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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
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Posts tagged "Hickory basketball"
Posted: November 25th, 2013

Hickory Hornets
Boys
Coach: Geoff Evans (1st season)
2012-13 overall record: 19-4
2012-13 region record: 15-1 (champion)
2012-13 playoff results: Lost to East 46-43 in the District 10 Class AAA quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Matt Votino, Vinnie Mastrian, Marcus Sonoga
Top returning players: Anthony Cannone, Donte Green
Assistant coaches: Tom Roskos, Ryan Anderton, Josh Ward, David Jackson
Outlook: Hickory is going in a new direction under former Hornets standout Geoff Evans. He takes over a successful Hickory program looking to contend for the District 10 Class AAA championship. The Hornets will have to replace all-star Matt Votino, who is playing for Mount Union. Votino was named all-district and was voted to the all-region first team and the Region 5 player of the year. Votino scored 17.7 points per game as a senior, while fellow graduates Vinnie Mastrian and Marcus Sonoga scored 7.6 and 7.2 points per game, respectively. All three will be tough to replace as the Hornets took a hit on their depth because of graduation. Hickory returns two starters in Anthony Cannone and Donte Green. Cannone, an all-region second-team selection, scored 12.1 points per game last year and has plenty of experience at the point guard position. He will be counted on to be a leader along with Green, a small forward. Green averaged 7.3 points per game as a junior and could have a big senior year. The Hornets could also receive contributions from seniors Ross Passalinqua and Aaron Connely along with juniors Brandon Rhodes, Nick Tantuo, Andrew Purcell and sophomores Andrew Pryts, Nicky Cannone and Ryan Laverty. Tantuo can be an immediate contributor at the guard position along with Passalinqua, Purcell and Nicky Cannone. Connely measure 6 feet, 4 inches and could be a perfect complement to Green in the post. Hickory won its region last year before being upset by East in the District 10 Class AAA quarterfinals. Region 5 is one of the toughest regions in D-10 and the Hornets have developed their program to be a perennial contender. With a new system in place with a new coach, Hickory is looking to move forward and contend for the D-10 championship.

Schedule
December
6 Sharpsville tournament
7 Sharpsville tournament
10 at Cardinal Mooney (Ohio) 7:30
13 Farrell* 7:30
17 at Meadville* 7:30
18 Saegertown 7:30
23 at Maplewood 5:30
January
2 at Grove City* 7:30
4 Oil City* 2:30
7 at Sharon* 7:30
10 Franklin* 7:30
14 Slippery Rock* 7:30
17 at George Junior* 7:30
21 at Farrell* 7:30
24 Meadville* 7:30
28 VisionQuest 7:30
31 Grove City* 7:30
February
4 at Oil City* 7:30
6 Sharon* 7:30
8 at Franklin* 7:30
11 at Slippery Rock* 7:30
14 George Junior* 7:30
*Region 5 games

Girls
Coach: Jeannette Whitehead (18th season, 253-164)
2012-13 overall record: 21-5
2012-13 region record: 10-2 (second)
2012-13 playoff results: Defeated Warren 58-43 in the District 10 Class AAA quarterfinals before losing to Villa Maria 49-37 in the semifinals. Hickory defeated Mercyhurst Prep 50-43 in the D-10 third-place game before losing to South Park 71-44 in the PIAA first round.
Top players lost: Julia White, Abby Zreliak
Top returning players: Nikki Arbanas, Brandi Beader, Megan Chess, Holly Grober, Nicole Lacava, Shawna Moore, Jasmine Shephard
Assistant coaches: Bruce Bittler, Roshelle Green, Gary Swanson
Outlook: Hickory has elevated its basketball program to become a perennial contender for the District 10 Class AAA championship. The Hornets ran into Villa Maria in the D-10 semifinals last winter, but they recovered to beat Mercyhurst Prep in the third-place game and reach the PIAA playoffs. Hickory will have two graduates to replace in Julia White and Abby Zreliak. Both were contributors last year and their experience will need to be replace right away. Hickory returns Nikki Arbanas, Brandi Beader, Megan Chess, Holly Grober, Nicole Lacava, Shawna Moore and Jasmine Shephard. Arbanas, Grober, Moore and Shephard are experienced senior leaders, while Beader, Chess and Lacava are juniors. Arbanas, a Youngstown State recruit, scored 18.1 points per game last year to be voted to the all-region first team. Grober is headed to Walsh next year and averaged 15.8 points per game as a junior. She was voted to the all-region first team and the co-region player of the year. Grober went over 1,000 points last year and Arbanas is closing in on the milestone. Lacava averaged 5.6 points per game last season, while Beader scored 5.5 ppg. Jenna Placzek was a contributor for the Hornets but is not playing this season. Hickory could also receive contributions from new players Reganne O’Brien, Heather Grober, Marissa DeJulia, Jordan Wilson and Neely Whitehead. The Hornets have one of the most experienced teams back in Region 5 and look like a strong contender to win the region title. Hickory has one of the top scoring duos in District 10 and this could be the year the Hornets step up and compete for the D-10 Class AAA title. If the Hornets get a little help from the lower levels to build their depth, they will be a tough out this season.

Schedule
December
6 Kittanning tournament
7 Kittanning tournament
10 Rochester 7:30
12 Central Tech 7:30
14 Sharon 7:30
19 at Slippery Rock* 7:30
27 Hickory tournament
28 Hickory tournament
January
2 at Canfield (Ohio) 7:30
6 Franklin* 7:30
8 Youngstown City School (Ohio) 7:30
9 Titusville* 7:30
13 Meadville* 7:30
16 at Oil City* 7:30
20 Grove City* 7:30
23 Slippery Rock* 7:30
25 at Struthers (Ohio) 5
30 at Franklin* 7:30
February
3 at Titusville* 7:30
7 at Meadville* 7:30
10 Oil City* 7:30
13 at Grove City* 7:30
*Region 5 games

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: December 21st, 2012

Nikki Arbanas

Nikki Arbanas has emerged as a top player in District 10 and is still only a junior.

The quick 5-foot 7-inch guard was a leader for Hickory last winter as the Hornets made their way to the District 10 Class AAA semifinals. She has continued that strong play to start the season.

Arbanas scored 18 points in a 58-34 win over Clarion before dropping 18 in a 57-31 win against Kittanning. She followed those performances up with 17 points in a 60-11 win over Central Tech and has the Hornets hungry to get back to the D-10 playoffs.

Poll results:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: November 8th, 2012

Hickory Hornets
Boys
Coach (season, record): Nick Cannone (26th season, 385-260)
2011-12 overall record: 16-10
2011-12 region record (place): 11-5 (tied for second)
2011-12 playoff results: Defeated Central Tech 52-49 in the District 10 Class AAA quarterfinals before losing to General McLane 66-41 in the semifinals. Hickory then defeated Girard 37-26 in the third place game to make the PIAA playoffs. Hickory lost to New Castle 83-47 in the first round of the PIAA playoffs.
Top players lost: None
Top returning players: Matt Votino, Vinnie Mastrian, Anthony Cannone, Marcus Sonoga, Michael Nardone
Assistant coaches: Rick Ladjevich, Matt Fabian
Outlook: Hickory looks like a strong District 10 Class AAA contender this season. The Hornets return all five starters and their sixth man. Seniors Matt Votino and Vinnie Mastrian are back to lead an experienced and deep Hickory team. Votino averaged 15.7 points per game last winter to be voted to the all-region first team and will be a four-year starter. Mastrian scored 11.4 ppg and made the all-region second team as a junior. Anthony Cannone (10 ppg), Marcus Sonoga (7.7) and Michael Nardone (6) are also back in the starting lineup. Donte Green was the sixth man last winter and has vastly improved in the offseason according to longtime head coach Nick Cannone. Add in Calvin Pryts and Dionte Pope, who lettered their sophomore years but didn’t play as juniors because of injuries, and the Hornets have a talented team. Hickory has a solid set of guards and could play an up-tempo style throughout the year. If Pryts and Pope can stay healthy, the Hornets will be able to rotate at least eight players in each game. The only issue for the Hornets could be their size and production inside but Hickory’s speed and experience could counter size issues. The Hornets play in a brutal region and need only to survive it enough to get into the playoffs and make a run.

Schedule
December
7-8 Fairview tournament
14 at Farrell* 7:30
18 Meadville* 7:30
January
3 Grove City* 7:30
5 at Oil City* 7:30
8 Sharon* 7:30
11 at Franklin* 7:30
15 at Slippery Rock* 7:30
18 George Junior* 7:30
21 at Struthers (Ohio) 7:30
23 Farrell* 7:30
25 at Meadville* 7:30
29 VisionQuest 7:30
February
1 at Grove City* 7:30
5 Oil City* 7:30
7 at Sharon* 7:30
9 Franklin* 2:30
12 Slippery Rock* 7:30
15 at George Junior* 7:30
*Region 5 games

Girls
Coach (season, record): Jeanette Whitehead (17th season, 232-159)
2011-12 overall record: 22-4
2011-12 region record (place): 11-1 (co-champion)
2011-12 playoff results: Defeated Warren 51-43 in overtime in the District 10 Class AAA quarterfinals and General McLane 58-51 in the semifinals. Hickory then lost to Franklin 48-38 in the District 10 championship. Hickory moved on to the PIAA playoffs but lost in the first round to South Park 46-35.
Top players lost: Macy Horvath, Alexis McBride, Allison Zreliak
Top returning players: Nikki Arbanas, Taylor Beck, Megan Chess, Holly Grober, Shawna Moore, Jenna Placzek, Jasmine Shephard, Julia White, Abby Zreliak
Assistant coaches: Roshelle Green, Gary Swanson, Bruce Bittler
Outlook: Hickory was a bit of a surprise team last winter. The Hornets made a run to the District 10 championship game before falling to rival Franklin. Hickory will need to fill some holes with the graduation of Macy Horvath, Alexis McBride and Allison Zreliak. Horvath average 10.7 points per game last winter and was voted to the all-region second team. Hickory returns three starters in Nikki Arbanas, Holly Grober and Jenna Placzek. Arbana and Grober were voted to the all-region first team as sophomores, while Taylor Beck, Megan Chess, Shawn Moore, Jasmine Shephard, Julia White and Abby Zreliak are back as well. Brandi Beader and Nicole LaCava are new to the varsity level and could contribute right away. The Hornets worked hard in the offseason and their new chemistry will be key this winter. Losing three senior leaders to graduation is tough but Hickory is a young team that could be right back in the mix for a PIAA playoff spot.

Schedule
December
7-8 Kittanning tournament
11 at Rochester 7
15 Central Tech 2:30
18 at Central Valley 7:30
21 Slippery Rock* 7:30
27-28 Hickory tournament
January
4 at Sharon 7:30
7 at Franklin* 7:30
10 at Titusville* 7:30
14 at Meadville* 7:30
17 Oil City* 7:30
21 at Canfield (Ohio) 8
24 at Slippery Rock* 7:30
26 Grove City* 2:30
28 Cochranton 7:30
31 Franklin* 7:30
February
4 Titusville* 7:30
7 Meadville* 7:30
11 at Oil City* 7:30
14 at Grove City* 7:30
*Region 5 games

Friday: Iroquois

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: March 11th, 2012

Matt Votino

Matt Votino emerged as one of the premier players in Mercer County this season.

The 6-foot 1-inch junior guard from Hickory averaged 15.7 points per game during the regular season and was the main focus of every opposing defense in the District 10 playoffs.

Votino scored 11 points with the season on the line in a D-10 Class AAA third-place win over Girard before scoring 18 in an 83-47 loss to New Castle in the first round of the PIAA playoffs.

The Hornets will have a building block for next season when he returns for this senior year.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: February 26th, 2012

General McLane and Hickory are 67 miles apart, but over the past few years, the two schools have developed into rivals. The Lancers and Hornets boast successful football and basketball programs each year and have met in several crucial games. Here is a look at their head-to-head matchups from the past two school years.

Football
2010 – Hickory 29, General McLane 28 in the District 10 Class AA semifinals.
2011 – Hickory 35, General McLane 13 in the District 10 Class AA championship.

Boys basketball
2010-11
General McLane 62, Hickory 30 – Second round of the Fairview tip-off tournament.
General McLane 55, Hickory 49 – District 10 Class AAA quarterfinals.
2011-12
General McLane 52, Hickory 38 – Opening round of the Fairview tip-off tournament
Tuesday – District 10 Class AAA semifinals.

Girls basketball
2010-11
General McLane 50, Hickory 46 in the District 10 Class AAA quarterfinals.
2011-12
Wednesday – District 10 Class AAA semifinals.

– Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Basketball, Football
Posted: February 4th, 2012

Nikki Arbanas

Nikki Arbanas has become a true breakout player for the Hornettes this season.

The 5-foot 6-inch sophomore guard is averaging 13.8 points per game for Hickory as its second-leading scorer.

Her offensive output and defensive awareness has the Hornettes looking for a PIAA Class AAA playoff spot once again. Arbanas scored 16 points in a 48-29 win over Grove City before dropping 21 in a 66-25 win against Oil City this past week.

Poll results:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: November 14th, 2011

Hickory Hornets
Boys
Coach (season, record): Nick Cannone (9th season at Hickory, 25th season overall, 110-85 at Hickory, 369-250 overall)
2010-11 overall record: 13-10
2010-11 region record (place): 11-5 (third)
2010-11 playoff results: Lost 55-49 to General McLane in the District 10 Class AAA quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Garret Trosch, Nick DiBartolomeo, Donte Robinson
Top returning players: Matt Votino, Vinnie Mastrian, Marcus Sonoga, Calvin Pryts
Assistant coaches: Rick Ladjevich, Matt Fabian
Outlook: Hickory has developed yearly success with a strong inside game but that could be the Hornets’ biggest issue this winter. With the graduation of Garret Trosch, Hickory doesn’t have a strong post presence to count on. Nick DiBartolomeo also graduated, while Donte Robinson moved in the offseason. Another issue for the Hornets could be the lack of senior leadership. Hickory has no seniors on its team and will look to returning juniors Matt Votino, Vinnie Mastrian, Marcus Sonoga and Calvin Pryts for leadership. Votino was voted to the all-region second team as a sophomore, while Mastrian and Sonoga started last year. With plenty of experience back, the young Hornets will need some help from the younger players to stay competitive in their region. Sophomores Anthony Cannone, Donte Green, Davon Tindell and Aaron Conley along with juniors Michael Nardone and Dionte Pope could be contributors this season. Hickory will make its annual trip to Fairview to start the season for two tough games before jumping right into region play with a rivalry game against Sharon.

Schedule
December
9-10 Fairview tournament
17 Sharon* 2:30
20 at Oil City* 7:30
28-29 Hickory tournament
January
3 Farrell* 7:30
6 at Slippery Rock* 7:30
10 Franklin* 7:30
13 at Titusville* 7:30
19 at Grove City* 7:30
21 Meadville* 2:30
24 at Sharon* 7:30
27 Oil City* 7:30
31 at Farrell* 7:30
February
2 Slippery Rock* 7:30
4 at Franklin* 7:30
7 Titusville* 7:30
10 at George Junior 7:30
14 Grove City* 7:30
17 at Meadville* 7:30

Girls
Coach (season, record): Jeanette Whitehead (16th season, 210-155)
2010-11 overall record: 18-5
2010-11 region record (place): 9-3 (tied for second)
2010-11 playoff results: Lost 50-46 to General McLane in the District 10 Class AAA quarterfinals.
Top players lost: Laura Leicht, Liz Palumbo, Jasmine Boulware, Emily Szabo, Kia Foster
Top returning players: Holly Grober, Macy Horvath, Alexis McBride, Allison Zrellak
Assistant coaches: Roshelle Green, Gary Swanson, Bruce Bittler
Outlook: Hickory is trying to avoid a rebuilding season this winter but it won’t be easy. The Hornettes lost five key players to last year’s playoff team, including Lauren Leicht, Liz Palumbo, Jasmine Boulware, Emily Szabo and Kia Foster to graduation. The good news for 16th-year coach Jeanette Whitehead is two all-region picks are back. Holly Grober was a first-team selection last year along with second-team pick Macy Horvath. Alexis McBride and Allison Zreliak are back as well to help the Hornettes. Hickory has a young team but has put in work in the offseason to build some chemistry. The Hornettes will need some help from the younger players this season. Taylor Beck, Shawna Moore, Imani McKinley, Jenna Placzek, Jasmine Shephard, Julia White and Abbey Zreliak could all be contributors on the varsity level this winter.

Schedule
December
9-10 Kittanning tournament
13 Rochester 7:30
16 Grove City* 7:30
19 at Oil City* 7:30
21 Slippery Rock* 7:30
28-29 Hickory tournament
January
4 at Franklin* 7:30
9 Strong Vincent 7:30
12 Meadville* 7:30
14 Sharon 2:30
16 at Central Tech 7:30
19 Titusville* 7:30
21 at Hubbard (Ohio) TBA
23 at Grove City* 7:30
26 Oil City* 7:30
February
2 at Slippery Rock* 7:30
6 Franklin* 7:30
10 Central Tech 7:30
13 at Meadville* 7:30
16 at Titusville* 7:30

– Tom Reisenweber

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