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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts categorized "Basketball"
Posted: July 18th, 2014

Ryan Smock has been hired to return as the Harbor Creek boys basketball team. Smock replaces Jason Dolak, who resigned after five seasons to move to Pittsburgh. Smock coached the Huskies in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons. Harbor Creek went 8-16 in his first season and 15-8 in the second with playoff appearances both years. Smock will also enter his 21st season as the girls volleyball coach this coming fall.

For more on the hire, check out Saturday’s Erie Times-News.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Basketball
Posted: July 5th, 2014

During the 10 years since District 10 realigned into regions, the Erie Times-News has been selecting athletes of the year in each District 10 sport.

Here’s a look at all of the winter athletes of the year during the past decade: (Check out a decade of fall athletes Sunday on the Varsity blog. The D-10 spring athletes were posted Friday.)

Boys basketball
2004-05: Cory Knight, Cathedral Prep
2005-06: David Jackson, Kennedy Catholic
2006-07: Shawn Walker, General McLane
2007-08: Shawn Walker, General McLane
2008-09: Kyle Randall, Kennedy Catholic
2009-10: Josh Chojnacki, Mercyhurst Prep
2010-11: Adam Blazek, Cathedral Prep
2011-12: Sheldon Zablotny, Cathedral Prep
2012-13: Jaymon Mason, General McLane
2013-14: Trey Staunch, West Middlesex

Girls basketball
2004-05: Carrie Nolan, Girard
2005-06: Jence Rhoads, Slippery Rock
2006-07: Jence Rhoads, Slippery Rock
2007-08: Kirsten Olowinski, Mercyhurst Prep
2008-09: Kayla McBride, Villa Maria
2009-10: Kayla McBride, Villa Maria
2010-11: Lisa Mifsud, Villa Maria
2011-12: Lisa Mifsud, Villa Maria
2012-13: Alex Artise, North East
2013-14: Nikki Arbanas, Hickory

2004-05: Pat Bradshaw, Saegertown
2005-06: Adam Farrell, Fort LeBoeuf
2006-07: Kellen Harris, Sharon, and Steve Waite, Fort LeBoeuf
2007-08: Jordan Moss, Sharon
2008-09: Caleb Kolb, Grove City
2009-10: Steve Spearman, McDowell
2010-11: Mason Beckman, Reynolds
2011-12: Steve Spearman, McDowell
2012-13: Austin Matthews, Reynolds
2013-14: Sam Breese, Lakeview

Boys swimming and diving
2004-05: Billy Bauman, Cathedral Prep
2005-06: Tommy VanVolkenburg, Cathedral Prep
2006-07: Tommy Van Volkenburg, Cathedral Prep
2007-08: Jared Heine, Corry
2008-09: Joseph Stark Cathedral Prep
2009-10: Danny Roberts, Fairview
2010-11: Danny Roberts, Fairview
2011-12: Richard “R.J.” Petrella, Fairview
2012-13: Phil Emerson, Franklin
2013-14: Phil Emerson, Franklin and Brent Benedict, Corry

Girls swimming and diving
2004-05: Margo Ekstrom, McDowell
2005-06: Margo Ekstrom, McDowell
2006-07: Kelsey Herbst McDowell
2007-08: Caitlin Lehberger, Wilmington
2008-09: Marie Georger, Mercyhurst Prep
2009-10: Marie Georger, Mercyhurst Prep
2010-11: Marie Georger, Mercyhurst Prep
2011-12: Marie Georger, Mercyhurst Prep
2012-13: Lauren Barber, Wilmington
2013-14: Lauren Barber, Wilmington

Posted: June 26th, 2014

Mercyhurst Prep graduate Angie Potthoff, a member of the Notre Dame women’s basketball staff the last four seasons, is returning to the high school ranks.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Wednesday that Chartiers Valley, a WPIAL school in Bridgeville, has hired Potthoff to be its new athletic director. She replaces Frank Vulcano, who retired after eight years.

Potthoff worked on coach Muffet McGraw’s staff as Notre Dame’s associate director of women’s basketball operations and technology. Villa Maria graduate Kayla McBride, currently with the WNBA’s San Antonio Stars, played for the Fighting Irish during her tenure there.

Potthoff helped Mercyhurst Prep win the PIAA Class AAA girls basketball title in 1991, and graduated from there a year later. She went on to become an All-America forward at Penn State University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in 1997, and then played for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx.

– Mike Copper

Posted: June 20th, 2014

Former East boys basketball coach Rick Binder will begin his third term in charge of Steelton-Highspire’s program come the PIAA’s 2014-15 season.

Binder was recently hired by the same Dauphin County school he coached for from 1997 to 2001, and again from 2002 to 2005. Steel-High won Class AAA state championships in 1998, 2000 and 2005.

East was 37-38 with Binder in charge from 1994 to 1997, although the Warriors still qualified for the District 10 playoffs in each of those three seasons. He also coached boys basketball at Reading and Ashtabula (Ohio) for a current career record of 325-109.

– Mike Copper


Posted: June 19th, 2014

The General McLane School Board voted Wednesday night to open the head coach position for its boys basketball team. Brian Schulz, an English teacher at McLane, was shocked when told the news after the McLane administration recommended to rehire him as the basketball coach. McLane athletic director Rob Kennerknect said “After his first season, Brian Schulz was recommended for contract renewal. The School Board went in a different direction.”
Schulz took over for his dad, Andy, this past season. The Lancers went 15-8 in Brian Schulz’s first season, finishing in third place in Region 6 and making the District 10 Class AAA playoffs. McLane was knocked out in the D-10 quarterfinals by Oil City.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Basketball
Posted: May 30th, 2014

Mallory Torr

Mallory Torr

Sharon standout basketball player Mallory Torr has committed to Ohio Wesleyan. Torr is a four-year letter-winner for Sharon and was voted to the all-region first team. She will major in accounting at Ohio Wesleyan, which is located in Delaware, Ohio near Columbus. Ohio Wesleyan is the North Coast Athletic Conference and went 18-9 last season. Allegheny is part of the NCAC as well.

“We are so excited about Mallory Torr joining us at OWU.  Not only her basketball knowledge, skills at the guard position, her  tremendous passion to compete but her integrity as a person will be an outstanding addition to our team.  We are proud to welcome Mallory and the entire Torr Family to our OWU Family”, said OWU coach Stacey Ungashick Lobdell.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Basketball
Posted: May 28th, 2014

The District 10 offseason continued this week with three coaching hires. Michael Parker is the new head girls volleyball coach at Villa Maria, while Jeff Bonniger is the new girls basketball coach at Iroquois. Down at Hickory, former boys basketball coach Bill Dzuricsko is back at his old job to run the Hornets’ program. Dzuricsko replaces Geoff Evans, Bonniger replaces Scott McFeely and Parker takes over for Kristy Jamison.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: April 28th, 2014

Rand Garrity has been approved as the new head girls basketball coach at McDowell. Garrity, 39, is a teacher at Westlake Middle School and spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach under Megan Fiala. Garrity also served as an assistant coach to Pete Flinn, Tom Hansen, Dave Niland and Kraig Hetz over the past 20 years.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Basketball
Posted: April 24th, 2014

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: April 16th, 2014
Michael Beck

Michael Beck

McDowell standout basketball player Michael Beck will continue his basketball career close to home as he has committed to Edinboro.

Beck, a 1,000-point scorer at McDowell, helped the Trojans win the District 10 Class AAAA championship. He averaged 16.5 points per game as a senior and was named to the all-district team.

For more on the commitment, check out Thursday’s Erie Times-News.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Basketball
Posted: April 12th, 2014

The 36th annual McDonald’s High School All-American Game took place recently at Chicago’s United Center. A memorable part of the festivities is the Jam Fest dunk contest.

Check out highlights from the 2014 Jam Fest and the 2013 Jam Fest — featuring Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins — but first watch the best dunks ever from the competition, including Vince Carter, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Blake Griffin. (The video calls Griffin “Blake Griffith.”)




Posted in: Basketball
Posted: April 4th, 2014

The Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State basketball teams are out with three boys and three girls from District 10. Trey Staunch of West Middlesex, the D-10 player of the year, was named to the second team in Class AA, while Cathedral Prep standout Matty Harris is third team in Class AAAA. Erie First’s Valentine Sangoyami was named to the third team in Class A. On the girls’ side, Hickory all-star Nikki Arbanas, the D-10 player of the year, was put on the Class AAA first team and Franklin’s Angelina Starr was named to the second team. Kennedy Catholic’s Taylor Hood made the third team in Class A.

For more on the all-state teams, check out Saturday’s Erie Times-News.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Basketball

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