PAHS sports roundup: 2/5/09

Boys basketball:
Judging by the results of the first meeting between Oswayo Valley and Port Allegany – a two-point Green Wave win in Shinglehouse – one could reasonably expect another close game in last Thursday’s rematch, with second place in the North Tier League at stake.

Instead, building on an eight-point halftime lead, the Gators blew the game wide open in the third quarter. The NTL’s stingiest defense held OV to just four points and set up several fast-break buckets, opening up a 46-25 lead by the end of the period, and never led by fewer than 20 points in the final eight minutes as they rolled to a 66-39 win – their seventh in a row – to remain a half-game behind league-leading Cameron County.

Afterward, Port coach Bob Raudenbush admitted he was surprised by the margin of victory. “We’re banged up a little bit, but you wouldn’t have known it. The kids played with a lot of heart. The two things we needed to do were defend well and then rebound, and I thought we did a good job with that. (OV forward Joe) Carson is a great player in the league, and I thought Greg (Gustin) did a good job of making him work. A good team effort. Good team defense, good team rebounding,” he said.

Lucas Kline poured in a game-high 17 points and added four steals, while Josh Guerrero (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Gustin (12 points, 13 rebounds) contributed double-doubles and Bryce Healy added 13 points and seven boards to a balanced Gator offense. For the Green Wave (12-5, 7-3), C.J. Sebastian (12 points) and Orion Bernard (10) each hit double figures. Carson, held scoreless in the first half, spent part of the second quarter on the bench with three fouls and finished the game with five points, well below his team-leading average.

Although his team headed into the locker room with a 29-21 lead, Raudenbush knew they couldn’t afford a letdown. “I was concerned in the first half; I thought we missed too many inside shots,” he said. “You always feel like that’s going to come back and maybe haunt you in the second half, but it didn’t. The kids stayed focused for four quarters. I thought that was a big part of why we were successful. That’s a good sign of senior leadership, a senior-laden team. They’ve been down that road before, and they know how to respond.”

Two of those seniors, Gustin and Guerrero, owned the boards after halftime to kick-start the Gators’ fast break. With many OV turnovers and missed shots leading to uncontested layups at the other end of the court, the lead ballooned to 15, then 20, then 25. With 2:30 remaining in the final quarter and both coaches preparing to clear their benches, Guerrero’s crowd-pleasing behind-the-back pass to Healy for another layup added an exclamation point to the win.

“We just didn’t show up tonight. I guess I have to take that on my shoulders as a coach,” Green Wave coach Clark Cummings said of his squad, which was held under 40 points for the first time this season. “We came out flat, and Port played great and made things hard for us on the defensive end. Joe going out early didn’t help us by any stretch, but Port has been playing really well for the last two or three weeks. I told my guys that they were the hottest team in the league – maybe even the district – and they showed it tonight. They played well in all aspects of the game and we really struggled, so my hat goes off to Bob and those guys for having their kids ready to go.”

To earn a shot at the NTL title, Port, now 11-5 (8-2), has to keep winning and hope that one of the remaining teams on Cameron County’s schedule can upset the Red Raiders. True to form, Raudenbush is more concerned with his own team than the out-of-town scoreboard. “I just told the kids, ‘One game at a time.’ We can only do what we can. So we’ll have fun with it, and let the chips fall where they may,” he concluded.

Earlier in the week, the team tuned up for the Oswayo Valley game with a convincing 73-46 win in Austin. Gustin led all scorers with 20 points, while Healy and Guerrero each added 15.

The Gators are on the road this week, visiting Smethport on Tuesday and Coudersport on Thursday. A home non-league game against Ridgway, postponed from Dec. 19, will be made up on Saturday, Feb. 7.

At Austin, 1/27:
Port Allegany (73)
Middleton 3 0-3 6, Gustin 9 2-3 20, Healy 7 0-0 15, Kline 0 0-2 0, Guerrero 6 3-4 15, Gleason 2 2-5 6, Parana 2 1-4 5, Lowery 3 0-0 6. Totals: 32 8-21 73.
Austin (46)
Cheplic 3 5-9 11, Valenti 4 0-0 10, Ripple 4 0-0 8, Dieffenderfer 2 1-1 5, Earle 2 0-0 4, Dynda 1 0-0 3, Nichols 2 0-0 5. Totals: 18 6-10 46.
PA 23 44 65 73
A 10 17 28 46
Three-point goals: Port 1 (Healy), Austin 4 (Valenti 2, Dynda, Nichols). Total fouls: Port 9, Austin 12. Fouled out: none.
JV: Port Allegany won

At Port Allegany, 1/29:
Oswayo Valley (39)
Bernard 4 0-0 10, Nolan 1 0-1 2, Carson 1 3-5 5, Sebastian 5 1-2 12, Stanley 0 0-0 0, Jandrew 2 2-2 6, Goss 1 0-0 2, Prince 1 0-0 2. Totals: 15 6-10 39.
Port Allegany (66)
Middleton 0 0-1 0, Gustin 6 0-0 12, Healy 6 1-1 13, Kline 6 3-3 17, Guerrero 7 0-2 14, Gleason 3 0-0 6, Parana 1 0-0 2, Lowery 1 0-0 2. Totals: 30 4-7 66.
OV 9 21 25 39
PA 12 29 46 66
Three-point goals: OV 3 (Bernard 2, Sebastian), PA 2 (Kline 2). Total fouls: OV 16, PA 13. Fouled out: none.
JV: Port Allegany, 61-47

Girls basketball:
The Lady Gators visited Shinglehouse last Friday night, earning a solid 61-43 win over Oswayo Valley. Shanel Halle scored 17 points to lead the team, with Kari Drabert and Renee Edgell each chipping in 11 to get Port back on the winning track.

They ran into an opponent too tough to handle the next night, though, as Austin came to Port Allegany intent on staying tied with Otto-Eldred for second place in the North Tier League, and headed back to Potter County with a 59-38 victory.

However, Port didn’t make it easy for them, at least in the first half. After a 9-0 Lady Gator run tied the score at 19 midway through the second quarter and put two starters on the bench in foul trouble, veteran Lady Panthers coach Dick Logue decided it was time to settle his team down. “We gave them a little talking-to there; I called a timeout and told them to be patient. We can’t fault Port for their up-tempo defense – we were a step behind them,” he said.

He turned to Erika Boucher, who normally gets most of her playing time with the junior varsity. The freshman guard delivered, draining a 3-pointer to break the deadlock and finishing the first half with 11 of her 13 points as the visitors began to ever so slightly pull away, taking a 26-19 lead into the break.

“She couldn’t miss all game. You know, you have those nights,” Francis said. “We played a triangle-and-two on (Whitney) Crosby and (Katelyn) Valenti, and we held them to five and seven, but their teammates stepped it up.

“But that’s our gameplan,” she explained. “We said if we’re going to give up shots, it’s going to be to someone other than those two girls. Unfortunately, it’s give and take.”

Meanwhile, the home team couldn’t find the basket until deep into the second half, and the Lady Panthers extended their lead to 44-19 before Kyley Mickle’s 3-pointer finally ended the 25-0 run with 6:15 remaining in the game. Afterward, Francis said she couldn’t remember ever being shut out for an entire quarter before.

“We’ve struggled with our shooting overall this season. At times, we can’t overcome the hump, can’t put an easy bucket in to get the momentum going, and there was nothing there for us in the third quarter,” she said.

“We changed our defense around to come out in the second half – I think that helped a lot – and we also stepped up our offense,” Logue said of his Lady Panthers, who improved to 15-2 (7-2) with the win. “You know, this is a funny game, and I know Port can play very well. We came over here with the intent that it was going to be a great ballgame, and it was looking that way.”

With three regular-season games left on the schedule, Francis still hopes to finish over .500, but acknowledges that games against Coudersport and at Otto-Eldred will make it a difficult task to accomplish.

The Lady Gators kept that goal in sight on Monday night, rebounding from the Austin game with a dominating 63-29 win over visiting Smethport. Halle scored a game-high 16 points and Kaitlyn Kio added 15 as Port ran out to a 35-12 halftime lead over the Lady Hubbers, then cruised to the comfortable victory. Now 8-10 (5-6), the team returns to action on Thursday night when Coudy brings its gaudy 16-2 (10-0) record to the Port Allegany gym.

At Shinglehouse, 1/30:
Port Allegany (61)
Middleton 2 0-4 4, K. Drabert 3 3-4 11, B. Drabert 1 0-0 3, Reinard 1 1-6 3, Kio 2 3-4 7, Halle 6 3-8 17, Edgell 3 5-7 11, Anderson 2 1-1 5. Totals: 20 16-34 61.
Oswayo Valley (43)
Graham 1 0-2 2, Cornelius 4 2-6 11, Costello 0 3-4 3, Rix 5 1-2 12, George 5 3-5 13, Warriner 1 0-0 2. Totals: 16 9-17 43.
PA 14 23 39 61
OV 7 17 27 43
Three-point goals: Port 5 (K. Drabert 2, Halle 2, B. Drabert), OV 2 (Cornelius, Rix). Total fouls: Port A 16, OV 22. Fouled out: Rix.
JV: Port Allegany, 42-21

At Port Allegany, 1/31:
Austin (58)
Crosby 2 1-2 5, Stuckey 9 0-0 18, Gordnier 1 0-0 2, Wambaugh 5 1-2 11, Valenti 3 1-2 7, Ritsick 0 1-2 1, Boucher 6 0-0 13, Kio 0 1-1 1. Totals: 26 5-10 58.
Port Allegany (39)
B. Drabert 1 0-0 2, Reinard 1 2-2 4, Kio 3 2-2 8, Halle 0 0-2 0, Anderson 1 0-0 2, Middleton 2 1-3 5, K. Drabert 1 0-0 2, Bova 1 0-0 2, Mickle 2 0-0 6, Edgell 2 4-5 8. Totals: 14 9-14 39.
A 9 26 39 58
PA 8 19 19 39
Three-point goals: Austin 1 (Boucher), Port 2 (Mickle 2). Total fouls: Austin 18, Port 10. Fouled out: none.
JV: Austin, 46-45

At Port Allegany, 2/2:
Smethport (29)
Cunningham 1 1-4 3, Nielsen 4 0-0 8, Shelley 3 0-3 6, Zylinski 1 0-2 2, Stratton 2 2-2 6, Hughes 1 0-0 2, Herzog 1 0-0 2. Totals: 13 3-11 29.
Port Allegany (63)
Evens 1 0-0 2, K. Drabert 2 0-0 4, B. Drabert 0 1-2 1, Reinard 2 3-4 7, Kio 5 5-6 15, Halle 7 1-2 16, Bova 1 0-0 2, Mickle 4 0-0 9, Edgell 1 1-2 3, Anderson 2 0-0 4. Totals: 25 11-16 63.
S 6 12 16 29
PA 22 35 42 63
Three-point goals: Port 2 (Halle, Mickle).
JV: Port Allegany, 45-22

Wrestling – District 9 Duals recap:
In recent years, no discussion of area high school wrestling would be complete without mentioning Ridgway and Port Allegany, and 2009 is no different. Last Saturday in DuBois, the two traditional mat powers met in the District 9 Team Tournament for the fifth consecutive year, with the Elkers winning 46-12 to capture their third straight championship after the Gators took home the title in ’05 and ’06.

Afterward, Port coach Sean Lathrop described the Elkers as “just tough from top to bottom.” Ridgway improved to 17-1 with the win, their only loss by one point at two-time defending District 4 champion Towanda.

But while the Gators may have had to settle for second place, they made the trip worthwhile with a 32-30 semifinal victory over archrival Smethport, the top-ranked team in the Olean Times Herald Big 30 poll.

“The kids wrestled real hard, showed a lot of heart and character. I can’t say enough about how they performed. Every kid had a great match. I can’t select any individuals – all 14 of them wrestled the way they had to. We focused on not giving up many bonus points and wrestling hard, and they did it,” Lathrop said.

Adam Greenman (23-7), Damen Brodhun (19-15), and Dylan Major (27-3) each won both their matches on Saturday, with Major and Zack Manning picking up pins and Zach Snyder adding a technical fall against the Hubbers. The two teams will wrestle again on Wednesday night in Smethport in a match ending too late for this edition, with the winner all but clinching the Allegheny Mountain League title.

At DuBois, 1/31:
Port Allegany 32, Smethport 30
103: Schwab (S) 3:14 Caden, 112: Kio (PA) 3-0 Kreckel, 119: Lightner (S) 10-4 Goodreau, 125: K. Freer (S) 2:24 Lacher, 130: Hubbard (S) 5:03 Lewis, 135: Snyder (PA) TF 16-0 Vossler, 140: Milford (PA) 9-4 Hoy, *145: Burdick (S) 2:35 Baxter, 152: Snodgrass (PA) 5-2 Rusciolelli, 160: Greenman (PA) 7-1 C. Freer, 171: Nobles (S) 3-1 OT Reichenbach, 189: Brodhun (PA) 9-6 Kreitzer, 215: Manning (PA) 1:35 Cooper, 285: Major (PA) 2:59 Isadore.

Ridgway 46, Port Allegany 12
103: Cory Bush (R) TF 17-0 Caden, 112: Kyle Daggiano (R) 4-2 Kio, 119: Horner (R) 6-1 Brandon Goodreau, 125: Slattery (R) :59 Lacher, 130: Mitchell (R) 1:29 Causer, 135: Bisani (R) 3-2 Snyder, 140: D.J. Skraba (R) TF 16-1 Brad Goodreau, 145: Dornish (R) 4-3 Baxter, *152: Greenman (PA) 1-0 Sam Skraba, 160: Zelcs (R) 3:38 Snodgrass, 171: Reichenbach (PA) 9-4 Munson, 189: Brodhun (PA) 16-9 Sheasley, 215: Major (PA) 5-1 Thompson, 285: Chittester (R) 1:50 Manning.

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