes, we could win the game. And our guys came out really aggressive and we went back to turning our motion a little bit more and trying to work inside out and get the ball in the post and getting a couple of easy ones like that got us going."

Game Summary: Pottsville (50)  Hinchliffe 1 0-0 2, Painter 0 0-1 0, Blankenhorn 5 5-6 17, Toomey 0 0-0 0, Melochick 7 1-2 16, Nabholz 6  2-2 15, Hampford 0 0-0 0  Totals 19 8-11 50

                            Tamaqua (41)  Blaker 0 0-0 0, Wargula 1 2-2 4, Rottet 6 3-5 17, Frantz 1 0-2 2, Tr. Skripko 0 0-0 0, MacDonald 0 0-0 0, Marcin 1 0-0 2, Ty Skripko 0 0-0 0, Kosciolek 4 6-6 14, Ch Hartung 0-00 0 Totals:14 11-13 41

Pottsville (6-1, 2-0)   11  13 15  11 -- 50

Tamaqua (5-2, 0-2)     6  11   8  16 -- 41

3-point FG's: Blankenhorn 2, Melochick, Nabholz, Rottet 2




Photo Courtsey of Pottsville Republican

Photo Courtsey of Pottsville Republican

Photo Courtsey of Pottsville Republican

1Allentown Central Catholic 5000.836000
2Blue Mountain 6000.774379
3Pottsville Area 6100.729768
4Salisbury Township 4100.712794
5Northern Lehigh 4100.693461
6Tamaqua Area 5200.616618
7Lehighton Area 4200.586186
8Southern Lehigh 4300.567851
9Panther Valley 3300.565662
10Wilson Area 3300.481733
11Bethlehem Catholic 1400.469221
12Northwestern Lehigh 2500.399245
13Saucon Valley 1400.396667
14Jim Thorpe Area 2500.339153
15Palisades 1500.327394
16Palmerton Area 0600.262305
OTHERS TO WATCH: Archbishop Wood (12)2-2, Central Valley (7) 5-1, Crestwood (2) 5-1, Farrell (10) 6-0, General McLane (10) 4-1, Girard (10) 4-1, Glen Mills (1) 4-2, Honesdale (2) 6-0, Indiana (7) 6-1, Knoch (7) 6-0, Mars (7) 4-2, Montour (7) 4-0, Pottsville (11) 6-1, Scranton Prep (2) 5-0, Sharon (10) 4-1, Steel Valley (7) 5-1, Susquehanna Twp (3) 4-2, Thomas Jefferson (7) 7-1, West York (3) 6-0.

Photo By John Liddle

Photo By John Liddle

Photo By John Liddle

Pottsville Rolls past Berwick

The Crimson Tide rolls past Berwick Bulldogs 71-29 at Martz Hall. The Tide improved their record to 5 - 1, With a well balanced attack, the Tide had four players in double digits with Kevin Hampford scoring a career high of 16 points, followed By Travis"Money" Blankenhorn and The "Big Easy" Eli Nabholz, each had 15 points and Connor Hincliffe also scoring a career high of 12 points. The Tide open up with a 15-11, first quarter lead and pushed it to 37-14 half time led, with a 22-3 run. The Tide closed the second half with every player getting some playing time to close out the game at 71-29.  The Tide takes it's show on the road, Monday night to battle at Tamaqua, the first big test in this young season.

Pottsville (71) Coyle 1 0-0 3, Toomey 0 0-0 0, Blankenhorn 7 1-1 15, Nabholz 4 7-8 15, Painter 0 0-0 0, Hinchcliffe 3 3-5 12, Jackson 1 0-0 2, Melochick 2 0-0 4, Witman 1 0-0 2, Adams 1 0-0 2, Hampford 4 2-2 16

Berwick (29) Edwards 1 0-0 3, Melito 1 3-4 5, Reigel 1 2-4 4, Evans 1 6-7 8, Dalio 0 4-6 4, Roberts 2 0-0 4, Goddard 0 1-2 1, Pierce 0 0-0 0, Woodeschnk 0-0-0 0, Balliet 0 0-0 0, Divalero 0-0-0 0 Totals 6 16-23 29

Pottsville (5-1) 15  22  21  13 -- (71)

Berwick ( )  11  3  11  4 -- (29)

3 Point FG's- Hampford 2, Blankenhorn, Coyle

Crimson Tide Clips the Cardinals Wings

The Pottsville Crimson Tide clipped the Pine Grove Cardinals wings to the tune of 72-32 for the 60th straight Schuylkill league win. Travis "Money" Blankenhorn led all scorers with 23 points,including three 3-pointers, followed by Jordan "Melo" Melochick with 17 points and the "Big Easy" Eli Nabholz scored 16 points. All the Tide players contribute to the win in one way or another. Pottsville jumped out to a 16-7 lead after the first quarter, and extended that lead to 37-16 lead at the half. The Tide improved it's record to 4-1 on the season.

Pottsville (72) Hinchliffe 1 2-3 5, Jackson 1 0-1 2, Painter 0 0-0 0, Blankenhorn 10 0-0 23, Dunkel 3 0-0 6, Toomey 0 0-0 0, Melochick 6 4-5 17, Witman 1 0-0 2, Adams 0 0-1 0, Nabholz 6 3-3 16, Coyle 0 0-0 0, Hampford 0 1-2 1, Totals: 28 10-15 72


Pine Grove (32) Rossi 0 0-0 0, Blankenhorn 1 2-2 4, A. White 1 0-0 2, Cataldo 0 0-0 0, T. White 0 1-3 1, J. White 0 0-0 0, D'Agostino 6 2-4 16, Weinus 1 4-5 6, Keefer 0 3-6 3, Mars 0 0-0 0 Totals: 9 12-20 32


Pottsville(4-1, 1-0) 16  21  14  21 -- (72)

Pine Grove(1-5, 0-3) 7  9  9  7 -- (32)

3-Point FG's: Blankenhorn 3, Hincliffe, Melochick, Nabholz, D'Agostino 2

JV Score Pottsville 57-10


"Crimson Tide cashes in on Williamsport Millionaires"

Travis "Money" Blankenhorn leds the Crimson Tide over Williamsport 53-37

Travis Blankenhorn had a monster night with a career-high 33 points as Pottsville pulled off it's biggest win so far this season with a 53-37 victory over AAAA Williamsport on Tuesday in a non-league basketball contest. Travis"Money" Blankenhorn was 6 for 6 from 3 point land in the game, and added seven rebounds and three assists. His previous career high in points was 24 against Pine Grove last season. Eli "Big Easy" Nabholz added nine points and four blocks for the Crimson Tide, while Jordan "Melo" Melochick had six points and seven rebounds. Pottsville led 11-8 after the first quarter and 31-19 at the half.

Isaiah Washington had 15 points for the Millionaires as Melochick kept one of Williamsport's best players (and Penn State bound)under control.


Pottsville (53): Blankenhorn 11 5-7 33, Nabholz 4 0-0 9, Melochick 3 0-0 6, Painter 0 0-0 0, Hampford 0 0-0 0, Dunkel 0 0-0 0, Hinchliffe 2 0-2 5, Witman 0 0-0 0   Totals 20 5-9 53


Williamsport (37): Washington 4 5-11 15, Benjamin 1 0-0 2, Gardner 3 0-1 6, Gosley 3 0-0 6, Boone 2 2-2 6, Simmons 0 0-0 0, Harman 0 0-0 0, Manzitti 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, Johnson 1 0-0 2  Totals 14 7-14 37


Pottsville (3-1)  11  20  16  6 -- (53)

Williamsport (1-3) 8  11 11 7 -- (37)

3-point FG's: Blankenhorn 6, Nabholz, Hinchliffe, Washington


Crimson Tide Rolls over Governor Mifflin

Travis Blankenhorn poured in a game high 20 points to pace four Crimson Tide players in double figures in their non-league victory over the Mustangs.

Joradn Melochick added 14 points for Pottsville, while Eli Nabholz had 12 and Connor Hinchliffe had 10. The Tide got out to a 16-6 laed after the first quarter and led 26-19 t half.

Pottsville (58) Blankenhorn 7 3-6 20 Hampford 0 0-0 0, Hinchliffe 3 3-5 10, Melochick 2 9-10 14, Nabholz 5 1-3 12, Painter 0 2-2 2 Whitman 0 0-0 0, Totals: 17 18-26 58

Governor Mifflin (44) Holf 3 6-10 12, Mckinight 0 0-0 0, Ovid 2 1-2 6, Peters 0 0-0 0, Pollack 0 0-0 0, Quigley  0 1-2 1, B. Rodriguez 3 1-2 7, S. Rodriguez 7 2-5 16, Willet 1 0-0 2,

Totals 16 11-21 44

Pottsville:  16 - 10 - 16 - 16 - (58)

Governor Mifflin 6 - 13 - 11 - 14- (44)

3 point FG's: Blankenhorn (3), Hinchliffe, Melochick, Nabholz,


Division I

All talk about Division I, and the Schuylkill League for that matter, starts with Pottsville.

The Crimson Tide won their fourth consecutive Schuylkill League title last February, and have won 43 consecutive Division I games.

On the downside, the Tide lost four starters to graduation, including 2012-13 Republican-Herald Player of the Year Brandon Bridy (15.9 ppg), who is currently at Kutztown University, along with Ryan Coyle, Bobby Witman and Zach Wile.

Pottsville finds itself in a similar position to the one it was entering 2011-12 when Nick Schlitzer graduated and Bridy became the main scoring threat.

Now it is Blankenhorn's turn to become the leader.

The 6-foot-2 junior guard was mostly a 3-point shooter as a freshman. Last year he became more of a threat in transition and slashing to the basket. This season, he's added low-post moves.

What will give Pottsville a major boost inside is a healthy Eli Nabholz (5.0 ppg in 8 games). The 6-5 junior showed plenty of potential as a freshman but due to two separate injuries, last year was pretty much a loss.

Sophomore Jordan Melochick (4.0) also saw plenty of time as a freshman and, along with Nabholz, should give Pottsville a solid inside game.

Still, the Crimson Tide don't have a lot of overall varsity experience, and that is the biggest concern for coach Dave Mullaney.

"We've had a great offseason, we really have," he said. "I am hoping with all that effort in the offseason that the learning curve isn't too steep for us."

Blue Mountain was the division runner-up and league wild-card a year ago and returns three starters in Bornstein, Kyle Slane (12.0) and Shane Grapsy (6.2). Quick, athletic guards allowed the Eagles to play an aggressive style last season on both ends of the floor and the plan is for more of the same.

The Eagles did lose their top 3-point shooter in Peter Harding (53 3s), but Slane (34 3s) and Grapsy (24 3s) both showed they can hit from the perimeter last year.

One new face who could play a major role is sophomore Mark Chelius, who transferred from Wyomissing. Chelius was projected to be the Spartans' starting point guard this season before his move to Blue Mountain.

One team that should make a major move upward is Tamaqua, which last season reached the District 11 playoffs for the first time since 2004 and won its first district playoff game since 2001.

The Raiders have four starters back. In addition to Kosciolek, who is developing into one of the league's better all-around offensive players, junior Bo Rottet (10.3 ppg) returns to run the point, while junior Zach Wargula (8.6) and senior Adam Frantz (6.2) are also back.

This is one of the more anticipated seasons for the Raiders in recent memory. In order for Tamaqua to contend for a division title, the defense needs to improve after it allowed 50.2 points per game last year.

That is also the case at Panther Valley, which gave up 56.8 points per game in 2012-13. But there is experience back in addition to Szczecina, as seniors Luke Stano (5.1 ppg), Kyle Ferryman (5.1 ppg) and Jake Kusko (2.3 ppg) return.

North Schuylkill took a big graduation hit, with senior Jake Damiter (10.7 ppg) the Spartans' lone returning starter. Damiter is 6-foot-4 and, along with 6-5 Matt Manbeck and 6-5 sophomore Tevin Murray, gives the Spartans some size inside.

Junior Kobe D'Agostino (11.4 ppg), last season's Republican-Herald Rookie of the Year, returns for Pine Grove, while David Everitt (5.2) and Bryce Micciche (4.3) are the only two players that have any significant varsity experience for Jim Thorpe.

Blue Mountain

Head coach: Dustin Werdt (11th season)

Last year: 18-6 overall, 10-2 D-I. Division I wild card, District 11 Class AAA qualifier

Returnees: Kyle Slane (sr., G), Will Bornstein (sr., G), Shane Grapsy (sr., F), Skyler Panchari (sr., C), Ian Donovan (soph., G)

Newcomers: Luke Harding (sr., F), Conner Eifert (sr., F), Dean Stramara (jr., G), Mark Chelius (soph., G, transfer from Wyomissing)

Outlook: With athletic guards, the same aggressive style of play the Eagles used last season will return. The hope is to establish more depth. Will be in contention for the division title again.

Jim Thorpe

Head coach: Grant Whary (1st season)

Last year: 3-19, 1-11 D-I

Returnees (positions not available): Bryce Micciche (sr.), David Everitt (jr.)

Newcomers (positions not available): Alex Heydt (sr.), Steven Principe (sr.), Deonte St. Hill (sr.), Todd Lawrence (sr.), Nick Acker (sr.), Shane Snisky (jr.), Ryan Carroll (jr.), Jordan McElmoyle (soph.), Rayan Green (soph.)

Outlook: The Olympians lack varsity experience and defense might be the strong suit early as the offense attempts to find some consistent scorers under a new coach. In a rebuilding mode.

North Schuylkill

Head coach: Curt Ziegmont (11th season)

Last year: 15-8, 7-5 D-I. District 11 Class AA qualifier

Returnee: Jake Damiter (sr., G-F)

Newcomers: Brett Ennis (sr., G), Matt Manbeck (sr., F), Ryan McDonald (sr., G-F), Connor Carney (jr., G), Justin Heaton (jr., F), Ryan Hillbish (jr., G), Chris Karlonis (jr., F), Ryan Mazeika (jr. F), Jordan Marlow (soph., G), Alex Mazur (soph., G), Tevin Murray (soph., F), Major Jordan (fr., G-F)

Outlook: The Spartans were hit hard by graduation. They do have some size, and in order to for the Spartans continue their winning tradition, they need to find some scoring. The goal is to quickly find an identity, and if that happens, they could make noise in the division.

Panther Valley

Head coach: Patrick Crampsie (12th season)

Last year: 6-16, 4-9 D-I

Returnees: Kyle Ferryman (sr., G), Jake Kusko (sr., G), Luke Stano (sr., F), Jake Szczecina (sr., G)

Newcomers: Pat Owens (sr., G), Chad Dubosky (jr., F), Cee Keo (jr., G), Ethan Vermillion (jr., F), Matt Hudicka (soph., G-F), Charles Nase (soph., F), Anthony Miholick (fr., G)

Outlook: The Panthers should be able to put the ball in the net, especially from the outside. But the defensive toughness that was missing last season needs to be re-established. If that happens, the Panthers could be competitive in the division and in the running for a district postseason spot.

Pine Grove

Head coach: Frank D'Agostino (1st season)

Last year: 6-16, 3-9 D-I

Returnees: Jed Blankenhorn (sr., G), Ryan Keefer (sr., F-C), Mark Weinus (jr., F), Kobe D'Agostino (jr., G)

Newcomers: Jon White (sr., C), Austin White (sr., G), Nick Cataldo (sr., G), Ty Kiser (jr, C), Luke Rossi (jr., F), Brett Mars (jr., F)

Outlook: The Cardinals look to rebound under a new coach and new system. Their size might allow them to disrupt opposing offenses and get out on the fast break. The goal is to qualify for districts.


Head coach: Dave Mullaney (7th season)

Last year: 21-6, 12-0 D-I. Division I champion, Schuylkill League champion, District 11 Class AAA semifinalist

Returnees: John Toomey (sr., F), Travis Blankenhorn (jr., G), Eli Nabholz (jr., F), Ty Painter (jr., G), Jordan Melochick (soph., F)

Newcomers: Pat Coyle (jr. G), Jed Dunkel (jr., F), Kevin Hampford (jr., G), Connor Hinchliffe (jr., G), Derek Shuman (jr., G)

Outlook: Blankenhorn is the lone returning starter and the lack of varsity experience is a concern. Still, the Tide will compete for their fifth consecutive division and overall league titles.


Head coach: Caszy Kosciolek (3rd season)

Last year: 14-10, 6-6 D-I. District 11 Class AAA quarterfinalist

Returnees: Adam Frantz (sr., F), Chris Hartung (sr., C), Zach Wargula (jr., G), Bo Rottet (jr., G), Trevor Skripko (jr., F), Tyler Skripko (jr., F), Brett Kosciolek (jr. G-F)

Newcomers: Joe Marcin (sr., G-F), Dylan Van Buskirk (sr., C), Ben Miller (jr., G), Nate MacDonald (jr., G), Connor Hartung (jr., F), Devin Murphy (jr., C), Russell Blaker (soph., G)

Outlook: After a district playoff berth last year, the anticipation for the Raiders this season is high. Should be solid offensively, but the defense needs to improve in order to take the next step. This could be the year the Raiders become one of the division's top teams.


Wilson defeats the Tide

Wilson used the 3-pointer to outgun the Crimson Tide, as the Bulldogs scored eight times from beyond the 3 point arc to send Pottsville to it's first loss. Sam Smith led the way for Wilson with 19 points, including three 3-pointers. Matt Timochenko posted 11 points.

The Tide was led by Travis Blankenhorn who scored 22 points for the Tide, Jordan"Melo" Melochick added 8 points for the Tide.


Pottsville: (43) - Hinchliffe 3 0-0 6, Painter 1 0-0 2, Blankenhorn 8 5-5 22, Toomey 0 0-0 0, Melochick 2 3-6 8, Witman 0 0-0 0, Nabholz 2 1-1 5 Totals 16 9-12 43


Wilson: (58) - Templin 1 0-0 3, Smith 8 0-0 19, Connolly 0 0-0 0, Gaynor 0 0-0 0, Coad 5 2-2 13, Calloway 4 0-0 10, Rivera 0 0-0 0, Lubas 1 0-0 2, Timochenko 2 6-8 11, Totals 21 8-10 58



 Crimson Tide open with rout of Danville

Pottsville's Eli Nabholz battled a variety of injuries last winter and missed most of the Crimson Tide's basketball season.

If Friday is any indication, the now-healthy junior forward could on the verge of a big year.

Nabholz had a career-high 19 points, while Travis Blankenhorn and Jordan Melochick also hit in double figures, as Pottsville opened its season with a 53-34 rout of Danville at Martz Hall.

Nabholz played in only eight games last season, missing the first 15 with a back injury. In his third game back against Blue Mountain on Jan. 29, he injured his ankle and missed the next four contests. He then returned for Pottsville's final five games.

"It is amazing coming out, especially with the group of guys we have here," Nabholz said. "It is just so much fun to be back out and just play hard for a full game. It is a phenomenal feeling, especially in Martz."

Nabholz scored the Tide's first points of the game on a kick-out 3-pointer from John Toomey, but had his best quarter in the second with eight points. He hit his second 3-pointer of the game, and then muscled his way inside to score and complete the three-point play after he was fouled.

Nabholz's final points of the quarter came on a spin move in the lane. He added 12 rebounds and also had two blocks.

"The key tonight was just my teammates getting me the ball when I was open," Nabholz said. "I am not a guy who is going to create plays for myself or create plays for other people. But I just try to be in the right spot and my teammates found me."

Blankenhorn added 16 points and three steals, while Melochick had 15 points, three assists and four steals as the Tide opened the game on an 8-0 run, led 19-6 after the first quarter and 29-16 at the half.

The Ironmen, who finished 19-5 last season and lost to Shikellamy in the District 4 Class AAA semifinals, returned just one starter from last season in senior Zack Kozick. The Tide wasted no time in jumping on Danville, forcing seven turnovers in the first quarter, with five on steals, and converting them into transition points at the other end.

It was a perfect start for Pottsville, which had four new starters in its lineup following last year's fourth consecutive Schuylkill League championship.

"We played good coming out and overall we played solid defensively," Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. "We have a lot of inexperienced guys and there are things we are going to get better at. To start off first quarter, we were pretty solid."

After Nabholz hit his 3-pointer and Toomey hit 1-of-2 from the foul line, the Tide's defense took over. Melochick had three steals in the first five minutes of the game as Pottsville converted all three into points.

Melochick set up Blankenhorn after a steal for a fast-break layup and then, after another steal, Blankenhorn set Melochick up for layup. After Phil Stemm scored the first points of the game for the Ironmen, Melochick went in for a layup after a steal to give Pottsville a 10-2 lead.

Later in the first, Melochick scored off a baseline drive and competed a three-point play after he was fouled. Blankenhorn added a layup and scored off an alley-oop from Melochick, while Nabholz scored another fast-break layup.

"That was the deciding factor, getting out ahead," Nabholz said.

The Tide finished the game shooting 21-for-45 (47 percent) from the floor and held Danville to 10-for-39 (26 percent) shooting. But Pottsville did commit 16 turnovers.

"We were good at times and I was happy," Mullaney said. "But we have so many things to clean up. We had so many unforced turnovers and we are not going to beat too many good teams doing that."

" Coming Soon The 2013-2014 Season"

The Drive For Five!!!

The "Mecca" Martz Hall

Photos By Craig S.L. Shields

Photos By Craig S.L. Shields

Photos By Craig S.L. Shields

Scorbitz-Martz Hall Scoring System

Click On The above link to download the app to get all games at Martz Hall live to your phone with Scores from the Crimson Tide!

"Coming Soon For Crimson Tide Fans"

Nevco Streams Scores to Smart Phones from Scoreboard
Tue November 13, 2012Exclusive Deal with Scorbitz Enables Live Score Streaming
GREENVILLE, IL - November 13, 2012 - Today Nevco announced an exclusive ability to stream scoring data live from Nevco scoreboards to an app on fans' smart phones, tablet devices or PCs.  The industry's largest private manufacturer of display and scoring solutions has executed an agreement with mobile app developer Scorbitz and now offers new and existing Nevco customers the ability to send game time and scores directly to fans in real time.  The free app, which is available for iPhones
via the iTunes store or for Android devices using the Google Play Store, also enables fans to look up team schedules and have final scores sent to their devices automatically.

The solution uses proprietary and patented technology from Scorbitz, a technology and social media company that has created the only automated solution to bring scores directly from stadium, gymnasium and ball field scoreboards, to fans' smart phones, tablets or PCs in real time.  Once the easy installation is complete, the technology works automatically, and doesn't require any additional work or training from scoreboard operators to share scoring data with fans in real time. 

The Nevco/Scorbitz solution is more than just cool (and addictive) technology to impress fans.  The solution also helps to generate revenue for the customer through the placement of online advertising. 

"The flexibility in advertising formats and possibilities with the Scorbitz app is truly innovative in the mobile application market, and combined with Nevco's product really increases the amount of inventory and potential revenue sources for all venues," said Nevco President Gary Robert.  "Nevco scoreboard customers can strengthen their relationships with their fans, boosters and alumni, while generating revenue for their programs at the same time."

Schools and organizations using Scorbitz on their Nevco scoring solutions at their home venues can also take this functionality on the road to away games too.  Using a free mobile app for administrators, customers can enter game data manually and transmit it to Scorbitz app users. 

About Scorbitz
Scorbitz is a technology and social media company that has created the only automated solution to bring scores directly from the stadium, gymnasium and ball field scoreboards, to fans' smart phones, tablets and PCs in real-time.  Created by fans for fans, Scorbitz seeks to unify every sports district no matter what brand of scoreboard they have now. 

About Nevco, Inc.
Nevco, Inc., is the largest private manufacturer and provider of video display and scoring solutions.  For over 75 years, Nevco has provided colleges, universities, high schools, park and recreation groups and other organizations with some of the most innovative scoring and LED video display products in the industry. Nevco is known for its specialty in designing custom facility solutions, quality of products and superior long term financial value.  Today, Nevco scoreboards, message centers and video displays are used to enhance the fan experience at events in more than 100,000 locations around the world. For more information on Nevco, visit their website at www.nevco.com.
 © 2012 Nevco. All Rights Res

Crimson Tide Boys Basketball

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

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