Crimson Tide improves to 15 - 5
North Schuylkill 32
SPRINGS — Ian Renninger’s scored 16 points as the Crimson Tide got off to a strong start and rolled past the Spartans
in the Division I contest.
Jordan Abdo added 14 points, while Justin Abdo had
13 and Eli Wood 10 for Pottsville, which got out to a 18-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Zach Stokes led North Schuylkill with eight points.
POTTSVILLE (61) — Ju. Abdo 5 0-0 13, Timberlake 1 0-0 2, Barnes 0 0-0 0, Wood 5 0-0 10, Melochick 0 0-0 0,
Hahner 0 0-0 0, Stanton 1 0-0 3, Pellish 0 0-0 0, Jo. Abdo 4 5-5 14, Renninger 6 4-5 16, Kondrack 1 0-0 3. Totals 23 9-10
NORTH SCHUYLKILL (32) — Stokes 3 0-0 8, Stavinski 1 0-0 2, Bolinsky
2 0-1 4, Weist 3 0-0 7, Kovach 0 0-0 0, Gregas 0 0-0 0, Joseph 0 0-0 0, Roshannon 0 0-0 0, Burke 0 0-0 0, Guerrero 2 0-0 6,
Knerr 1 0-0 2, Kotzo 1 0-0 3, Kempsey 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 0-1 32.
11-1) 18 13 13 17 — 61 NS (3-18, 2-11) 0 13 12 7 — 32
FGs: Ju. Abdo 3, Stanton, Jo. Abdo, Kondrack, Stokes 2, Weist, Guerrero 2, Kotzo
score: Pottsville 49-35
Slams Blue Mountain 49 - 44
H.S. BOYSBB: Crimson Tide down Blue Mountain
By Mike Carnahan / Published: February 4, 2017
The offensive woes that plagued Pottsville in a loss at Berks Catholic on Wednesday seemed to follow the Crimson
Tide back to Martz Hall for the first half Friday night.
They disappeared in the third quarter, keeping Pottsville's
hopes for another Schuylkill League Division I championship very much alive.
Jordan Abdo scored 15 of his game-high 24
points in the second half, while Eli Wood added 11 in the game as the Crimson Tide rallied from a halftime deficit to down
Blue Mountain 49-44.
Pottsville scored just 10 points in the first half during its 47-37 loss at Berks Catholic and struggled
in the first 16 minutes offensively Friday, hitting 6-for-24 (25 percent) from the floor. But the second half was a different
story as the Crimson Tide were 11-for-18 (61 percent), including a 6-of-9 showing in the fourth quarter, to finally put the
Eagles away and avenge Blue Mountain's 51-44 victory Jan. 9.
"I think we came into this game with a lot better of
an attitude," Wood said. "We went to Berks Catholic and that was kind of a wake-up call for us. We came into practice
(Thursday) with a great attitude coming into this game. We really put the pedal to the metal and showed the league what we
The Crimson Tide's win moved Pottsville (14-5, 10-1 D-I) into a first-place with Blue Mountain (14-5,
10-1) in the division with each team having three games remaining. If the teams win out, both will share the division championship.
There will be no Division I tiebreaker game this season since the top two teams from Division I qualify for the league playoffs.
The Eagles have the tougher remaining league schedule, starting today at home against Jim Thorpe (11-8, 6-5) and continuing
with Pine Grove (8-12, 2-10) at home Tuesday and at Lehighton (15-5, 8-4) next Friday.
Pottsville has league games remaining
at North Schuylkill (3-16, 2-10) on Tuesday, and home contests with Minersville (8-11, 3-8) on Wednesday and Tamaqua (12-8,
6-5) on Friday.
Ian Renninger added nine points, including a pair of dunks, and eight rebounds for Pottsville.
Lewis led the Eagles with 15 points, while Jakob Biever had 10 points and seven rebounds. Spencer Welsh added eight boards
for Blue Mountain.
The Eagles had an opportunity to put themselves in excellent position to win their first division
title since 2007 and got out to a 21-15 halftime lead.
But the Crimson Tide opened the second half on a 7-0 run to gain
the momentum. Pottsville then took the lead for good with an 11-2 run midway through the fourth quarter to go up 43-37 with
2:01 left in the game.
After the rough offensive first half, the message from Crimson Tide coach Dave Mullaney at halftime
was simple: Get aggressive. He wanted Pottsville get out and run every chance it got.
"We just had to be more aggressive
and push the ball," said Wood, who had nine second-half points. "They are a great team the way they play but we
felt we could really get in front to them on the transition to score some points quick for us.
"We were really looking
to attack offensively. Try to get into the paint, make plays, jump shots, look for our teammates. Try and make everybody else
better player on our team."
Pottsville's second half started with a jumper by Justin Abdo around the foul line,
a drive by Wood, a foul shot by Jordan Abdo and a foul-line jumper by Jordan Abdo to make it 22-21 at 5:23.
was tied at 29 entering the fourth quarter. The Eagles then took a 35-32 lead with 6 minutes left in the game on a layup by
Biever. Pottsville then took the lead for good with its 11-2 run. Wood had two big buckets late in the run, scoring on a drive
at 3:15 to make it 40-35.
After Aaron Albertini scored on a baseline jumper to make it a three-point game on Blue Mountain's
next possession, Wood drained a 3-pointer from the corner on a kickout pass from Renninger to push Pottsville's lead back
to 43-37 with 2:01 left.
"I was just trying to get in there and show my teammates that I was wide open," Wood
said. "I just took the shot. It was what was best for the team at that moment."
The Eagles got back to within
43-41 with 1:03 remaining, but the Crimson Tide sealed the game from the foul line, going 6-for-6 over the final 1:02. Wood
also had a key defensive play with 18.7 seconds left when he got into a tie-up with Albertini. The possession arrow gave the
ball to Pottsville.
"Actually our kids tried to do what our game plan was in the first half, but we just didn't
have enough guys to make plays and break them down off the dribble," Mullaney said. "We said at halftime we really
want to push the ball, look to get in the lane and make plays for each other. Within our motion, we played offensive basketball
like we've been trying to do all year. It wasn't perfect but we really did a nice job sharing the basketball."
BLUE MOUNTAIN (44) - McKivigan 0 0-0 0, Welsh 1 0-0 3, Lewis 7 0-0 15, Albertini 2 4-6 8, Zerbe 2 3-4 7, Caulfield
0 0-0 0, Hoynoski 0 1-2 1, Beiver 5 0-2 10. Totals 17 8-14 44.
POTTSVILLE (49) - Ju. Abdo 1 2-2 4, Barnes 0 0-0 0, Wood
5 0-1 11, Melochick 0 0-0 0, Stanton 0 0-0 0, Pellish 1 0-0 3, Jo. Abdo 7 6-9 24, Renninger 3 1-4 7, Kondrack 0 0-0 0. Totals
17 9-16 49.
BM (14-5, 10-1) 8 13 8 15 - 44 Po (14-5, 10-1) 10 5 14 20 - 49
3-point FGs: Welsh, Lewis, Wood, Pellish,
Jo. Abdo 4
JV score: Pottsville 36-34
Pottsville 49 - Blue Mountain 44 - WNEP 16 Sports
Berks Catholic 47
READING — Jordan Abdo scored 15 points and Ian Renninger added 11 for Pottsville in a non-league loss to Berks
The Crimson Tide got off to a slow start, trailing 10-3 after the first
quarter and 21-10 at halftime.
(37) — Ju. Abdo 2 2-2 7, Barnes 1 0-0 2, Wood 0 1-2 1, Melochick 0 0-0 0, Pellish 0 1-5 1, Jo. Abdo 6 1-3 15, Renninger
5 1-2 11, Kondrack 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 6-14 37.
BERKS CATHOLIC (47) —
Wilson 1 0-0 2, Smith 0 0-0 0, Garcia 7 0-3 15, Calloway 2 2-4 7, Jack 4 4-5 13, Mitchell 1 3-4 5, Dabney 1 2-2 5, Long 0
0-0 0. Totals 16 11-18 47.
Potts (13-5) 3 7 12 15 — 37
BC (15-4) 10 11 7 19 — 47
3-point FGs: Jo. Abdo 2, Ju. Abdo, Garcia,
Calloway, Jack, Dabney
JV score: Pottsville 44-42
Crimson Tide Rolls Over Lehighton
LEHIGHTON - Mason Barnes and Justin
Abdo each scored eight points in the first half as the Crimson Tide jumped out to a 30-12 halftime advantage en route to a
Division I victory over the Indians.
Jordan Abdo finished as the Tide's leading scorer with 13 points, followed by Barnes
with 11 and Ian Renninger with 10.
For Lehighton, Damian Mele was the only player in double figures with 10 points.
POTTSVILLE (56) - Ju. Abdo 3 1-1 8, Barnes 3 2-2 11, Timberlake 0 0-0 0, Wood 1 0-0 3, Melochick 0 2-2 2, Hahner
0 2-3 2, Stanton 1 0-0 3, Pellish 1 0-0 2, Jo. Abdo 3 7-9 13, Renninger 4 2-4 10, Kondrack 0 2-2 2. Totals 16 18-23 56.
LEHIGHTON (35) - Troxell 1 0-0 2, Carpenter 2 0-0 5, Schaeffer 0 0-0 0, McDowell 1 0-0 3, Crum 0 0-0 0, Buchinsky
1 2-4 4, Mele 4 0-0 10, Howland 0 2-2 2, Venuto 1 2-2 4, Motz 1 0-0 2, Schatz 1 1-2 3, Lawler 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 7-10 35.
Pot (13-4, 9-1) 13 17 16 10 - 56 Leh (13-4, 6-3) 8 4 12 9 - 35
FGs: Barnes 3, Ju. Abdo, Wood, Stanton
JV score: Pottsville 56-34
Crimson Tide Rolls over Pine Grove
Pine Grove 34
Ian Renninger tallied 10 of his 12 points in the first half as the Crimson Tide rolled to a Division I win over the
Cardinals at Martz Hall.
Alex Pellish and Jordan Abdo each scored 13 points as
Pottsville opened a 29-15 halftime edge.
David Snedden paced Pine Grove with
PINE GROVE (34) —
Ibarra 3 0-0 7, Kreiser 0 0-0 0, Pena 0 0-0 0, A. Griffiths 2 0-0 5, Culbert 0 0-0 0, Leininger 4 0-2 8, Snedden 3 2 1-2 13,
Bertasavage 0 0-0 0, C. Griffiths 0 0-0 0, Routledge 0 1-2 1. Totals 14 2-6 34.
POTTSVILLE (51) — Ju. Abdo 3 0-0 6, Barnes 2 2-2 7, Timberlake 0 0-0 0, Wood 0 0-0 0, Melochick 0 0-0 0, Stanton
0 0-0 0, Pellish 6 0-0 13, Jo. Abdo 4 5-6 13, Renninger 6 0-1 12, Kondrack 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 7-9 51.
PG (5-11, 0-9) 4 11 10 9 — 34 Pott (12-4, 8-1) 14 15 14 8 — 51
3-point FGs: Ibarra, A. Griffiths, Snedden 2, Barnes, Pellish
Pottsville - Salisbury
Jordan Abdo scored a game high 28 points, but the Crimson Tide couldn't hold a halftime lead advantage
in suffering a non league loss to the Falcons. Abdo had 13 points in the first half as Pottsville built a 24-9 lead at intermission.
Salisbury answnered with an 18-9 run in the third quarter to get back in it, and surged ahead in the fourth.
The inside duo of Ryan Slutsky (15) and Jaxon Costello (12) did the damage combining for 20 of their 27 points in
the second half. The Falcons shot 19 for 26 from the foul line.
Pottsville (45) Ju. Abdo 1 0-0 3, Barnes 0 0-0 0, Wood 0 0-0 0, Melochick 1 0-0 3, Pellish
1 1-2 3, Jo. Abdo 7 3 5-7 28, Renninger 4 0-0 8, Kondrack 0 0-0 0 Totals: 17 6-9 45
Salisbury (48) Galantini 0 2-2 2,Sylvester 1 4-4 6, Reichenbach 3 2-2 8, Slutsky 4 7-12 15, Costello 5 2-4 12, Frankenfield
0 0-0 0, Jones 1 2-2 5, Snyder 0 0-0 0 Totals: 14 19-26 48
17 7 9 12 -- 45
5 4 18 21 -- 48
3-POINT FG'S: Ju. Abdo,
Melochick, Jo. Abdo 3, Jones
JV Score - Pottsville 53-29
H.S. BOYSBB: Schuylkill League headed to exciting finish!
By Mike Carnahan /
Published: January 24, 2017
JACQUELINE DORMER/STAFF PHOTO Blue Mountain’s Mason Zerbe drives
to the basket during the Eagles’ 51-44 win over Potts-ville on Jan. 9. The two teams meet again Feb. 3 at Martz.
We are heading down the home stretch of the Schuylkill League boys’ basketball
season, and it’s been an interesting winter so far.
A look at the division
standings shows how intriguing it’s been. All three divisions have somewhat surprising leaders, and not exactly what
was expected when the campaign started in December.
Then again, preseason predictions
aside, I don’t determine who wins championships. The players do and that’s what’s got us to this point.
There is still plenty of basketball left, so here is a breakdown of the divisions and what’s upcoming over
the final three weeks of the regular season.
Blue Mountain (12-3, 8-0 Division I) leads right now by a game over Pottsville (11-4, 7-1) by virtue of the Eagles’
51-44 victory Jan. 9. The win snapped the Crimson Tide’s 35-game division winning streak that stretched back to the
The Eagles have gone 4-1 overall since that win, with their only
loss to Bethlehem Liberty on Jan. 14. The Crimson Tide won five straight after losing to Blue Mountain — including a
65-58 win over Scranton Prep — before falling Monday night to Salisbury.
Mountain travels to Pottsville for their rematch Friday, Feb. 3. Before then, the Eagles have league games tonight against
North Schuylkill (2-12, 1-7), Friday at Tamaqua (9-6, 3-5) and Jan. 31 at home against Jim Thorpe (9-6, 4-4). Pottsville’s
three league games before Feb. 3 are tonight against Pine Grove (5-10, 0-8), Friday at Lehighton (13-3, 6-2) and at Minersville
(8-7, 3-5) on Jan. 31.
Blue Mountain’s last division championship was in
2007. Pottsville has won seven straight division titles.
Lehighton is still alive
in the Division I race, but already has lost to Pottsville and Blue Mountain this season. The Indians can’t afford any
league losses to the teams they’ve already beaten and will likely need to beat both Pottsville and Blue Mountain (Feb.
10) to have a shot at not only the division, but a spot in the league playoffs as the wild card.
Due to a new Schuylkill League policy this season, if the division ends in a tie, there will be no tiebreaker game
since two teams from the division qualify for the league playoffs. Co-champs will be declared and head-to-head, league power
rating and overall power rating will be used in that order to determine the seeds for the league playoffs.
This division is perhaps the biggest surprise as Lourdes
(11-5, 5-2) and Nativity (9-7, 5-2) are currently tied for first.
Yes, the Red
Raiders were expected to be here. The Hilltoppers, however, were not. The difference right now has been the Division II-III
Lourdes has gone 1-2 in its three crossover contests, losing a pair
of close games last week to the top two teams in Division III — Marian 51-41 last Monday and Shenandoah Valley 46-45
Nativity, in its first year in the division, is one of the hottest
teams in the league right now. After losing to Minersville 54-48 on Dec. 30, the Hilltoppers have won 7-of-8 overall and 5-of-6
in division play. The only loss was to Shenandoah Valley 62-52 on Jan. 12. Nativity is 2-0 in its other two crossover games,
blowing out both Mahanoy Area 77-59 last Tuesday and Weatherly 84-58 last Friday.
won the first regular-season meeting against Nativity 65-41 on Dec. 22. The rematch between the two is Tuesday, Jan. 31, atop
Lawton’s Hill. The Red Raiders host Mahanoy Area tonight and Tri-Valley (4-11, 2-5) on Friday. The Hilltoppers host
Panther Valley (6-10, 2-5) tonight and travel to Marian on Friday.
last division title was in 2012. Nativity hasn’t won a division championship since 2004.
Williams Valley (10-5, 4-3) is one game back and still very much alive in the division race. The Vikings, however,
have already lost to Lourdes 58-51 on Jan. 3 and Nativity 56-53 on Jan. 6. Williams Valley’s other league loss was a
crossover against Marian 54-23.
If the division ends in a tie and it can’t
be broken by head-to-head, there would be a tiebreaker game to determine the division champ and representative in the league
Marian (11-2, 7-0) is likely one of the biggest surprises in the league, and leads the division by two games over Shenandoah
Valley (14-2, 5-2) and three games over Mahanoy Area (8-7, 4-3).
its season opener to Lehighton 47-41 on Dec. 12, the Colts won 10 in a row before losing to Jim Thorpe 49-39 in a non-league
contest last Thursday.
Marian’s winning streak included victories over
Shenandoah Valley 52-46 on Jan. 3, a 70-57 overtime win over Mahanoy Area on Jan. 6 and at Lourdes last Monday.
Out of all the division leaders, the Colts are in the best position to win a title, which would be their first since
2011. Marian travels to Shenandoah Valley on Feb. 3 and Mahanoy Area on Feb. 7.
Blue Devils, last year’s division champs, are basically going to need to win out and get some help to repeat their title.
The Golden Bears are fading, losing 7-of-8 and four straight after a 7-0 start.
same procedure used for Division II will be used for Division III if there is a tie for first place at the end of the regular
5 headed to districts so far
Schuylkill League teams have already qualified for the District 11 playoffs: Shenandoah Valley and Marian in Class AA, Lehighton
in Class AAAA and Pottsville and Blue Mountain in 5A.
Stats updated, finally
I’ve fallen way behind on my stat keeping this season. I finally have them updated, minus a few missing games,
and they appear on Page 18 of today’s edition.
(Carnahan is the boys’
basketball beat writer for The Republican-Herald. Follow him on Twitter
Through Jan. 23
Blue Mountain 12-3
2. Pottsville 11-4
4. Shenandoah Valley 14-2
6. Jim Thorpe 9-6
8. Nativity 9-7
Williams Valley 10-5
10. Tamaqua 9-6
First Row - Left to Right:J.R. Hahner, Lamir Walker, Marcus Weston, Alex Pellish,Jordan
Abdo, Justin Abdo, Eli Wood, Ryan Kondrack, Josh Melochick, Casian Flowers
row - Left to Right: Corey Holobetz, Aiden Staton, Trevor Sherakis, Paker Zimerofsky, Ian Renninger, Noah Nabholtz, Kevin
Schenk, Zach Tobin,Mason Barnes, Pat McCord Missing: Tyler Timberlake
Jim Thorpe 37
Jordan Abdo scored 10 of his game-high 25 points in the first quarter as the Tide raced out to a 16-9 lead en route
to the Division I victory over the Olympians.
Ian Renninger followed Abdo with
12 points for Pottsville.
Matt Elmore was the only Olympian in double figures
with 14 points.
(37) - Carroll 4 0-0 9, Samuel 1 0-0 3, Elmore 4 6-8 14, Micciche 3 2-2 8, Burkhart 0 0-0 0, Searfoss 0 0-0 0, Swartz 0 0-0
0, Joyce 0 0-0 0, Foreman 0 0-0 0, Marykwas 1 0-0 3, Na. Rosahac 0 0-0 0, Ni. Rosahac 0 0-0 0, Fickentscher 0 0-0 0, Burak
0 0-0 0. Totals 13 8-10 37.
POTTSVILLE (59) - Barnes 1 3-4 5, Timberlake
0 0-0 0, Wood 3 0-4 6, Melochick 1 0-0 2, Hahner 1 0-0 2, Stanton 0 0-0 0, Pellish 2 0-0 4, Jo. Abdo 10 2-2 25, Renninger
5 2-4 12, Kondrack 1 0-0 3. Totals 24 7-14 59.
JT (10-6, 5-4) 9 13 7 8 - 37
Pott (11-3, 7-1) 16 12 11 20 - 00
3-point FGs: Carroll, Samuel,
Marykwas, Abdo 3, Kondrack
JV score: Pottsville 38-21
Alex Pellish scored seven of his nine points in the second quarter as the Crimson Tide cruised to a non-league victory
over the Indians at Martz Hall.
(19) — Bowers 1 0-0 2, Dimmick 0 0-0 0, Munson 1 0-0 3, Kresge 2 0-0 4, Filarski 0 0-0 0, Schiccatano 0 0-0 0, Masser
1 0-1 2, Scandle 0 0-0 0, Knowles 0 0-0 0, Olah 0 0-0 0, West 1 0-0 2, Taylor 2 2-4 6. Totals 8 2-5 19.
POTTSVILLE (53) — Barnes 2 0-0 4, Timberlake 4 0-0 8, Wood 0 0-0 0, Melochick 1 0-0 3, Hahner 1 0-0 2, Stanton
0 0-0 0, Pellish 4 0-0 9, Jo. Abdo 5 0-0 13, Renninger 5 1-2 11, Kondrack 1 0-0 3. Totals 23 1-2 53.
Shamokin 7 2 6 4 — 19 Pott (10-3) 13 15 13 12 — 53
3-point FGs: Munson, Melochick, Pellish, Jo. Abdo 3, Kondrack
TAMAQUA — Mason Barnes and Jordan Abdo combined for six of the Crimson Tide’s nine 3-pointers as Pottsville
rolled to a Division I win over the Blue Raiders.
Abdo finished with a game-high
18 points, while Barnes collected 12. Pottsville led 41-13 at intermission.
Gregoire paced Tamaqua with nine points.
POTTSVILLE (65) — Barnes 4 1-2 12, Timberlake 2 1-2 5, Wood 4 0-0 9, Melochick 2 0-0 5, Hahner 1 0-0 2, Pellish
3 0-0 6, Jo. Abdo 6 3-3 18, Renninger 1 3-3 5, Kondrack 1 0-0 3, Stanton 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 8-10 65.
TAMAQUA (22) — Bonetsky 0 0-0 0, Stianche 0 0-0 0, Kurek 0 0-0 0, Knoblauch 0 2-2 2, Scott 4 0-0 8, Rother
0 0-0 0, Inama 1 0-0 2, G. Gregoire 3 3-3 9, L. Gregoire 0 1-2 1, Griffin 0 0-0 0. Totals 8 6-7 22.
Po (9-3, 6-1) 17 23 18 7 — 65 Tam (8-6, 2-5) 4 9 6 3 — 22
3-point FGs: Barnes 3, Jo. Abdo 3, Wood, Melochick, Kondrack
Pottsville - Tamaqua - WNEP Highlights
BIG WIN for The Crimson Tide
over WNEP number 1 Team!
Crimson Tide 65 -
Scranton Prep 58
H.S. BOYSBB: Adbo leads Crimson Tide past Scranton Prep
By Mike Carnahan / Published: January 15, 2017
ANDY MATSKO/STAFF PHOTOS Pottsville's Jordan Abdo shoots over Scranton Prep's Logan
Bailey during Saturday's non-league game at Martz Hall. Abdo scored 26 of his game-high 31 points in the second half as the
Crimson Tide captured a 65-58 victory.
Pottsville's Ian Renn-inger shoots over Scran-ton Prep's Wes Simons during Saturday's
non-league clash at Martz Hall. The Tide won 65-58.
Image Gallery for H.S. BOYSBB: Adbo leads Crimson Tide past Scranton Prep
While Pottsville's Justin
Abdo was at the foul line icing the game by knocking down a pair of free throws with 8 seconds remaining, the rest of the
Crimson Tide were standing around half court, smiling and congratulating each other.
What started out as a rough week for Pottsville could not have had a better
Jordan Abdo poured in a
career-high 31 points as the Crimson Tide picked up one their biggest victories of the season by knocking off state-ranked
Scranton Prep 65-58 in a non-league contest Saturday afternoon at Martz Hall.
Pottsville (8-3) began the week by losing to Schuylkill League Division I
rival Blue Mountain 51-44 on Monday, the Crimson Tide's first league loss since the 2013-14 season. Pottsville beat North
Schuylkill 59-37 on Thursday and then put Monday's loss behind for it good with Saturday's victory.
It was also the second time in three weeks that the Crimson
Tide played a program ranked in the top three of their respective class in the City of Basketball Love State Basketball
Rankings. Pottsville lost to Reading, then ranked No. 3 in Class 6A, 51-38 on Dec. 30. The Cavaliers (11-2) came into Saturday
No. 2 in Class AAAA behind
Imhotep Charter. Their only other loss this season was 86-58 to Archbishop Wood on Dec. 17.
"This is a very important win for our program, especially building up
our confidence for the rest of the season," Jordan Abdo said. "We knew that was a bad loss (Monday) and we understood
that, so we just went into practice and just really focused on what we had to do and got it done."
The Crimson Tide certainly did.
Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney wasn't at all happy with
the offensive showing Monday and felt the Crimson Tide weren't being patient in their half-court sets. Saturday was a much-improved
"When we can
put together trust in our offense, with the athletes that we have and the skill level that we have, it is pretty good,"
Mullaney said. "I think we really did a nice job with that today. We had some really nice possessions. We just had a
bunch of guys step up."
The senior guard had
only five points at halftime Saturday, then busted out with 26 in the second half. Abdo, who also had six rebounds, knocked
down three 3-pointers and was 10-of-13 from the foul line.
He came into the game averaging 14.7 points per game, but scored just two during Thursday's win over the
Spartans. Abdo's previous career high was 25 against Glen Mills in the season opener Dec. 9.
"I struggled at first, but my dad always told me to keep shooting and
eventually they are going to fall," Abdo said. "And they did."
Justin Abdo added nine points and Josh Melochick eight for Pottsville, while
Ian Renninger had six points and eight rebounds. Eli Wood also scored seven points and took two charges defensively.
Nick Dende had 21 points for the Cavaliers, who beat Valley
View 63-47 on Friday night and Lackawanna League rival Abington Heights 54-51 on Wednesday. Paddy Casey added 14 points
for Scranton Prep.
The game was
tied at 12 after the first quarter and at 23 at the half. The Crimson Tide took the lead for good with a 22-8 run after
intermission that ended when Jordan Abdo grabbed an offensive rebound and went in for a layup. The spurt gave Pottsville
its largest lead of the contest at 45-31 with 6:43 left in the game.
The run included a point were Scranton Prep was stuck on 31 points for 5:30. The Cavaliers' scoring drought
ended when Wes Simons hit a pair of free throws with 6:28 to go.
"They are one of the best transition teams in the state, if not one of them," Mullaney said. "They
are awesome in transition. They got a bunch of guys that spread the floor and all can go up and go to the basket. I just
think we committed to getting back defensively. We talked about it. Early on I was a little worried about how we were getting
back in defensive transition, but really from the second quarter on, I thought we did a great job with it."
But Scranton Prep didn't go down quietly.
The Cavaliers went on a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to 45-41
at the 4:46 mark. But Pottsville answered with a 7-0 run as Renninger hit two foul shots, Jordan Adbo converted a runner
and then knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing to make it 52-41.
Scranton Prep kept hanging around, however, thanks in large part to its 3-point shooting as the Cavaliers
went 6-of-12 from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter.
But Jordan Abdo was just as hot from the foul line. He hit 10-of-12 free throws in the fourth and scored
16 consecutive points in the quarter. The closest Scranton Prep got was 56-52 after a 3 from Paddy with 1:26 left in the
"We work on our free
throws everyday," Jordan Abdo said. "I actually think free throws is one of my strong points. I usually look to
go to the basket and get fouled and get myself on the line and get some easy points."
SCRANTON PREP (58) - Bailey 3 0-3 6, Brown 1 0-0 3, Casey 3 6-9 14, Barmes 1 0-0 2, O'Boyle 1 0-0 3, Dende
8 1-2 21, Para 2 1-6 5, Simons 1 2-2 4. Totals 20 10-22 58.
POTTSVILLE (65) - Ju. Abdo 2 4-4 9, Barnes 0 0-0 0, Wood 3 0-0 7, Melochick 3 0-1 8, Hahner 0 0-0 0, Pellish
2 0-0 4, Jo. Abdo 9 10-13 31, Renninger 2 2-2 6, Kondrack 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 16-20 65.
SP (11-2) 12 11 8 27 - 58 Potts (8-3) 12 11 18 24 - 65
3-point FGs: Brown, Casey 2, O'Boyle, Dende
4, Ju. Abdo, Wood, Melochick 2, Jo. Abdo 3
score: Pottsville 39-30
Pottsville 59 - North Schuylkill
North Schuylkill 37
Justin Abdo and Ian Renninger combined for 12 points in a 16-4, second-quarter run that propelled the Crimson Tide
past the Spartans in a Division I game.
Abdo finished with a game-high 19 points,
hitting three of Pottsville’s eight 3-pointers. Renninger finished with 11 points, while Alex Pellish added 10.
Pete Kotzo tallied 10 points for North Schuylkill, which led 10-9 after one frame.
NORTH SCHUYLKILL (37) — Stokes 3 1-2 8, Stavinski 0 0-2 0, Bolinsky
2 1-2 7, Weist 0 2-2 2, Kovach 0 0-0 0, Roshannon 0 0-0 0, Burke 0 0-0 0, Guerrero 2 2-2 7, Kerr 1 1-2 3, Kotzo 3 2-2 10,
Kempsey 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 9-14 37.
POTTSVILLE (59) — Ju. Abdo 5
6-6 19, Barnes 2 0-1 6, Wood 2 0-0 5, Melochick 0 0-0 0, Hahner 0 0-0 0, Stanton 0 0-0 0, Pellish 4 2-3 10, Jo. Abdo 1 0-0
2, Renninger 4 3-8 11, Kondrack 2 0-0 6. Totals 20 11-18 59.
0-6) 10 4 11 12 — 37 Potts (7-3, 5-1) 9 16 21 13 — 59
FGs: Stokes, Bolinsky 2, Guerrero, Kotzo 2, Ju. Abdo 3, Barnes 2, Wood, Kondrack 2
score: Pottsville 50-29
By Mike Carnahan / Published: January 10, 2017
Blue Mountain’s Aaron Albertini is pressured by Pottsville’s
Ryan Kondrack during Monday’s Schuylkill League Division I showdown. Albertini hit a key 3-pointer at the end of the
first half in the Eagles’ 51-44 victory.
Pottsville’s Ian Renning-er, left, is defended by Blue Mountain’s
Jakob Biever as he goes strong to the basket.
ORWIGSBURG — A late first-half 3-pointer from Aaron Albertini
gave Blue Mountain momentum heading into the locker room.
Hot shooting from Brayden
Lewis in the second half kept it going.
Lewis scored all 17 of his points in
the second half as the Eagles defeated Pottsville 51-44 in a Schuylkill League Division I showdown Monday at the Blue Mountain
High School gymnasium.
The game was matchup of the last two unbeaten teams in
Division I as the Eagles (8-2, 5-0 D-I) took over sole possession of first place in the division. The victory snapped the
Crimson Tide’s 35-game division winning streak that dated to the 2013-14 season.
Blue Mountain was also the last Division I team to beat Pottsville prior to Monday on Jan. 27, 2014, ending what
was at the time a 51-game division winning streak for the Crimson Tide.
I thought it was a good team victory,” Lewis said. “Pottsville is by far one of the best teams we play. It is
just an all-around amazing team victory for us. Just a great effort all-around.
played with a lot of heart. The effort and the
hustle we gave tonight was the
best we had in all of our games.”
Albertini added 13 points and Mason Zerbe
compiled 11 points and nine rebounds for Blue Mountain. William Hoynoski also grabbed five boards for Blue Mountain.
Jordan Abdo scored a game-high 22 points for Pottsville (6-3, 4-1), with 19 coming in the second half. Ian Renninger
added eight points and eight rebounds for the Crimson Tide, who dropped into a second-place tie with Lehighton (6-3, 4-1)
with the loss. The Indians beat Tamaqua 49-41 on Monday.
win Monday came on the heels of a 53-51 loss at Shenandoah Valley on Saturday as the Blue Devils won the game on 3-pointer
by Austin Uholik with under 5 seconds left in the contest.
“I thought the
last week or two our practices have been lackadaisical,” Eagles’ coach Dustin Werdt said. “Yesterday they
came in focused. They came in with an eye on what they needed to do. They had a little bit more intensity in practice and
before the game here.
“It might have been a little of a wake-up call.”
After a slow start, the Eagles got their offense going in the second quarter and were down 19-15 with 39.6 seconds
remaining in the first half. Albertini hit the front end of a 1-and-1 situation, but missed the second. Blue Mountain’s
Bret Caulfield was able to get the offensive rebound and kicked the ball out to Albertini, who drained a 3-poiinter from the
wing to tie the game with 31 seconds left in the half.
The Crimson Tide’s
last lead of the night came at 6:23 of the third quarter when Renninger converted an offensive rebound into a bucket. He missed
the foul shot for the three-point play, but Pottsville led 23-22.
He scored the Eagles next 12 points, all on short-range jumpers about
5-10 feet from the rim. It appeared his sixth shot was going to miss, but the ball bounced in, giving Blue Mountain a 34-26
advantage with 2:10 left in the quarter.
“It was unexpected,” Lewis
said. “I saw the ball hit the bottom of the net twice and I maybe thought I was onto something. I just kept throwing
them up there and was hoping they would go in and they did. It went my way.”
scored inside on an out-of-bounds play with 46 seconds left in the third quarter, giving the Eagles their largest lead at
Pottsville cut the deficit to four twice late in the game. The second
time came with 35.7 seconds remaining when Jordan Abdo, who lost his right shoe working to get open for the inbounds pass,
managed to dribble up the court and hit a long-range 3 to make it 48-44.
Blue Mountain was able to hang on by hitting 13-of-18 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. Lewis also had a key steal
on an inbounds pass with 22 seconds left as the Eagles went to a full-court press late in the game. Spencer Welsh hit both
ends of double bonus situation to set the final.
Jordan Abdo missed a 3-pointer
with 10 seconds remaining, Zerbe grabbed the rebound and the celebration began as the clock ticked down to 0.
After hitting 2-of-9 from the floor in the first quarter, the Eagles finished the night 15-of-35 from the floor.
Pottsville was 15-for-41 (37 percent) from the field in the game.
credit Blue Mountain’s defense,” Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. “We are not committing to running
a good offense. You play against a team like Blue Mountain that does the little things right on the defense end, you got to
do the little things on the offense end and we don’t do that.
get away with that against some teams, but we won’t get away with it against Blue Mountain.”
POTTSVILLE (44) — Ju. Abdo 1 2-2 4, Wood 1 0-2 3,
Melochick 1 0-0 2, Pellish 2 1-2 5, Jo. Abdo 7 5-6 22, Renninger 3 2-4 8, Kondrack 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 10-16 44.
BLUE MOUNTAIN (51) — Welsh 1 2-2 5, Lewis 7 3-4 17, Grace 0 0-0 0, Albertini 2 8-9 13, Zerbe 3 5-8 11, Caulfield
0 0-0 0, Hoynoski 1 1-2 3, Biever 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 19-25 51.
4-1) 13 6 9 16 — 44 BM (8-2, 5-0) 5 14 17 15 — 51
FGs: Wood, Jo. Abdo 3, Welsh, Albertini
JV score: Pottsville 58-41
Pottsvile defeats Willamsport
55-52 in Battle of WNEP Top Ten Teams
WNEP Game Video
When Pottsville needed a basket Saturday night, Jordan Abdo delivered.
When Pottsville went to the free-throw line Saturday
night, the Crimson Tide delivered.
Abdo scored 22 points as Pottsville overcame a halftime deficit to defeat Williamsport
55-52 in a non-league boys' basketball game at Martz Hall.
The Tide trailed
25-23 at intermission, and Williamsport extended its lead to five in the third quarter. Abdo answered with back-to-back 3-pointers
to give Pottsville the lead.
The Tide did a lot of their damage at the
foul line, going 18-of-24 in the second half. Justin Abdo went 7-of-8 from the line in an 18-point effort.
led the Millionaires with 22 points.
WILLIAMSPORT (52) - Duval 3 1-2 8, Scott
9 4-6 22, Simmons 4 0-0 9, Jason 1 0-0 2, Wilson 2 1-2 7, Smith 2 0-1 4, Stryker 0 0-2 0. Totals 21 6-13 52.
POTTSVILLE (55) - Ju. Abdo 5 7-8 18, Wood 2 0-0 5, Melochick 0 3-6 3, Hahner 0 0-0 0, Pellish 0 0-0 0, Jo.
Abdo 6 5-7 22, Renninger 0 7-10 7. Totals 13 22-31 55.
6 19 14 13 - 52 Potts (6-2) 15 8 17 15 - 55
3-point FGs: Duval, Simmons, Wilson 2, Jo. Abdo 5, Ju. Abdo, Wood
JV score: Pottsville 35-34
Pottsville 63 - Minersville 22
Jordan Abdo netted a game-high 12 points as Pottsville jumped out to an 18-4 lead and cruised to a Division I win
at Martz Hall.
Eli Wood added 11 points and Ian Renninger chipped in 10 for the
Shane Hoffman led Minersville with nine points.
MINERSVILLE (22) - Snyder 2 0-0 4, Hoffman 2 4-4 9, Wollyung
2 0-0 5, Woodford 0 0-0 0, Rinaldo 1 0-0 2, Hossler 1 0-0 2, Ellinger 0 0-0 0, Landers 0 0-0 0, Moran 0 0-0 0, Stablum 0 0-0
0, Kuehn 0 0-0 0. Totals 8 4-4 22.
POTTSVILLE (63) - Ju. Abdo 3 0-0 6,
Barnes 3 0-0 8, Timberlake 2 1-2 5, Wood 4 0-0 11, Melochick 0 0-0 0, Hahner 0 0-0 0, Stanton 1 0-0 2, Pellish 3 0-0 6, Jo.
Abdo 5 0-0 12, Renninger 5 0-2 10, Kondrack 1 0-0 3. Totals 27 1-4 63.
(5-4, 2-2) 4 4 7 7 - 22 Potts (5-2, 4-0) 18 18 14 13 - 63
FGs: Hoffman, Wollyung, Wood 3, Barnes 2, Jo. Abdo 2, Kondrack
JV score: Pottsville
200th Win For Coach Mullaney
Crimson Tide cruise by Lehighton
Mike Carnahan / Published: January 4, 2017
Pottsville's Eli Wood (10) takes
the ball up to the basket as Lehighton's Addison Howland (23) defends during Tuesday's game at Martz Hall.
Pottsville had trouble making shots Friday night against Reading.
the Crimson Tide couldn't miss Tuesday.
Jordan Abdo led a trio of double-digit
scorers with a game-high 16 points as a fast start carried Pottsville to a 68-32 rout of previously unbeaten Lehighton in
a Schuylkill League Division I boys' basketball contest at Martz Hall.
Tide (4-2, 3-0 D-I) shot 31 percent (15-for-49) during a 51-38 loss to the Red Knights on Friday. It was a fast turnaround
Pottsville hit 10 of its first 15 shots from the floor and opened the
game on a 25-5 run. The varsity game was supposed to begin at 7 p.m., but actually tipped off at 6:50 p.m. By 7:05 p.m., the
outcome was all but decided.
Pottsville led 45-10 at the half. The 68 points
were a season high, easily topping the 57 the Crimson Tide scored at Pine Grove on Dec. 22.
"I knew we were due a big night eventually," Jordan Abdo said. "We haven't had one yet this season.
We figured why not tonight.
"This was definitely the best first half we
had this season. I think we can do better."
That might be tough to do.
Pottsville wasn't perfect from the floor, although it did seem like it. The Crimson Tide were 16-for-23 (69 percent)
in the first half and 27-for-35 (77 percent) in the game.
"I thought we
did exactly what we wanted to do," Crimson Tide coach Dave Mullaney said. "We were really sharing the ball and making
shots. I thought we defended really well for the entire first half as well. Defense created a little bit of offense, but really
it was just our guys sharing the ball in the half court and making shots. I wish we would have had a couple of those the other
night against Reading."
The victory pushed Pottsville's Division I winning
streak to 34 consecutive games. It was also a special victory for Mullaney, who won his 200th career game at Pottsville.
Ian Renninger, who missed Friday's game against Reading, came off the bench to score 14 points, while Eli Wood added
10. Alex Pellish added five rebounds and three blocks, while Justin Abdo had four assists.
The Indians entered the night allowing 41.7 points per game and came out in a triangle-and-two on the Abdo twins.
Pottsville was able to break it down with excellent ball movement and hot shooting. Out of the Crimson Tide's 16 first-half
field goals, 10 were assisted.
"We just kept moving, space on the floor
and me and Justin create and kick for the shooters in the corner," Jordan Abdo said.
Pellish scored the Crimson Tide's first two buckets of the night, first on a right-handed shot in the paint and then
on a putback. Wood then drained a 3-pointer from the corner, the first of his three treys in the quarter, making it 7-0 at
Caine Carpenter broke the ice for the Indians (7-1, 2-1) with a layup on
a back-door cut. Wood hit another 3 from the corner, while Damian Mele hit a 3 to make a 10-5 game at 4:48.
That was Lehighton's last points of the first quarter.
Justin Abdo scored
on a reverse layup off the baseline, while Jordan Abdo hit a pull-up jumper. Ryan Kondrack hit a 3 from the wing, Renninger
scored inside and Wood finished off the corner with another 3 from the corner, making it 22-5 at the end of the first.
Josh Melochick hit a 3 from the corner at 6:38 of the second quarter, making it 25-5.
Mele finally broke the Indians' scoring drought with a 3-pointer at 6:28. That was Lehighton's last field of the
first half as Pottsville continued to build on its lead as Lehighton switched to 1-3-1 zone and tried to use some pressure
to create turnovers. The didn't bother the Crimson Tide much at they didn't turn the ball over in the second quarter and had
just two the entire first half.
"Honestly in practice we've been shooting
the ball really well," Mullaney said. "That's why I was a little bit disappointed against Reading when we got some
open looks. I was hoping to knock a few more down because we shoot the ball so well in practice. I hope this carries over
to the rest of the year."
LEHIGHTON (32) - Troxell 3 2-3 8, Carpenter 4 3-3 11, Schaeffer 0 0-0 0, McDowell 0 0-0 0, Crum 0 1-2 1, Buchinsky
0 1-2 1, Mele 2 0-0 6, Howland 1 0-0 2, Venuto 1 1-1 3. Totals 11 8-11 32.
(68) - Ju. Abdo 1 0-0 2, Barnes 1 1-2 3, Timberlake 1 2-2 4, Wood 3 1-4 10, Melochick 2 0-0 5, Hahner 0 0-1 0, Stanton 1 0-0
3, Pellish 2 0-0 4, Jo. Abdo 4 5-6 16, Renninger 7 0-1 14, Kondrack 2 1-2 7. Totals 24 10-18 68.
Leh (7-1, 2-1) 5 5 6 16 - 32 Potts (4-2, 3-0) 22 23 14 9 - 68
FGs: Mele 2, Wood 3, Melochick, Stanton, Jo. Abdo 3, Kondrack 2
JV score: Pottsville
Pottsville - Reading
Reading Outlast the Crimson Tide
By Mike Carnahan / Published: December 31, 2016
Reading is one of the best Class 6A schools in Pennsylvania, led by Lonnie Walker IV, one of the best
high school players in the country.
But, it was the Red Knights' defense that made the difference Friday night.
Nesby and Walker had 12 points apiece as Reading pulled away late and downed Pottsville 51- 38 in the final game of the Pottsville
Lions Holiday "Meccageddon" Tournament in front of 1,897 fans at Martz Hall.
Pottsville (3-2) stuck with the Red Knights the entire night, but struggled on the offensive end. The Crimson
Tide did a fairly good job of handling the Red Knights' full-court pressure - Pottsville turned the ball over 10 times - but
had trouble making shots in the their half-court sets.
The Crimson Tide finished the night 15-for-49 (31 percent) from
the floor, including a 5-for-24 showing from beyond the arc.
"Defensively, they were good, they really were,"
Pottsville coach Dave Mullaney said. "They are one of the most athletic teams in the state. The way that they play, the
way they trap and do all those things, you are going to have to get in and try and make plays and hit open shots. We were
able to hit a couple, we just didn't hit enough to beat a team like that."
Jordan Abdo, who battled foul trouble
most the game, led Pottsville with 12 points, while Justin Abdo had 10. Alex Pellish grabbed eight rebounds. The Crimson Tide's
6-7 Ian Renninger was sick and didn't not play Friday night.
defense was perhaps the difference in the game, Pottsville's defense helped keep the Crimson Tide in it. Reading came in scoring
65.8 points per game and it too struggled at times against Pottsville's man-to-man defense and finished the night 18-for-45
(40 percent) from the floor.
"I though we defended pretty well," Mullaney said. "They had some offensive
rebounds in the first quarter, maybe seven after that so I thought we did a pretty good job there."
Containing Reading meant containing Walker, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, a five-star recruit and ranked the No.
19 prospect in the Class of 2017 by ESPN. He committed to the University of Miami last month,picking the Hurricanes over Villanova.
Walker, who came in averaging 16 points per game, was coming off a season-high 36-point performance during Reading's 91-67
rout of Math, Civics and Sciences in the championship game of the Reading Holiday Tournament on Wednesday. Reading beat Steel-High
72-50 in the semifinals Tuesday.
Eli Wood drew the responsibility of guarding Walker on Friday and held the superstar
in check for most of the night. Still, Walker had his share of highlights, including a two-handed jam off a steal late in
the first quarter that gave the Red Knights a 13-8 lead.
Walker also had a dunk early in the fourth quarter and got
off ground so high he had to duck to avoid hitting his head on the rim on the slam.
Walker added nine rebounds, three
steals and three assists in the game.
Pottsville led 8-5 after a Justin
Abdo 3-pointer from the corner at 3:31 of the first quarter. But Reading finished the quarter on an 8-0 run to go up 13-8.
A Nesby turn-around 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer gave the Red Knights a 21-12 halftime advantage.
got within four three times in the third quarter, the final on a Justin Abdo layup at the 2:57 mark, cutting Reading's deficit
to 26-22. But the Red Knights went on a 19-6 run from there to go up 45-30 with 3:12 left in the game when Nesby drained a
3 from the corner.
Reading was ranked No. 1 in the City of Basketball Love state rankings in Class 6A before dropping
to No. 3 this week. Reading's only two losses this season were to Imhotep Charter 70-53 in their season opener Dec. 9 and
Chester 60-52 on Dec. 20. Friday's game was just another part of what's been a difficult non-league schedule so far this year.
"They are one of the greats," Reading coach Rick Perez said on why he decided to play Pottsville.
"When you look at different styles of basketball, they are up there. Imhotep Charter is a great run-and-gun team. Carlisle
is a great program. They are too be respected just like all those other programs. Pottsville is amazing. Why not play them?
We have two storied histories. It is a great place to play. Maybe God willing we will be able to play here again one day.
Dave Mullaney is an amazing person. We have a great relationship so it only makes sense to play them."
Friday's game was a learning experience for a still fairly young team.
"We just played in front of packed Martz
Hall against one of the best teams in the state and we were in the game the entire time," Mullaney said. "Our kids,
we belonged on the floor, no doubt that, but there was a ton of inexperience for us. We are going to grow from that and hopefully
when we are in that position again we will be just a little bit better on the offensive end and pull it out."
READING (51) - Starks 2 0-0 5, Butler 4 3-4
11, Walker 4 3-10 12, Dixon 3 0-2 6, Nesby 4 1-2 12, Whitefield 0 0-0 0, Abrey 0 0-0 0, Cook 1 2-2 5, Comfort 0 0-0 0. Totals
18 9-20 51.
POTTSVILLE (38) - Ju. Abdo 4 0-0 10, Barnes 2 0-0 4, Timberlake
0 0-0 0, Wood 2 0-0 6, Melochick 0 0-0 0, Hahner 0 0-0 0, Pellish 3 0-0 6, Jo. Abdo 4 3-3 12. Totals 15 3-3 38.
(7-2) 13 8 12 18 - 51 Potts (3-2) 8 4 12 14 - 38
3-point FGs: Starks, Walker, Nesby 3, Cook, Ju. Abdo 2, Wood 2, Jo.
Boys basketball: Red Knights do enough to beat Pottsville
Saturday December 31, 2016 12:01 AM
By Mike Drago
POTTSVILLE - After watching the Red Knights race up and down the court in putting up 91 points earlier in the week against
MCS Charter, some Reading High fans who made the trek to storied Martz Hall Friday night probably returned home a little let
The Red Knights won, beating Pottsville 51-38, but the exhilarating moments were confined to a couple of breakaway
dunks by Lonnie Walker IV and Tyrone Nesby's buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the first half.
Other than that the Red Knights (7-2) were bothered by the Crimson Tide's deliberate pace and sound man-to-man defense.
They didn't shoot well, from the field or the line, and struggled to
put away a Tide team that's a notch or two below its recent powerhouse teams and that played without its 6-7 center, All-State
football player Ian Renninger.
That's OK, said Reading coach Rick Perez. He got
what he came for: A tough game that will help his team down the road, both when Berks Conference play opens next week and
then in the postseason should the Red Knights run up against another similar, precision offense.
"We found a way to win," Perez said. "It was awesome to see. Am I happy with 40 percent from the free
shot line? No. Am I happy with under 40 percent on field goals? No, I'm not.
I am proud about the resilience they showed in this environment. It's a different style of basketball. You could feel the
pressure on every shot; you really had to work to get it
"You've got to
wait your turn, and they did it."
The Red Knights used an 8-0, period-ending
run to go up 13-8 after one quarter. They stretched their lead to nine when Nesby sunk a deep 3 from above the top of the
key a heartbeat before the first-half buzzer.
But they never fully put this one
away until another Nesby 3-pointer, with 3:19 left, made it 45-30. Even then they struggled to hold that big cushion after
missing 6-of-12 free throws when the Crimson Tide (3-2) started fouling deliberately to get the Knights out of their clock-killing
Walker and Nesby each finished with 12 points, but they shot
a combined 8-of-19 - and three of those were dunks.
Other than his two dunks
Walker took just six other shots, and when he went to the line he made just 3-of-10 - including six straight misses in the
The Tide defenders did a superb job of sagging in the lane to
cut off his path to the basket, and they slid a defender to Walker's side when he had the ball.
"We weren't perfect, but we made it tough for him," said Tide coach Dave Mullaney. "We held him down
for the most part."
The Knights' defense, in turn, took Pottsville out of
its game. Reading used a man-to-man press most of the way. While it didn't force many open-court turnovers it did help take
the Tide out of its offensive rhythm and likely had something to do with its sub-30 percent shooting.
Leading scorer Jordan Abdo, in particular, was off his game. He missed all 10 of his first-half shots and finished
4-for-22 from the field and 1-for-13 from beyond the arc.
was 5-for-25 on 3-pointers.
"The random trapping in the halfcourt, that's
what gets you," said Mullaney, "it takes you out of the flow of your motion offense. I wish we could've shot the
ball better; I was hoping a couple early ones would've fallen - maybe it would've been different - but Reading did a great
Mike Drago | Reporter
Crimson Tide Rolls Over Pine Grove
PINE GROVE - Jordan and
Justin Abdo combined for 34 points as the Crimson Tide routed the Cardinals in a Division I contest.
Jordan Abdo netted 11 of his game-high 20 points in the
first half, while Justin Abdo tallied nine of his 14 points in the second half for Pottsville, which took a 30-13 lead into
Jake Leininger's 18 points
paced Pine Grove.
POTTSVILLE (57) - Ju. Abdo 5 3-3 14, Barnes 2 0-0 5, Timberlake 0 0-0 0, Wood 1 0-0 2, Melochick 0 1-2 1,
Hahner 1 0-0 2, Pellish 0 0-0 0, Jo. Abdo 8 2-3 20, Renninger 3 1-3 7, Kondrack 2 0-0 6. Totals 22 7-11 57.
PINE GROVE (33) - Ibarra 2 0-0 5, Kreiser
0 0-0 0, Pena 1 0-0 3, A. Griffiths 0 0-0 0, Leininger 7 2-2 18, Snedden 2 0-0 6, C. Griffiths 0 1-2 1, Routledge 0 0-2
0, Hughes 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 3-6 33.
Pott (3-1, 2-0) 17 13 13 14 - 57 PG (3-3, 0-2) 10 3 15 5 - 33
3-point FGs: Ju. Abdo, Barnes, Jo. Abdo 2, Kondrack 2, Ibarra,
Pena, Leininger 2, Snedden 2
score: Pottsville 60-24
Crimson Tide takes Jim Thorpe to the Barn3333333s
JIM THORPE — Pottsville got its quest for another Schuylkill League Division
I championship off to a great start Monday night.
Mason Barnes connected on seven
3-pointers, scoring a game-high 21 points, as the Crimson Tide rolled to 55-29 victory over Jim Thorpe in the league opener
for both schools.
Justin Abdo added 12 points as Pottsville led 36-21 at halftime.
Chris Micicche’s 10 points paced the Olympians.
POTTSVILLE (55) — Ju. Abdo 5 0-0 12, Barnes 7 0-0 21, Timberlake
1 1-2 3, Wood 1 0-0 2, Melochick 0 0-0 0, Hahner 0 0-0 0, Weston 0 0-0 0, Stanton 0 0-0 0, Pellish 1 0-0 2, Jo. Abdo 3 0-0
7, Renninger 4 0-4 8, Kondrack 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 1-6 55.
JIM THORPE (29)
— Carroll 2 0-0 5, Samuel 0 0-0 0, Elmore 2 0-3 4, Micicche 3 4-4 10, Burkhart 0 0-0 0, Searfoss 0 0-0 0, Schwartz 0
0-0 0, Joyce 0 0-2 0, Valdez 0 0-0 0, Scott 0 0-0 0, Foreman 0 0-0 0, Marykwas 1 0-0 3, Na. Roshac 0 0-0 0, Ni. Rosahac 2
2-2 7, Fikentscher 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 6-11 29.
Pott (2-1, 1-0) 19 17 11 8 — 55
JT (2-1, 0-1) 10 11 6 2 — 29
3-point FGs: Ju. Abdo 2, Barnes
7, Jo. Abdo, Carroll, Ni. Rosahac 2
JV score: Pottsville 42-39
| ||School|| W|| L|| T|| Rating|| TWP|| OWP|| Games|
Area North||3-||1-||0|| 0.803623|| 0.812500|| 0.790850|| 22(18) |
|2||Bangor Area||5-||0-||0|| 0.766797|| 1.000000|| 0.431211|| 22(17)
|3||Whitehall||4-||1-||0|| 0.732767|| 0.862385|| 0.546243|| 22(17)
|4||Blue Mountain||3-||1-||0|| 0.657503|| 0.762500|| 0.506410|| 22(18)
|5||Allentown Central Catholic||2-||2-||0|| 0.631863|| 0.578947|| 0.708010|| 21(17)
|6||Pottsville Area||1-||1-||0|| 0.573563|| 0.595238|| 0.542373|| 21(19)
|7||Southern Lehigh||3-||3-||0|| 0.549411|| 0.532787|| 0.573333|| 22(16)|
Crimson Tide Rolls over Wilson 42-33, for first Win of the 2016-2017 Season
Jordan Abdo scored seven of his game-high 16
points in the fourth quarter as the Crimson Tide held off the Bulldogs for a non-league win at Martz Hall.
Pottsville put forth a solid defensive effort, forcing 15 turnovers and holding Wilson
to just 12 first-half points.
Ian Renninger pitched in 11 points
for the Crimson Tide.
WILSON (33) - Wright 3 1-4 7, Coldren 0 1-1 1, Diaz-Cruz 0 2-6 2, Jackson 2 5-5 9, McAndrew 0 0-0 0, Jalloh 2 0-1
4, McElroy 3 1-3 7, Awurumibe 0 1-2 1, Kline 1 0-0 2. Totals 11 11-22 33.
POTTSVILLE (42) - Ju. Abdo 0 4-4 4, Barnes 2 0-0 4, Wood 0 1-2 1, Melochick 0 0-0 0, Pellish 2 0-0 4, Jo. Abdo 4
4-6 16, Renninger 4 3-5 11, Flowers 1 0-1 2. Totals 9 4 12-18 42.
(0-2) 6 6 11 10 - 33 Pottsville (1-1) 8 12 10 12 - 42
FGs: Jo. Abdo 4
JV score: Pottsville 50-43
Glen Mills 58
CONCORDVILLE - DeSean Cooper scored a game-high 30 points as Glen Mills edged the Crimson Tide in a non-league
Jordan Abdo scored 25 for Pottsville, including a half-court 3-pointer
as time expired to slice the lead to one point. Ian Renninger added 14 points and Justin Abdo tallied 11 for the Tide.
The game was close throughout and tied at one point in the fourth quarter before Glen Mills pulled away.
Pottsville hurt itself at the foul line, shooting just 9-for-26.
- Ju. Abdo 5 0-2 11, Barnes 1 0-0 2, Wood 1 1-3 3, Melochick 1 0-0 2, Kondrack 0 0-0 0, Pellish 0 0-2 0, Jo. Abdo 8 4-10 25,
Renninger 5 4-9 14, Flowers 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 9-26 57.
GLEN MILLS (58) - Sanders
3 3-4 9, DeSean Cooper 8 12-14 30, Reed 1 0-0 2, Kelly 1 0-0 2, Timmons 2 1-4 5, Carter 0 2-2 2, Walker 1 0-0 2, Smith 3 0-4
6. Totals 19 18-26 58.
Potts (0-1) 15 9 10 23 - 57 Glen (1-0) 17 13 12 16 - 58
3-point FGs: Ju. Abdo, Jo. Abdo 5, Cooper 2
JV score: Pottsville
H.S. BOYS' BASKETBALL: Plenty of changes
upcoming this season
By Mike Carnahan / Published:
December 9, 2016
BOYS' BASKETBALL: Plenty of changes upcoming this season
New divisions for three Schuylkill League teams.
The PIAA expanding from four classifications to six.
There are plenty of changes
upcoming this boys' basketball season.
But one constant, as it's been in years
past, is that everybody is gunning for Pottsville.
And why not. Pottsville, which
went 28-1 last season, has pretty much been the standard bearer in the Schuylkill League in recent years:
• 56-2 overall record the past two seasons;
• Seven consecutive
Division I titles and league champion game appearances with six titles, including its second straight last year;
• Back-to-back District 11 Class AAA championships;
• 31 consecutive
Division I wins;
• And a 47-game, regular-season winning streak.
But the Tide are going through changes, too.
Rosters turnover from year
to year and Pottsville's is no different. The Crimson Tide lost four starters, including 2015-16 Republican-Herald Co-Player
of the Year Jordan Melochick (13.8 points per game, 1,067 career points) and defensive specialist Maldeen Thomas (10.3 ppg).
Pottsville is in a similar situation this preseason compared to last year. What's missing is a large senior class.
"This team has been working hard, but that senior leadership we had last year with the depth of the senior class
made things a little easier," Crimson Tide coach Dave Mullaney said. "The depth of the senior class made it a little
The lone returning starter is senior Jordan Abdo (13.1
ppg. in 2015-16), who, along with his twin brother Justin (1.2 ppg), spent a week in China over the summer through the Alexander
Basketball Academy out of Maryland.
The other key returnee is junior Ian Renninger
(7.2 ppg.). Senior Alex Pellish (1.1 ppg in 14 games) and junior Eli Wood (0.6 ppg in 18 games) also return.
What could be a big difference about Pottsville this season is its offense. The Crimson Tide have always been known
for their ability to hit 3-pointers (5.3 per game last year), but the inside game might be more of a factor this season. Renninger
is 6-foot-7, while Pellish is 6-5.
"We are going to be a little bit bigger
than we have been," Mullaney said. "I think we are team that is going to maybe run a little bit more than we have.
Those have been positives. I think we have an athletic team, there is no doubt about it."
"We will want to work inside out, definitely. We always try to do that but even more this year."
Can anybody finally knock Pottsville off its Division I perch?
Mountain (21-7), last year's Division I wild-card, reached the league and District 11 Class AAA championship games last season
for the first time since 2007. The Eagles lost point guard Mark Chelius (17.5 ppg, 1,075 career points) to graduation, three
starters return - seniors Aaron Albertini (10.2) and Brayden Lewis (10.2) and junior Jakob Biever (7.2). Seniors Mason Zerbe
(4.8) and Spencer Welsh (2.4) also provided key minutes off the bench last year.
Thorpe (14-10) qualified for districts for the first time since 2010 last year and returns Brendan Carroll (10.1), Matt Elmore
(8.8) and Chris Micciche (8.6). Seniors Andrew McDowell (7.3) and Damian Mele (9.1) are back for Lehighton (14-10), while
Tamaqua (6-16) returns its top scorer from last season in junior Thad Zuber (15.1) and should be improved.
What likely won't change for Pottsville is its ability to play defense. The Crimson Tide were the best in the league
again last year, allowing 36.5 points per game.
"We want to be in the mix
at the end, but honestly it is the same as it is every year," Mullaney said. "Coaches say it, but honestly we are
just trying to go into every practice and be better than we were the previous day. I think if we can do that and just continue
to get better, we have talent."
Here are other items to look for this season:
Schuylkill League undergoes realignment
Three Schuylkill League teams
have new division homes. Minersville is moving to Division I from Division II, Nativity from Division III to II and Panther
Valley from I to III.
It's the biggest change to the league since after the
2007-08 season when Shamokin and Mount Carmel left the league and the divisions were shrunk from four to three.
The biggest benefactor to the changes is likely Panther Valley.
the most part, the Panthers (6-16) have struggled in Division I in recent years and haven't qualified for the districts since
2012. Sophomore Rene Figueroa (11.8) and junior Tristan Blasko (10.7) are back, and finally playing schools their size should
help the Panthers grab some more wins and get back to the postseason.
Valley also has a new interim head coach in Keith Gogal. Patrick Crampsie had surgery for prostate cancer last week and his
return date this season is unknown.
Minersville might be hurt the most by the
The Miners (22-5) were undefeated in Division II last season and won
their first District 11 Class AA title since 2001. Most of the offensive production has graduated, but two starters, Shane
Hoffman (6.0) and Aaron Synder (2.9), are back.
It's going to be more difficult,
but don't expect Minersville to be an easy night for anybody, even if they are the smallest school in the division based on
"The kids are up for the challenge," Miners coach Cliff
PIAA makes major postseason changes
As it has done in just about every sport during 2016-17, the PIAA has added classifications to the boys' basketball
postseason, going from four classes to six. What follows is a list of the new classifications for area schools for the next
two years in District 11. The number in parentheses is the total number of schools in that class, followed by the area schools:
Class A (8) - Gillingham Charter, Nativity, Tri-Valley, Weatherly
AA (7) - Mahanoy Area, Marian, Panther Valley, Schuylkill Haven, Shenandoah Valley, Williams Valley
Class AAA (6) - Minersville, Pine Grove
Class AAAA (11) - Jim Thorpe,
Lehighton, North Schuylkill, Tamaqua
Class 5A (7) - Blue Mountain, Pottsville
Class 6A (14) - None
Lourdes remains Class A in District 4. In District
3, Upper Dauphin is in Class AAA and Hamburg will compete in Class AAAA.
of small schools?
The last small-school team to win an overall league title was
Mahanoy Area in 2014. The last small-school team to reach the championship game prior to that was Marian in 2010.
Could a Division II or III team win an overall championship this season? Two big possibilities lie with Shenandoah
Valley (Division III) and Lourdes (Division II), as both enter as the favorite in their respective divisions.
The Blue Devils (19-9) won their first division title last season since 1984, while their run to the PIAA Class A
quarterfinals was their longest in the state playoffs since 1977.
About the only
thing Shenandoah Valley didn't do was win a championship.
"We have lots
of experience with a deep state playoff run last year and are hungry to put a banner on our wall," Shenandoah Valley
coach Robbie Miller said.
Senior guard Joel Santana (22.5 ppg, 54 3-pointers),
the 2015-16 Republican-Herald Co-Player of the Year with Melochick, returns to lead the Blue Devils, along with seniors Jermaine
McNeil (12.1) and Isaiah Alvarez (3.2). Six-foot-5 senior Sydig Shenoster (2.9 ppg in 16 games) will be a strong presence
defensively inside and his development offensively could give Shenandoah Valley another weapon.
Mahanoy Area (13-12), led by senior point guard Mike Joseph (9.3), and Marian (11-12), whose top returning scorer
is senior Brandon Mohammed (9.0), will likely be the Blue Devils two other challengers in the division along with Panther
Valley. Weatherly (4-18) could also be improved.
The Red Raiders (18-7) have
even more experience returning then Shenandoah Valley, with sophomore forward Thomas Schultz (19.1), the 2015-16 Republican-Herald
Rookie of the Year, headlining the list. Also back is junior C.J. Reichard (13.6), sophomore Ty Klembara (6.0) and senior
Mike Padula (3.7). In addition, junior center Larry Czeponis returns after he missed all of last season with a medical condition.
Lourdes has a new coach, too, as James Sandri, a Red Raiders assistant in recent years, takes over for Pete Long,
who was not retained.
"Our goals are to be the best we can be, that is each
day stepping on the court and continuing to improve," Sandri said. "Every time we step onto the floor we have to
produce. If we do that we can go as far as we can."
Williams Valley (13-10)
has three starters back in junior Jake Wolfgang (11.1) and sophomores Levi Engle (8.5) and Kenny Reed (5.1). Senior Price
Szeglia (14.1) is the top scorer back for the Hilltoppers in their move to Division II.
Schuylkill League playoffs
At Martz Hall
Mtn. 63, Minersville 55
Pottsville 62, Shen. Val. 45
Pottsville 65, Blue Mtn. 47
District 11 qualifiers
AAA - Blue Mountain (runner-up), Jim Thorpe, Lehighton, North Schuylkill, Pottsville (champ)
Class AA - Mahanoy Area (runner-up), Marian, Minersville (champ), Williams Valley
Class A - Shenandoah Valley (runner-up)
BOYS; BB: Schuylkill League preview capsules
By Mike Carnahan / Published: December 9, 2016
Head coach: Dustin Werdt (14th season)
Last year: 21-7 overall, 12-2
Division I. Division wild-card, overall Schuylkill League and District 11 Class AAA runner-up, PIAA qualifier
Last year's team statistics: Offense (59.8 points per game), defense (49.8 ppg)
Top returning scorers: Aaron Albertini (sr., F, 10.2 points per game) and Brayden Lewis (sr., 10.2 ppg)
Other returnees: Bret Caulfield (sr., F), Billy Hoynoski (sr., C), Spencer Welsh (sr., G), Mason Zerbe (sr., F),
Jakob Biever (jr., C), Drew Grace (soph., G)
Newcomers: Aaron Bensinger (jr.,
F), Mac O'Donnell (jr., G), Kennedy O'Keefe (jr., F), Jack McKivigan (jr., G), Gavin Conway (soph., G), Nate Nabholz (soph.,
Outlook: Eagles lost their leader scorer from last season, but return plenty
of experience that contributed during their thrilling district playoff run. Should be able to score points, but looking for
a team leader. Playing solid defense is always a key to how successful they will be. A division contender.
Jason McElmoyle (3rd season)
Last year: 14-10, 8-6 D-I. District 11 Class AAA
Last year's team statistics: Offense (49.7), defense (44.9)
Top returning scorer: Brendan Carroll (sr., G, 10.1 ppg.)
Matt Elmore (sr., F), Aaron Joyce (sr., G-F), Chris Micciche (sr., G), Andre Samuel (sr., G)
Newcomers: John Fikentscher (sr., F), Justin Marykwas (jr., G), Nick Rosahac (jr., G-F), Nate Rosahac (soph., F)
Outlook: Olympians have a good amount of experience returning and the players dedicated themselves in the offseason
to getting stronger. Have some size, too. Olympians are coming off their first district berth, and win, since 2010. Not only
should they qualify again, but could also be in running for a spot in the league playoffs, too.
Rich Oertner (6th at Lehighton, 16th overall)
Last year: 14-10, 6-8 D-I. District
11 Class AAA quarterfinalist
Last year's team statistics: Offense (54.8), defense
Top returning scorer: Damian Mele (sr., 9.1 ppg.)
Other returnee: Andre McDowell (sr., G)
Newcomers (positions not available):
Donnie Buchinsky (sr.), Nick Skrincosky (sr.), Caine Carpenter (jr.), Pat Lawler (jr.), Logan Motz (jr.), Jack Scheaffer (jr.),
Collin Troxell (jr.), Greg Venuto (jr.), Zach Crum (soph.), Addison Howland (soph.)
Indians lost their two main inside offensive threats to graduation, but talent on the perimeter returns. Offense is balanced,
but the defense needs to improve. Should be competitive in the division and find itself in the district playoffs.
Cliff Woodford (10th season)
Last year: 22-5, 13-0 D-II. Schuylkill League Division
II champion, District 11 Class AA champion, PIAA playoffs second round
team statistics: Offense (56.2), defense (43.4)
Top returning scorer: Shane Hoffman
(sr., G, 6.0 ppg.)
Other returnees: Steele Fekette (sr., F), Luke Rinaldo (sr.,
G), Aaron Snyder (sr., F), Casey Woodford (sr., G), Stephen Wollyung (jr., F)
Bryce Ellinger (soph., F), Josh Halye (soph., F), Gehrig Hossler (soph., G), Brandon Tryon (soph., G)
Outlook: Most of the Miners' key contributors from last season are gone, but several role players return. Should
be solid defensively and move the ball well on offense. Rebounding is a concern. Will battle every night, but how many wins
the Miners get in their move up to the big-school division remains to be seen.
Head coach: Ty Wartman (2nd season)
Last year: 14-9, 9-5 D-I. District 11 Class AAA qualifier
team statistics: Offense (54.2), defense (47.8)
Top returning scorer: Doug Weist
(jr., G-F, 3.2 ppg.)
Other returnees: None
Newcomers: Lenny Bolinsky (sr., G), Damian Kerr (sr., G), Lucas Roshannon (jr., G), Nate Burke (soph., F), Alonzo
Guerrero (soph., G), Jack Kempsey (soph., F), Keith Stavinski (soph., G), Zack Stokes (soph., G)
Outlook: Spartans lost their first six players from last year and feature plenty of new faces. Will be a guard-oriented
team that wants to play up-tempo to take advantage of speed and quickness. Success will depend on how quickly the newcomers
come together at the varsity level.
Head coach: Frank D'Agostino (4th season)
Last year: 2-20, 0-14 D-I
Last year's team statistics: Offense (33.4),
Top returning scorer: Jake Leininger (jr., 8.7 ppg.)
Other returnees (positions not available): Collin Griffiths (sr.), Tayler Routledge (sr.), David Snedden (sr.), Andrew
Griffiths (soph.), Dawson Ibarra (soph.)
Newcomers: Nick Kreiser (jr.,), Matt
Bertasvage (soph.), Jordan Pena (soph.), Roman Hughes (fr.)
have struggled in recent years, but a good bit of experience is back. Defensive focus is improving. Looking for one or two
players to step up on the offensive end. Goal is to continue to improve, move forward and qualify for districts.
Dave Mullaney (10th season)
Last year: 28-1, 14-0 D-I. Division I champion, Schuylkill
League champion, District 11 Class AAA champion, PIAA playoffs second round
year's team statistics: Offense (56.8), defense (36.5)
Top returning scorer:
Jordan Abdo (sr., G, 13.1 ppg.)
Other returnees: Justin Abdo (sr., G), Alex Pellish
(sr., F), Ian Renninger (jr., F), Eli Wood (jr., G)
Newcomers: Casian Flowers
(jr., F), Ryan Kondrack (jr., G), Josh Melochick (jr., G), Tyler Timberlake (jr., F), JR Hahner (soph., G), Aiden Stanton
(soph., G), Mason Barnes (fr., G)
Outlook: Crimson Tide are pretty much in the
same situation they were in at the start of last year, minus a large senior class. Have more height this season and might
try to run more, but the defense will always lead the way. Mullaney believes the fundamentals need to improve. Again the team
to beat in the division and league.
Head coach: Jim Barron (2nd season)
Last year: 6-16, 4-10 D-I
Last year's team statistics: Offense (48.1), defense (59.0)
scorer: Thad Zuber (jr., G, 15.1 ppg.)
Other returnees: Dylan Scott (sr., G),
Zeke Wassell (sr., F), Gabe Gregoire (jr., F), Mitchell Kurek (jr., F), Casey Rother (jr., C)
Newcomers: Josh Inama (sr., C, transfer from Marian), Eddie Titus (sr., F), Michael Bonetsky (soph., G), Derian Stianche
(soph., G), Lucas Gregoire (fr., F-C), Brayden Knoblauch (fr., G)
have three starters back and have a solid player in Zuber to build around. Should be strong offensively and will have more
of a post game. Defense needs to improve. The potential is there to be in a position for a spot in the district playoffs and
make some noise in the division.
Head coach: James Sandri
Last year: 18-7, 9-4 D-II. District 4 Class A fourth-place finisher
Last year's team statistics: Offense (58.0), defense (45.8)
scorer: Thomas Schultz (soph., F, 19.1 ppg.)
Other returnees: Mike Padula (sr.,
F), Larry Czeponis (jr., C, missed last season with a medical condition), C.J. Reichard (jr., G), Ty Klembara (soph., G)
Newcomers: Tanner Maneval (sr., G), Johnny Nguyen (sr., G), Dawson Williams (jr., G), Adam Sandri (fr., G)
Outlook: The Red Raiders have three starters back, while the return of Czeponis gives them an inside presence. A
quick, athletic and still young team that has high expectations for the season. The division favorite.
Head coach: Mike
Walborn (1st season)
Last year: 10-12, 5-8 D-III
Last year's team statistics: Offense (56.9), defense (55.6)
scorer: Price Szeliga (sr., G, 14.1 ppg.)
Other returnees: Andrew Matlock (sr.,
G), Trent Shatalsky (sr., F)
Newcomers: Riley White (sr., F), Michael Winter
(sr., F), Dominic Dostick (jr., G), Christian Matlock (jr., G), Josh Westcoat (jr., G), Quandre Latimer (soph., F), Raphael
Muldrow (soph., G), Sincere Walker (soph., G)
Outlook: The Hilltoppers don't
have a ton of experience returning and lack height, too. Will attempt to use their athleticism to compensate for the lack
of height by playing an up-tempo game and scoring in transition. Goal is to equal or better last year's record and qualify
Head coach: Fran Murphy (5th season at Schuylkill Haven, 17th overall)
year: 9-13, 2-11 D-II
Last year's team statistics: Offense (44.3), defense (50.1)
Top returning scorer: Matt Mills (sr., F, 4.3 ppg.)
Tyler Allan (sr., F), John Slusser (sr., G), Hunter Carter (jr., C), Ben Connors (jr., F), Jake Sweigert (jr., F), Teddy Welsh
Newcomers: Danny Lozada (sr., G), Mason Carter (fr., G), Albe Evans
(fr., G), Damyan Miller (fr., G)
Outlook: Hurricanes don't have much varsity
experience and two freshmen will likely start. Murphy likes the chemistry and work ethic. Keys to good season are patience,
playing solid defense and taking care of the basketball. Looking to improve as year progresses.
Mike Masser (6th season)
Last year: 6-16, 2-11 D-II
Last year's team statistics: Defense (48.1), defense (55.0)
scorer: Nick Ziegmont (soph., G, 6.0 ppg.)
Other returnees: Justin Ziegmont (sr.,
F), Ashton Buchanan (jr., G), Peyton Poletti (jr., G), Logan Yoder (jr., F), Daulton Leedy (soph., G),
Newcomers: Chase Deeter (jr., G), Jon Kline (jr., F), Bubba Smith (soph., C)
Outlook: Bulldogs are young, but there is some talent on offense and the outside shooting is expected to improve.
Focusing on playing more man-to-man defense and finishing shots on offense. Record is expected to improve and the goal is
to qualify for districts.
Head coach: Denny Kasper (22nd season)
Last year: 13-10, 8-5 D-II. District 11 Class AA semifinalist
team statistics: Offense (52.3), defense (50.0)
Top returning scorer: Jake Wolfgang
(jr., F, 11.1 ppg.)
Other returnees: Levi Engle (soph., G), Kenny Reed (soph.,
Newcomers: Brent Reinoehl (sr., F), Devin Joseph (sr., F), Nick Ulsh (jr.,
G), Colin Weist (jr., F), Billy Wright (fr., F)
Outlook: Vikings lost their top
scorer to graduation, but their are three starters returning on what is a fairly young team. Got a late start due to the Vikings'
run in the PIAA football playoffs and it might take a few games to get into sync. Should be competitive in the division and,
at the least, qualify for the district playoffs.
coach: Ethan Eichhorst (2nd season)
Last year: 13-12, 8-5 D-III. District 11
Class AA runner-up, PIAA qualifier
Last year's team statistics: Offense (55.9),
Top returning scorer: Michael Joseph (sr., G, 9.3 ppg.)
Other returnees: Matt Derr (sr., F), Randy Derr (sr., C), Danny Fedor (sr., F), Jordan McGee (jr., G)
Newcomers: Justin Rivera (jr., F), Shane Miller (fr., F)
Bears have two starters returning and have more length and athleticism compared to last season. Entire team is capable to
knocking down shots. Defense needs to improve from last year's performance. Should be in the mix in the division.
Head coach: John
Patton (7th season)
Last year: 11-12, 8-5 D-III. District 11 Class AA semifinalist
Last year's team statistics: Offense (48.5), defense (47.2)
scorer: Brandon Mohammed (sr., F, 9.0 ppg.)
Other returnees: Anthony Collevechio
(sr., G), Ryan Karchner (sr., F), D.J. Mummey (sr., G), Jarod Paisley (sr., G)
Jake Paluck (sr., F), Jared Maylath (jr., F), Gabe Miller (jr., G), Noah Stauffer (jr, G), Julian Miller (soph., G), Tyler
Fritz (fr., G)
Outlook: The Colts were inconsistent last season, but got hot
at the right time to qualify for districts. Defense was solid, but struggled at times to score points. Finding leaders on
the offensive end, and staying healthy, will go a long way to improving record.
Head coach: Patrick Crampsie (15th season)
Last year: 6-16, 3-11 D-I
Last year's team statistics: Offense (45.6),
Top returning scorer: Rene Figueroa (soph., G, 11.8 ppg.)
Other returnees: Anthony Micholik (sr., G), Tristan Blasko (jr., F)
Alex Mehmeti (sr., G), Brendan Morgans (sr., F), Trey Turner (soph., F)
Panthers have a solid core of returning players and should be able to score points. Numbers are down overall and lack of varsity
experience is a concern, too. Defense also needs to improve. Still, move down to Division III should produce more victories.
The first trip to the district playoffs since 2011 is a real possibility.
Head coach: Robbie Miller (7th season)
Last year: 19-9, 10-3 D-III. Division III champion, District 11 Class A runner-up, PIAA Class A quarterfinalist
Last year's team statistics: Offense (60.9), defense (53.2)
scorer: Joel Santana (sr., G, 22.5 ppg.)
Other returnees: Isaiah Alvarez (sr.,
F), Matt Creasy (sr., F), Jermaine McNeil (sr., G), Sydiq Shenoster (sr., C), Austin Uholik (sr., G)
Newcomers: Noah Allegretta (sr., G), Evan Kosar (soph., G), Tyler McCole (sr., G), Noah Raisner (sr., G)
Outlook: Blue Devils have three starters returning. Tons of depth at the guard position on a senior-laden and experienced
squad that wants to win some titles this season after their postseason run last year. The team to beat in the division.
Corey Gerhart (1st season)
Last year: 4-18, 0-13 D-III
Last year's team statistics: Offense (35.5), defense (52.8)
scorer: Zach Moon (jr., G, 9.7 ppg.)
Other returnees: Zach Peiser (sr., F), Gary
Buck (jr., F), Steph Yurchak (jr., F), Jared Zaremba (soph., G), Jeremy Moser (soph., G)
Newcomers: Chris Martens (sr., C), Austin Koslop (jr., F)
have some size and numbers to work with. Four of the top six scorers from last season return for a program that last qualified
for district playoffs in 2013. Looking to pick up the pressure on the defensive end and be balanced of offense. Could be in
line for an improvement.
Head coach: Ryan
McGinley (4th season)
Last year: 4-18, 1-9 Berks II
Last year's team statistics: Offense (44.5), defense (57.5)
scorer: Corey Evangelista (jr., G, 11.5 ppg.)
Other returnees: Jacob Barr (sr.,
G), Tyler Graham (jr., F), Harold Greenawald (jr., G), Reece Adam (soph., G)
Nathan Ransom (jr., G), Seamus Barter (fr., F), Sean Evangelista (fr., G)
Hawks made some strides last season. Lost some size and inside presence from a year ago and team will be relying more on its
guards. Somewhat undersized, too. Goal is to continue to become more competitive in the division and build off last season.
Head coach: Chad Everhart (1st season)
Last year: 23-5, 13-0 TVL East Division. East Division champion, Tri-Valley League champ, District 3 Class AA third-place
finisher, PIAA qualifier
Last year's team statistics: Offense (62.7), defense
Top returning scorer: Masen Bellis (jr., F, 1.9 ppg.)
Other returnees: None
Newcomers: Tanner Klinger (sr., G-F), Bailey Dressler
(jr., G), Blake Messner (sr., G), Jarrett Reigner (jr., F), Eli Smith (jr., G)
The Trojans were hammered by graduation, losing nine seniors and every key contributor from back-to-back league titles the
last two seasons. Athleticism is a strength, and it should allow the Trojans to do different things on both ends of the court.
Everhart believes the talent is there. How successful of a year this will be depends on how quickly it develops at the varsity
Gillingham Charter School
Head coach: Lenny Martin (2nd season)
Last year: 1-12
Last year's team statistics: Offense (36.3), defense
Top returning scorer: Damy Cintron (sr., G, 4.8 ppg.)
Other returnees: John Hindermeyer (sr., G), Enoch Holbert (sr., F), Shawn Krammes (sr., F)
Newcomers: Jesse Loughran (sr., G), Dylan Wilkinson (sr., G), Pierce Keller (soph., F), Christian Smith (fr., G),
Justin Wrona (fr., G)
Outlook: Wolf Pack won for the first time in program history
last season and are gradually becoming more competitive. Four starters are back and the goal is to build off last year's win
and grab a few more.
Prepping for Preps '16-17: PIAA Class 5A Preview
12/07/2016, 3:30pm EST
By Michael Bullock
Tyree Pickron (above) and Wood are the top-ranked team in the 5A preseason rankings. (Photo:
Michael Bullock (@thebullp_n)
Note: This story is part of CoBL’s “Prepping for Preps” series, which will take a look at many of the top
high school programs in the region as part of our 2016-17 season preview coverage. The complete list of schools previewed
so far can be found here.)
Well, here we go again.
Back for the second year, City of Basketball Love is going to take another deep rip at splicing together preseason
rankings for each of Pennsylvania’s six classifications.
If that seems like a bigger venture than last season, it is since PIAA
has upped the number of classes for the first time in 30-plus years — jumping from four to six.
That’s right, six.
And while we’ll spend
today revealing Class 5A — Classes 4A, 3A, 2A and A were unveiled earlier this week — check back periodically
for the remaining classifications as we crescendo toward the season’s Dec. 9 start.
Should be fun.
As one of PIAA’s freshly minted classifications,
this 5A thing opens up all sorts of possibilities for those programs that outgrew 4A and might have been a tad smaller than
those groups that wound up in the big-school 6A.
Regardless, this classification should be incredibly competitive.
Although we could have gone
in a number of directions, we’re going to anoint another Philadelphia Catholic League program as our preseason No. 1
squad and that honor falls to John Mosco’s Archbishop Wood Vikings.
While Wood was unable to escape Archbishop Carroll in last season’s
PCL quarterfinals and wound up finishing 14-10 — and determined lead guard Tommy Funk hustled off to the U.S. Military
Academy — there’s all sorts of talent scrapping for playing time during Mosco’s heated practice sessions.
In fact, six of Wood’s
top seven scorers return.
We’ll start with a trio of seniors — 6-1 wing guard Colin Gillespie, 6-3 wing Matt
Cerruti and 6-2
combo guard Keith Otto — but 6-3 junior Tyree Pickron and 6-10 junior big man Seth Pinkney also will be part of Wood’s talented
6-6 junior forward Karrington Wallace, 6-3 junior guard Andrew Funk and 6-4 sophomore wing Julius Phillips will log plenty of PT, another
youngster that’s already impressed is innovative 5-8 freshman Zahree Harrison.
So, needless to say, it should be an interesting season
for the folks in Bucks County.
Once the first full week of games is played, we’ll be back with weekly updates of our rankings, beginning
on Dec. 19 and appearing on Mondays the rest of the way.
Brief glimpses of our preseason top 10s appear below, with PIAA district and last
season’s final record displayed in parentheses. Only those schools competing for PIAA state championships are eligible
for ranking purposes.
NR — not ranked; OW — others to watch.
CITY OF BASKETBALL LOVE’S PRESEASON
STATE-WIDE BOYS’ BASKETBALL RANKINGS — CLASS 5A
1. Archbishop Wood (12, 14-10)
One thing Mosco has
done since moving to Wood following a lengthy stretch as an assistant at Neumann-Goretti is concoct a rugged schedule that
will test his Vikings repeatedly. This season is no different since Wood will open at the always-beastly D.C. Classic, follow
immediately with a visit to Abington and play a number of other hammers before PCL play begins after the holidays. With the
likes of Pickron, Pinkney, Gillespie and the rest of a deep, talented rotation ready to start pounding the basketball, the
Vikings certainly will be challenged from start to finish. So, if Mosco’s bunch winds up in Hershey in March, they’ll
have earned their shot at bringing state gold back to their suburban Philly campus.
games: Dec. 9-11
at Gonzaga (D.C.) College Classic.
2. Bangor (11, 26-3)
Notables: With a record-setting 2015-16
season now in the rear-view — along with a 58-44 loss to Plymouth-Whitemarsh in the second round of states that Bangor
led at halftime — Bron Holland’s tested Slaters might be even better this time around since his club returns four
of its five starters. Those four — 6-2 Reece Jones, 6-4 Seth Benton, 6-4 Dylan Benton and 5-10 Anthony Schiavone — filled a huge highlight
reel for a program that hadn’t prevailed in states since 1988 (when Bron Holland was still playing) and lost only to
state qualifiers PW, Parkland and Salisbury. Brawny 6-3 senior Colton Holland also returns, but so do 6-3 sophomore Isaiah
Jones and 5-9
sophomore Ben Holland. Defending Colonial League champs are just one of a handful of quality District 11-5A programs. Stay tuned.
game: Dec. 9 vs.
Seven-footer Seth Maxwell is a force to be reckoned with for Ken Bianchi's Comets. (Photo: Josh
3. Abington Heights (2, 23-3)
Those outside northeastern
Pennsylvania might expect Ken Bianchi’s Comets to flame out from time to time and struggle through a difficult season, but
all this suburban Scranton program does is win … and win a lot. Bianchi, in fact, has more than 700 victims tucked
away in his impressive ledger. Well, despite several graduation departures, expect few things to change in 2016-17 for an
Abington Heights club that returns impressive 7-0 senior center Seth Maxwell. While Maxwell averaged more than 11 points per outing
last season, he also bagged seven treys. Whoa!!! Bianchi’s other returning starter is 6-5 junior Jackson
Danzig, but 6-4
sophomore George Tinsley is a rising talent who will help offset the loss of Tim Toro. Tom Rothenberger, a 5-7 senior, also brings
game: Dec. 9 at Holy
4. Upper Merion (1, 16-8)
slugging it out season after season in the perennially competitive Suburban One League, Jason Quenzer’s surging Vikings have shifted
allegiances and now call the Pioneer Athletic Conference home. With the talent Quenzer watches every day in the gym, it wouldn’t
matter where these guys play. Sporting plenty of size across an imposing frontcourt, 6-8 senior and Holy Cross recruit Matt
Faw is the Vikings’
headliner. But Faw won’t go into the fray all by himself since 6-7 senior Ethan Miller and 6-4 senior Chris
Carita also return.
As for the backcourt, 5-9 senior Aidan Newell is one of those slick combo types who can facilitate and finish. And should Upper
Merion need a deep look buried, that task likely will fall to 5-10 senior Andrew Persaud. Dangerous squad.
game: Dec. 13 at
5. Whitehall (11, 13-11)
weren’t kidding about District 11-5A being filled with a handful of land mines and Jeff Jones’ Zephyrs, featuring an experienced
group, buoyed by a terrific summer and no longer forced to fight for their postseason lives against some really big schools,
is another Lehigh Valley outfit that figures to make lots and lots of noise. While 6-2 senior Charles Hudson (12.3 ppg) and 6-0 junior Mikey
ppg) get plenty of attention, Jones has other veterans such as 6-2 senior Logan McGinley (12.7 ppg), 6-1 senior Jackson
ppg), 6-5 senior Zach Gilbert (7.9 ppg) and 5-11 senior Kayden Walschburger (5.7 ppg) that are capable of filling it up for a
Whitehall side that will push it and get after people defensively. Still in the rugged East Penn Conference, so these guys
will get tested regularly.
Season-opening games: Dec. 9-10 at Wilson Area Tip-Off.
Northeastern (3, 21-3)
While Jon Eyster’s Bobcats watched plenty of talent depart following a perfect run through YAIAA’s Division II, they still
have plenty of guys who can ball as they shift into a YAIAA-I setting that will be considerably more strenuous. Although Eyster’s
latest group won’t wow anyone stepping off the bus, the strength of this club resides within an electric backcourt containing
the likes of 6-2 junior Antonio Rizzuto and 5-11 junior Fred Mulbah, athletic two-way players who can torment opponents at both ends
of the floor. More pop will come from 6-2 senior Brandon Coleman. Will be an interesting season in Manchester as Eyster’s
Bobcats — without Kobi Nwandu, Jeff Reynolds and Donovian Maxfield — duel for YAIAA-I supremacy with Spring Grove,
Central York, Dallastown and York.
Season-opening games: Dec. 9-10 at Northeastern Tip-Off.
Hampton (7, 17-10)
Notables: While Joe Lafko’s Hampton side isn’t the
biggest group, his latest edition has a number of available athletes and at last one bona fide finisher in 6-2 senior guard
Antonio Ionadi. One of western Pennsylvania’s top scorers a season ago, Ionadi connected at a 22.3 ppg clip for a Talbots
outfit that fell in the opening round of the PIAA’s Class AAA tournament to Erie Strong Vincent. What’s helped
return Hampton’s profile to its lofty level — unfortunately Lafko doesn’t have any of the Luther brothers
available — is a successful spring and summer. Slick 5-10 senior lead guard Mark Shehady will work alongside Ionadi
in the Talbots backcourt, while 6-3 senior forward Kyle Reese will be one of the anchors up front.
games: Dec. 9-10
at North Hills Tip-Off.
Colin Daly (above) is the only returning starter for a Carroll squad full of fresh faces. (Photo:
8. Archbishop Carroll (12, 23-4)
Notables: Paul Romanczuk may not have the household names rolling off southeastern Pennsylvania tongues just yet —
6-4 senior Colin Daly is the probable exception — but he probably does and we don’t know just yet since Carroll always
seems to be in the Philadelphia Catholic League, District 12 and PIAA championship discussion. Perhaps we can help. While
Daly’s classmates — 6-6 Jesse McPhearson, 6-4 Khari Williams and 6-1 Jimmy Lake — got run last season as Carroll reached
the second round of states, 6-2 junior transfer (Academy of the New Church) Justin Anderson and 5-10 junior Jahmir Williams also are in the early mix with
a number of others as the Patriots ready for their season-opening weekend in Erie. Another youngster who merits mention is
talented 6-3 freshman A.J. Hoggard.
games: Dec. 9-10
at Erie McDowell Tip-Off.
9. Highlands (7, 23-6)
Notables: Imagine being up to your belly
button in postseason play when a pair of significant contributors suddenly leave the team and say they’re transferring.
Well, that’s what happened last season at Highlands yet Tyler Stoczynski’s Golden Rams still reached the PIAA Class
AAA quarterfinals. Talk about some unexpected turbulence. Fast forward to the 2016-17 campaign and an experienced Highlands
group led by an upbeat quartet of seniors — 6-2 Mitch DeZort, 6-4 Brayden Thimons, 6-1 Ryan Boda and 6-0 R.J.
is anticipating another quality run. Since 6-1 junior Romello Freeman and 6-0 senior Dom Martinka saw their PT go up following
those abrupt departures, Stoczynski does have some depth in place.
games: Dec. 9-10
at Pine-Richland Tip-Off.
10. Meadville (10, 21-5)
Stoked by a disappointing conclusion to a terrific 2015-16 campaign, Mark McElhinny’s Meadville Bulldogs may be poised and ready
to erupt yet again later this week when they tip it up at home. A high-powered outfit fueled by high-octane 6-2 senior guard
Armoni Foster (21.5 ppg), McElhinny’s bunch will be seeking some payback after falling in the District 10-AAA final
to Strong Vincent and the opening round of states to New Castle. Bottom line is Foster can light it up. Also back is 6-6 sophomore
Lashon Lindsey (10.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg), an athletic presence up front who rejected two-plus shots per outing as a first-year performer.
While 6-0 junior Isaiah Manning will add experience, McElhinny received a nifty surprise and a talent boost when 5-9 point
guard Simeal Wofford checked in from Strong Vincent.
Season-opening games: Dec. 9-10 at Meadville Tip-Off.
OTHERS TO WATCH: Allentown Central Catholic (11, 11-12), Bishop Shanahan (1, 15-9),
Blue Mountain (11, 21-7), Bonner-Prendergast (12, 13-12), Cathedral Prep (10, 16-10), Chartiers Valley (7, 20-6),
Chester (1, 22-8),
Chichester (1, 14-8), Great Valley (1, 16-8), Holy Ghost Prep (1, 19-8), Manheim Central (3, 14-9), Mars (7, 23-7), Martin
Luther King (12, 15-13), Mastery Charter North (12, 27-4), Mechanicsburg (3, 11-11), Milton Hershey (3, 25-3), Montour (7,
13-10), Penncrest (1, 12-10), Pottsville (11, 28-1), Simon
Gratz (12, 16-11), Solanco (3, 11-11), Spring Grove (3, 25-4), Strath Haven (1, 19-5), Upper Moreland (1, 9-14), West Scranton
(2, 17-10), Wissahickon (1, 10-12), York (3, 12-11).