Category Archives: Photos and Video

PHOTOS: EC Wrestlers put on a show for Senior Night crowd

Fresh off of a strong showing in the WPIAL team playoffs, the Ellwood City Wrestling team returned home for Senior Night on Thursday and defeated West Middlesex, 58-18.

Five pins, a major decision, and three forfeits gave Ellwood City the edge.  Mike Sinclair hit the 20-pin plateau by taking six points against Gator Thompson in the 220-lb match.  Also earning pins were Brad Grinnin, Carter MacMurdo, Bryan McCarthy, and J.T. Baldelli.  Zach Pounds won by major decision (12-4) against Jason Ash in the 152-lb bout.

The team’s final meet occurs on Feb. 6 when they host Ambridge.  Then, the WPIAL Individual Finals begin on Feb. 15.

ELLWOOD CITY HS (ECH) 58.0 WEST MIDDLESEX HS (WMH) 18.0

106: Tyler Alberts, ECH, pinned Jacob Wiser, WMH, 1:40.
113: Mitchell Murray, WMH, dec. Zach Power, ECH, 8-1.
120: Carter MacMurdo, ECH, pinned Walter Drda, WMH, 3:17.
126: Jordan Lemanski, ECH, forfeit.
132: Bryan McCarthy, ECH, pinned Douglas Brennen, WMH, 1:51.
138: Brandon Dick, WMH, dec. Christian Kerr, ECH, 3-1.
145: Donnie Kerr, ECH, forfeit.
152: Zach Pounds, ECH, maj. dec. Jason Ash, WMH, 12-4.
160: David McCarthy, ECH, forfeit.
170: JT Baldelli, ECH, pinned Joey Trippy, WMH, 3:28.
182: Eric Lucich, WMH, pinned Jacob Mayle, ECH, 0:23.
195: Brad Grinnen, ECH, pinned Austin Groenendaal, WMH, 0:26.
220: Mike Sinclair, ECH, pinned Gator Thompson, WMH, 1:19.
285: Jeffery Spencer, WMH, pinned Adam Foreman, ECH, 3:39.

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POLICE: Megan’s Law offender faces seven charges

Photo courtesy of the Megan's Law website

Photo courtesy of the Megan’s Law website

An Ellwood City man was arrested on Jan. 17 after he allegedly coerced a 15-year-old girl into having sex with him by way of blackmail.

Jason Edward Lambright, 23, residence currently undefined, faces seven charges including rape, aggravated indecent assault, and corruption of a minor.

According to the report, police were advised to speak with a 15-year-old girl and her mother in reference to a sexual assault.  The girl advised officers that in February 2013, she sent several naked photos of herself to a Facebook account thought to be controlled by a New Castle man.

She explained that Lambright, a registered sex offender, contacted her and admitted that the account was his, and that he would not tell her mother about the photos if she had sex with him.  She refused to accept the deal, thus Lambright continued to threaten her.  Then, he showed up at her Ellwood City home and forcibly engaged her in sexual intercourse.   The victim explained that she had never had sex before, nor has she since.

She kept the incident a secret and believed it was over until Lambright contacted her again on Jan. 5.  He told her via text message that she needed to keep the deal with him and give him what he wants, or else he would create a Facebook page and send the nude photos to her mother.  At this point, the girl changed her phone number to keep Lambright from contacting her, and informed her mother of the incident.

After involving the police in the matter, the Beaver County district attorney’s office and Beaver County Children and Youth Services interviewed the girl on Jan. 17.  During the interview, her mother, who sat in, explained that Lambright contacted her and asked for money on Jan. 15.  Thus, out of frustration, she confronted him about the allegations though a series of text messages.  Lambright denied the accusations, but made several comments back explaining that he refused to go back to prison and that he would kill himself if she reported the incident.

The interview confirmed that the phone number used in the conversation between the victim’s mother and Lambright was the same one used to text the victim 95 times on Jan. 5 from 5:44 p.m. to 10:12 p.m.

Lambright was also convicted of corruption of minors in 2010.  And, in September 2013, he failed to comply with the parameters of Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law by not informing police that he changed addresses.

The accused stood before Judge Jerry Cartwight, Jr. in a preliminary hearing on Jan. 27, and is currently being held at Beaver County Prison on $100,000 bail.

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CASH Mob braves the snow

Pictured left to right: Allison Frickenish and Therese McShea

Pictured left to right: Allison Frickenish and Therese McShea

Jan. 27, 2104, Ellwood City, PA- When Therese McShea arrived in at 10:45 a.m. last Saturday, the frigid cold and snow-covered Community Plaza in Ellwood City was empty. She stood alone for about ten minutes.

“I really did not think anyone but Allison Frickenish would show up, but right at 11 a.m. people began trickling in,” McShea said.

Frickenish and McShea are partners that hold monthly CASH Mobs in Ellwood City. These CASH Mobs have occurred during the last Saturday of each month at 11 a.m. since November, and will continue to do so indefinitely.

What is a CASH Mob? A Cash Mob is a way for a community to express thanks to, and support, its small businesses. A group of people come together to “mob” a pre-selected business with cash. Each person spends about $20 or more at the selected business then stays local for a meal, drinks or more shopping. CASH Mobs started in 2011 in Cleveland, OH, and have swept the country as an effective way to boost small town economy. The Ellwood City CASH Mobs are organized by Frickenish and McShea with support from the Ellwood City Area Chamber of Commerce and New Visions for Lawrence County.

In Ellwood City, anyone who wants to participate in the monthly CASH Mob can meet the group at the Community Plaza across from the municipal building. Frickenish and McShea make some introductions, then announce the retail destination they are to mob. They also hand out material from The Ellwood City Area Chamber of Commerce regarding deals going on in and around town, as well as suggestions for places to have a meal or a cup of coffee after the event. The Mob then walks to the selected store.

Natosha Baur

Natosha Baur at the cash register of Corbin’s Creations

In the most recent CASH Mob, a dozen people came to the plaza. Typically, the group walks to its chosen destination, but because of the harsh weather, members elected to drive to Corbin’s Creations on Fifth Street and Spring Avenue. Owner Natosha Baur was thrilled to host the Mob, and had hot coffee waiting. Baur, a lifelong resident of Ellwood City, opened Corbin’s Creations last fall. She and her mother greeted the group as they browsed through displays of beautiful merchandise. Within 20 minutes, people were at the cash register purchasing items ranging from candles to wall hangings.

“This is what the CASH Mob is about,” Frickenish commented, “getting people to spend money downtown Ellwood City.”

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PHOTOS: Riverside takes down top-seeded Neshannock

The Riverside Girls Basketball team earned a huge win Thursday night by edging previously undefeated Neshannock, 41-38.

The Lady Panthers (3-5, 6-9), who dropped a tough decision to the Shenango Lady Wildcats on Monday, played spoiler to the visiting Lady Lancers who game into the game with a 17-0 record.  Eight of Neshannock’s victories came at the hands of section opponents, but Riverside, who lost 66-44 at Neshannock High School on Dec. 19, would not be denied.

Twice, the Lady Panthers held Neshannock to single digits in a quarter.  They jumped out to a 10-4 lead after one en route to a 20-14 halftime edge.  Then, down three points after three, Riverside held its opponent to only six points in the final frame (12-6) which sealed the victory.

Katie Stang paced the Lady Panthers in scoring with 27 points, while the defense stymied the Neshannock (8-1, 17-1) attack.  Coach John Wolf explained that his team was ready for the always dangerous Lady Lancers.

“The low score was a combination of our game plan and the girls’ hustle and effort,” Wolf said.  “Katie made four throws in a row in the final minute, and we made a stop on defense as they tried to tie it up.”

Stang’s work ethic continues to appear during each game.  Her determination and leadership has put Riverside in a great position to make a run for the final playoff spot in Section 2-AA.

“Katie is a true ‘gym rat.’  She puts in a lot of time, and is always trying to get better,” Wolf added.  “She has had a good start to the season, and is always trying to make herself and [her] teammates better.  She has been fun to coach…the entire team has been fun to coach, and has learned so much already this season.”

The girls currently own the fifth spot in their section, which is only two games behind Shenango, and 2.5 back from Laurel.

The team next heads to Beaver Falls on Monday.  Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.

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LHS wrestlers split decisions in Burgettstown

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Tyler Alberts takes down opponent in Dec. 16 match against Central Valley

Ellwood City’s wrestling team went into Wednesday evening’s playoff match with high hopes, largely due to their three consecutive victories and strong season-long tournament play.

Unfortunately, the boys ran into a highly skilled, undefeated South Fayette squad, and fell, 64-18.

Ellwood City’s stars shinned early as Brad Grinnen, Mike Sinclair, and Adam Foreman all earned pins putting their team up 18-12. But, their victories proved to be the last for LHS as South Fayette took the first round match, then went on to win the Section 1-AA Championship.

Even with the loss, Coach Craig Alberts brimmed with pride over his team’s performance.

“Our guys wrestled as tough as I have seen them all year. South Fayette had a lot of solid kids on their team and we did our best competing against them,” Alberts said.

Following the match with South Fayette, Ellwood City went on to face Avella, who also lost its first round battle against Burgettstown.

The teams took each other to the brink as each won seven matches, but Ellwood City earned the win on the strength of three decisions, 42-33. Grinnen and Foreman both finished the day undefeated with pins in the 195-lb and 285-lb weight classes respectively. Also collecting pins were Jacob Mayle, Tyler Alberts, Jordan Lemanski, and Christian Kerr.

Standout Mike Sinclair, who has been solid all season for Ellwood City, fell to decision in double overtime, 7-2, but only allowed Avella’s Jake Temple to take three points. Carter MacMurdo followed suit by losing by decision (4-0), and J.T. Baldelli provided a similar effort (3-0). Coach Alberts commended the efforts of the wrestlers who refused to get pinned.

“The Avella match was also a tough match that we were able to win. The boys were really fired up and did not disappoint,” Alberts explained. “Overall, I am very proud of our boys. The upper weight classes are strong for us, but even the kids that did not win were able to contribute by not giving up the maximum amount of points or by staying off their back.”

A scary moment occurred in the 152-lb bout as Ellwood City Junior David McCarthy was injured against Avella’s Nicholas Kusich. The injury is being evaluated, but no further information is available at this time.

As has been the case all season, Ellwood City showed determination and dedication in their third place finish. They next face Slippery Rock on Monday night before taking part in the WPIAL Team Championships on Wednesday. The team will be a third seed in the championships.

The meet against Slippery Rock occurs at Lincoln High School, and begins at 7 p.m.

SOUTH FAYETTE HS (SFH) 64.0 ELLWOOD CITY HS (ECH) 18.0

106: Andrew John, SFH, pinned Zach Power, ECH, 0:44.
113: Jasper Wolfe, SFH, maj. dec. Tyler Alberts, ECH, 10-1.
120: Kevin Chaussard, SFH, pinned Carter MacMurdo, ECH, 5:36.
126: Scott Rzepecki, SFH, pinned Jordan Lemanski, ECH, 3:16.
132: Michael Carr, SFH, pinned Bryan McCarthy, ECH, 1:06.
138: Shane Ging, SFH, pinned Christian Kerr, ECH, 4:18.
145: Camden Hoover, SFH, forf.
152: Brett Beltz, SFH, pinned Zach Pounds, ECH, 1:16.
160: Grant Fetchet, SFH, pinned David McCarthy, ECH, 0:29.
170: Jared Walker, SFH, pinned JT Baldelli, ECH, 2:57.
182: Jack Previte, SFH, pinned Jacob Mayle, ECH, 1:45.
195: Brad Grinnen, ECH, pinned Rausaun Culberson, SFH, 3:38.
220: Mike Sinclair, ECH, pinned Bryce Christoff, SFH, 5:20.
285: Adam Foreman, ECH, pinned Jeremy Carter, SFH, 3:06.

ELLWOOD CITY HS (ECH) 42.0 AVELLA AREA HS (AAH) 33.0

106: Tyler Alberts, ECH, forf. . 113: Zach Power, ECH, forf.
120: Luke Lloyd, AAH, dec. Carter MacMurdo, ECH, 4-0.
126: Jordan Lemanski, ECH, pinned Anthony Lowe, AAH, 1:26.
132: Sean Merideth, AAH, pinned Bryan McCarthy, ECH, 1:12.
138: Christian Kerr, ECH, pinned Mitchell Macik, AAH, 1:17.
145: Dalton Simonelli, AAH, forf.
152: Nicholas Kusich, AAH, inj. def. David McCarthy, ECH.
160: Brian Gordon, AAH, pinned Zach Pounds, ECH, 5:15.
170: Shawn Carl, AAH, dec. JT Baldelli, ECH, 3-0.
182: Jacob Mayle, ECH, pinned Shea Carroll, AAH, 0:41.
195: Brad Grinnen, ECH, pinned Derek Allen, AAH, 3:53.
220: Jake Temple, AAH, dec. 2OT Mike Sinclair, ECH, 7-2.
285: Adam Foreman, ECH, pinned Andrew Haskakis, AAH, 4:58.

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Rotary Club meeting notes

Pictured: Ariella Reiser and a display of her project

Pictured: Ariella Reiser and a display of her project

The Rotary Club of Ellwood City began the New Year with a meeting at the Ellwood City Hospital Cafeteria on Jan. 9.  President Jim Mason asked Pete Kucan to lead the club in the singing of “God Bless America.”  Bill Blank gave the invocation, and Kucan was the “Joke Master.”  Happy Bucks were collected for the Rotary Foundation.

A 1992 Ellwood City Ledger editorial praising the group’s efforts to restore Circle Playground was displayed, which brought forth some reminiscing.  David Braymer spoke about the Rotary Foundation, which provides support for projects throughout the world.  Each Rotarian is asked to give $100 in annual support for the foundation.  Some clubs, such as the Ellwood City Club, achieve 100% success. The club has been an “Every Rotarian Every Year Club” for the past four years.  Shelter Box is raising funds for the disaster in the Philippines. Rotary clubs around the world supported this effort by collecting over $3 million.

At the Jan. 16 meeting, which was held at the Wolverine Restaurant, Mason asked Bruce Thalmann to lead in the singing of “America.”  Bill Blank gave the invocation, and it was noted that he will be turning 90 soon.  The 50/50 raffle was administered by Mason, and won by Bruce Thalmann.  Mason was also the “Joke Master” for the evening.

The guest speaker for the evening was Arielle Reiser, who presented her program on CHIP-IN.  This bright 11-year-old sixth grade student shared with the club her desire to help people.  With her mother’s help, she founded the CHIP-IN Project.  The idea is to clean the clutter in your house and help those in need.  Items such as: Costume jewelry, cosmetic bags, music cassettes & cds, crayons, pencils, markers, unopened tooth paste bottles, hotel-size lotions, shampoos & soaps, coffee & tea packs and many other numerous items around the house are collected for CHIP-IN.   Arielle handed out bags to the Rotarians, and asked them to support the project.  Bags can be returned to the Chamber of Commerce.

Anyone else wanting to support the project can bring the items to the Chamber as well.  For more information, please visit ChipInProject.com.

Next meeting will be held on Jan. 23 at the Connoquenessing Country Club at 6 p.m.

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PHOTOS: EC library holds reading therapy session

Pictured: Sophie, Aragon, Quincy, Jenny, and Macy

Pictured: Sophie, Aragon, Quincy, Jenny, and Macy

Children need encouragement when they are first learning to read.  Some words are hard to sound out, which might make for a long story.  All they really want is someone to listen, and the Ellwood City Public Library makes sure that those children have most attentive audiences.

Every third Saturday of the month, the library’s Youth Services Coordinator Nancy Wallace teams up with dog trainer Kari Goerl to conduct “Reading Buddies.”  The event affords early elementary age children and preschoolers the opportunity to practice reading aloud to local service dogs, who happily lend their ears.

“Some children have a lot of difficulty when learning to read, and dogs are so accepting,” Wallace said.  “It is really cute to see.”

Wallace first put “Reading Buddies” together in 2004.  That year, the gathering earned the library a “Best Practice Award” from the Pennsylvania Library Association for exceptional early learning.  Since, the event has drawn the attention of many parents and children in the Ellwood City area.  In fact, over the past two months 69 kids showed up to participate.

“It’s such a wonderful event,” Wallace explained.  “It pulls in a lot of other people who are at the library for other reasons, not just the children and parents.  They see the dogs, and they just feel compelled to come over and check it out.”

Goerl is in charge of the service dogs, which included a group of five this past Saturday: Aragon, Jenny, Sophie, Quincy, and Macy.  All of the dogs are licensed therapy animals that offer a comfortable environment without judgment.  In fact, Aragon is also the grief therapy dog for Turner’s Funeral Home in Ellwood City.  Many returning readers choose favorites because they only feel safe with one specific dog.

“The kids can come in and request their favorite dog.  There is such a rapport built between [them],” Wallace discussed.  “I really think it makes such a difference for those children.”

By putting together creative events such as this, the library continues to make reading fun for children of all ages.  Employees put together a weekly column for local publications, advertise through the library website, and send fliers home with elementary students to ensure that residents know about these unique opportunities to promote learning.

“Reading should be fun,” Wallace added.  “We want to keep it that way.”

“Reading Buddies” next occurs on Saturday, Feb. 15 at 10 a.m., at the Ellwood City Public Library on Lawrence Avenue.  All children learning to read are encouraged to attend.  For more information about the library please visit http://www.ellwoodcitylibrary.com/

Special thanks to Nancy Wallace and Dom Salvucci for providing photos and information.

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Ellwood City gets first section win since 2012, loses Aloi

Nick Aloi takes a shot against Beaver on Feb. 5, 2012.

Nick Aloi takes a shot against Beaver on Feb. 5, 2012.

Since moving to Section 2-AAA last season, the Ellwood City Boys Basketball team experienced many growing pains.  They lost their first 19 in section play, and won only 5 of 36 games overall going into Tuesday night’s match-up against visiting Hopewell.

The Wolverines (1-7, 3-13) started slow, but erupted for 41 second half points to earn their first section win in nearly two years, 53-40.

Tanner Walsh led the way for Ellwood City with a game-high 18 points against the Vikings (2-6, 4-9) who handed the Wolverines a 61-35 loss on Dec. 17.  Hopewell held a 14-12 edge at halftime, holding their opponent to only three points in the first quarter.  Ellwood City stormed out of the gates in the third quarter by outscoring the Vikings 19-7 in the third quarter.

The Wolverines earned the victory on the cusp learning that star guard Nick Aloi transferred to Lincoln Park in Midland, the top Class A basketball team in Pennsylvania.  Aloi averaged 15.1 points per game last season, but sat out this season after tearing his ACL over the summer.  The sophomore’s father and uncle both starred for Ellwood City Basketball teams in the mid 1980’s that were always in the hunt for a championship.  This team is rebuilding, which may have played a big part in Nick’s transfer.

With the win, Ellwood City picked up its first section victory under coach Anthony Ovial.

The team aims to move forward in a positive manner, and play off of its momentum gained.  They next head to West Allegheny Friday night.  Tip off is at 7:30 p.m.

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PHOTOS: Rock Point Park – The amusement park

People strolling through the park

People strolling through the park

In 1886, the New Brighton and New Castle Railroad Company began to make improvements on its newly owned property at Rock Point.  After turning the old Matheny Tavern into a train station, the company added multiple concession stands to the freshly cleared paths located in the hills above the river bed.  In addition, several buildings and amusement rides were erected on the property to attract more foot traffic to the area.

 

Picnic area

Picnic area

Recognized as one of the finest Victorian amusement parks in Western Pennsylvania[1], the newly-dubbed Felican Park became a social hotspot for locals and visitors alike, as the wooded wonderland included vast picnic areas surrounded by beautiful nature trails.  Thirteen natural springs surrounded the brilliant rock formations as wildflowers bloomed along each footpath of the 145-acre commons.

 

Roller coaster

Roller coaster

By 1890, park owners completed an iron bridge which ran over the Connoquenessing Creek that connected Park Gate to Rock Point.  On May 20, 1890, the Beaver and Ellwood Railroad Company-a subsidiary of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad Company-commenced operations.  The shortline service greatly benefited the park, which locals began calling Rock Point Park, because it provided transportation to and from Park Gate.   Furthermore, officials constructed a roller coaster for added amusement.  Inevitably, attendance spiked to its peak by the end of the season, and the Pennsylvania Railroad recorded a park record 82,259 visitors that year.[2]  This number would never be matched.

Women's comfort cottage

Women’s comfort station

The park continued to flourish over the next few years, closing only once in 1893.  That year, the World’s Columbian Exposition, otherwise known as the Chicago World’s Fair, took place from May until October.  In 1897, Rock Point Park made improvements yet again by adding a merry-go-round, a flying horse ride, comfort stations, two dance halls, and a bowling alley.  At this time, the park also included a baseball field, a photo gallery, and a dining hall.  Another significant addition was a hotel called Rock Point Inn.  Though most visitors only stayed at the park during the day, many well-to-do travelers enjoyed the accommodations.

Rock stairwell on nature trail

Rock stairwell on nature trail

Unfortunately, the renovations could not stop a growing problem in the surrounding areas: Competition. The opening of rival parks in New Castle, Youngstown, and Pittsburgh proved difficult for Rock Point Park.  Because the aforementioned areas brought most of the business to Rock Point, visitors showed up far less frequently once they had more local parks to attend.  Cascade Park, which opened in May 1897, was very accessible to visitors.  It also contained the largest dance pavilion in Pennsylvania.  The next year, Kennywood Park opened its gates in West Mifflin, PA, as a trolley park.  By 1899, Kennywood added many of the same attractions as Rock Point, as well as a casino hall.  Idora Park in Youngstown also opened to the public in May 1899.  Along with rides, a theater, and concession stands, Idora also provided guests with musical entertainment from a bandstand.  The lack of patronage caused Rock Point Park to slowly deteriorate, and it closed for two years (1903 and 1904).

 

Park peristyle

Park peristyle

In 1905, the Rock Point Amusement Company acquired a lease to operate the park after the Pittsburgh Railroad company lost interest in maintaining operations[3].  Along with the lease came a new name-New Rock Point-and a few upgrades that cost just over $33,000.  The amusement company added a peristyle, a miniature train ride, and a water ride similar to the Pittsburgh Plunge in Kennywood Park called Shoot-the-Chutes.  The improvements brought visitors back to Rock Point steadily over the next few years, but in 1910, a small fire sparked the beginning of the end for the park.  Attendance greatly diminished after what was thought to be the act of an arsonist occurred.  The New Rock Point remained open through 1911, but closed for good on June 25, 1912.

RP womens

Current day location of Women’s comfort station

The magical land located just off of Wampum Road, known in common day as the Rock Point Boat Club, is now filled with trees and weeds.  Very few artifacts remain from the once-prominent amusement part, but the careful eye might catch a few pieces of its history hidden in the brush.

Next week, the Rock Point Park series concludes with The Aftermath.

 


[1] Sourced from http://rockpointpark.com/history/

[2] According to http://rockpointpark.com/history/

[3] According to http://rockpointpark.com/history/

 

Special thanks to the Ellwood City Historical Society for usage of photographs.

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PHOTOS: Riverside strikes Gould, routs Neshannock

Zach Gould hit more 3-pointers Friday night (7) than Neshannock did as a team (6) as the Panthers claimed their third victory in four games.

Riverside (4-4, 7-8) continues to climb closer to a playoff spot as the team evened its Section 2-AA record by clobbering the visiting Lancers (6-2, 12-3), 84-67.  Gould, who seemed unstoppable, hit 14 of 14 from the foul line contributing to a dominating 45-point performance.  Logan Sheridan also made his presence known by sinking 26 points, six of which from outside the arc.

The Panthers took control of the game early, as Gould and Sheridan led their squad to a 40-19 halftime lead.  The Lancers, who scored 90 points in the last meeting between the teams, scored only two points in the second quarter which contributed to their lowest scoring half of the season.  Riverside coach John Rorick explained practice prepared his stars for the rematch against Neshannock.

“Logan was tremendous on both ends of the floor, and Zach was outstanding.  Those two work extremely hard everyday in practice…it shows on Tuesday and Friday nights,” Rorick said.

The teams played a tight second half, but the Panthers never let the game get close.  The Lancers resorted to fouling Gould in the fourth quarter as a means to slow him down, but he went 8-for-8 from the free throw line to finish the game.  Riverside’s positive development this season continues to flourish.  Rorick discussed his team’s growth between the Dec. 13 game and Friday’s match.

“We played a lot more physical and a lot harder.  We are much better now then when we played them the first time,” Rorick added.

With the win, Riverside jumped over both Shenango and Laurel in the Section 2-AA standings.  The teams each dropped a section game Friday night, which put the Panthers in fourth place.

Riverside now has a chance to even their overall record, and to advance to one game over the .500 mark in section play Tuesday night when they head to Mohawk.  Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.

 

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