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Lady Booters Advance to District Tournament October 23, 2017

The girls' soccer team closed out their regular season with their second straight game against Susquehanna Township. The Lady Indians took the first round on October 12th but Middletown was able to regroup to take round two by a 1-0 count. Camryn Russ scored what proved to be the game winner at 26:18 with help from Jordyn Dupes. Amanda Lee stopped all seven shots she faced to earn the shutout victory. Up next for the Lady Raiders is a District 3-2A first round tilt opposite Biglerville on October 24th.

FOOTBALL

The football team took another step towards an undefeated regular season with a 57-7 throttling of Boiling Springs last Friday. The offensive explosion featured 477 yards thanks to the work of Jose Lopez and Tyreer Mills. The duo combined for 351 yards and six of team's nine touchdowns, including all five first quarter scores.

Mills ignited the scoring with a 61-yard scamper just 12 seconds after the opening whistle to quickly put Middletown up 7-0. Lopez made the next three trips to the end zone starting with a two-yard plunge with 5:14 remaining in the opening frame. Just over a minute later he plowed in from four yards out for a 21-0 cushion. Only 57 seconds elapsed before Lopez made his next trip to pay dirt, picking up another four-yard score. Mills capped the first quarter fun with a 16-yard TD reception from Scott Ash with 48 seconds remaining in the frame.

Lopez's fourth score came 1:04 into the second quarter, putting a fourth exclamation point on his 199-yard game. Donovan Brady took a break from kicking extra points, instead booting a 27-yard field goal that put Middletown up 44-0. Devin Martin stretched the lead to 50-0 when he picked off a Bubbler pass and returned it 26 yards for the score while Kyle Truesdale capped the 57-point first half with a six-yard TD with 39-seconds remaining in the half. Doug Bear broke up the Blue Raider shutout with a one yard run late in the third quarter.

GIRLS' VOLLEYBALL

With some tie-breaking magic the girls' volleyball team picked up their first ever Mid-Penn Conference Tournament berth thanks to their 7-1 Colonial Division record. The Lady Raiders finished with the same division record as Milton Hershey but a slim edge in District 3 Power Rankings gave Middletown the Mid-Penn berth.

Unfortunately, that berth meant a semifinal spot opposite undefeated Cumberland Valley who not only claimed the Commonwealth crown but occupy the top spot in the District 3-4A rankings. The Lady Eagles posted wins of 25-5, 25-7 and 25-13 to officially bring Middletown's season to a close.

The Lady Raiders closed out the final week of their regular season with losses to Northern York and Big Spring setting Middletown's final record at 7-10. Both losses were of the 3-0 variety with Northern posting wins of 25-12, 25-14 and 25-22.

Middletown made Big Spring work for their wins but the Lady Bulldogs still claimed victories of 25-18, 25-22 and 25-21. Cassie Ebersole and Morgen Miller were front and center in both matches. Miller finished the loss to Northern with seven assists, five digs, two kills and one ace and the loss to Big Spring with six kills, five digs, one ace and one block. Ebersole enjoyed nine kills and one block against Northern and four kills and three blocks against Big Spring. Alex Kolish added seven digs, three kills and one ace against the Lady Polar Bears while Shelby Luther chipped in with four kills and two blocks against Big Spring.

FIELD HOCKEY

The field hockey team wrapped up their 2017 season with a 3-0 loss to Shippensburg on October 17th. The loss puts the Lady Raiders' season record at 1-16-1.

BOYS' SOCCER

The boys' soccer team closed out their regular season slate with wins over Susquehanna Township and Red Land. The 13-4-1 overall mark not only earned the Blue Raiders a berth in the District 3-2A bracket, but was good enough for the sixth seed and a first round bye. That pushes Middletown's first postseason game to October 28th when the Blue Raiders will travel to Wyomissing to face the third seeded Spartans.

Middletown's final prep for the postseason started with a 2-1 win over Susquehanna Township on the 16th. David Alcock netted both scores to lead the way on offense while Avery Williams (three saves) and Tommy Lee (one save) split time in goal to preserve the win.

Alcock used Anthony LaVia's first assist to make it a 1-0 game just 9:21 into the contest and his second assist to collect the game winner with 3:29 remaining. In between Duncan Andrews knotted the game at 1-1 with his first half score for Township.

The Blue Raiders used two first half goals to propel them to a 3-1 victory over Red Land on Tuesday. Griffin Meyer and Ben Knisely were responsible for those goals with Alcock and LaVia assisting on Meyer's 10th minute score. Thomas Einolf provided the setup for Knisely's 15th minute score. Red Land's Josh Sourbeer broke up Lee's shutout bid with his 31st minute score but Lee still earned the win thanks to his eight save effort. Einolf tacked on a late score, converting a Derrick Miller pass at 76:46 for the game's final score.

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Middletown Football Blanks Camp Hill, Now 7-0 October 16, 2017

With another dominating performance, this one a 49-0 dismantling of Camp Hill, the Middletown Blue Raider football team is 7-0 and roughly three-quarters of the way through what they hope will be their second straight undefeated regular season. The Homecoming rout of the visiting Lions was fueled by Jose Lopez and his 252-yard, five touchdown outburst.

Despite the lopsided final, Middletown failed to score in the opening frame with Lopez's first trip to the endzone, an eight-yarder with 8:42 remaining in the half, finally breaking the scoring drought. Lopez made it 14-0 at the half with his second score of the game, a one-yard plunge that came with just under two minutes remaining in the half.

Middletown, behind Lopez and a 59-yard Tyeer Mills punt return touchdown, broke the game open in the third quarter. Lopez got things rolling with a 12-yard score that came 1:17 into the frame and finished the 21-point spurt with a 74-yard scamper that made it 35-0 with just over 15-minutes of game time remaining. Mills slithered 59 yards for a score in between those two Lopez TDs, putting Middletown up 28-0 with 9:05 remaining in the third. Lopez capped his incredible game with a 28-yard score just 11 ticks into the fourth quarter. Devin Martin tacked on one final touchdown with 5:35 remaining in the contest, covering 30 of his 41 yards on the score.

GIRLS' SOCCER

The girls' soccer team remains squarely in the District 3-AA playoff picture despite a 1-2 week that dropped the Lady Raiders to 8-9 on the year. The lone victory of the week came on Tuesday, a 5-2 win over Milton Hershey. Jordyn Dupes sealed the win with one goal and one assist that flipped a one goal contest into a three-goal rout.

Morgan Killen netted the Lady Raiders first goal but that 1-0 lead lasted only eight minutes as Desiree Harris evened the game at 1-1 at 29:28. Middletown pulled away in the second half starting with Jade Senior's score just 3:44 into the half. Mackenzie Coble made it 3-1 with her 66th minute score but the Lady Spartans got one back on Gabby Farr's penalty kick conversion at 71:50.

Dupes took over from there, setting up Ashley Barni in the 73rd minute before finishing up the scoring with help from Makaila Nester in the 79th minute. Amanda Lee needed just three saves to earn the win.

The Lady Raiders opened the week on Monday with a 5-0 loss to Trinity. The Lady Shamrocks used three goals from Katie Dominguez to collect their second shutout win over Middletown this season. Lee finished the loss with five saves.

Middletown's second loss of the week came on Thursday, a 2-0 final at Susquehanna Township. The Lady Indians used a first half score from Melissa Ulrich and a second half goal from Sam Polon to secure the victory. Lee added another four saves to her weekly tally.

FIELD HOCKEY

The field hockey team fell to 1-15-1 on the year after losses to Big Spring and Northern York by a combined 13-0. "This has been a tough year," said head coach Jana Woodring, adding "We are a young team, we lost 10 seniors last year, and our numbers are very low. Some games we have exactly enough girls. Give Middletown a few years and you will see a change."

BOYS' SOCCER

The boys' soccer team inched closer to a District 3-AA playoff berth and a first round bye with a two-win week. The victories over Trinity and Milton Hershey bumped Middletown's record to 11-4-1 which is good enough for the sixth spot in the district AA power rankings, the final spot to earn a first round bye.

Middletown opened the week with a 3-1 win over Trinity in a rescheduled game from early September. The Blue Raiders got their only score of the opening half on a Trinity own goal with Joey Spear and Nate Nelson adding second half scores. Ben Knisely provided the assist on Nelson's score while Tommy Lee (five saves) and Avery Williams (11 saves) split time in goal.

Tuesday's victory over Milton Hershey came much easier as Middletown posted a 27-4 advantage in shots on goal and a 6-0 edge in corner kicks. With all the action at the other end of the pitch Williams needed just four saves to earn the victory. David Alcock put the Blue Raiders up early with his 13th minute goal while Spear gave Thomas Einolf his first assist of the game with his 28th minute goal. Einolf's second assist found the foot of Lee who happily made the deposit into the net at 72:54.

VOLLEYBALL

The girls' volleyball team split their two matches last week and sit just shy of even on the season at 7-8. The Lady Raiders fell to Northern York by a 3-0 final on Tuesday before rebounding to top Central Dauphin East by a 3-1 count on Thursday.

Middletown was able to keep pace with Northern in the opening game leading to a 25-23 final but the Lady Polar Bears posted back-to-back 25-12 wins in games two and three to close out the match. Katie Knaub finished with 13 assists, two aces and two digs while Morgen Miller added eight kills and one ace. Hannah Wilsbach chipped in with 11 digs.

Thursday's match against the Rams was a back-and-forth affair with the four games being decided by a total of nine points. The first three games were all decided by two points with Middletown enjoying 25-23 and 26-24 wins to open the match. The Lady Panthers avoided the sweep by stealing game three 25-23 but Middletown bounced back with a three-point victory in game four, 25-22.

Miller enjoyed a 13 kill, 10 dig and four ace game while Shelby Luther finished with 10 kills, two aces and two blocks. Alex Kolish chipped in with 10 digs, six aces and four kills while Cassie Ebersole rounded things out with a team high nine kills and three blocks.

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Middletown Volleyball Team Posts Mixed Results October 8, 2017

The girls' volleyball team split their two matches last week, falling to West Perry but topping Milton Hershey. The Lady Raiders picked up their lone win against West Perry in the match's opening game, edging the Lady Mustangs 25-21. Middletown was unable to hold on to that momentum with West Perry capitalizing to the tune of 25-18, 25-16 and 25-18 wins to steal the match.

Alex Kolish and Ivy Martnishn both finished with five kills while combining for six aces and 18 digs. Shelby Luther added three kills, two aces and three blocks.

Middletown bounced back one night later to top Milton Hershey by the same 3-1 final. The Lady Raiders captured the opening game 25-23 only to see Milton Hershey even the match with a 26-24 game two win. Middletown regained control to close out the match, winning 25-15 and 25-20.

Morgen Miller led the way with eight kills, eight digs, six aces and one block. Kolish added 10 digs, six aces and two kills while Martnishn finished with nine digs, six kills and two aces.

FOOTBALL

For a high school football team there are few things sweeter than spoiling homecoming for an opponent. Middletown did just that with last Friday's 17-10 win over Palmyra, expanding their unblemished start to six weeks.

Neither team was able to find any offensive rhythm leading to just 265 yards of offense for Middletown and 257 for Palmyra. The Blue Raiders enjoyed an almost equal split, with the Jose Lopez led ground attack garnering 135 yards while the Scott Ash directed passing game finished with 130 yards. Palmyra did the bulk of their lifting on the ground where they tallied 194 yards.

It was the Ash led aerial attack that produced the game's first points with Chris Plummer hauling in his lone catch of the day for a 34 yard score. The Donovan Brady PAT made it 7-0 just 3:28 into the game. Brady extended the Blue Raider lead to 10-0 when he connected on a 27-yard field goal early in the second quarter. Middletown looked to be on the verge of blowing the game open when Lopez broke free for a 43-yard score with just under three minutes remaining before the half. The Brady extra point made it 17-0.

Palmyra, behind Grant Haus, mounted their comeback with Haus cutting the Middletown lead to 17-7 heading into the break with a seven yards score. Both defenses stood tall in the second half with Griffin Weidler's 32-yard field goal for Palmyra accounting for the only points.

Lopez finished the victory with a game high 104 yards on 25 carries, adding 23 yards on his lone reception. Plummer may have picked up a TD with his reception but it was Tyreer Mills leading the team in catches with three and yards with 47.

BOYS' SOCCER

The boys' soccer team experienced both sides of 5-1 finals last week. The Raiders opened with a 5-1 win over West Perry on Tuesday. David Alcock and Thomas Einolf netted two scores each with Einolf adding an assist to his day. Anthony LaVia accounted for the final score while Jacob Spear finished with two assists. Tommy Lee needed just two saves to earn the easy win.

Middletown was back at it one day later, returning from their trip to Camp Hill with a 5-1 loss. The Raiders struck first with Tyrelle Gallatin-Scott setting up Alcock in the sixth minute. From there it was an Amias Colestock fueled run for the Lions as the junior played a part in four of the five Camp Hill goals. Colestock's run started roughly 10 minutes after Alcock's score. He scored back-to-back goals in a two-minute span that flipped the game around. Colestock picked up his lone assist to cap the first half scoring, setting up Jake Coniglio for a 3-1 lead at the break and finished his day with an unassisted score in the 51st minute. Matt Little ended the scoring just 40 seconds later. Avery Williams (eight saves) and Lee (one save) split time in the loss.

GIRLS' SOCCER

The girls' soccer team managed to snap their four-game slide with wins over West Perry and Camp Hill. The streak buster went down on October 3rd with Middletown slipping by the Lady Mustangs by a 1-0 count. Makaila Nester picked up what proved to be the game winning goal in the 30th minute with Amanda Lee keeping West Perry off the board with a two save effort.

Middletown was able to muster a bit more offense in their 3-1 victory over Camp Hill on October 5th. Nester played a part in all three scores, starting with the game's opening goal. Jordyn Dupes provided the setup for Nester's 17th minute finish. Nester turned distributor for Middletown's other two goals, finding Alayna Thomas in the 34th minute and Camryn Russ in the 66th minute. Sheridan Reid broke up Lee's clean sheet bid with her late score but Lee still earned the win with five saves.

FIELD HOCKEY

The field hockey team was in action three times last week, going 0-2-1 against Lebanon, Milton Hershey and Camp Hill. On Monday the Lady Raiders earned a 1-1 draw with Lebanon. Noelle Zimmerman accounted for Middletown's goal while Suzelly Rea-Sourwir picked up the Lady Cedar score.

Middletown visited Milton Hershey on Tuesday and found that Hershey was not the sweetest place on Earth, returning from Chocolate Town with a 6-1 loss. Alexis Manfred, with help from Kiera Guckavan, broke up the Lady Spartan shutout bid with her second half score.

Middletown's trip to Camp Hill on Thursday resulted in a 7-0 loss to the Lady Lions.

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Raiders Give Up 35 Points in Win Over Trinity October 2, 2017

The Middletown football team is accustom to outscoring their opponents, having done so by a 164-21 margin on their way to a 4-0 mark. Last Friday the Blue Raiders found themselves needing to outscore Trinity to improve to 5-0. They did so, posting 45 points with scores coming in multiple phases of the game but the typically staunch Blue Raider defense, that had given up just three scores through four weeks, allowed 370 yards and 34 points to the Shamrocks.

The game was a back-and-forth affair with Middletown collecting the scoring edge in the second and third quarters. The trading of touchdowns started mid-way through the opening frame when Tre Leach returned an interception 35 yards for a 7-0 lead. Trinity answered right back with a 39-yard strike from Tommy Kirchhoff to Jack McHale 20 seconds later. Leach put Middletown back on top with his lone catch of the game, a 59-yard TD reception that came at the 5:02 mark of the quarter. The Shamrocks knotted the game when Kirchhoff hit D'Amonte Porter from 32 yards out with 4:17 left in the quarter.

Jose Lopez kicked off an active second quarter with an 81-yard scamper just over a minute into the frame. Trinity's answer came in the form of a two-yard Colby Riggs plunge two minutes later. Middletown scored what typically would be the final points of the half when Scott Ash hit Tyreer Mills for a 31-yard score with 49 ticks remaining. This game, however, did not play out in typical fashion as both squads put another seven points on the board before the halftime horn. Dante Manetta returned Middletown's kickoff 85 yards for a Trinity score while Lopez took that ensuring kickoff back for a Blue Raider score, covering 78 yards in 12 seconds.

Middletown opened the scoring in the second half when Brady Fox broke free for 54 of his game high 111 yards on his way to putting Middletown in front 42-28. Donovan Brady put the final Blue Raider points on the board with 3:03 remaining in the third, booting a 28-yard field goal. Kirchhoff capped the scoring by tossing his third TD of the game, finding Tresjon Ruiz for a 77-yard score with just over 14 minutes remaining the game.

CROSS COUNTRY

The boys' cross country team picked up two wins last week while also taking two losses. The Blue Raiders split their rescheduled meet with Northern York and Trinity on the 23rd, topping the Shamrocks 29-30 while falling to Northern 15-48. Justin Shaffer posted the fastest Middletown time while Zach Malay, Mark Cowan, Will Brown and Dan Brenner rounded out the top five. Angie Hernandez (23:21) and Lily Gingrich (27:01) finished for the Lady Raiders.

Middletown's meet on September 26th was against East Pennsboro and Camp Hill. The Blue Raiders blew by Camp Hill 15-48 but were unable to conquer East Pennsboro, falling 19-37. Shaffer was once again the fastest Middletown runner, finishing in 18:51. Brown (19:31), Malay (19:36), Cowan (19:58) and Ken Britcher (20:25) finished up the top five for Middletown. Hernandez was joined by Maddie Garber on the girls' side with Hernandez finishing in 23:08 and Garber 25:36.

TENNIS

The girls' tennis team finished their regular season slate with losses to James Buchanan and Bishop McDevitt on September 26th and 28th. Middletown fell to the Lady Rockets by a 5-0 count and to McDevitt by a 4-1 final. Marissa Redline and Duh Par picked up the team point against the Lady Crusaders, topping Gwen Truax and Sophia Seltzer 7-6(7-5), 7-6(7-3).

The Lady Raiders picked up their second victory of the season on September 25th, topping Harrisburg Academy 3-2. Redline and Par accounted for Middletown's only doubles win, taking Emilee Guo and Zisha Li out in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0. Veronica Miller and Mahnoor Azim earned the decisive singles victories with Miller winning over Kiersten Greiner 3-6, 6-1, 6-0 and Azim over Anna Monge 6-1, 6-2.

BOYS' SOCCER

The boys' soccer team went 2-1 last week despite outscoring their three opponents 6-1. Unfortunately for the Blue Raiders that one goal came in a 1-0 loss to Bishop McDevitt on September 28th. Matt Moyer scored the contest's only goal while Avery Williams (two saves) and Tommy Lee (five saves) split time in goal for Middletown.

The Blue Raiders opened the week on Tuesday with a 3-0 victory over East Pennsboro and closed out the week on Saturday with another 3-0 win, this one over James Buchanan. Tyrelle Gallatin-Scott, Thomas Einolf and David Alcock all played a prominent role in the wins, accounting for all six goals. Each member of the trio scored against the Panthers while Gallatin-Scott netted two against the Rockets. Einolf picked up the remaining score against James Buchanan while Alcock did his part with two assists. Williams and Avery each spent time minding the net in both shutout wins, combining for nine saves.

VOLLEYBALL

The girls' volleyball team inched closer to the 500-mark with back-to-back wins over Steel-High and Harrisburg countering a loss to Big Spring on Monday. The 2-1 week puts Middletown at 5-6 overall with one-third of their season remaining.

The Lady Bulldogs controlled throughout their 3-0 win, posting finals of 25-16, 25-15 and 25-17. Courtney Shaffer played a big role for Middletown with eight assists, four digs, three kills, two blocks and one ace. Katie Knaub added 12 assists, six digs and three kills. Cassie Ebersole (four kills) and Alex Kolish (one ace) also chipped in for the Lady Raiders.

Middletown was on the opposite side of their September 26th clash with Steel-High, dropping the Lady Rollers by a 3-0 count. Kolish led the way with eight aces, helping the Lady Raiders win 25-11, 25-8, 25-16. Morgen Miller and Shelby Luther combined for 12 kills and six aces to back up Kolish.

The Lady Raiders closed out the week on Thursday by outlasting Harrisburg 3-2. The two sides swapped victories which fortunately for the Lady Raiders started with a 25-17 victory. Middletown answered Harrisburg's 25-20 game two win with a 25-4 thumping in game three which led to the Lady Cougar's 25-23 game four victory. Middletown closed out the match with a 15-10 fifth set win.

Miller finished with seven digs, five kills and five aces while Ivy Martnishn added seven kills and two aces to her team high 12 assists. Hannah Wilsbach served up nine aces to go with 10 digs.

FIELD HOCKEY

The field hockey team went three up, three down last week falling to Central Dauphin East, East Pennsboro and Bishop McDevitt. All three losses were of the shutout variety starting with a 2-0 final to CD East on Monday. Jenna White and her three goals led East Pennsboro to a 6-0 win on Tuesday while Patty Laguna netted four scores to pace McDevitt in their 6-0 victory on Thursday.

GIRLS' SOCCER

The girls' soccer team picked up losses to ELCO, East Pennsboro and Bishop McDevitt last week that dropped their record to 5-7 on the season. Middletown absorbed the worst of the losses on Monday as a trip to Myerstown resulted in a 4-0 defeat to ELCO. Amanda Lee finished the loss with nine saves.

One day later the Lady Raiders welcomed East Pennsboro to town and the Lady Panthers left with a 1-0 victory. Kylie Wertz netted the game winner in the 51st minute while Lee turned away 10 shots in the loss.

The Lady Raiders were able to get their offense going for a bit in Thursday's 2-1 loss to McDevitt. Camryn Russ broke up the Lady Crusader shutout with help from Jordyn Dupes. The 29th minute goal knotted the game at 1-1 where it remained until just after intermission. That is when Olivia Fasick scored the game winner for McDevitt. Lee finished with seven saves.

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Undefeated Football Team Tops East Pennsboro September 24, 2017

The Middletown football remained undefeated on the season with a 42-7 victory over East Pennsboro last Friday evening. The Blue Raiders racked up nearly 400 rushing yards behind the one-two punch of Brady Fox and Jose Lopez. At the same time, the defense was busy holding Onasis Neely, who entered the game averaging 270 yards in the three games prior, to just 91 yards on 26 carries. The East Penn standout did register the game's first score on a 15-yard run early in the second quarter but Middletown ripped off six unanswered TDs from there to earn the win.

Lopez picked up over half of his 134 yards on Middletown's first score, a 70-yard jaunt that knotted the game with just under six minutes remaining in the half. Fox put the Blue Raiders up nearly three minutes later with the first of his four scores, this one from 51 yards out. Fox added TD runs of four and 43 yards in the third quarter to stretch the Middletown lead to 28-7. The two backs split the two Blue Raider scores in the fourth with Lopez barreling in from seven yards while Fox broke free for a 41-yard score. Fox's touchdown not only capped Middletown's 42-point night it also provided a nice exclamation point on the senior back's 241 yard, four score game.

VOLLEYBALL

The girls' volleyball team enjoyed a five-set win over Central Dauphin East on September 21st. The Lady Raiders claimed the opening game 25-14 only to see the Lady Panthers roar back with two straight wins to put Middletown on the brink. The Lady Raiders responded, winning 25-20 and 16-14 to steal the match.

GIRLS SOCCER

The girls' soccer team split their two games last week, topping Milton Hershey on Tuesday before falling to Trinity on Saturday. The Lady Raiders used two goals from both Alayna Thomas and Camryn Russ to cruise by Milton Hershey 9-0. Morgan Killen, Jordyn Dupes, Makaila Nester and Hayli Akakpo-Martin finished with one goal each with Killen and Dupes adding a combined three assists. Amanda Lee needed just three saves to earn the clean sheet win.

The Raiders finished the week on the opposite side of a shutout, falling to Trinity by a 3-0 count. Lee finished with 17 saves on 27 Lady Shamrock shots.

TENNIS

The girls' tennis team struggled last week, dropping all three of their matches. Middletown opened and closed the week with 5-0 losses, falling to East Pennsboro on Monday and Trinity on Wednesday. In between was a 4-1 loss to Susquehanna Township where Veronica Miller provide the lone win, topping Cassie Marrero in three sets.

FIELD HOCKEY

In a two game week, the field hockey team opened with a loss to Camp Hill on Monday. The Lady Lions used two scores from both Kinsey Brunner and Kiana Cunningham to roll to a 4-1 win. The Blue Raiders stepped out of the Mid-Penn for Friday's clash with Lancaster Catholic. The Lady Crusaders handed Middletown a 3-2 loss with Kierra Guckavan recording both Middletown goals.

GOLF

The Middletown golf team finished out their regular season with trips to West Shore Country Club and Armitage Golf Club last week. The Blue Raiders finished Monday's Capital Division face-off at West Shore with a 0-6 mark. Cole Grabuloff posted Middletown's top score while Matt Schopf checked in seven strokes off his teammate's pace with a round of 107. Justin Yohn (110) and Owen Haederer (114) finished out Middletown's top four.

The season finale at Armitage on September 21st ended with the Blue Raiders posting the same 0-6 mark. Schopf stepped into the team's top spot with a round of 101. Grabuloff was two strokes back at 103 while Haederer was seven strokes behind with a 108. Dillan Grey stepped in as the team's fourth scorer with his round of 110.

CROSS COUNTRY

The boys' cross country team enjoyed a successful trip to West Perry on September 19th with wins over the Mustang/Carson Long squad as well as Juniata. Justin Shaffer (19:45), Zach Malay (20:45), Will Brown (20:50), Dan Brenner (21:21) and Kenny Britcher (21:53) settled in as the Blue Raiders' top five on the day.

Angie Hernandez paced the Lady Raiders with a time of 24:53. Maddie Garber (26:15) and Casey Eckert (27:47) rounded out Middletown's trio for the day.

"The high temperatures and humidity combined with the hilly course presented a challenge," said head coach Pete Fox, "but our team rose to the occasion, and I'm proud of them. It was very satisfying to come home with a couple of wins. I'm happy for the team."

The Blue Raiders took part in the 22nd Annual Ben Bloser Bulldog Cross Country Invitational on Saturday September 16th. Two of the seven Raiders finished in the top 70 while two others just missed the top 100. Malay checked in with the 59th fastest time, finishing in 19:20.70. Brown was 10 places behind with a time of 19:36.95. Mark Cowan and Britcher just missed the top 100, finishing in 102nd and 103rd with times of 20:20.46 and 20:22.64, respectively. Tanner Albright rounded out Middletown's top five by finishing 111th.

Hernandez enjoyed the top Lady Raider finish, her 23:53.09 being the 51st fastest time. Eckert finished in 27:57.91 to claim 114th while Garber took 127th with a time of 29:06.41.

BOYS SOCCER

The boys' soccer team suffered loss number one of the season, a 2-1 setback against Susquehanna Township on September 21st. Thomas Einolf broke up the Indian shutout in the 70th minute but the Raiders trailed 2-0 by that point and were unable to net the equalizer. Tommy Lee and Avery Williams both finished with three saves in the loss.

The Raiders enjoyed an otherwise stellar week with wins over Big Spring, Milton Hershey and Trinity bringing Middletown's overall record to 6-2-1.

Middletown opened the week with a 4-0 win over Big Spring on Monday. Einolf netted two of the four scores while Eric Aidoo assisted on Tyrelle Gallatin-Scott's goal that made it 2-0 at intermission and tacked on the final score in the 74th minute. David Alcock provided the setup on Einolf's opening score while Einolf's second goal was unassisted. Williams (three saves) and Lee (five saves) combined for the first of three shutouts on the week.

One day later the Raiders blanked Milton Hershey 6-0 with Williams earning the clean sheet win with a two save effort. Einolf and Alcock led the attack with two scores apiece. Alcock posted the only score of the first half with help from Jacob Spear while both of Einolf's goals and Alcock's second score all came with in a three-minute stretch of the second half. Einolf made it 2-0 with his unassisted score in the 53rd minute and added a PK tally two minutes later for a quick 3-0 lead. Alcock picked up goal number two in the 56th minute, going the unassisted route this time. Spear was the next Raider to pick up an unassisted score, doing so in the 65th minute. Donovan Brady scored the final goal with help from Billy Cleland.

Middletown's final victory of the week came on Saturday the 23rd. The Raiders used two Alcock goals to post a 2-0 win. Griffin Meyer and Spear helped on the first Alcock goal while the second came on a penalty kick in the 78th minute. Once again Lee (two saves) and Williams (three saves) combined for the shutout win.

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Middletown Hockey Team Tops Lebanon September 18, 2017

It may have lasted only one day but the Middletown field hockey team was able to experience the thrill of victory after their 2-0 win over Lebanon last Monday. Bethany Detweiler led the charge, scoring the Lady Raiders' first goal with help from Kiera Guckavan. Detweiler flipped to the assisting side of things for Middletown's second goal, finding Noelle Zimmerman for the insurance score.

One day later, Middletown returned from their tangle with Bishop McDevitt with a loss under their belt. The Lady Crusaders used three scores from Kirsten Ziegler and two apiece from Maria Tice and Patty Laguna to cruise to an 11-0 win. The struggles continued two days later when visiting Milton Hershey handed Middletown a 3-0 loss. The Lady Raiders finished up their busy week with a trip to Annville on Saturday to compete in the Lady Dutchman Tournament. Middletown opened with a 7-0 loss to Berks Catholic, setting up a consolation showdown with Brandywine Heights that the Lady Bullets won 4-1.

GOLF

The golf team was in action twice last week, posting 0-6 marks on both days to slide to 1-29 on the season. Cole Grabuloff posted the top Blue Raider score each day, carding a 99 at Colonial Golf and Tennis Club on Monday and a 96 at West Shore CC on Wednesday. Matt Schopf was the only player to crack triple digits in a round, doing so with a 98 at West Shore. Schopf, along with Darius Waters posted a round of 109 on Monday. Waters was also one of the scorers on Wednesday, finishing with a round of 123. Justin Yohn was the final player to count as a scorer for Middletown, carding a 102 at Colonial and a 108 at West Shore.

TENNIS

The week in Middletown tennis saw the Lady Raiders wrap matching 5-0 losses to Bishop McDevitt and Camp Hill around a 4-1 win over Harrisburg Academy. Middletown dropped their match with McDevitt on Monday and their tilt with Camp Hill on Friday. The victory over Harrisburg Academy came on Thursday.

Makenzie Whitmoyer and Anna Buffington kicked things off with a 6-3 and 6-0 win over Simmons Shuman and You You Wu at number one doubles. Duh Par and Ayaushi Patel followed with a 6-3 and 6-4 win over Anna Monga and Savannah Klinger at number two doubles. Veronica Miller made quick work of Dahlia Schwartzimar in number two singles, posting wins of 6-1 and 6-1. Mahnoor Azim closed out the victory with a 6-2 and 6-0 win over Kayla Greiner in number three singles.

BOYS SOCCER

The boys' soccer team split their two games last week, falling to Camp Hill two days after topping West Perry. Thomas Einolf netted what proved to be the game winner in the 27th minute of Tuesday's contest with West Perry. Tommy Lee (four saves) and Avery Williams (one save) kept the Mustangs off the board to secure the win.

Thursday brought Camp Hill to town and the Lions used two second half goals from Dylan Mayanja to steal the win. Lee kept his Blue Raider squad within shouting distance with a 12 save effort.

VOLLEYBALL

The girls' volleyball team continued their win one, lose one stretch with losses to Trinity and Milton Hershey surrounding a victory over Harrisburg. Middletown opened with a 3-0 loss to Trinity on Monday with the Lady Shamrocks cruising to wins of 25-13 and 25-7 in games one and three. In between the Lady Raiders flexed their resolve and pushed Trinity to the brink before falling 25-23. Morgen Miller and Ivy Martnishn tied for the team lead with three kills while combining for three aces and 15 digs in the loss.

Middletown closed out the week on Thursday with a 3-1 loss to Milton Hershey. After dropping the opening two games 25-13 and 25-18 the Lady Raiders managed to take game three 25-23 but the Lady Spartans rebounded to close out the match with a 26-24 game four win.

In between the two losses, Middletown had little trouble dispatching Harrisburg, winning 25-10, 25-11, 25-21. Miller tallied a team high seven aces to go with two kills. Martnishn enjoyed a four-kill game while Shelby Luther added three kills and one block to her five aces.

CROSS COUNTRY

The cross-country team enjoyed a lot of personal success but that did not translate into team success in the Blue Raiders meet at Milton Hershey on September 12th. Three of the four girls and four of the top five boys all posted personal best times but that still left Middletown with two losses for each team.

Justin Shaffer posted the top Blue Raider finish, taking seventh with a time of 18:18. Will Brown (19:04), Mark Cowan (19:34), Zach Maley (19:35) and Kenny Britcher (20:36) all posted personal best times with all but Britcher cracking the 20-minute mark needed to qualify for the District 3 meet.

The Lady Raiders are running without a complete team again this year meaning they suffered two losses before the starting gun was even fired. Angie Hernandez still managed a personal best and district qualifying time of 23:33 to lead Middletown. Maddie Garber checked in with a 26:34 while Casey Eckert (26:51) and Lily Gingrich (27:39) rounded out Middletown's quartet with personal best times.

GIRLS SOCCER

The girls' soccer team ripped off four wins last week that included the tournament title in Saturday's Greencastle-Antrim Tournament. Middletown opened their title run with a 2-1 win over Shippensburg. The Lady Greyhounds struck first but Middletown was able to answer with a Camryn Russ goal just over 20 minutes later. Jordyn Dupes netted the game winner in the 89th minute with help from Jocelyn Koser. Amanda Lee and Alex Kennedy split four saves down the middle to preserve the win.

The Lady Raiders posted another one goal win in the championship game, this time it was a 3-2 final over the host squad. Middletown countered two Madison Sherrill goals with two scores and an assist from Dupes. Koser and Jade Senior assisted on the two Dupes scores while Makaila Nester provided the finish for Dupes' assist. Lee earned the win with a six save effort.

The Lady Raiders kicked off the week on Tuesday with a 2-1 win over West Perry where they battled back from a 1-0 hole. Russ scored both Middletown goals with Koser setting up the first half score and Alayna Thomas providing the setup for Russ' second half goal. Lee needed just three saves to earn the win.

Thursday's victory over Camp Hill was by far the easiest of the week. Middletown used two Dupes scores coupled with one goal, one assist games from Nester and Russ to blow by the Lady Lions 5-1. Dupes both started and ended the scoring for Middletown with Thomas getting the assist on the first goal and Nester picking up her assist on the final score. Thomas picked up her second assist just after intermission, setting up Nester for a 3-0 Middletown lead. Lexi Baumbach scored the Lady Raiders' second goal, using a Russ pass to pick up the goal.

Sheridan Reid broke up the Middletown shutout bid in the 69th minute, scoring Camp Hill's lone goal. The Lady Raiders regained momentum roughly two minutes later when Russ made it 4-1 in favor of Middletown. Lee finished the lopsided win with eight saves.

FOOTBALL

The Middletown football team flashed their video game form during last Friday's 63-7 destruction of West Perry. The Blue Raiders racked up 411 yards of offense while allowing just 121 yards. The bulk of Middletown's yardage production came from their rushing attack led by the one-two punch of Brady Fox and Jose Lopez. The duo accounted for 242 of Middletown's 319 rushing yards and six of the team's nine trips to the end zone. Fox picked up four of those six TDs with three coming during the Raiders 35-point first quarter eruption. Despite four rushing scores, Fox finished with just 80 yards and 36 of that came on his first score. He picked up another nine yards on his second TD two minutes later and with only a bit more than four minutes gone, Middletown was up 14-0.

Chris Plummer and Scott Ash broke up Fox's domination with a 15-yard pitch and catch that came with 5:30 remaining in the frame. Fox added his third score of the quarter, this one from three yards out while Tre Leach capped things off with a 32-yard fumble return for a score. Fox finished his crazy 15 minutes of football with his fourth and final score, a five yarder that came with 9:22 remaining in the half.

Lopez took over from there, picking up both of his scores and the bulk of his game high 162 rushing yards. He scored on runs of 40 and 17 yards to extend the Middletown lead to 56-0 at the half. With the running clock in play from the opening whistle of the second half, things moved along quickly, leading to West Perry scoring their lone TD with 27 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Middletown made their final trip to the end zone with 3:27 remaining in the contest on a four-yard Jordan McCoy plunge.

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Raider Teams Face Early Season Struggles September 11, 2017

While most of the fall sports teams at Middletown are just getting started, the girls' tennis team and the golf team are already well into their schedule. Unfortunately, those opportunities have not translated to wins as the tennis team remains searching for their first victory and the golf team sits at 1-17 midway through their regular season.

The Lady Raider tennis team dropped all five of their matches by the same 5-0 final with Susquehanna Township, Camp Hill, East Pennsboro, James Buchanan and Trinity on the opposite side of the net.

The golf team kicked off their Capital Division slate on August 22nd with a trip to Mayapple Golf Course. The result was a nine-hole affair thanks to a round of storms that swept the mid-state. Middletown used the shortened match to slip by Camp Hill earning their lone win of the season. Cole Grabuloff and Darius Waters led the team with scores of 48 and 49 respectively.

The Capital Division converged on Sunset Golf Course for the season's next match. Despite playing host, the Blue Raiders fell to all six division foes, posting an 0-6 mark on the day. Grabuloff topped the Middletown leader board with a 99.

One day later Middletown found themselves in another rain shortened match, this one on Palmyra's home course, Royal Oaks. Grabuloff carded a 41 to finish three strokes off the lead and in a six-way tie for third. Grabuloff's half-round was not enough to keep the Blue Raiders from another 0-6 finish, as Middletown finished 18 strokes behind Camp Hill.

GIRLS SOCCER

Early season success avoided the girls' soccer team as the Lady Raiders dropped their season opener to Susquehannock. The Lady Warriors used an early Taylor Tannura goal to claim the one score victory.

FIELD HOCKEY

The field hockey team found themselves on the wrong end of their season opener with East Pennsboro posting a 14-0 victory to put Middletown at 0-1. Nathasha Manfred finished with 19 saves in the loss.

VOLLEYBALL

The girls' volleyball team has finished on both sides of the ledger with a season opening loss to Lower Dauphin countering a 3-0 win over Steel-High. The loss to LD was by a 3-0 count with Morgan Miller leading the team with four digs, three blocks and two kills. Katie Knaub added eight digs and one ace in the 25-8, 25-22, 25-17 loss.

The Lady Raiders rebounded nicely two days later with a victory over Steel-High. Middletown easily claimed games one and two, 25-10 and 25-6, before securing the victory with a 25-17 game three win. Shelby Luther led the way with five kills and two blocks while Alex Kolish provided back up with four blocks and two kills.

Middletown opened the season on Saturday September 2nd by participating in Trinity's tip-off tournament. The Lady Raiders dropped all three matches in their morning pool play with York Catholic, Palmyra and FCA responsible for the losses. Middletown righted their ship a bit in afternoon pool play with a victory over Fairfield but a loss to Eastern York dampened the excitement. The pool play results put the Lady Raiders opposite Milton Hershey in the championship bracket where a victory gave them a rematch with Eastern York. The Lady Golden Knights claimed the victory, ending Middletown's time in the Silver bracket.

BOYS SOCCER

The two remaining Middletown fall sports teams own a combined 4-0-1 record with both the football team and the soccer team sitting on two wins. The soccer team added a 1-1 draw against Bishop McDevitt on September 9th to account for the lone non-victory.

Thomas Einolf accounted for Middletown's score while Luke Husic lit the lamp for the Crusaders. Middletown kicked off the season on September 1st with a 12-0 romp over Harrisburg. David Alcock and Tommy Lee each scored twice while Jacob Spear finished with two assists. Einolf, Eric Aidoo and Zeryab Ibrahim all added one goal and one assist while Joey Spear, Nate Nelson, Antony LaVia and Mason Garza rounded out the attack with one goal each.

The Blue Raiders followed up their blowout with another shutout, this one a 2-0 final over East Pennsboro on the 7th. Middletown scored twice in the first half with Einolf getting help from Nelson and Alcock getting an assist from Donavan Brady. Tommy Lee needed just two saves to earn the clean sheet.

FOOTBALL

The football team's quest to finish with one more victory than their PIAA-3A runner-up campaign of 2016 kicked off with a 24-7 win over Lower Dauphin. The two sides traded first quarter touchdowns with Tre Leach finding Blake Jacoby for a 14-yard score midway through the opening frame. The Falcons answered on the ensuing possession with a 78-yard strike to tie the game at 7-7.

Middletown took the lead in the second quarter with a 32-yard Donovan Brady field goal. The Blue Raiders used a punishing ground game to put the game away with Jose Lopez leading the way. Lopez stretched the Middletown lead from a mere three points to the final 17-point margin with rushing scores of 16 and 25 yards in the fourth quarter. The scores help the sophomore back finish with a team high 159 yards. Brady Fox added 58 yards on four carries.

One week later the Blue Raiders were dialed in, trouncing Northern York 35-0. Middletown's defense held the Polar Bears to 119 yards of offense while the Blue Raider offense tallied 397 yards behind a 287-yard ground attack. Lopez once again led the way with 155 yards on just 16 carries. Fox also passed the century mark while making three trips to the end zone. Fox picked up two of this three scores and the bulk of his 110 yards in the opening frame. His first score covered only five yards but his second score accounted for 72-yards and pushed the Middletown lead to 21-0.

Lopez made his lone trip to the end zone to finish the 28-point first quarter, scoring from 34-yards out. Middletown's other score of the frame was a 45-yard pitch and catch from Scott Ash to Tyreer Mills. Fox finished off the scoring with just over seven minutes remaining in the second, taking a three-yard plunge.

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Lady Raiders Top Milton Hershey, Camp Hill May 22, 2017

The phrase 'too little, too late' could apply to the Middletown softball team's late season surge. The Lady Raiders, with wins over Milton Hershey and Camp Hill, picked up a quarter of their wins over the final six days of the 2017 regular season. That puts Middletown at 8-12 overall and 5-7 in Mid-Penn Capital Division play.

The final victory of 2017 came on May 16th with a 10-6 win over Milton Hershey. Hayli Akakpo-Martin and Riley Elhajj led the way at the plate while Maddie Sweigert limited the Lady Spartans enough to collect the win.

Sweigert covered five of the seven innings and allowed all six of the Lady Spartan runs on six hits and three walks to go along with three strikeouts. Hayley Baxter pitched a scoreless final two innings, allowing just one hit and no walks with one punch-out.

Akakpo-Martin collected two of Middletown's six hits, driving in two runs with two singles. Elhajj had just one single but inflicted just as much damage to finish with two RBI. Hailey Hockenberry and Gabby Krupilis drove in the final two Lady Raider runs with Hockenberry getting the job done with a double while Krupilis picked up a RBI without collecting a single hit.

Middletown's second to last win came on May 12th with a 13-2 victory over Camp Hill. Noelle Zimmerman earned the win after pitching all seven innings. She closed the game with four scoreless innings after allowing first and third inning runs to the Lady Lions. Zimmerman added three walks and three strikeouts to the six hits allowed.

Elhajj and Kayla Warhola provided the pop at the plate, accounting for four of Middletown's 19 hits plus six RBI. They split everything down the middle, each pushing three runs across with matching singles and doubles. Jordyn Dupes rapped out four singles leading to one RBI while Veronica Miller's three singles and Kylee Nester's two base hits gave each player a RBI of their own. Kate Fitzpatrick and Akakpo-Martin also enjoyed three hit days with Fitzpatrick picking up a RBI on two singles and a double.

In between the two victories was a 10-4 loss to Central Dauphin East. Zimmerman took the loss, pitching all six innings. She finished with four strikeouts and two walks to go along with six hits and five earned runs. The Lady Raiders managed nine hits with Nester picking up three of them. Those hits, all singles allowed Nester to score one run and drive in another. Dupes and Krupilis each recorded two singles. Elhajj managed just one single but matched Dupes' RBI total while Akakpo-Martin picked up the final Middletown hit.

The season came to a close on May 17th with a 3-0 loss to Trinity. Zimmerman took another six-inning loss after allowing single runs in the second, fourth and sixth innings. She allowed just four hits to the Lady Shamrocks but those hits, coupled with four walks, resulted in three earned runs and were countered with just two strikeouts. Trinity's Erin Pfeffer picked up the shutout victory, allowing only singles to Akakpo-Martin and Sweigert while striking out 10 and issuing no walks.

BASEBALL

In their final week of the 2017 season, the baseball team dropped games against Central Dauphin East and East Pennsboro to finish 9-11 overall and 6-8 in the Mid-Penn Capital Division.

May 15th saw Middletown drop a 3-0 final to Central Dauphin East. The Panthers used a stellar outing from Hunter Paul to collect the win. Paul issued no walks to go with nine strikeouts and allowed only a second inning double to Richard Castagna to post the shutout victory. Michael Mattes pitched well in the loss with none of the Panther runs falling on the earned side of the ledger. Mattes struck out 11 and walked none while scattering six hits.

The Blue Raiders closed out the season one day later with a 10-0 loss to East Pennsboro. Middletown managed just four hits while absorbing their fifth shutout loss of the season. Blake Jacoby picked up two of those four singles while David Alcock and Jimmy Fitzpatrick split the remaining two base hits.

Noah Zimmerman took the loss after allowing six of the 10 Panther runs over the game's first four innings. Fitzpatrick pitched the final inning and two-thirds, surrendering the final four East Penn runs. Only four of those 10 runs were earned as the Middletown defense committed five errors. Together Zimmerman and Fitzpatrick combined for five strikeouts and three walks.

TRACK

The track and field team also finished their 2017 season last week with a trip to Shippensburg University for the District 3 Championship meet.

Despite an undefeated regular season the boys sent only three individuals and one relay team to Shippensburg. Hunter Landis and Tyrelle Gallatin each qualified for two events with Gallatin also taking part of Middletown's 15th place finish in the 400m relay. Antonio Gamble, Malik Noon and Jose Lopez joined Gallatin in that relay.

Lopez also joined Gallatin in the 100m but the freshman did not advance out of the preliminary round. The same cannot be said for Gallatin who ultimately finished eighth in the event thanks to a 11.27 in the finals. Gallatin worked his way to the championship race with a 11.30 in the prelims and a 11.09 in the semifinals, both earning the junior the final slot in the next round. With all of Gallatin's work in the 100m and 400m relay he bowed out of the 200m competition.

Landis had a mixed weekend, finishing ninth in the 3A shotput and 16th in the discus. Landis entered the shotput competition seeded 15th but bettered that seeded mark of 48' 8" by nearly two feet with his top throw of 50' ", taking ninth in the 16-person field. Things did not go as well in the discus competition with Landis taking 16th place with his best toss of 126' 3" which was almost 20' off his seeded throw.

The Lady Raiders had nine girls qualify in 10 events resulting in five podium finishes. Rowan Sessa and Morgan Noon captured the top finishes with each earning a bronze medal. Noon slipped to third in the 2A discus competition with a top throw of 110' 1" after entering the day seeded second. Lily Fager qualified but did not throw.

Sessa highlighted her busy weekend with a third-place finish in the 300mH, clocking a 48.14. She missed out on the 110mH finals after finishing 11th in the semifinals with a time of 17.52. She earned that semifinal slot with the 10th fastest preliminary time, 17.34.

Sessa's teammate, Jocilyn Koser, was even busier as she took part in three events that required six races. She opened her busy weekend on Friday with runs in the 100m and 200m prelims and semifinals. Koser dropped out of the 100m competition after finishing 14th in the semifinals. She earned that semifinal spot with a 13.33 in the preliminary round. Koser's 26.78 in the 200m prelims was the fifth fastest time while her 27.29 in the semifinals was only the eighth quickest. She posted a 27.48 in Saturday's finals to finish eighth. Koser capped her crazy weekend with a disqualification in the 400m.

Courtney Shaffer was the final Lady Raider to qualify on the track but the senior did not compete in the 800m final.

Ashley Barni picked up a surprise sixth place finish in the javelin with her toss of 103' 5" jumping all the way up from her 12th place seed. Keely Lombardi held up her 11th place seed by finishing 11th with a throw of 90'.

Bianca Jasper managed a seventh-place finish in the high jump despite entering the competition seeded third. Her top jump of 4' 8" was just two inches off the winning height from Delone Catholic's Julianna Malesky.

Jessica Knisely was the final Lady Raider to take part in the district meet, finishing in a tie for 10th in the pole vault. Knisely cleared 7' 6" along with three other athletes.

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Middletown Track Wraps Up Perfect Season May 15, 2017

The boys' track and field team finished up a perfect regular season with a win over Cedar Cliff last Tuesday while the Lady Raiders suffered their sixth loss. Both squads sent their contingent to Chambersburg on Saturday, May 13th for the Mid-Penn Championship meet. The two sides tallied seven top 10 finishes led by Hunter Landis who collected two of them. Landis took fifth in the shotput with a toss of 48' 8.25" and sixth in the discus with a heave of 144' 1". Devin Agramonte added a sixth-place finish in the long jump while Tyrelle Gallatin claimed the final individual medal, picking up the bronze for an 11.17 in the 100m. Middletown also came home with a sixth-place finish in the 400m relay. Lily Fager posted the top finish for the Lady Raiders, taking fifth in the discus with a throw of 99' 10". Bianca Jasper picked up the only other top 10 finish, settling for a four-way tie for 10th in the high jump with a best of 4' 8".

BASEBALL

Despite Mother Nature extending the baseball season by another week, it appears like the Blue Raiders will run out of games in their attempt to qualify for the District 3-4A playoffs. Middletown improved to 9-9 on the season but that is only good enough for 12th in the 4A power rankings, putting the Blue Raiders two spots out of the 10-team field.

Middletown got their worst game out of the way early last week, taking a 4-1 loss when they faced off against Palmyra. Michael Mattes and Jimmy Fitzpatrick spilt the six-inning affair down the middle with each pitcher tossing three. Mattes absorbed the loss, allowing six of the nine Cougar hits and all four of their runs with just one earned run. Fitzpatrick issued four walks to go with the three hits he allowed. He also accounted for one of the four Middletown hits on offense, smacking a double while Blake Jacoby, Noah Zimmerman and John Sanchez-Padilla chipped in with singles. Sanchez-Padilla picked up Middletown's lone RBI with a first inning fielder's choice.

Middletown rebounded nicely with a 15-4, five inning win over Steel-High on Tuesday. Tristan Maxwell covered the first three innings to earn the win while Richard Castagna and Sanchez-Padilla covered the final two innings. Maxwell surrendered two hits and one earned run, adding four strikeouts and three walks to his day. Castagna's time on the hill was short, surviving just two-thirds of an inning after allowing the final three Roller runs. Sanchez-Padilla closed things out, striking out three and walking one in a hitless final inning and a third.

Zimmerman, with three singles, and Matt Schopf, with two base hits, provided the big pop at the plate with each driving in three runs. Castagna and Joe Brady each enjoyed two RBI days despite just two singles between them.

The Blue Raiders closed out the week on Thursday with a 4-3 walk-off win over Trinity. Sanchez-Padilla played the hero with a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh to steal the win from the Shamrocks. Sanchez-Padilla accounted for another Middletown hit with a fourth inning single. Maxwell, Castagna and Fitzpatrick picked up the three remaining hits for the Blue Raiders with Maxwell adding a sac fly in the third.

Zimmerman got the start but ended up with no decision as Mattes earned the win for covering the final inning. Zimmerman scattered four hits over his six innings and allowed all three Trinity runs although just two were earned. He added five strikeouts and four walks while Mattes allowed one hit and had two strikeouts.

SOFTBALL

The softball team appears destined for the same postseason fate as their baseball counterparts, just outside the cutoff. After a 1-1 week, the Lady Raiders are 6-10 and two spots out of the District 3-3A postseason field.

It may have taken nine innings but a win is still a win and the Lady Raiders will gladly take their 8-7 victory over Palmyra. Noelle Zimmerman pitched all nine innings, outdueling Palmyra's Abbey Krahling in the process. Zimmerman allowed nine hits and seven runs but only three were earned as Middletown committed four errors. Zimmerman added four walks and one strikeout to her pitching line.

Veronica Miller managed just one hit, a triple, but still scored three runs to go with one RBI. Hayli Akakpo-Martin, Gabby Krupilis and Jordyn Dupes all posted the same one hit, one RBI day while Kate Fitzpatrick added a two hit, one RBI game.

The week did a complete flip-flop with a 15-0 loss to Kennard-Dale on Wednesday. Krupilis picked up two of Middletown's five hits while Dupes, Fitzpatrick and Riley Elhajj accounted for one hit apiece. Maddie Sweigert took the loss for covering the first four innings and allowing 13 of the 15 Lady Ram runs. Hayley Baxter pitched the final inning, surrendering the final two Kennard-Dale runs on one hit and one walk.

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Middletown Baseball Falls to 7-8 Overall May 8, 2017

The Middletown baseball team struggled through the first week of May, dropping all three games they played last week, falling to 7-8 overall and 4-7 in the Mid-Penn Capital Division. The former dropped Middletown out of the 10 team District 3-4A playoff field while the latter pushed them further from the top of the Capital Division standings.

The Blue Raiders kicked off the week by finishing out their March slate, hosting West Perry in a game that had been scheduled to take place back on March 28th. The Mustangs left with a 3-0 victory. Jimmy Fitzpatrick took the loss, allowing five hits, two runs while striking out two and walking one, during his six innings of work. Johan Sanchez-Padilla covered the final inning, surrendering the final run on one hit and one walk.

Sanchez-Padilla also accounted for two of the four Middletown hits, rapping out two singles. Blake Jacoby and Kyle Truesdale joined the hit club with one single each.

The Blue Raiders closed the week on Thursday with an 8-4 loss to Camp Hill. In between was a May 2nd tilt opposite East Pennsboro. The two sides needed a full nine innings to decide a winner with East Penn coming out on top 8-7.

Middletown sent the game to extras with a crazy bottom of the seventh rally that saw runs scored via a fielder's choice, passed ball and a wild pitch. The game got away from the Blue Raiders in the top of the ninth when the Panthers produced their own three run rally. Jacoby nearly knotted the game a second time in the bottom of the ninth when his contact resulted in a two-run error but this rally fell short. Noah Zimmerman and David Alcock were the only other two Blue Raiders to manage a hit with Zimmerman finishing with two of the team's four base knocks.

Zimmerman took the loss for two innings of relief of starter Michael Mattes. Together the pair combined for 11 strikeouts and four walks to go with eight hits and five earned runs.

SOFTBALL

The softball team also went 0-3 last week with an odd schedule quirk leading to two of those losses coming at the hands of East Pennsboro. The teams squared off on May 2nd in what was supposed to be their second meeting of the season but it ended up being their first.

The result was a 13-1 Lady Panther victory. East Penn used a seven run fourth to push their lead past 10-runs. Middletown countered with a lone run in the top of the fifth but it was not enough to stave off the 10-run rule.

Maddie Sweigert took the loss, surrendering all 13 East Pennsboro runs on 12 hits and two walks to go with two strikeouts in four and one-third innings. Hayley Baxter induced the final two outs in relief of Sweigert. Jordyn Dupes, Gabby Krupilis and Kayla Warhola split the three Lady Raiders hits with Dupes' double being the only extra base hit.

One day later the Lady Panthers traveled to Middletown but the result did not change. East Pennsboro won in five innings, this time 11-0. Noelle Zimmerman pitched all five innings and absorbed the loss. She yielded seven hits and four walks with just one strikeout, leading to eight of the 11 runs being earned. Riley Elhajj accounted for both Middletown hits, a pair of singles.

The Lady Raiders opened the week on Monday with another five-inning loss, this one by a 12-0 final to West Perry. Zimmerman covered three and two thirds innings, allowing all the Lady Mustang runs, with only seven counting as earned. She added two strikeouts and three walks to the 11 hits allowed. Baxter finished the game by recording the final out in the bottom of the fourth. The Lady Raiders managed just three singles on the day, one each by Warhola, Kylee Nester and Hailey Hockenberry.

TRACK

The highlight of the week came on the track where the boy's 90-59 victory over Trinity secured the team's first division crown since 1990. Tyrelle Gallatin and Matt Frehse spearheaded the win with two victories apiece. Gallatin swept the sprints, taking the 100m in 11.0 and the 200m in 23.2. Frehse enjoyed a hurdle sweep, posting a 16.6 to take the 110mH while topping the 300mH field with a 43.8. The Blue Raiders posted a 45.0 to take the 400m relay, their lone relay victory.

Middletown did even better in the field, winning four of the seven events. Hunter Landis led the charge with a heave of 46' 4.5" in the shot put while Chris Plummer locked up the triple jump with a top distance of 38' 2". Devin Agramonte covered 20' 0.5" to win the long jump while Grayson Meyer cleared 10' to take the pole vault.

The Lady Raiders were not as fortunate, falling to Trinity by an 85-65 final, with just six event wins as a team. Morgan Noon picked up two of those wins, taking the shot put with a throw of 30' 2.5" and the discus with a toss of 102'. The other four victories came on the track with just one coming from a relay team. The 400m relay clocked a 54.1 to top the Lady Shamrock squad. Rowan Sessa picked up a win in the 100mH with a 17.5. Courtney Shaffer added a mid-distance win with a 2:38.5 in the 800m while Angela Hernandez claimed the 3200m in 14:21.6.

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Middletown Baseball Blanks Milton Hershey May 1, 2017

The Middletown baseball team found themselves on the opposite end of similar games last week. The Blue Raiders opened the week with a 10-0 win over Milton Hershey on Wednesday but closed with a 10-1 loss to Northern York on Thursday.

Middletown wrapped up their win over the Spartans strong, scoring eight of their 10 runs in the sixth and final inning. One day later the Blue Raiders were unable to get their bats going in the nine-run loss to the Polar Bears.

TENNIS

The final week of April brought a close to the 2017 boys' tennis season at Middletown Area High School. The Blue Raiders wrapped up their regular season with losses to Bishop McDevitt and Susquehanna Township to finish 2-11.

Middletown dropped the McDevitt match by a 5-0 final on the 24th and the Township match by a 3-2 count on the 26th. Both team points against the Indians came in doubles play. Connor Gambini and Blake Gill topped Brian Sayre and Trey Trkula in number one doubles while Steven Mosher and Jacob Idowu took out Anuj Ghimirey and Amory Sestlugres in three sets at number two.

Both duos entered the Mid-Penn Conference tournament seeded in their respective flights, Gambini and Gill earning the second seed in flight one while Mosher and Idowu earned the fourth seed in the flight two draw.

Gambini and Gill used their victory over Sayre and Trkula on Wednesday as a spring board to a quarterfinal win over the pair in the Mid-Penn Conference tournament. The season came to a close with a three-set semifinal loss to Camp Hill's Max Dethloff and Andrew Zully.

Mosher and Idowu also had their season end with a semifinal loss to a Camp Hill pair. The Blue Raider pair fell to the topped seeded Ben Brodie and Tristan Moten in two sets. Mosher and Idowu earned that semifinal showdown by topping Trinity's Kyle Carson and Nikolos Higgins, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

Middletown had one other doubles team in Mid-Penn action, Jacob Spear and Tommy Lee in the DQ Doubles bracket. The pair dropped their only match to Bishop McDevitt's Noah Nacionales and Josh Lapitan.

The Blue Raiders were unable to replicate their doubles success in singles action with all three players dropping their opening round match. Spear and Lee both fell to foes from James Buchanan while Jarod Frekot dropped his match with Camp Hill's Tyler Myers. Spear fell to Isaac Shenton at number one singles while Lee dropped his number two match with Micah Wise.

SOFTBALL

Despite the wet weather that has pushed back numerous games this season, the softball team was in action just once last week, falling to Northern York by a 6-2 count on Thursday. The Lady Polar Bears balanced a three run first with another three runs over the fifth and sixth innings. Middletown managed a two-run burst in the top of the third but nothing more.

Noelle Zimmerman pitched all six innings for Middletown, finishing with one strikeout and three walks to go with seven hits and six runs allowed.

Kylee Nester and Kayla Warhola accounted for half of the Lady Raiders four hits with each picking up one RBI for their efforts. Kate Fitzpatrick and Hayli Akakpo-Martin picked up the two remaining hits for Middletown.

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ET Boys' Tracksters Remain Undefeated April 24, 2017

The boys track team remained undefeated on the season with an 85-65 win over East Pennsboro last Tuesday. Matthew Frehse and Tyrelle Gallatin led the way with two wins apiece. Frehse swept the hurdle events, taking the 110mH in 15.7 and the 300mH in 42.9. Gallatin enjoyed a sprint sweep thanks to a 11.2 in the 100m and a 23.1 in the 200m. Jose Lopez-Quinones (400m), Aiden Sessa (800m) and Justin Shaffer (1600m) accounted for the remaining wins on the track. Hunter Landis, Brendan Douglass and Chris Plummer split the three wins in the field. Landis claimed the shot put, Douglass the discus and Plummer the high jump.

The Lady Raiders dropped their head-to-head with East Pennsboro by a 95-55 final. Rowan Sessa picked up the only two wins on the track, posting a 17.2 in the 100mH and a 49.9 in the 300mH. Middletown's four remaining wins all came in the field starting with Morgan Noon's discus victory. Ashley Barni claimed the top spot in the javelin while Bianca Jasper (high jump) and Jessica Knisely (pole vault) collected the final two wins.

TENNIS

The boys' tennis team hit the courts twice last week and dropped both outings. They opened the week with a 4-1 loss to Camp Hill in a make-up from March 16th and 31st. Connor Gambini and Blake Gill accounted for the lone victory, topping Max Dethloff and Andrew Zolly in number one doubles.

The pair were also responsible for earning the 0.5 points in a 4.5-0.5 loss to James Buchanan on April 20th. Gambini and Gill won the opening set against Noah Shank and Oscar Erkes at number one doubles by a 6-2 count but were trailing 4-5 in the second set when the match was called due to an approaching storm.

SOFTBALL

The baseball and softball teams enjoyed 2-1 weeks. The Lady Raiders opened with a 17-5, five inning, win over Susquehanna Township on April 17th. Maddie Sweigert pitched the first three innings to collect the win. She held the Lady Indians hitless, walked two, and struck out one with only one of her three runs allowed falling in the earned category. Hayley Baxter covered the final two innings, allowing the final two Township runs on three hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts.

Hayli Akakpo-Martin, Kate Fitzpatrick and Gabby Krupilis all drove in three runs on two hits to power the offense. Veronica Miller added another two RBIs on her lone hit of the day.

The Lady Raiders picked up their fifth win of the season one day later with a 4-3 victory over Trinity. Both squads scored three first inning runs to keep the score tied but Middletown was able to plate the game winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Noelle Zimmerman tossed all seven innings to earn the win finishing with five strikeouts and one walk to go along with five hits and three earned runs. Kylee Nester picked up the only RBI for Middletown with a triple. Kate Fitzpatrick tallied the only other extra base hit with a double. Riley Elhajj, Krupilis and Akakpo-Martin all finished with base hits.

The Lady Raiders closed the week with a 16-4 loss to West Perry on Thursday. The Lady Mustangs rapped out 22 hits with Baxter and Krupilis getting hit for 11 apiece. Baxter spread her hits allowed over four and one third innings while Krupilis surrendered her 11 hits in two and two-thirds innings.

Elhajj smacked two triples in her three at-bats, finishing with one RBI and one run scored. Fitzpatrick matched everything but the two triples, settling for one triple instead. Miller and Akakpo-Martin drove in the remaining two runs while Nester, Krupilis and Jordyn Dupes accounted for the remaining three Middletown hits.

BASEBALL

The baseball team followed the same script last week, wins over Susquehanna Township and Trinity followed by a loss to West Perry.

The Blue Raiders opened the week with a 7-5 win over Township on the 17th. Michael Mattes picked up the win for his four innings of work. He counted seven hits and three earned runs with nine strikeouts and just one walk to his day. Blake Jacoby and Jimmy Fitzpatrick covered the final three innings on the mound. Jacoby surrendered two runs on one hit and one walk while Fitzpatrick pitched a perfect seventh to close out the win.

Middletown plated five of their seven runs in the bottom of the third inning with only two hits. The Blue Raiders opened the inning with three straight walks followed by two straight hit batsmen, leading to a 2-1 lead. Tristan Maxwell and Richard Castagna connected on the only two hits to make it 4-1 while a fielder's choice put Middletown up 5-1. David Alcock picked up his only hit of the game with a run producing single in the fifth.

One day later Middletown outlasted Trinity 10-9 for their second win in as many days. Fitzpatrick got the start and the win for four innings of work. Maxwell, Alcock and Noah Zimmerman covered the final three innings. The quartet combined to strike out five, walk two and gave up five earned runs.

Fitzpatrick and Jacoby drove in two runs each with Fitzpatrick smacking a one run single to center in the sixth to go with a run producing walk in the fourth. Jacoby drove in one run with a first inning double and a second run with a fourth inning single.

The Blue Raiders traveled to West Perry on Thursday and returned with an 8-5 loss. Zimmerman took the loss after pitching the first five and one third innings. Jacoby pitched the final two-thirds of an inning, allowing no hits, runs or walks.

Castagna and Joe Brady each finished with two hits and one RBI while Maxwell also drove in one run but did so on just one hit. Castagna picked up a RBI with a sixth inning double while Brady pushed a run across with a first inning single. Maxwell also enjoyed a single on the day but his RBI came from a sixth inning fielder's choice.

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Lady Raiders Top Camp Hill, 8-3 April 17, 2017

Despite the best efforts from Mother Nature, the Middletown softball team has completed roughly one-third of their 2017 slate. The weather did push two games from early April into early May but the Lady Raiders have still played seven of their 20 games, and sit at 3-4 overall.

Middletown earned that third win on April 11th using a five run fifth to overtake Camp Hill on their way to an 8-3 victory. Kayla Worhola carried the big bat for the day, adding a single to her fifth inning blast. Gabby Krupilis, Veronica Miller and Kylee Nester provided back-up with Krupilis matching Warhola's two hits while all three enjoyed a single RBI. Noelle Zimmerman scattered seven hits and allowed three fourth inning runs on her way to the win. She added two strikeouts and two walks.

Middletown's second game last week ended with the Lady Raiders on the wrong end of a 14-2 final. Eastern York used a 10-run second inning to propel them to the five-inning win. Nester took the loss after getting the start. Hayley Baxter tossed the final two and two-thirds innings with the pair combining for four walks and no strikeouts. The pair also provided both Middletown runs courtesy of their matching RBI totals. Miller, Jordyn Dupes and Hayli Akakpo-Martin tallied the three remaining Middletown hits.

BASEBALL

The baseball team was in action three times last week, picking up wins over Bishop McDevitt and Steel-High sandwiched around a loss to Camp Hill. The 2-1 week pushes Middletown to 4-3 overall.

Michael Mattes earned Monday's win over McDevitt by scattering four hits and two runs while picking up two strikeouts and issuing one walk. Jimmy Fitzpatrick secured the win by pitching a scoreless seventh in relief of Mattes.

Aaron McDevitt provided the big hit of the day with a three-run double in the sixth. David Alcock picked up his lone hit of the game to push across the final Middletown run, giving the Blue Raiders a 5-1 cushion. Richard Castagna put Middletown up 1-0 with his first inning single only to see the Crusaders answer by tying the game in the third. McDevitt picked up their second run in the bottom half of the sixth but it did little to dent Middletown's four run lead.

The week ended on Wednesday with a 15-0, four inning, thrashing of Steel-High. Noah Zimmerman allowed just one hit over the four-shutout innings to earn the win. Ten of the 12 Roller outs came via strikeouts with Zimmerman issuing just two walks to counter those 10 strikeouts.

Zimmerman and Blake Jacoby both smacked two-run doubles and Johan Sanchez-Padilla connected on a two-run blast as part of a five run second inning for Middletown. That outburst stretched the Blue Raider lead to 8-0 after two innings. Middletown finished the game with a seven run fourth that was highlighted by a three-run homerun by Matt Schopf.

In between the two wins was a 3-0 loss to Camp Hill on Tuesday. Fitzpatrick took the loss despite pitching a solid game. He scattered six hits and allowed just three runs to go with three strikeouts and one walk. Unfortunately for Fitzpatrick and the rest of the Blue Raiders, Lion hurler, Wyatt Beddow, had better stuff. He struck out 14 and walked just two while allowing two hits on the way to the shutout win. Zimmerman and Joe Brady accounted for those two hits, singles in the third and fifth innings.

TENNIS

The boy's tennis team picked up their second win of the season on April 13th but not before losses to East Pennsboro and Trinity earlier in the week. The Panthers posted a 5-0 win on Monday while Middletown fell to Trinity by a 4-1 final on Wednesday. Steven Mosher and Jacob Idowu earned the lone win against the Shamrocks, topping Kyle Carson and Nikolos Higgins in number two doubles.

The Blue Raiders were able to claim the win over Harrisburg Academy on Thursday thanks to singles sweeps by Jacob Spear, Tommy Lee and Jarod Frekot to go along with doubles wins by Blake Gill and Connor Gambini and the Mosher-Idowu duo.

TRACK

The track and field teams took a trip to Elliottsburg last Tuesday to face off against West Perry. The boys came home with a 90-60 victory while the Lady Raiders fell 77-73.

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Blue Raiders' Baseball Crushes Milton Hershey April 3, 2017

The baseball team experienced mixed results as their 2017 campaign got underway. They took a loss from Hershey to open the season and added a win over Milton Hershey a few days later.

Against the Trojans, Middletown managed just four hits. The biggest was Johan Sanchez-Padilla's two run blast in the fourth that accounted for both of the Blue Raider runs. Blake Jacoby, Noah Zimmerman and Jimmy Fitzpatrick split the remaining three hits.

Fitzpatrick and Zimmerman both spent time on the hill in relief of starter Michael Mattes. They registered one inning each with Fitzpatrick tallying one strikeout and one walk to Zimmerman's two strikeouts and two walks. Zimmerman was also responsible for three of Hershey's six runs. Mattes was on the hook for the remaining three runs, surrendering four hits and one walk to go with seven strikeouts over five innings.

The Blue Raiders evened their record to 1-1 on March 30th with a 15-0 shellacking of Milton Hershey. Zimmerman was the beneficiary of the scoring outburst, picking up five strikeouts on his way to collecting the three-inning victory. Fitzpatrick, Tristan Maxwell and Joe Brady did the bulk of the damage at the plate. Brady and Fitzpatrick connected on two singles each to drive in a pair of runs apiece while Maxwell plated two runs despite a hitless day.

SOFTBALL

The softball team also dropped their season opener to Hershey on the 24th, falling by an 11-6 count. Hayli Akakpo-Martin managed three hits in her four trips to the plate, collecting a single, double and a triple to go with one RBI. Kayla Warhola also enjoyed a multi-hit day, smacking a triple and a single to push one run across. Jordyn Dupes and Kylee Nester each managed just one hit but Nester's double pushed one run across with Dupes accounting for two scores thanks to her single.

TRACK

As season openers go you can't ask for much better than the boys' track team's 82-68 victory over Bishop McDevitt on March 28th. Justin Shaffer led the way, taking part in four different wins while Matt Frehse and Hunter Landis added two wins each. Shaffer posted three of his four wins in solo events, taking the 800m (2:16), 1600m (5:02.7) and the 3200m (11:21.6). He also played a part in the 3200m relay team's winning time of 9:14.1 with Daniel Brenner, Cameron Parkhill and Aiden Sessa accounting for the other three legs. Frehse did his work in the hurdle events, taking the 110 highs in 16.2 and the 300's in 43.2. Landis earned his two individual wins with throws of 44' 1" in the shot put and 140' 1" in the discus while Malik Noon claimed his lone victory in the triple jump. Middletown's final victory came in the 1600m relay where Tre Leach, Grayson Meyer, Jose Lopez-Quinones and Donovan Brady combined to post a time of 3:49.9.

The Lady Raiders were not as fortunate in their battle with McDevitt, falling 111-39. Rowan Sessa accounted for two of Middletown's three wins, taking the 100 hurdles in 17.6 and the 300's in 51.2. The Lady Raiders remaining win came in the field with Ashley Barni tossing the javelin 100' 2".

TENNIS

The tennis team has managed to avoid the rainy weather that has troubled a lot of other sports, playing three of their scheduled four matches. Unfortunately, the results have been less than desirable with the Blue Raiders dropping all three. Middletown kicked off the season on March 21st with a 5-0 loss to East Pennsboro. A 3-2 loss to Trinity followed two days later with a 4-1 defeat to James Buchanan completing the three-match stretch.

All of Middletown's wins came in doubles action with Connor Gambini and Blake Gill picking up the lone win against the Rockets. Gill was also part of one of the victories against Trinity, teaming with Steven Mosher to take out Kenneth Kannampully and Michael Brown in number one doubles. Jacob Idowu and Aaron Fischer teamed up to post the second victory topping Kyle Carson and Nikolas Higgins in number two doubles.

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Raiders Reach State Quarterfinals March 20, 2017

For the Middletown boys' basketball team the saying 'all good things must end' played out over 32 minutes in Altoona last Saturday. The Blue Raiders, making their deepest run into the PIAA playoffs since the 1980's, bowed out of this year's PIAA-4A championship battle with a 77-66 loss to Quaker Valley.

The 4A quarterfinal tilt went sideways for Middletown early in the second when foul trouble sent junior Ryan Hughes to the bench.

"I believe Ryan picking up that third foul really hurt us," said head coach Chris Sattele. "My philosophy coaching wise is when you get three you are done for the half so we couldn't put him back in."

Up until that point the Blue Raiders were matching the Quakers blow for blow. After, the District 7 runner-up was able to close out the half on a 16-8 run and enter the break with a 10-point, 37-27, cushion. Quaker Valley's Coletrane Washington sparked that rally, scoring the first five points sandwiched around a Tre Leach free throw. From there Washington's teammates took over to finish off the run. Leach picked up three more of his 17 points over the course of the run, helping to counter the Quaker push. A Luke Mrakovich jumper was the only other Middletown points during the spurt.

The third quarter started well for Middletown with Michael Mattes (five points) and Hughes draining free throws that trimmed the deficit down to six points. The Quakers scored 13 of the next 15 points to push their lead to 17 with 2:31 remaining in the frame. Fortunately, the Blue Raiders were able to close out the quarter on a 6-0 run to keep the Quakers within striking distance at 50-39.

Striking distance would be as close as Middletown would get despite 16 fourth quarter points from Hughes, pushing him to a game high 24. Quaker Valley managed to maintain their cushion thanks to Danny Conlan, who scored 12 of his team high 20 in the frame, including an eight of 10 showing at the line.

The three remaining Quaker starters also scored in double figures with Ricky Guss collecting 13 points while both Amis Luptak and Wolfie Moser chipped in 12 points.

"Credit to Quaker Valley, they did a tremendous job, they were great," said Sattele. "They're just a special group, they have five very, very good players."

The remaining two Middletown starters, Mrakovich and Chris Plummer, combined for 16 points with Plummer taking credit for nine and Mrakovich five. David Alcock and Tyreer Mills split the remaining four Blue Raider points down the middle.

Middletown earned that quarterfinal date courtesy of a 59-53 victory over Greater Johnstown Area two days prior. The Blue Raiders overcame a sluggish start that saw them down five midway through the opening frame to take a 16-12 lead into the second quarter. Hughes netted five of his team high 19 during the 12-3 run that flipped the game as well as assisting on Plummer's bucket that kicked off the spurt. A Mills three pointer and a Mattes putback accounted for the remaining five points of the run.

Hughes, despite many missed opportunities, picked up another seven points in what proved to be the decisive second quarter. Middletown's only other points in the frame came from a Plummer three pointer just before the buzzer and two Kyle Truesdale free throws a few minutes prior.

Even with Middletown only scoring 12 points in the frame they were able to turn their four-point cushion into a cozier 12-point advantage at the midway point of the game thanks to a dominating defensive effort.

"It was great that we held them to four points in the second quarter. That was huge," said Sattele. "That really put the clamps on them."

A 9-2 run on the other side of the break pushed the Blue Raider lead to an eye popping 19 points with just over 12 minutes of game time remaining. The Trojans began their slow climb back from that hole on the back of Tavis Price. The senior guard scored six straight to kick off a 13-5 Johnstown run and added a three ball on the back end to account for eight of the 13 points. Mrakovich scored four of Middletown's five points in that run while Leach accounted for the remaining point via a free throw with 1:32 remaining in the frame.

Johnstown continued their push as the fourth quarter progressed thanks largely to the work of Price and Jemel Gause. The pair of seniors combined to score 13 of the Trojans 22 fourth-quarter points, shrinking the Blue Raider cushion to a measly six points. Excellent free throw shooting by Middletown kept Johnstown at bay just enough for the Blue Raiders to slip out of Chambersburg with the 59-53 victory. Mrakovich was key to that free throw shooting, draining all six of his attempts in the frame to finish with 12 points in the game. Truesdale was perfect on his two attempts to finish with four points while Leach and Mills added a combined three makes on five attempts. That gave Mills four points and Leach five for the game.

Plummer joined Hughes and Mrakovich in double figures with 11 points while Mattes tallied the four remaining Middletown points. Johnstown's Price led all scorers with 20 points while Gause tacked on 14 in the loss.

The win over Johnstown coupled with the loss to Quaker Valley leaves the Blue Raiders with a stellar 22-6 record for their magical 2016-2017 season.

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Raiders Reach State Quarterfinals March 20, 2017

For the Middletown boys' basketball team the saying 'all good things must end' played out over 32 minutes in Altoona last Saturday. The Blue Raiders, making their deepest run into the PIAA playoffs since the 1980's, bowed out of this year's PIAA-4A championship battle with a 77-66 loss to Quaker Valley.

The 4A quarterfinal tilt went sideways for Middletown early in the second when foul trouble sent junior Ryan Hughes to the bench.

"I believe Ryan picking up that third foul really hurt us," said head coach Chris Sattele. "My philosophy coaching wise is when you get three you are done for the half so we couldn't put him back in."

Up until that point the Blue Raiders were matching the Quakers blow for blow. After, the District 7 runner-up was able to close out the half on a 16-8 run and enter the break with a 10-point, 37-27, cushion. Quaker Valley's Coletrane Washington sparked that rally, scoring the first five points sandwiched around a Tre Leach free throw. From there Washington's teammates took over to finish off the run. Leach picked up three more of his 17 points over the course of the run, helping to counter the Quaker push. A Luke Mrakovich jumper was the only other Middletown points during the spurt.

The third quarter started well for Middletown with Michael Mattes (five points) and Hughes draining free throws that trimmed the deficit down to six points. The Quakers scored 13 of the next 15 points to push their lead to 17 with 2:31 remaining in the frame. Fortunately, the Blue Raiders were able to close out the quarter on a 6-0 run to keep the Quakers within striking distance at 50-39.

Striking distance would be as close as Middletown would get despite 16 fourth quarter points from Hughes, pushing him to a game high 24. Quaker Valley managed to maintain their cushion thanks to Danny Conlan, who scored 12 of his team high 20 in the frame, including an eight of 10 showing at the line.

The three remaining Quaker starters also scored in double figures with Ricky Guss collecting 13 points while both Amis Luptak and Wolfie Moser chipped in 12 points.

"Credit to Quaker Valley, they did a tremendous job, they were great," said Sattele. "They're just a special group, they have five very, very good players."

The remaining two Middletown starters, Mrakovich and Chris Plummer, combined for 16 points with Plummer taking credit for nine and Mrakovich five. David Alcock and Tyreer Mills split the remaining four Blue Raider points down the middle.

Middletown earned that quarterfinal date courtesy of a 59-53 victory over Greater Johnstown Area two days prior. The Blue Raiders overcame a sluggish start that saw them down five midway through the opening frame to take a 16-12 lead into the second quarter. Hughes netted five of his team high 19 during the 12-3 run that flipped the game as well as assisting on Plummer's bucket that kicked off the spurt. A Mills three pointer and a Mattes putback accounted for the remaining five points of the run.

Hughes, despite many missed opportunities, picked up another seven points in what proved to be the decisive second quarter. Middletown's only other points in the frame came from a Plummer three pointer just before the buzzer and two Kyle Truesdale free throws a few minutes prior.

Even with Middletown only scoring 12 points in the frame they were able to turn their four-point cushion into a cozier 12-point advantage at the midway point of the game thanks to a dominating defensive effort.

"It was great that we held them to four points in the second quarter. That was huge," said Sattele. "That really put the clamps on them."

A 9-2 run on the other side of the break pushed the Blue Raider lead to an eye popping 19 points with just over 12 minutes of game time remaining. The Trojans began their slow climb back from that hole on the back of Tavis Price. The senior guard scored six straight to kick off a 13-5 Johnstown run and added a three ball on the back end to account for eight of the 13 points. Mrakovich scored four of Middletown's five points in that run while Leach accounted for the remaining point via a free throw with 1:32 remaining in the frame.

Johnstown continued their push as the fourth quarter progressed thanks largely to the work of Price and Jemel Gause. The pair of seniors combined to score 13 of the Trojans 22 fourth-quarter points, shrinking the Blue Raider cushion to a measly six points. Excellent free throw shooting by Middletown kept Johnstown at bay just enough for the Blue Raiders to slip out of Chambersburg with the 59-53 victory. Mrakovich was key to that free throw shooting, draining all six of his attempts in the frame to finish with 12 points in the game. Truesdale was perfect on his two attempts to finish with four points while Leach and Mills added a combined three makes on five attempts. That gave Mills four points and Leach five for the game.

Plummer joined Hughes and Mrakovich in double figures with 11 points while Mattes tallied the four remaining Middletown points. Johnstown's Price led all scorers with 20 points while Gause tacked on 14 in the loss.

The win over Johnstown coupled with the loss to Quaker Valley leaves the Blue Raiders with a stellar 22-6 record for their magical 2016-2017 season.

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Raiders Reach State Quarterfinals March 20, 2017

For the Middletown boys' basketball team the saying 'all good things must end' played out over 32 minutes in Altoona last Saturday. The Blue Raiders, making their deepest run into the PIAA playoffs since the 1980's, bowed out of this year's PIAA-4A championship battle with a 77-66 loss to Quaker Valley.

The 4A quarterfinal tilt went sideways for Middletown early in the second when foul trouble sent junior Ryan Hughes to the bench.

"I believe Ryan picking up that third foul really hurt us," said head coach Chris Sattele. "My philosophy coaching wise is when you get three you are done for the half so we couldn't put him back in."

Up until that point the Blue Raiders were matching the Quakers blow for blow. After, the District 7 runner-up was able to close out the half on a 16-8 run and enter the break with a 10-point, 37-27, cushion. Quaker Valley's Coletrane Washington sparked that rally, scoring the first five points sandwiched around a Tre Leach free throw. From there Washington's teammates took over to finish off the run. Leach picked up three more of his 17 points over the course of the run, helping to counter the Quaker push. A Luke Mrakovich jumper was the only other Middletown points during the spurt.

The third quarter started well for Middletown with Michael Mattes (five points) and Hughes draining free throws that trimmed the deficit down to six points. The Quakers scored 13 of the next 15 points to push their lead to 17 with 2:31 remaining in the frame. Fortunately, the Blue Raiders were able to close out the quarter on a 6-0 run to keep the Quakers within striking distance at 50-39.

Striking distance would be as close as Middletown would get despite 16 fourth quarter points from Hughes, pushing him to a game high 24. Quaker Valley managed to maintain their cushion thanks to Danny Conlan, who scored 12 of his team high 20 in the frame, including an eight of 10 showing at the line.

The three remaining Quaker starters also scored in double figures with Ricky Guss collecting 13 points while both Amis Luptak and Wolfie Moser chipped in 12 points.

"Credit to Quaker Valley, they did a tremendous job, they were great," said Sattele. "They're just a special group, they have five very, very good players."

The remaining two Middletown starters, Mrakovich and Chris Plummer, combined for 16 points with Plummer taking credit for nine and Mrakovich five. David Alcock and Tyreer Mills split the remaining four Blue Raider points down the middle.

Middletown earned that quarterfinal date courtesy of a 59-53 victory over Greater Johnstown Area two days prior. The Blue Raiders overcame a sluggish start that saw them down five midway through the opening frame to take a 16-12 lead into the second quarter. Hughes netted five of his team high 19 during the 12-3 run that flipped the game as well as assisting on Plummer's bucket that kicked off the spurt. A Mills three pointer and a Mattes putback accounted for the remaining five points of the run.

Hughes, despite many missed opportunities, picked up another seven points in what proved to be the decisive second quarter. Middletown's only other points in the frame came from a Plummer three pointer just before the buzzer and two Kyle Truesdale free throws a few minutes prior.

Even with Middletown only scoring 12 points in the frame they were able to turn their four-point cushion into a cozier 12-point advantage at the midway point of the game thanks to a dominating defensive effort.

"It was great that we held them to four points in the second quarter. That was huge," said Sattele. "That really put the clamps on them."

A 9-2 run on the other side of the break pushed the Blue Raider lead to an eye popping 19 points with just over 12 minutes of game time remaining. The Trojans began their slow climb back from that hole on the back of Tavis Price. The senior guard scored six straight to kick off a 13-5 Johnstown run and added a three ball on the back end to account for eight of the 13 points. Mrakovich scored four of Middletown's five points in that run while Leach accounted for the remaining point via a free throw with 1:32 remaining in the frame.

Johnstown continued their push as the fourth quarter progressed thanks largely to the work of Price and Jemel Gause. The pair of seniors combined to score 13 of the Trojans 22 fourth-quarter points, shrinking the Blue Raider cushion to a measly six points. Excellent free throw shooting by Middletown kept Johnstown at bay just enough for the Blue Raiders to slip out of Chambersburg with the 59-53 victory. Mrakovich was key to that free throw shooting, draining all six of his attempts in the frame to finish with 12 points in the game. Truesdale was perfect on his two attempts to finish with four points while Leach and Mills added a combined three makes on five attempts. That gave Mills four points and Leach five for the game.

Plummer joined Hughes and Mrakovich in double figures with 11 points while Mattes tallied the four remaining Middletown points. Johnstown's Price led all scorers with 20 points while Gause tacked on 14 in the loss.

The win over Johnstown coupled with the loss to Quaker Valley leaves the Blue Raiders with a stellar 22-6 record for their magical 2016-2017 season.

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Blue Raiders Compete in State Hoop Playoffs March 13, 2017

An argument can be made that a loss is just a loss but when that loss comes in gut wrenching fashion it can have an adverse effect on a high school basketball team. So, the Blue Raiders took the court on March 11th for their PIAA-4A opening round affair looking to shake off their, led for 30+ minutes but lost in overtime, district championship heartbreaker to Lancaster Catholic. That loss gave Middletown the two-seed out of District 3 and gave the Blue Raiders a favorable opening round location. Middletown's first state action in 25 years took place at nearby Central Dauphin East High School, allowing the predominantly Blue Raider crowd to enjoy a 71-56 victory over Danville Area.

"We're excited. Obviously, it's the first time that Middletown has played in a state playoff game since '92 so to grab a win against a really good, really talented Danville team out of District 4, we are excited," said head coach Chris Sattele. "Our student body, our community has come together like no other. It's a great time to be a Blue Raider."

Despite the convincing final margin, the game opened with Middletown out of sorts which led to a six-point hole just minutes into the contest.

"They made a couple shots and our guys were still kind of in that moment of this is the state playoffs, looking around at a packed gym, but they gained their composure and were good to go."

Good to go indeed. From the time the Ironmen took the second of their two six-point, first quarter leads until the final whistle, Middletown posted a +21-scoring edge. That included a Ryan Hughes' fueled 9-1 run that flipped the game. That run covered the final 2:21 of the first and turned a six-point deficit into a two-point lead. Hughes scored seven of his 10 first quarter points during the decisive run.

As the second quarter got underway, the Blue Raiders went about extending that two-point lead into something a bit more comfortable. That started to happen with a Luke Mrakovich jumper in the lane that came with 5:27 left in the half. A Michael Mattes put back 30-seconds later pushed the lead to seven at 21-14, providing some comfort. The real cushion came when Chris Plummer drilled back-to-back three pointers to push the lead to 11 with just over three minutes remaining in the half.

Tre Leach was the next Blue Raider to step up. He scored seven straight points, thwarting a run by the Ironmen that had trimmed the cushion down to just six points with 2:07 left in the frame. The final five of Leach's points put Middletown's lead back at a more comfortable 11 points with 72 seconds before intermission. A few Danville free throws coupled with a Mrakovich three at the buzzer gave Middletown a 37-26 advantage at halftime.

As you could expect, the Ironmen came out of the break looking to get back in the game. They did just that with a quick 5-0 run that made it 37-31 with over six minutes remaining in the third. Hughes stepped up again, leading Middletown on a 7-0 run to end the Danville push. The junior guard kick started the Blue Raider counter with a single free throw that made it 38-31. A few seconds later he hit Mattes on an inbounds for 40-31 lead before dishing to Mrakovich on the break for a 42-31 game. A couple of missed Ironmen free throws setup a Hughes jumper to cap the 7-0 run. Leach tacked on his only points of the third on a steal and layup that put the lead at 15 for the first time. The teams traded buckets over the final three minutes leading to a 50-38 contest with just eight minutes remaining.

Danville made another run as the fourth quarter got underway, trimming the Middletown cushion down to single digits just over a minute into the final stanza. Middletown responded with a team wide 10-0 run that pushed the lead to 19-points and ended any thoughts of an Ironmen comeback. Mattes got things rolling with a put back that pushed the lead back to double digits before Hughes and Plummer drilled three-pointers on opposite sides of missed Danville free throws. Middletown capped the run with a pretty fast break that saw Leach hit Plummer who hit Mrakovich for an easy layup and a 62-43 lead.

Danville posted another quick 5-0 spurt to shrink the lead back to 14 but Leach picked up a bucket on a goaltending call that effectively ended the Ironmen's chances with 2:45 remaining in the game. Middletown finished out the game at the line, making seven of 11, to seal the win.

"Every team is good at this level. Anytime you talk about making the state playoffs, you know there is a possibility they could get a couple runs in there," said Sattele of Danville's runs. "We just wanted to make sure we kept our composure. We did what we had to do."

Doing what they had to do resulted in the 15-point victory and a second-round match-up with Johnston Area on March 15th. It also allowed Hughes to finish with a game high 20 points while Mrakovich and Leach tallied 14 apiece. Plummer finished with 11 and Mattes 10 to give the Blue Raiders a quartet of double digit scorers. Kyle Truesdale accounted for the final two points with a first quarter bucket.

The boy's team was not the only Blue Raider squad that enjoyed a foray into state playoff action. The Lady Raiders made their first PIAA appearance since 1998. Unfortunately, that appearance resulted in a first round match-up with the top ranked 3A team in the state, Neumann-Goretti. The result was a 77-50 defeat that ended the Lady Raiders season.

A slow start doomed Middletown from the get-go with the Lady Saints opening a 12-point, 19-7, lead after the first quarter.

"I think playing a state playoff game against the number one team in the state in 3A, we definitely came out with some pregame jitters," commented head coach Ron Stetler. "We didn't shoot well in the first quarter but kind of hung in there."

The Lady Raiders rebounded in the second quarter, matching Neumann-Goretti point for point, leading to a 33-21 game at the break. The Lady Saints stretched their lead to 18 after three with a 25-16 fourth quarter putting the final margin at 27-points.

"In the second half, we kept battling. Our kids never gave up but I think their experience, their athletic ability, height and strength, just took over and they pulled away," offered Stetler.

Bianca Jasper capped her Middletown career with a game high 28 points, topping Neumann-Goretti's Manika Glenn with 26 points. Katie Fitzpatrick picked up 12 as the only other Lady Raider in double figures. Caroline Gill (four points), Makaila Nester (two points), Jaelynn Keller (two points), Nakia Scott (one point) and Morgan Noon (one point) finished up the Middletown scoring.

"A 12-14 record doesn't reflect how good a year we had with only 10 players, including six freshmen, with the teams we played," said Stetler. The teams he is referring to have a combined 10 district playoff berths, two district championships and seven state playoff berths between them.

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Middletown Falls in District 3-4A Final in OT March 6, 2017

High school basketball games are 32-minutes long and no credit is given for leading at any point other than when the final whistle sounds. For the Middletown boys' basketball team that means their valiant effort against Lancaster Catholic in the District 3-4A championship game will go down as just that, a valiant effort.

Despite leading for the first 30:33 of the game, the Blue Raiders ultimately fell in overtime 86-78. The come-from-behind victory gives the Crusaders their third District 3 title and forces Middletown to settle for second. Even with a heartbreaking end to an otherwise great game head coach Chris Sattele remained upbeat. "I'm so proud of our kids, so proud of our community. The support was unbelievable it was great, fantastic," shared Sattele.

Sattele has plenty of reasons to be proud of his squad. The Blue Raiders were making their first appearance in a District 3 title game since their 1993 loss to Kennard-Dale with a predominately junior laden squad that led for roughly 95% of regulation. Meanwhile, Lancaster Catholic carried eight seniors on their roster, including all five of their starters and were making their third appearance in the title game since 2010.

Despite the difference in experience, the Blue Raiders won the opening tip and jumped out to an early lead on a Tre Leach jumper just 20-seconds into the contest. Middletown maintained their two or three bucket lead throughout the opening half, answering every Crusader spurt with a counter that resulted in a 21-17 lead at the break.

Both sides heated up after the break, scoring more points in the third quarter than in the first half combined. Middletown was able to maintain control of the contest despite the increased pace and in fact stretched their lead to eight points, 29-21, with just under six-minutes remaining in the frame. Catholic responded by posting a 16-11 edge over the rest of the third to cut the cushion down to three points, 40-37, heading into the final quarter.

The Blue Raiders reestablished their grip on the lead as the fourth got under way, using a 13-9 stretch to push their lead back to seven points, 53-46, with 5:35 left in the game. Catholic responded by slowly chipping away at that seven-point difference and at first Middletown was able to push back. For every Crusader burst that trimmed the lead down to two or three points, the Blue Raiders would answer with a Leach floater or a Chris Plummer one and one. Ultimately the Crusader push was too much. Lancaster Catholic finally took the lead, 61-60, with 1:27 left in regulation only to see Middletown regain enough footing to force overtime.

In overtime Lancaster Catholic's Sean Landis took over, scoring 13 of his game high 26 to propel his Crusaders to the 86-78 victory.

"They really, really played well," said Sattele. "Coach Klazas had them prepared. Their kids did a tremendous job, they never hung their heads so credit to Lancaster Catholic. They were fantastic."

Landis had back-up in the form of a 24-point game from Jon Ware while Luke Mrakovich collected 22 points to lead Middletown. Leach finished his stellar game with 20-points while both Ryan Hughes and Plummer tallied 17. Kyle Truesdale tacked on the final two Middletown points.

Middletown earned that title game appearance a few days earlier with a wild 44-43, win at the buzzer over top seeded Berks Catholic. Hughes, who finished with a game high 16 points hit a fade away jumper as the horn sounded to give the Blue Raiders a crazy one point win. Leach and Mrakovich helped the cause with eight points apiece while Plummer and Tyreer Mills added six points each.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

While the boys' team locked up a PIAA berth with their February 23rd quarterfinal win over Eastern York, the Lady Raiders had to wait a few days before knowing their state playoff fate. With only three teams advancing out of the District 3-3A bracket the Lady Raiders missed on their first chance to qualify for states, dropping their semifinal tilt with Delone Catholic on the 24th. That sent Middletown to Cumberland Valley High School to face Pequea Valley in a win or go home scenario.

The Lady Raiders were up to the job, posting a 63-33 win to lock up the third and final PIAA berth. Bianca Jasper spearheaded the win, nearly outscoring the Lady Braves on her own with her 27-point effort. Katie Fitzpatrick added 19 points while Makaila Nester made it three double digit scorers with 13-points. Morgan Noon (four points), Jaelynn Keller (three points) and Caroline Gill (two points) accounted for the remaining Middletown points.

WRESTLING

The 2016-2017 wrestling season officially came to a close last weekend. Neither Middletown wrestler participating in the PIAA SE Regional Championship at Wilson High School on March 2nd, 3rd and 4th fared well enough to move on to the PIAA Tournament.

Devin Martin went 1-2 in the 138-pound bracket to bring his season to a close while Ryan Berstler went 0-2 at 113 to end his season. Martin managed to post a 13-6 win over Faith Christian's Max Shultz in their consolation bout but losses to eventual medal winners, Mario Gordon of Notre Dame Green Pond in the first round and to Saucon Valley's Angelo Mahaffey in the consolation bracket ended his season.

Berstler opened his SE Regional time with a loss to the eventual bronze medalist, Richie Markulies of Notre Dame Green Pond. That led to a bye in the first round of the consolation bracket and a second-round match-up with Newport's Dorian Gonzalez. The Newport freshman pinned Berstler at the 4:53 mark, ending the Blue Raiders' season.

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Middletown Hoop Teams Compete in Districts February 27, 2017

"We Remember," is all the shirt needed to say but it had the other important details there too. The date, February 16, 2016, the final score, 45-44 and the opponent, Eastern York...it was a reminder that the Middletown boys' basketball team suffered a season ending loss one year ago, in the opening round of the district playoffs.

"It is important that our kids understand that we were miserable. We were devastated last year," said head coach Chris Sattele. "That is all we talked all spring, all summer, all fall. We were one possession away from going on to the next round."

All that talking fueled the Blue Raiders' 18-4 run through the regular season that earned Middletown the four seed in the 4A bracket of the revamped District 3 playoff format. And as fate would have it, sitting on the opposite side of Middletown's quarterfinal draw was the same Golden Knights that ended the 2015-2016 season.

The 2017 quarterfinal game took place in Middletown's sparkling new gym with the Blue Raiders giving the home fans the ending they didn't get last year in Wrightsville, a not as a close as it seems 73-63 win. A 10-point final margin is none too shabby but the Blue Raiders entered the fourth quarter sporting a 20-point cushion thanks to their work in the second and third quarters. It was there where Middletown held Eastern York to a combined 16 points, turning a one point game into a 20-point affair.

"If we can get two single digit quarters, we feel pretty comfortable that we can get a win and tonight that proved to be true," said Sattele of those back-to-back eight point defensive efforts. While the Blue Raiders were clicking on defense their offense was doing the same. Ryan Hughes scored 15 of his game high 21 and Luke Mrakovich netted eight of his 18 to help Middletown post a 35-16 edge over the middle two frames. That surge accounted for the majority of the Blue Raiders' 20-point cushion.

The final winning margin ended up at 10 points due to a three-point barrage from Eastern York's Evan Springer and Trevor Seitz. The pair combined to hit five of their eight treys' in the fourth which pushed Eastern through a 33-23 run over the final eight minutes. Springer accounted for three of those five on his way to 14 points while Seitz's two triples put him at 14 points as well. Middletown's Chris Plummer countered by drilling two of his four three-pointers in the fourth to help him finish with 14 points.

Tyreer Mills tallied 11 points to give the Blue Raiders four players in double figures. Michael Mattes (four points), Tre Leach (three points) and Kyle Truesdale (two points) accounted for the remaining Middletown points. Stephan Wisler fueled Eastern's first quarter charge, scoring eight of his 12 in the frame, helping the Golden Knights to keep things close.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

The boy's team isn't the only Middletown hoops squad that is postseason dancing. The Lady Raiders are playing as well after earning the three seed in the 3A bracket of the District 3 playoffs. That allowed Middletown to host their quarterfinal game against Tulpehocken on February 21st.

Bianca Jasper and Katie Fitzpatrick combined for 39 of Middletown's 48 points in the 48-30 victory over the Lady Trojans. Middletown controlled throughout, posting a two-point edge in the first quarter and a six-point edge in the second quarter. It was the third fame where the Lady Raiders did their damage. Fitzpatrick picked up 10 of her 19 to propel Middletown on a 19-3 run that turned an eight-point game into a 24-point cakewalk.

The Lady Raiders backed off in the final quarter, allowing Tulpehocken a 13-7 advantage for an 18-point final margin. Jasper picked up the final five of her game high 20 in the fourth with Jaelynn Keller picking up the remaining two points on her only score of the game. Makaila Nester (five points) and Jocilyn Koser (two-points) completed the Middletown offense.

The quarterfinal victory put Middletown opposite Delone Catholic in a #2 versus #3 semifinal showdown. The showdown ended up lasting just one quarter as Middletown fell to the Squirettes by a 66-41 final.

The Lady Raiders used a strong first quarter from Jasper to hang with Delone through eight minutes. The senior guard scored seven of her team high 18 in the frame, helping Middletown to 16 points. The Squirettes matched that total in both the first and second quarters but Middletown dropped off to only seven second quarter points. That turned a tie game into a 32-23 Delone Catholic lead at intermission.

Then Delone ripped off a 24-5 run in the third that put the game away. Middletown posted a 13-10 edge in the fourth that trimmed the final margin to 25-points. Brandi Zumbrum led all scorers with 31 points while teammate Maddie Clabaugh matched Jasper's 18. Koser (eight points), Nester (seven points), Fitzpatrick (five points) and Keller (three points) rounded out the Middletown scoring.

WRESTLING

Middletown's six district wrestlers made the trip to Hershey on February 24th and 25th for the 2A championships. Two of those six did well enough at the Giant Center to extend their season to this weekend's PIAA 2A Southeast Regional.

Devin Martin fell just short of district gold, ending up with silver, after a 3-1 loss to Northern Lebanon's Zach Kelly in the 138-pound championship match. That was Martin's only loss with wins over Aaron Shriner (Fairfield), Trevor Gimbor (Brandywine) and Gus LaTorre (Camp Hill) setting up the championship bout with Kelly.

Ryan Berstler will join Martin at Wilson High School thanks to his fifth-place finish at 113. Berstler opened by pinning Brandywine's Zane Deeter but saw his title hopes end in the quarterfinals with a 17-7 loss to eventual gold medalist, Chase Shields of Bishop McDevitt. The sophomore kicked off his work in the consolation bracket with a 9-2 win over James Buchanan's Derek Pine and followed with a 6-0 win over Brandon Breidegan of Northern Lebanon. That set up a consolation semifinal match up with Newport's Dorian Gonzalez. Berstler fell to the eventual bronze medalist by 2-1 count before rebounding with a 2-0 win over Anthony Gust of Wyomissing to earn fifth place.

The four remaining Blue Raider wresters were unable to produce a win in their eight combined attempts but all eight losses were to eventual medal winners. Luke Fegley dropped his 106-pound matches to Newport's Devan Blose (second place) and Blake Showers of Biglerville (eighth place). Nathan Brady's losses at 126 were to Jordan Frey of Newport (sixth place) and Jethro Solomon of Schuylkill Valley (fifth place). Jacob Spear fell to the eventual fourth place finisher, Michael Capozzoli of Newport and the eventual sixth place finisher, Lucas Gladfelter of Bermudian Springs in his two 145-pound matches. Tariq Potter saw his season end with losses to Braden Kessler of Hamburg (fourth place) and Tanner Harkins of Kennard-Dale (seventh place).

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