PAHS basketball roundup: 2/12/09

Last week’s North Tier League schedule brought mixed results for the Gator basketball team, but despite suffering their first loss since the beginning of January, Port remained in second place at the end of the week.

On Tuesday, the Gators traveled to Smethport to take on a suddenly-hot Hubbers team that had won four of its last five games. Port could never quite pull away from the Hubs (9-11, 7-5 NTL), but managed to come home with a 49-41 victory to sweep the season series. Bryce Healy scored a game-high 14 points and Lucas Kline added 13 in the win.

“Smethport’s been playing well – they knocked off Oswayo the other night,” Gators coach Bob Raudenbush pointed out. “It was good for us to have a tight game; we really hadn’t had a tight game other than Cameron County. It was good to feel that pressure – and we definitely felt some pressure over there.”

The veteran Port mentor got all the pressure he could have asked for and then some in his team’s next game, a road trip to Coudersport. Coming out of a halftime tie, the Falcons (9-10, 6-6 NTL) forged a nine-point lead in the third quarter, then withstood a furious comeback to snap the Gators’ eight-game winning streak with a 44-42 victory despite double-figure scoring efforts from Healy (13 points), Josh Guerrero (12, including a game-tying 3-pointer in the final minute), and Greg Gustin (10).

“Coudy just played an excellent game against us,” Raudenbush said. “They forced us into 20 turnovers. We still battled back and had a good shot at the end, but that was a tough one – it kind of took the wind out of our sails.”

A non-league makeup game against Ridgway on Saturday offered the Gators a chance to quickly bounce back from the Coudersport loss, and they took advantage of the opportunity with a 63-40 win to improve their record to 13-6 overall, 9-3 in the NTL.

“Actually, that score is a little deceiving,” Raudenbush said. “We’d go up by maybe 12, then they’d cut it to seven. It was a game until midway through the fourth quarter, when we were finally able to take that 10-12 point lead and extend it to 18-20. We had to play four quarters, which is good. We need tough games to get us ready for districts.”

Guerrero notched a double-double in the win, scoring 10 points and adding 10 rebounds and seven steals against the Elkers (3-16). Healy led the team with 14 points, and Kline (12) and Denzel Middleton (10) also contributed to a balanced Port offense.

The Gators play their final league games this week before the District 9 playoffs begin, hosting Otto-Eldred for Senior Night on Tuesday before wrapping up the regular season at Northern Potter on Thursday. Gustin, Healy, Guerrero, Terry Gleason, and Chris Fabish will all step onto their home court for the last time against the Terrors.

“The district standings are really tight, so every game is crucial right now,” Raudenbush said before adding, “Hopefully we’ll keep it going and get back on another roll. I told the kids, ‘Let’s start another streak.’”

At Smethport, 2/3:
Port Allegany (49)
Middleton 0 0-0 0, Gustin 1 3-3 5, Gleason 2 0-0 4, Healy 6 2-5 14, Parana 2 0-1 4, Kline 4 3-4 13, Guerrero 3 3-8 9. Totals: 18 11-21 49.
Smethport (41)
Doutt 3 5-6 14, Keech 4 0-0 10, VanGor 1 0-0 2, Alfieri 3 0-0 6, Cooney 2 1-1 5, Corbitt 0 0-2 0, Lord 1 0-0 2, Okerlund 1 0-0 2. Totals: 15 6-9 41.
PA 8 21 33 49
S 4 15 25 41
Three-point goals: Port 2 (Kline 2), Smethport 5 (Doutt 3, Keech 2). Total fouls: Port 11, Smethport 22. Fouled out: Alfieri.
JV: Smethport, 34-32.

At Coudersport, 2/5:
Port Allegany (42)
Middleton 2-1-2 5, Gustin 4 2-4 10, Healy 5 3-4 13, Kline 1 0-0 2, Guerrero 2 6-8 12. Totals: 14 12-20 42.
Coudersport (44)
Mickle 3 2-4 8, Wolfinger 2 2-3 7, Babcock 1 2-2 5, Minor 3 1-2 7, McCusker 5 0-0 11, Dupont 2 0-0 4, Gerhart 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 7-11 44.
PA 11 19 26 42
C 7 19 35 44
Three-point goals: Port 2 (Guerrero 2), Coudy 3 (Wolfinger, McCusker, Babcock). Total fouls: Port 18, Coudy 14. Fouled out: none.
JV: Port Allegany won.

At Port Allegany, 2/7:
Ridgway (40)
Sheasley 0 2-4 2, Renaud 4 1-2 12, Jaques 3 2-2 9, Aiello 2 0-0 6, Lundin 2 2-3 6, Schutz 0 0-2 0, Lundgren 1 1-2 3, Oknefski 0 2-2 2. Totals: 12 10-17 40.
Port Allegany (63)
Middleton 5 0-1 10, Gustin 4 1-2 9, Gleason 2 1-2 5, Healy 5 4-5 14, Kline 5 1-5 12, Bricker 0 2-2 2, Guerrero 4 1-6 10. Totals: 25 10-23 63.
R 10 17 32 40
PA 13 28 42 63
Three-point goals: Ridgway 6 (Renaud 3, Aiello 2, Jaques), Port 3 (Kline 2, Guerrero). Total fouls: Ridgway 16, Port 20. Fouled out: none.
JV: Ridgway, 48-27

The Lady Gators also split a pair of North Tier League games last week, trouncing Smethport 63-29 Monday night before falling to league-leading Coudersport 61-46 on Thursday. (The Port-Smethport box score appeared in last week’s Reporter Argus.)

“I thought the Smethport game would be a good boost, give us some confidence going into tonight,” coach Kristina Francis said following the Coudy game. “We played really well as a team, passed and shot well, and the girls had fun. It’s nice to see them having fun playing basketball, because ultimately, that’s what it’s all about.”

Despite continuing to battle what Francis called a “tender knee,” Shanel Halle led all scorers with 16 points, and fellow junior Kaitlyn Kio chipped in 15 to help the Lady Gators defeat their archrivals for the third time this season.

On Thursday, Coudersport served up more evidence that they remain the top team in the league, pushing their NTL record to a perfect 12-0 (18-2 overall). Port didn’t make it easy for the Lady Falcons, fighting back from a 29-16 second-quarter deficit to cut the lead to 31-22 at the half, but the Coudy fast break eventually proved too much to handle.

“Their ball-handling skills and their ability to see the court are superior to ours,” Francis admitted. “They’re off to the races every time they touch the ball, and we’re just a step behind.”

“The kids played hard,” said Falcons coach Brian Green. “But it’s a rivalry game, and Port’s girls stepped up and played hard, which they did the last time and I expected this time. We don’t normally play well over here, so I’m happy we’re going home with the win.”

Super sophomore Jenna Matzinger poured in 20 points for Coudy to lead all scorers, while Amarae Reinard paced the Lady Gators with 14.

“Amarae has really stepped up her game the last half of the season, just working hard and making some things happen,” Francis said.

Entering the week with an 8-11 record (5-7 NTL), Port won’t be competing in the District 9 playoffs, so their season ends with a trip to Otto-Eldred on Monday before the Senior Night finale against Northern Potter on Wednesday.

Francis explained, “We’re young, but at the same time, I think we need to work on some things before we can show up and be competitive for a district title.”
Two seniors, co-captains Kari Drabert and Jenn Anderson, will be honored before the Northern Potter game.

At Port Allegany, 2/5:
Coudersport (61)
Bohn 1 0-0 2, McCusker 5 4-5 14, Brown 4 1-2 9, Matzinger 8 3-3 20, Kelley 4 0-0 8, Fink 3 0-0 6, Cowburn 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 8-10 61.
Port Allegany (46)
B. Drabert 0 0-0 0, Reinard 6 2-3 14, Kio 1 1-2 3, Halle 3 1-2 7, Anderson 1 0-0 2, Middleton 4 0-0 9, Bova 4 0-0 8, Mickle 1 1-3 3. Totals: 20 5-10 46.
C 21 31 50 61
PA 8 22 34 46
Three-point goals: Coudy 1 (Matzinger), Port 1 (Middleton). Total fouls: Coudy 12, Port 13. Fouled out: Kio.
JV: Coudy, 57-41.

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.

PAHS sports roundup: 1/29/09

Boys basketball:
In a midseason showdown between two of the top basketball teams in the North Tier League, Greg Gustin and Josh Guerrero each poured in 15 points and the Gators rallied from a three-point halftime deficit to hand Cameron County its first league defeat, 44-41, last Thursday night in Port Allegany.

The victory, which pulled Port into a second-place tie with Oswayo Valley – a mere half-game behind the Red Raiders – was sweet redemption for Port Allegany head coach Bob Raudenbush, who was decidedly displeased with his squad’s second-half performance in their December game against the same team. That night, Cameron County turned a slim 23-21 lead at the break into a 55-29 rout.

“That was an eye-opener,” Raudenbush said. “We did not execute well at all offensively in the second half. So we went back to the drawing board, so to speak, and totally redid some of the things we had done up to that point in the season. You hate to get beat, but in hindsight, it helped us look at what we were doing. If they wouldn’t have done it to us, somebody else would have. So we went back and redesigned some of our offenses.

“And we didn’t play that way in the second half this time,” he added with a grin.

Raudenbush continued, “It was just an even game. Honestly, it could have went either way. Sometimes you can look back at a game and pick out a key play, a turning point, but this really wasn’t like that. We happened to have a a stretch where we scored on two possessions in a row, and made a couple of foul shots at the right time … It was good, consistent play by two evenly-matched squads.

“We did shoot a little better from the foul line than we had been; we’ve probably raised our free-throw percentage by about 12 points since the first part of the season. That helps. We’ve probably lost three games because we shot under 50 percent from the foul line. To beat a good team like Cameron County, little things like that – making a few more free throws, and five guys playing together, which is what we’ve seen in the last five or six games. We feel good about that. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

Earlier last week, in a game moved to Ulysses to free up the Port gym for a rescheduled wrestling match, the Gators rolled to a comfortable 61-27 victory over Northern Potter. Eleven Port players found the basket, with co-captains Bryce Healy (17 points) and Guerrero (12) combining to outscore the Panthers by themselves before heading to the bench with the game well in hand.

The Gators, who improved to 9-5 (6-2 in the NTL), returned to action in Austin on Jan. 27 before coming home to play Oswayo Valley on Thursday night. And while some Port fans might be tempted to look forward to the game against the Green Wave, the only team to beat the Gators since Christmas, their veteran coach knows better.

“I’ve been doing this long enough to know not to overlook anyone,” he said. “Every game is very important. You just cannot stumble anywhere. There are so many good teams, and they’ll make adjustments playing the second time. It won’t be easy; obviously, we can’t lose again. But that’s the fun part. It’s nice that we’re in the position where we play every game like it’s our last one. It should be fun down the stretch.”

So how does Raudenbush see the game against OV – so critical to both teams’ chances to catch Cameron County for the league lead – playing out?

“Oswayo is a very good team,” he said. “They have maybe the best point guard in the league, a very good forward, and good role players around them. They had us by 15 points with five minutes left (before a late Port rally fell just short in a 57-55 loss); they were really putting it to us … They’re a good, physical team. And they made 7-of-9 3-pointers in the first game; that’s hard to overcome. I think it will be a close, four-quarter game – and maybe more if need be.”

As the regular season winds down with the Gators still in contention for both the NTL crown and a good seed in the district playoffs, Raudenbush likes what he’s seen from his team lately.

“I’ve been really happy with the kids,” he said. “We’re really playing hard on defense, which is turning into good offense. And we’ve done it with consistency. As a coach, you like that because you can hang your hat on that.”

He concluded, “From 1-4 and losing some tough games, we’ve gotten things turned around and have really played some good basketball in our last five or six games. Time will tell whether or not we can keep it going. I think we can. Should be fun.”

At Duke Center, 1/19:
Port Allegany (47)
Middleton 0 0-1 0, Gustin 5 2-4 12, Gleason 3 1-2 7, Healy 3 2-3 9, Fabish 0 0-2 0, Kline 0 4-4 4, Guerrero 5 3-6 15. Totals: 16 12-22 47.
Otto-Eldred (32)
Taylor 4 1-2 10, Jordan 3 2-3 8, Williams 0 3-6 3, Woods 3 0-0 7, James 0 1-3 1, Stebbins 1 0-0 3. Totals: 11 7-14 32.
PA 10 20 32 47
O-E 10 12 18 32
Three-point goals: PA 3 (Guerrero 2, Healy); O-E 3 (Taylor, Woods, Stebbins). Total fouls: PA 13, O-E 16. Fouled out: none.
JV: Port Allegany won.

At Ulysses, 1/21:
Port Allegany (61)
Middleton 2 0-0 4, Gustin 3 2-2 8, Gleason 1 0-0 2, Healy 6 5-5 17, Parana 2 1-4 5, Fabish 0 2-2 2, Kline 2 2-2 7, Lowery 1 0-0 2, Bricker 1 0-0 2, Guerrero 4 3-6 12. Totals: 22 15-21 61.
Northern Potter (27)
Grimes 1 0-0 3, Turton 2 2-3 6, Knauer 1 1-3 3, Ranson 1 0-0 2, Palys 5 2-2 13, Barker 0 0-1 0. Totals: 10 5-9 27.
PA 17 42 52 61
NP 7 18 25 27
Three-point goals: PA 2 (Kline, Guerrero), NP 2 (Grimes, Palys). Total fouls: PA 14, NP 14. Fouled out: Knauer, Ransom.
JV: Northern Potter won.

At Port Allegany, 1/23:
Cameron County (41)
Holjencin 1 0-0 2, Sullivan 6 0-0 16, Kesterholt 1 0-0 2, Lundberg 2 2-2 8, Malizia 1 4-8 6, Barnett 1 0-0 2, Blose 2 1-1 5. Totals: 14 7-11 41.
Port Allegany (44)
Middleton 1 0-0 2, Gustin 7 1-2 15, Healy 2 3-4 7, Kline 1 2-4 5, Guerrero 5 4-6 15. Totals: 16 10-16 44.
CC 6 19 33 41
PA 6 16 31 44
Three-point goals: CC 6 (Sullivan 4, Lundberg 2), PA 2 (Kline, Guerrero). Total fouls: CC 16, PA 13. Fouled out: none.
JV: Cameron County, 57-37.

Girls basketball:
On Jan. 20, Otto-Eldred used a 12-0 second-quarter run to jump out to a 16-point halftime lead, then maintained that margin to head home from Port Allegany with a 48-31 North Tier League victory. Justine Wilkins scored a game-high 16 points for the visitors; aside from Shanel Halle’s team-leading 14 points, the Lady Gators had a tough time finding a solution for the interior defense of 6-2 Lady Terrors center Taylor Thomas.

“You can’t jump against a six-foot girl and expect to get rebounds without putting a body on her,” head coach Kristina Francis said afterward. “We came out flat-footed, and just didn’t have our legs underneath us.”

Port High got back on the winning track in Ulysses two night later, with Amarae Reinard (12 points) and Halle (10 points, five assists) hitting double digits in a 49-31 victory over Northern Potter. Francis also noted Reinard’s play on defense, and added, “It was nice to get another win around our belts. This has been an up and down season for us.”

The Lady Gators headed to Emporium on Monday night, Jan. 26, for the first of three games this week. Despite 11 points and five blocked shots from sophomore forward Renee Edgell, the team couldn’t muster enough offense to get past Cameron County, dropping a 41-33 decision to fall to 6-9 (3-6 NTL) on the season.

“We came out very slow in the first quarter. Combined with some unforced turnovers and shots in and out of the hoop, that led to a 12-point deficit at the end of the half. We couldn’t get things going in our favor,” Francis said.

The road ahead doesn’t get any easier, with 14-2 (6-2) Austin visiting on Wednesday and a trip to Oswayo Valley on Friday.

“We definitely have our work cut out for us this week,” Francis said. “We will try to rest in the off days and use defensive and offensive strategies to help keep the girls’ legs fresh. We will be playing Austin at home and it will also be the third time around, so hopefully that will be to our advantage,” she concluded.

At Port Allegany, 1/20:
Otto-Eldred (48)
Beckwith 2 0-0 5, Thomas 3 1-2 7, Robbins 1 4-4 6, Wilcox 1 0-0 2, Wilkins 7 2-3 16, Cochran 1 0-0 2, Palmer 2 0-0 4, York 1 0-0 2, Price 2 0-2 4. Totals: 20 7-11 48.
Port Allegany (31)
Evens 1 0-0 2, Middleton 1 0-0 2, B. Drabert 1 0-0 3, Reinard 0 1-2 1, Kio 1 0-0 2, Halle 5 3-4 14, Bova 1 0-0 2, Mickle 1 0-0 2, Anderson 1 1-2 3. Totals: 12 5-8 31.
O-E 6 26 32 48
PA 7 10 18 31
Three-point goals: O-E 1 (Beckwith), PA 2 (B. Drabert, Halle). Total fouls: O-E 10, PA 13. Fouled out: none.
JV: Port Allegany, 47-39.

At Ulysses, 1/22:
Port Allegany (49)
Middleton 2 1-1 5, K. Drabert 3 0-0 6, Reinard 4 4-5 12, Kio 2 1-2 5, Halle 4 2-4 10, Bova 1 0-0 2, Edgell 2 1-2 5, Anderson 1 2-3 4. Totals: 19 11-19 49.
Northern Potter (31)
Kelleher 0 1-2 1, J. Martin 1 0-0 3, Riley 1 0-0 2, O. Martin 2 0-0 4, Hess 1 0-0 2, Potter 5 0-4 10, Rounds 4 1-6 9. Totals: 14 2-12 31.
PA 6 16 31 49
NP 5 12 23 31
Three-point goals: NP 1 (J. Martin). Total fouls: PA 13, NP 16. Fouled out: Kelleher.
JV: Port Allegany, 41-26.

At Emporium, 1/26:
Port Allegany (33)
Evens 1 0-0 2, K. Drabert 1 0-0 3, Kio 1 0-0 2, Halle 1 1-2 3, Bova 1 0-0 2, Mickle 3 0-0 8, Edgell 4 3-3 11, Anderson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 13 4-5 33.
Cameron County (41)
Caton 2 0-2 4, Topolski 2 0-0 4, Dunsmore 4 0-0 8, Summers 1 3-4 5, Molly Fragale 6 0-3 12, Rodich 1 0-0 2, Knapp 0 1-2 1, Lyon 2 1-2 5. Totals: 18 5-13 41.
PA 4 16 18 33
CC 11 28 30 41
Three-point goals: PA 3 (Mickle 2, K. Drabert).

After back-to-back matches were postponed due to inclement weather, Gators head coach Sean Lathrop had to wonder how his team would react when they finally returned to the mat. Was he concerned that a 10-day gap between matches would affect his wrestlers? Not really.

“We just had harder practices,” he explained. “I don’t think the guys appreciated it at the time, but we did work hard. It’s kind of disappointing to get prepared for a match and then have it canceled, and we’ve had it happen to us twice, but they were focused enough.”

They proved it in emphatic fashion last Tuesday, when they traveled to Emporium to face Cameron County. Port swept all 14 weight classes to post a rare shutout, trouncing the Red Raiders 73-0 to win their 50th consecutive Allegheny Mountain Wrestling League match, before pushing the streak to 51 the next night with a convincing 51-21 Senior Night victory over Johnsonburg in the Port Allegany gym.

“It wasn’t really that tough,” senior Zigmund Reichenbach, one of six team captains, said of the unexpected layoff before the Cameron County match. “It’s the same as any other week. We work hard every day. We’re expected to do the job day in and day out, no matter who we have to wrestle against.” Even when the opponent is a teammate in a practice session, “We’re going hard all the time,” he said.

With that attitude and work ethic common among the Gator wrestlers, it’s easy to understand how they’ve managed to stay on top of the AMWL for the better part of a decade.

“When the streak started, Johnsonburg and Smethport were the teams to beat. Then it went to Cameron County and Smethport. There have been big matches every year to keep it alive, and the kids have stepped up,” Lathrop said.

“A lot of guys you wouldn’t expect are coming out of nowhere to wrestle just as well as anybody,” Reichenbach said. “I wasn’t a great wrestler when I started, but I worked hard to make myself better. We just have a couple of guys every year that work their way up.”

“That’s a good point,” Lathrop agreed. “We have people step in every year to take over for departing seniors, and it’s happening again this year.”

On Saturday, the Gators finished fifth in the Clearfield Bison Duals – “probably the hardest tournament we’ve been to all year,” Lathrop said – with victories over Clarion, Valley, and Keystone Oaks, and losses to Class AAA schools Clearfield and DuBois. Dylan Major (25-3) and Chet Tanner (24-2) both went 7-0 for the week, with Major pinning all but one of his opponents and Tanner adding four pins and a technical fall.

The Gators will spend the rest of this week preparing to face Smethport in the semifinals of the District 9 Team Championships Saturday afternoon in DuBois. They’ll wrestle again next Wednesday night in Smethport in a match that will most likely determine the AMWL championship, with the Hubbers seeking to avenge last season’s 40-30 loss that gave Port its sixth consecutive league title.

At Emporium, 1/20:
Port Allegany 73, Cameron County 0
103: Caden (PA) forfeit; 112*: Kio (PA) forfeit; 119: Brandon Goodreau (PA) 17-9 Kamats; 125: P. Lacher (PA) 7-6 OT Haufs; 130: Lewis (PA) forfeit; 135: Tanner (PA) 5-0 Manginelli; 140: Snyder (PA) 1:51 Bidwell; 145: Milford (PA) forfeit; 152: Greenman (PA) :14 Lingenfelter; 160: Bodamer (PA) forfeit; 171: Reichenbach (PA) 6-2 Bardo; 189: Brodhun (PA) 1:03 Stewart; 215: Major (PA) 1:44 Melott; 285: Manning (PA) 3:09 Neyman.

At Port Allegany, 1/21:
Port Allegany 51, Johnsonburg 21
103: Schreiber (J) 8-7 Caden, 112: J. Wolfe (J) 15-4 Kio, 119*: O’Rourke (J) 1:10 Goodreau, 125: Zimmerman (J) TF 19-4 P. Lacher, 130: Tanner (PA) 4:57 Z. Wolfe, 135: Lewis (PA) 1:19 Gadley, 140: Mahoney (J) 9-4 Snyder, 145: Milford (PA) forfeit, 152: Greenman (PA) 1-0 Woodford, 160: Bodamer (PA) forfeit, 171: Reichenbach (PA) forfeit, 189: Neal (PA) forfeit, 215: Brodhun (PA) 1:33 Redmond, 285: Major (PA) :56 Heathright.

District 9 Team Championships preview:

When the 2008-09 Allegheny Mountain League schedule came out late last fall, many area wrestling aficionados circled Feb. 4 on their calendars anticipating that the showdown between Port Allegany and Smethport would once again decide not just the league championship, but the winner of the annual Olean Times Herald Big 30 rankings.

As expected, the two teams have spent the entire season at the top of the weekly poll, with the Hubbers currently holding the No. 1 spot. However, fans won’t have to wait until next Wednesday’s AML match in Smethport to see the Hubs and Gators face off, although they will have to travel to DuBois High School on Saturday, Jan. 31, to catch the semifinals of the District 9 Team Championships.

The second-seeded Hubbers (5-1, 4-0 AML) can put two returning Big 30 All-Stars on the mat; seniors Tim Hubbard and Jon Marc Burdick entered the week sporting identical 19-1 records. The team suffered its first dual-meet loss of the season last Wednesday, falling 46-21 to perennial powerhouse Ridgway.

The Gators (12-8, 4-0), slotted third out of the five schools entered in the team event, will counter with defending district and regional champion Dylan Major (25-3), Chet Tanner (24-2), Adam Greenman (21-7), and Zigmund Reichenbach (18-9) leading a talented group whose only losses in the district have come at Ridgway (39-21) and Class AAA St. Marys (45-27).

Port head coach Sean Lathrop wasn’t about to make any predictions, saying simply, “I think we’re ready.” Assistant coach Alan Lovell agreed, adding,“I’m glad we get to wrestle them twice. It will be good to see them before the AMWL match.”

“I think it’s more exciting,” senior captain Pat Lacher said. “We’re facing them just when we want to.”

The matches in DuBois will start at 1:00 p.m., with top seed Ridgway facing the winner of Saturday morning’s quarterfinal between Curwensville and Brockway in the other semifinal. The championship match is set to begin at 4:00 p.m.

PAHS 2008-09 Gators basketball

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009

Heading into the meat of the North Tier League basketball schedule, Gators head basketball coach Bob Raudenbush hopes to improve on last season’s 7-7 finish and 15-10 overall record. To make that happen, he’ll depend on an experienced starting lineup: Co-captains Bryce Healy and Josh Guerrero, fellow senior Greg Gustin (the team’s leading scorer, averaging 14.3 points in the first seven games), and a pair of talented juniors, point guard Denzel Middleton and sharpshooting forward Lucas Kline, all saw significant playing time in 2007-08.

However, the team’s depth took a hit when junior J.D. Haskins broke his collarbone in the game against Kane. “He was solid,” Raudenbush said. “He had started a game for us, and led us in scoring down at Johnsonburg, so he was a big loss giving us strength off the bench. We’re definitely relying on our starters to carry us, but some people coming off the bench need to to step up for us, give us some good minutes. That will be key to us winning some big games. There are definitely some kids there that are capable … but the starters are going to have to log a lot of minutes and carry the load for us.”
Continue reading “PAHS 2008-09 Gators basketball”

PAHS 2008-09 Lady Gators basketball

Lori Chase
Port Allegany Reporter Argus
Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009

At first glance, with only two seniors on the roster, one could easily mistake this year’s Lady Gators basketball team for a young and inexperienced squad. But there are six returning letterwinners – including four starters – on that list, leading head coach Kristina Francis to believe otherwise.

“I think it helps that they’ve played a lot,” she said. “These girls have played some summer ball together, and they’ve played a lot of varsity games. Most of them have played since their freshman year, even the juniors, so really, they have essentially almost three years of varsity together. We also have some sophomores who have seen some time with the older girls, and they’re doing a nice job as well. So we’ve got a good group of about 10 girls.”

The two seniors, co-captains Kari Drabert and Jenn Anderson, are part of a balanced scoring attack. Through the first seven games on the schedule, five different players were averaging at least six points per game.

“We don’t always have the same scorers,” Francis explained. “We have six girls that can put up double figures. The juniors and seniors can all put up 10 points on any night if they want to, which is nice because it doesn’t allow other teams to key on Jenn Anderson or Shanel Halle. They have to focus on the team rather than on just stopping one girl. Plus, we have the sophomores – Renee Edgell has already scored in double figures this year, Kyley Mickle, they’re all capable of scoring in double figures. So that’s nice, as far as the offense goes.”
Continue reading “PAHS 2008-09 Lady Gators basketball”