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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 tagged "Girard basketball"
Posted: November 21st, 2013

Girard YellowJackets
Coach: Darrin Mayes (15th season, 241-120)
2012-13 overall record: 21-6
2012-13 region record: 12-2 (co-champion)
2012-13 playoff results: Defeated Sharon 47-43 and Strong Vincent 46-39 in the District 10 Class AAA playoffs before losing to General McLane 47-44 in the D-10 championship. Girard then defeated Mars 66-62 in the PIAA first round before losing to Montour 48-38 in the second round.
Top players lost: Kendall Bonnett, Alex Cruz, A.J. Dibble, Troy Dreistadt, Joe Swanson
Top returning players: Joe Dunn, Nason McCall, Buster Johnston, Jeff Little
Assistant coaches: Steve Huefner, Rob Beam, Chris Fenner, Alex Cruz, Joe Swanson
Outlook: Girard lost a heartbreaker to rival General McLane last year in the District 10 Class AAA championship. The YellowJackets then impressed in the PIAA playoffs before running into Montour. Girard has one of the top Class AAA teams back this season, but they will have to replace Kendall Bonnett, Alex Cruz, A.J. Dibble, Troy Dreistadt and Joe Swanson. Swanson scored 15.4 points per game to be voted to the all-region first team, while Bonnett scored 9.4 ppg to be voted to the second team. Girard will also have to overcome the loss of Brian McNally, who tore his meniscus in football season and won’t be back. The ‘Jackets return Joe Dunn, Nason McCall, Buster Johnston and Jeff Little. Dunn scored 11.2 points per game as a junior to be voted to the all-region second team, while McCall added 3.8 ppg. Girard could also receive contributions from juniors Dylan Brandon, Cody Dinger, Ben Koerber, Cody O’Brien and Jared Orr. The ‘Jackets are in a brutal region and play several big non-region games. Losing McNally and the players gone to graduation is tough to overcome, but Girard has the talent to make another run at the D-10 title.

6 Lakeview tournament
7 Lakeview tournament
11 Cambridge Springs 7:30
14 at Central Tech 7:30
18 at Conneaut 7:30
27 Iroquois tournament
28 Iroquois tournament
3 at Corry* 7:30
7 Warren* 7:30
9 at Strong Vincent* 7:30
11 McDowell 7:30
14 Fort LeBoeuf* 7:30
17 at Harbor Creek* 7:30
21 East* 7:30
24 General McLane* 7:30
28 Corry* 7:30
31 at Warren* 7:30
4 Strong Vincent* 7:30
6 at Fort LeBoeuf* 7:30
8 Harbor Creek* 7:30
11 at East* 7:30
14 at General McLane* 7:30
*Region 6 games

Coach: Larry Seneta (36th season, 730-252)
2012-13 overall record: 17-6
2012-13 region record: 10-4 (third)
2012-13 playoff results: Lost to Mercer 45-34 in the District 10 Class AA quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Harlie Bolt, Shannon Allen
Top returning players: Mackenzie Bonnett, Maria Welch, Lauren Davenport, Samantha Dunn, Jordan Mascaro, Carly Byham, Rylie Bolt, Alexis Dudas, Sara Adamszek
Assistant coaches: Jeff DiFucci, Brian Gimber, Bob Ryan, Stacie Sampsell, Brittany Younkins, Pat Wright
Outlook: Girard is a team to watch in Class AA this season with plenty of experience back. The YellowJackets will have to replace Harlie Bolt and Shannon Allen after both graduated in the spring. Bolt averaged 6.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game as a senior, while Allen had 7.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Girard has a strong group back, including all-region selection Maria Welch. She averaged 12.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore, while senior Mackenzie Bonnett is another returning starter. Lauren Davenport started as a freshman and is back, while the final two starting spots will be decided in practice. Samantha Dunn is a solid player that returns and could contend for playing time after contributing on the varsity level last year. Rylie Bolt, Jordan Mascaro, Carly Byham, Alexis Dudas and Sara Adamaszek are back and will vie for playing time this season. Dana Gimber, Mary Kerner return as junior looking to contribute, while freshmen Paige Carnes and Emma Oas are players to watch as well. The ‘Jackets are in a wide-open region with North East being hit hard by graduation and General McLane losing some key players as well. Seneca is in the mix and Girard and Fairview make the region deep with playoff contenders. Girard has one of the more experienced teams in the region and the ability to win a region title and make a run in the D-10 Class AA playoffs. Welch, Bonnett and Davenport are solid players and could be big-time leaders for the ‘Jackets. If Girard can get some support from new players and the lower levels, they might develop into the favorite in D-10 Class AA.

9 Harbor Creek 7:30
14 McDowell 2:30
17 at Cambridge Springs 7:30
20 General McLane* 7:30
23 Northwestern* 7:30
28 Corry tournament
30 Corry tournament
6 at North East* 7:30
10 Iroquois* 7:30
13 at Fairview* 7:30
16 Union City* 7:30
18 at Sharon 2:30
20 at Seneca* 7:30
23 at General McLane* 7:30
25 at Sharpsville 2:30
27 at Northwestern* 7:30
30 North East* 7:30
3 at Iroquois* 7:30
6 Fairview* 7:30
8 Kennedy Catholic 2:30
10 at Union City* 7:30
13 Seneca* 7:30
*Region 4 games

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: February 22nd, 2013

Nason McCall

Nason McCall has emerged as one of several clutch players for a dangerous Girard boys basketball team this season.

The 6-foot 2-inch, guard/forward produced one of the biggest moments of the season against rival General McLane.

With the score tied at 43-43, McLane was looking to run the clock down for the final shot. McCall thwarted that strategy with a steal and layup to give the YellowJackets a 45-43 lead with 12.2 seconds left.

Girard went on to win 47-46 and win a share of the Region 6 championship. The ‘Jackets are in the District 10 Class AAA semifinals next week and look like the team to beat in Class AAA.

Poll results:
Posted: November 5th, 2012

Girard YellowJackets
Coach (season, record): Darrin Mayes (14th season, 220-114)
2011-12 overall record: 16-10
2011-12 region record (place): 7-7 (tied for fourth)
2011-12 playoff results: Defeated Meadville 44-37 in a District 10 Class AAA play-in game and Grove City 33-32 in the quarterfinals. Girard then lost to Warren 42-26 in the semifinals and Hickory 37-26 in the third-place game.
Top players lost: Carl Lewis, Garrett Brown, Blake Byham
Top returning players: Joe Swanson, Kendall Bonnett, Alex Cruz, A.J. Dibble, Troy Dreistadt, Joey Dunn, Brian McNally, Buster Johnston, Jeff Little
Assistant coaches: Steve Huefner, Chad Smith, Rob Beam, Chris Fenner, Bob Otis
Outlook: Girard was a bit of a surprise team last winter. Not only did the YellowJackets make their way into the playoffs, they knocked off Grove City in the District 10 Class AAA quarterfinals. Girard lost three two-year starters to graduation in Carl Lewis, Garrett Brown and Blake Byham. The three were big-time contributors and coach Darrin Mayes will need to replace them right away. Joe Swanson and Kendall Bonnett return to the starting lineup, while Alex Cruz, A.J. Dibble, Troy Dreistadt, Joey Dunn, Brian McNally, Buster Johnston and Jeff Little are back as well. Younger players Nason McCall, Jared Orr, Ben Koerber and Codi Dinger could also contribute. The ‘Jackets have a strong tradition and always play defense but they will need to develop a more potent offense to make a run at the D-10 championship. Girard nearly pulled off a deep playoff run with its strong defense but didn’t have enough to knock off Warren in the semifinals. Girard has some experience back but the strength and chemistry of its new players could determine if the ‘Jackets return to the postseason.

7-8 Jamestown tournament
12 at Cambridge Springs 7:30
15 Central Tech 7:30
22 Conneaut 7:30
27-28 Iroquois tournament
4 Corry* 7:30
7 at Warren* 7:30
10 Strong Vincent* 7:30
12 at McDowell 2:30
16 at Fort LeBoeuf* 7:30
18 Harbor Creek* 7:30
22 at East* 7:30
25 at General McLane* 7:30
29 at Corry* 7:30
1 Warren* 7:30
5 at Strong Vincent* TBA
7 Fort LeBoeuf* 7:30
9 at Harbor Creek* 7:30
12 East* 7:30
15 General McLane* 7:30
*Region 6 games

Coach (season, record): Larry Seneta (35th season, 713-262)
2011-12 overall record: 21-5
2011-12 region record (place): 12-2 (second)
2011-12 playoff results: Defeated Sharon 50-33 in the District 10 Class AA quarterfinals and Greenville 31-24 in the semifinals before losing to Villa Maria 57-26 in the D-10 championship. Girard then defeated Steel Valley 46-42 in the first round of the PIAA playoffs before losing to Cranberry 43-33 in the second round.
Top players lost: Erin Allen, Leslee DiFucci
Top returning players: Harlie Bolt, Maria Welch
Assistant coaches: Jeff DiFucci, Bob Ryan, Brian Gimber, Stacie Sampsell, Brittany Younkins
Outlook: Girard made another run to the PIAA playoffs last winter but that is nothing new for the tradition-rich program. The YellowJackets won’t have to deal with Villa Maria this season as the Victors moved up to Class AAA. Girard will be a part of a wide-open Class AA field. The ‘Jackets will have to replace all-region selections Erin Allen and Leslee DiFucci, who graduated in the spring. The two were big-time leaders and clutch shooters for Girard. Harlie Bolt and Maria Welch are back to lead a young Girard team. Bolt is a force inside, while Welch is a terrific scorer. Shannon Allen also returns to the starting lineup to provide experience for the ‘Jackets. MacKenzie Bonnett, Samantha Dunn, Rylie Bolt, Lauren Davenport, Carly Byham and Sara Adamaszek are younger players that could contribute in a big way for Girard. The ‘Jackets are very young this season but their inexperience could be erased by the time the District 10 playoffs roll around. Coach Larry Seneta went over 700 wins last year and could have the team to keep adding to his win total. Girard has talent and the ability to make a run this year and their schedule should prepare the ‘Jackets for the postseason.

11 at Harbor Creek 7:30
15 at McDowell 2:30
18 Cambridge Springs 7:30
21 at General McLane* 7:30
26-27 Corry tournament
3 at Northwestern* 7:30
5 at Kennedy Catholic 2:30
8 North East* 7:30
10 at Iroquois* 7:30
14 Fairview* 7:30
17 at Union City* 7:30
19 Sharpsville 2:30
21 Seneca* 7:30
24 General McLane* 7:30
28 Northwestern* 7:30
31 at North East* 7:30
2 at Sharon 7:30
4 Iroquois* 7:30
7 at Fairview* 7:30
11 Union City* 7:30
14 at Seneca* 7:30
*Region 4 games

Monday: Greenville

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: March 4th, 2012

Joe Swanson

Swanson started showing signs of emerging as a top forward his sophomore season. As a junior, Swanson took that step forward in the playoffs.

The 6-foot 3-inch standout scored 18 points in an impressive 44-37 win over Meadville in a District 10 Class AAA play-in game.

He followed that up with six points in a 33-32 win over Grove City, including two free throws with 10.5 seconds left to secure the quarterfinal win.

He figures to be a key player for Girard next season.

Poll results:

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