Blue Raider Hoopsters, Matmen Compete in State March 19, 2018
The real fun begins now for the Middletown boys' basketball team. The Blue Raiders kicked off their PIAA redemption tour on Friday, March 9th with a 66-57 victory over District 4's champion, Montoursville. The PIAA-4A opening round affair took place at Shikellamy High School in Sunbury and marked Middletown's first step to surpassing last's year's PIAA quarterfinal loss to Quaker Valley.
The nine-point victory ended up being more difficult than many expected with head coach Chris Sattele citing his squad's nine day lay-off as the reason.
"I was proud of our kids because they really responded well and then we were able to get this match up and we felt we could play with District 4 teams," said Sattele.
The result of the layoff was a sloppy first half where Middletown managed just 28 total points. Despite the scoring trouble, the Blue Raiders still managed to take a two-point cushion into the break. The two sides traded buckets and miscues throughout the opening 16 minutes, combining for 15 turnovers, seven ties and eight lead changes. Neither team was able to gain more than a four-point edge but the Blue Raiders were able to enjoy that two-point halftime cushion thanks to the work of Ryan Hughes and Tre Leach. The pair tallied eight points over the final two minutes to help keep the Warriors at bay.
As the third quarter unfolded, Montoursville scored eight of the frame's first 10 points, swinging momentum and the score in their favor. Despite the opening surge by the Warriors, Middletown did not wilt, keeping the game close despite being outscored in the quarter. The 21-16 edge in the frame allowed Montoursville to take a slim 47-44 lead into the final eight minutes but the battle tested Blue Raiders responded by taking over the game in those eight minutes.
It actually only took Middletown about a minute to pull away but the Blue Raiders first had to fight though the first five plus minutes of the final stanza. During that time the Warriors did just enough to hang around making it a 54-53 game with 2:50 remaining. Tre Leach, who finished with 19 points, kicked off the decisive 9-0 run by making both ends of a one and one while Brady Fox scored his only point of the contest to cap the spurt and make it a 63-53 game with 75 seconds remaining. A couple of free throws from Chris Plummer (six points) and Hughes accounted for the final Middletown points.
"The intensity picked up in the second half. Both teams were fighting for their lives, its state playoffs," said Hughes, who scored 12 of his game high 33 points in the decisive fourth quarter. "We were preaching next play, next play in the locker room at half time and I think that is what motivated us never to put our heads down, just kept working."
Sattele echoed his star's thoughts about the halftime talk. "Their zone gave us some trouble but we found a way to make some adjustments at halftime and get Ryan the ball inside the post and I thought they did a nice job of that." Sattele was quick to credit one of his assistants (Coach Klinefelter) with spearheading the adjustments but added, "It was really a good combination of all our coaches kind of talking about it."
Up next for the now 18-7 Blue Raiders is a PIAA-4A second round affair opposite District 12's third place squad, Overbrook, at Garden Spot High School in New Holland, Tuesday at 6 pm.
The boy's hoopsters were not the only Blue Raiders in PIAA action last week. Luke Fegley and Ryan Berstler took their talents to Hershey's Giant Center for the 2017-2018 PIAA Championship. The pair competed in the 2A field, going a combined 1-4 to find their weekend and season over earlier than they preferred.
Fegley was responsible for the lone victory, pinning Smethport's Bryent Johnson a mere 10 seconds before the final horn of their preliminary round match. Fegley would have picked up the win regardless, racking up a 10-3 edge before finally putting Johnson's shoulders to the mat. The Middletown sophomore found himself on the opposite side of things in his first-round match-up. Fegley was bounced from the championship bracket thanks to a 12-3 major decision loss to Troy's Sheldon Seymour. Fegley was unable to overcome a combination of a few early takedowns and escapes from Seymour with the Troy sophomore ending the match with back-to-back third period nearfalls.
Fegley saw his season come to a close with a 1-0 loss to Brandywine Height's Bailey Gimbor. The Bullet freshman scored the only point of the match on an escape with 55 seconds remaining in regulation. The loss put Fegley's season ending record at 34-12.
Berstler was unable to find a way into the winner's column, dropping both his matches to end his 2017-2018 season with a 35-11 mark. The junior opened his time in Hershey with a 13-2 major decision loss to Bryan Daubert of Forest Hills. The Ranger jumped out to a 5-0 lead on Berstler thanks to first period combination takedown and nearfall. Another takedown late in the second period countered Berstler's escape making it 7-1 with just two minutes remaining. Daubert continued his onslaught in the final frame, working an escape into another takedown-nearfall combo for his final six points. Berstler picked up one final point on another escape late in the period, setting the final at 13-2.
Berstler's season came to a close with a 4-2 loss to Hughesville's Luke Gorg. The Hughesville sophomore used a first period takedown to pick-up the bout's first points. Berstler was able to counter with his own takedown but the second period points only countered Gorg's two escapes in the frame. The pair battled through a scoreless third period to leave the final at 4-2.
Blue Raiders Cap Season in PIAA Second Round March 18, 2018
The Blue Raider boys' basketball team saw their magical two season run come to a close last Friday, March 16th. The culprit, a 79-60 loss to the defending 4A champ, Imhotep Charter. The quarterfinal defeat ends Middletown's current postseason run in the same round where last year's 22-6 squad saw their season come to a close. The difference this year being the location, Reading's Geigle Complex versus last year's Altoona's High School Fieldhouse and the opponent, Quaker Valley versus the Panthers of Imhotep.
"It's a roller coaster of emotions," said head coach Chris Sattele of the loss that ended his squad's campaign with a 19-8 mark. "It was a lot to handle, it was tough, end of the season, and these guys are going on their ways and won't be a part of this anymore."
For the Blue Raiders the battle was lost in the opening frame where Imhotep charged out to a 22-7 lead leaving Middletown searching for answers. "The first four or five minutes, I think, was one of those things. We're playing at the Geigle, we're playing against a nationally ranked team, we're playing against division one players' and then they settled in and realized this is basketball," was Sattele's explanation of his team's 8-0 deficit after just three minutes. While the Panthers continued to expand their lead Tre Leach made sure Middletown erased the zero on their side of the scoreboard.
The senior guard proceeded to score all seven of Middletown's first quarter points, on his way to 16 for the game, starting with a pull-up jumper with just under four minutes remaining in the half. Unfortunately, while Leach was doing what he could, including a three-ball that pushed him over the 900-career point mark, Imhotep was still doing their thing which led to that 22-7 deficit.
As Sattele mentioned, his charges settled down after the opening frame. The result was a 16-11 advantage in the second stanza that shrank the Panther lead to 10, 33-23, when Tyler Petroski nailed a corner three just before the halftime buzzer. Ryan Hughes and Kyle Truesdale led the second quarter charge with the pair each scoring their first five points of the contest.
Middletown came out of the break intent to continue their march toward Imhotep. Truesdale stepped up to lead that charge scoring back-to-back buckets within the first 60 seconds of the third. The quick points trimmed the Blue Raider deficit to six but the Panthers came right back with a 7-0 run of their own to stretch the lead back to 13, at 40-27.
The Blue Raiders continued to claw behind the long-distance shooting of Tymir Jackson. The freshman sandwiched his two made three-pointers around a pair of Imhotep free throws and a long-range bomb from Petroski to shrink the margin down to five points with just under three minutes remaining in the frame. Imhotep would not allow the Blue Raiders to get any closer despite the best efforts of Hughes. Hughes, who scored four of Middletown's final five points of the quarter, only managed to keep the deficit in single digits heading into the final frame.
The senior guard continued his attempt to carry his squad into the lead, scoring the final 10 of his team high 19 in the fourth but it was not enough as Imhotep was able to salt the game away from the free throw line. The Panthers connected on 13 of their 17 fourth quarter freebies and 31 of 40 for the game, enabling them to slowly stretch the advantage to the 19-point final.
"I'm super proud of our kids," said Sattele. "I mean that is a nationally ranked team, they are very well coached and those kids played their tails off, it was sort of like playing a college team."
Middletown earned their quarterfinal spot opposite Imhotep with a 47-45 victory over Overbrook a few days prior.
The two clubs squared off in New Holland at Garden Spot High School and Middletown needed another dose of Hughes heroics to seal the victory. Hughes, who last year sent Middletown into the District 3-4A title game via a last second catch and release buzzer beater off a full court heave assist on the same court, came through in the final seconds again to give his Blue Raiders the win.
Hughes heroics were needed because the Blue Raiders found themselves in a deadlocked affair as the final seconds ticked away. That is when Hughes picked off a cross-court pass, took off for the hoop and converted a layup while getting fouled, providing the game winning points with six seconds remaining. Hughes did miss the and-1 free throw but redeemed himself by snagging the offensive rebound then finding Leach before falling out of bounds. Leach was promptly fouled by Overbrook sending him to the line with a chance to ice the game. The senior saw both attempts roll out but the additional time taken off the clock left Overbrook with only a last second full-court desperation heave that was off the mark.
"Hustle plays always help us out, its what we do, it's what we are based off of," said Hughes of his game winning steal and layup with Sattele adding, "Par for the course when you're here at Garden Spot, seems like Ryan is always here in the stretch."
Of course, those last second Hughes heroics took place because Overbrook mounted a fourth quarter comeback that erased what had been a 10-point Middletown lead. The Blue Raiders enjoyed that double digit cushion for nearly a minute early in the fourth before the Panthers began chipping away. Leach gave Middletown their second 10-point lead of the game with a bucket just 30-seconds into the frame.
Overbrook's Khalif Washington spent the next few minutes leading the charge to erase that gap. He started with a personal 6-1 run over a two-plus minute stretch that trimmed Middletown's lead from 37-27 to 38-33. A single Hughes free throw put a temporary hold on Washington's march and made it 39-33 with 4:38 remaining. A Raquon West (13 points) free throw proved to be the only Panther point not scored by Washington during an 11-2 Overbrook run that made it a one-point affair with 3:32 left on the clock.
After two Chris Plummer (10 points) free throws made it 41-38, West answered with an old fashioned three-point play to tie the game for the first time since the second quarter. The two sides exchanged free throws over the next two minutes with Petroski's single make knotting the score at 45-45 with 45.08 seconds remaining, setting the stage for Hughes' heroics.
"Credit to our kids. We had a double-digit lead going in there and they could have crumbled, they didn't," said Sattele. "They overcame that adversity and that embodies what Middletown is, the grit we have with our student athletes, they are unbelievable."
A similar pattern played out over the opening half with Middletown jumping out to an 8-0 lead just three minutes into the game. As a preview for the fourth quarter theatrics, the Panthers mounted a comeback march over the next three minutes that put the two sides in the first of four deadlocks, this one at 10-10.
As they did at the end of the game, the Blue Raiders were able to reestablish enough control to maintain a slim lead, this one leading to a 24-21 lead at the break. Middletown was able to stretch that slim three-point cushion to eight as the third quarter unfolded thanks to Leach who scored six of his 14 points in the frame.
Hughes finished the win with a game high 16 points while Petroski (three points), Truesdale (two points) and David Alcock (two points) provided the final Blue Raider points.
"One thing we always talk about is 'next play, next play, next play', we can't worry about the past and our kids' kind of did that tonight," Sattele summarized.
Raiders Grab Bronze in District Championships March 5, 2018
It was not the color or type of metal the 2017-2018 edition of the Middletown boy's basketball team was hoping to collect when the District 3-4A Championship kicked off two weeks ago. But the Blue Raiders will happily take the bronze medal that came with their 66-56 victory over Kennard-Dale at West York on February 28th.
After dropping last year's championship game in overtime to Lancaster Catholic the Blue Raiders were looking to take home gold this year but a 51-33 semifinal loss to Berks Catholic derailed those aspirations. Instead Middletown was left to take their frustration out on Kennard-Dale which they did to the tune of a 35-18 blitz though the opening half. Ryan Hughes led that first half charge, scoring 15 of his game high 25 points to help push Middletown to a 17-point lead at intermission.
After holding KD to just 18 first half points, the Rams broke out in the third thanks to Adam Freese. The senior scored nine of his team high 23 in the frame helping Kennard-Dale to an 18-15 edge that shrank Middletown's lead to 14. The Rams continued their push in the final stanza, outscoring the Blue Raiders 20-16, but Middletown was able to hold off the KD surge thanks to their large first half cushion coupled with their work from the free throw line. The Blue Raiders were a pedestrian 29 of 52 from the stripe for the game but made the freebies when it mattered, drilling 14 of 16 in the fourth to salt the game away.
Tre Leach was the only other Blue Raider to join Hughes in double digits, finishing with 11 points, including a five of eight day from the line. Tyler Petroski chipped in with seven points while Brady Fox, David Alcock and Chris Plummer netted six points apiece. Kyle Truesdale picked up the final five Middletown points.
Two days prior, Middletown was unable to post their second straight district victory over Berks Catholic. The Blue Raiders won last year's District 3-4A semifinal match-up but this year's clash went to the Saints by a 51-33 count. Middletown was unable to get their offense flowing, failing to hit double digits in three of the four frames leading to the 18-point loss.
The scoring woes began in the opening quarter where Berks Catholic held Middletown to just eight points. Meanwhile, the Saints, behind Tre Dabney's six points, were able to tally 15, making it 15-8 after eight minutes. Middletown did enjoy a scoring edge in the second quarter, using a 13-8 spurt to nearly erase the Berks Catholic lead heading into the break.
The Saints regained momentum in the third which resulted in a 12-6 run that stretched the lead to eight points with only one quarter remaining. That lead more than doubled as the fourth unfolded with Middletown posting another six-point frame while Berks Catholic netted 16 points. The result was the 51-33 final and Middletown's crushed district title hopes.
Hughes tallied a team high 11 in the loss while Truesdale (nine points), Leach (eight points) and Plummer (five points) were the only other Blue Raiders to score.
A few members of the Middletown wrestling team spent Friday March 2nd and Saturday March 3rd at Wilson High School, working to extend their season for one more week. The Blue Raiders were in West Lawn to take part in the PIAA-2A SE Regional Championship where the top six place winners earn a trip to Hershey for a spot in this weekend's PIAA-2A Championships. Five different Blue Raiders made the trek to the Reading area with two, Luke Fegley and Ryan Berstler, performing well enough to earn the coveted PIAA berth.
Fegley earned his state bid in the 106-bracket where he placed fifth with an 8-2 win over Annville-Cleona's Matthew Inman. It was Fegley's second victory over the Little Dutchman at the regional event, topping the fellow sophomore in the championship quarterfinal via a 9-1 count. In between the two victories over Inman, Fegley stumbled with losses to Trinity's Patrick Demark and Williams Valley's Mikey Myers. Fegley opened the event with a first round win over Saadiq Williams of Belmont Charter.
Berstler forged a different path to his fifth-place finish, going 4-2 to improve to 35-9 on the season. He opened the action by pinning Conwell Egan's Gianni Scancella but dropped out of gold medal contention with a 6-3 semifinal loss to Notre Dame-Greenpond's Richie Markulics. Berstler began his consolation march with an 11-0 major decision win over Catasauqua's Tyler Melendez and followed with a 3-1 victory over Susquehanna Township's Kody Evans. The junior's shot at bronze ended in the consolation semifinals with a 5-3 loss to Wilson's Marckis Branford. Berstler was able to bounce back, topping Biglerville's Josh Tuckey by a 3-2 count to earn fifth place at 120 pounds.
Nate Brady was unable to sustain momentum in his quest for gold at 126 pounds, going 2-2 after bowing out with a 7-3 loss to Newport's Isaiah Bryner in the consolation quarterfinals. Brady opened the tournament by pinning Lynn Anthony of Bristol midway through the second period but was unable to continue the winning in his quarterfinal match opposite Pen Argyl's Nick Reto. A 5-2 loss to Reto dropped Brady into the consolation bracket where he managed a 9-2 win over Northwestern's Harrison Bernhard, setting up that final bout with Newport's Bryner.
Zach Maley was the first of two different Blue Raiders to post a 1-2 mark. Malay began his quest for gold at 113 with a 5-2 win over Faith Christian's Andrew Park but suffered back-to-back losses to end his season with a 22-15 mark. Brandywine Heights' Dalton Gimbor and Bermudian Spring's Korey Smith handed Malay his season ending losses.
Devin Martin followed the same path during his time in the 145-pound bracket. The senior opened with an 8-7 victory over Thomas Spirk but saw his championship hopes dashed in the quarterfinals. Boiling Springs' Kollin Myers was the victor in that quarterfinal tilt, topping Martin by an 8-1 count. Max Schultz of Faith Christian handed Martin his second loss of the weekend by a 3-1 count, leaving Martin with a season ending 24-13 record.
Middletown Boys Win District Opener February 23, 2018
Last Thursday night the Middletown boys got their District Three Class 4A playoffs off to a good start with a convincing, 72-55, victory over visiting Boiling Springs (12-10).
The Raiders finished a tough, competitive first half down by three, 37-34, to the Bubblers, but came out after the break and went on a 19-6 run through the third quarter to take control of the game.
A 19-12 fourth quarter locked down the 17-point win for the Raiders and sent them into the semifinals where they meet Berks Catholic, a 52-34 quarterfinal winner over Northern Lebanon, at Penn Manor on Monday, February 26.
Ryan Hughes led the way for the Raiders, hitting 10 field goals, four of them three-pointers, and a pair of free throws to finish with a game-high 26 points.
Tre Leach (18), Chris Plummer (12) and Kyle Truesdale (10) also contributed double-digit scoring to the Raiders' victory, while Tyler Petroski, Brady Fox and David Alcock all chipped in a pair of points to round out Middletown's scoring.
The win lifts the Raiders' season record to 16-6 going into their semifinal clash with Berks Catholic, who brings a 13-9 slate to the contest.
A high school game of basketball is always four quarters or 32 minutes. That proved to be too much for the Middletown girls' basketball team to handle in their District 3-3A opener last Tuesday evening. The result of that quarterfinal tilt opposite York Catholic was a 64-48 loss in game that Middletown led at intermission.
The halftime lead was small, 27-25, but it was a lead none the less. Things went sideways for the Lady Raiders in the third frame with York Catholic ripping off a 21-11 run.
"I thought we were playing well. Their home crowd got excited when they went up a couple on us and it just snowball a little bit and we couldn't get back after that," said head coach Ron Stetler.
The Lady Shamrocks tacked on an 18-10 edge in the final frame, leading to the loss. "It was a 16-point loss but it was closer than that," Statler said.
Middletown had just four players score led by Kate Fitzpatrick's 25 points. The super sophomore added six rebounds, three assists and five steals to her game tally. Makaila Nester finished her senior season with a 15 point, four rebound, two assist effort, leaving her with 730 points in her Middletown career. "Makaila's value to the team the last couple years has been overshadowed because she's always been second or third fiddle," said Stetler, citing the parade of 1000 point scores in front of Nester. "She kind of silently has had a stellar career."
With the district loss the Lady Raiders finish their 2017-2018 campaign with a 9-14 record, "For the most part I'm happy with the season and how we played. Sometimes we played down to the level of our competition and sometimes we played up," said Stetler, "but I think we hung in there with some good teams this year."
Middletown Advances Seven Matmen to Districts February 19, 2018
There are two prevailing thoughts on extended layoffs heading into the postseason. On one side, it provides the opportunity to rest and recover from the long, grueling regular season. On the other side, it opens the door for rust or subpar performances from the layoff.
Count the Middletown wrestling team among the former as seven of the 13 grapplers that participated in last Saturday's District 3-2A Sectional at Central Dauphin East High School advanced to this weekend's district championship in Hershey.
Of those seven only one, Ryan Berstler, managed to take the top spot in his weight class. Berstler knocked off Northern Lebanon's Dustin Varvel and Susquehanna Township's Kody Evans to capture the 120-pound gold and punch his ticket to Hershey.
Luke Fegley was the first of four silver medal winners, picking up his hardware in the 106-pound bracket. Fegley kicked off his day by pinning Austin Mahoney of Boiling Springs before falling to Northern Lebanon's Brandon Breidegan in the finals.
Jacob Spear was the next Blue Raider to finish his weekend with a silver medal around his neck. The sophomore topped Northern Lebanon's Kick Winters by an 8-7 count before falling to Lucas Shoop of Boiling Springs in the championship match.
Devin Martin gave the Blue Raiders back-to-back silver medalist with his work in the 145-pound bracket. Martin posted an 8-4 win over Annville-Cleona's Zachery Renninger to earn his title shot but ended up on the wrong side of an 11-4 final in that title match. That left Martin with the silver while another Bulldog from Boiling Springs claimed gold.
Middletown's final silver medal went to Quincy Reinnagel for his work at 220. Reinnagel, another second-year grappler, opened by pinning Northern Lebanon's Cole Messimer in the second period of their bout. That set up another Blue Raider-Bulldog final with Boiling Springs' Austin Taylor taking the 220-pound title and leaving Reinnagel with the silver.
Zach Malay picked up the first of two Middletown bronze medals, doing his work at 113 pounds. Malay began his day on the wrong side of an 11-5 final, falling to Boiling Springs' Andrew Stafford in their semifinal match-up. With his back against the wall, Malay went to work, knocking off Lancaster Catholic's Ethan Jones and Annville-Cleona's Gavin Knox to claim third place and the final ticket to Hershey. Malay earned both victories via pinfall, needing a total of 2:31 to dispatch both opponents.
Middletown's final district berth went to Nate Brady who also started his district quest on the wrong foot. The junior dropped his opening match to Collin Nester of Boiling Springs by a 4-3 count, leaving no room for error the rest of the way. Brady was up to the challenge, pinning Lancaster Catholic's Evan Hart early in the second period before topping Annville-Cleona's Noah Safford by a 9-2 final in the consolation finals.
Two other Blue Raiders fell into the near-miss category for their efforts at CD East. Zach Souders and Damion Williams both overcame losses in the championship bracket to battle back into the consolation finals only to fall short. Souders saw his season end with a pinfall loss to Boiling Springs' Zach Martin in a battle for the 160-pound bronze. Williams also fell to a Bulldog, his match with Sam Geiling ending nine seconds later than Souders' match with Martin.
Souders may have ended his weekend with a loss but he opened it with a win, pinning Lancaster Catholic's Ryan Kemmerly just before the final horn of their quarterfinal tilt. A loss to Blaise Bressler of Northern Lebanon, the eventual champion at 160, dropped Souders into the consolation bracket where he rebounded with a win over Annville-Cleona's Daniel Tobias.
Williams' consolation loss to Geiling was not his first of the day to the Boiling Springs junior. Geiling ended Williams' title hopes in the quarterfinals with a 15-4 major decision. In between the two losses to Geiling, Williams managed to pin Annville-Cleona's Ben Barnhart, doing so just before the end of the second period.
The remaining four Blue Raiders that participated in the sectional round saw their season end in the consolation semifinals. Kenny Britcher dropped that consy match to Northern Lebanon's Michael Marlowe by a 14-3 count. Britcher's other loss on the day came opposite Susquehanna Township's Steven Graves in the quarterfinals. Britcher did post one win, taking out Steel-High's Timmy Jackson by a 6-2 count in the pair's consolation tangle.
Arthur Dash followed the same path as Britcher, falling to Boiling Springs' Nick Kostyak by a 15-0 final in the quarterfinals and to Evan Heilman of Annville-Cleona in the consolation semifinals. Dash's victory in between the two losses came when he pinned Steel-High's William James.
Middletown's final two sectional round entries were unable to find the win column, bowing out with back-to-back losses. Chris Joseph had his stumble take place in the 152-pound bracket where losses to Columbia's Marcus Falcon and Annville-Cleona's Tyler Speraw ended the sophomore's season. A pair of tech fall losses in the 182-pound bracket ended Marcus Williams's season. Lancaster Catholic's Alex Cruz handed out the first while Annville-Cleona's Caleb Turner handed out the second.
With over half of Middletown's participants advancing, the Blue Raiders managed a third-place finish in the team standings, nipping Susquehanna Township but falling short of Northern Lebanon and team champion Boiling Springs.
Blue Raiders Remain Third in District Ranking February 5, 2018
The Middletown boys' basketball team enjoyed a rare late-season loss that did little to their position in the District 3-4A pecking order. The 70-58 loss to Trinity on January 30th was the Blue Raiders' sixth of the season but they remained slotted third in the power ranking behind Lancaster Catholic and Berks Catholic and head of Boiling Springs and Kennard-Dale.
The 12-point loss to Trinity might not have dropped Middletown in the rankings but it still stung as a difficult second quarter short-circuited an otherwise sound game. Trinity went on a 23-8 run that erased Middletown's seven-point lead and replaced it with an eight-point Shamrock cushion.
With Ryan Hughes scoring 12 of his game high 33 points in the third stanza, Middletown was able to trim the deficit to two with a 16-14 edge. Unfortunately, the comeback stalled there as Trinity used a 24-18 spurt in the fourth to claim the win.
Chris Plummer was the only other Blue Raider in double figures with 10 points. Tre Leach (eight points), Kyle Truesdale (five points) and Tyler Petroskie (two points) cleaned up the remaining Middletown points.
Middletown closed out Capital Division play on February 2nd with a 57-41 win over West Perry. It took the Blue Raiders a bit to shake off the Trinity loss. That allowed the Mustangs to jump out to a 12-9 lead after the first quarter. From there Middletown was able to right the ship and pulled away from West Perry for a 16-point victory.
Hughes kicked started the turnaround, scoring eight of Middletown's 13 second quarter points. That helped the home team take a five point, 22-17, lead into the break. Middletown continued their slow separation from West Perry in the third. Matching eight-point efforts from Hughes and Plummer allowed the Blue Raiders to stretch their lead to 10 points. A 17-11 finish over the final eight minutes put the final at 57-41 and put Middletown at 13-6 overall and 8-4 in the Capital Division.
Hughes, buoyed by those eight-point middle frames, finished with 20 points. Leach (13 points) and Plummer (12 points) joined Hughes in the double-digit club. Antonio Gamble (four points), Truesdale (three points), Brady Fox (three points) and Mitch Lee (two points) accounted for the final Blue Raider points.
The girls' basketball team is on the move and looking to shake off the results of a mid-season slump. The end-result of that slump was the Lady Raiders falling outside the six-team District 3-3A bracket. A busy three game week allowed Middletown to go 2-1, pushing their overall record to 8-11 and moving them into the seventh spot in the most recent power rankings. That does leave the Lady Raiders outside of the field but only by a mere 0.01372 points.
With three games remaining in the regular season head coach Ron Stetler is hoping a strong final week will be enough to get his squad into the postseason. Games remaining against Boiling Springs (4A) on Tuesday, Conestoga Valley (6A) on Thursday and Lower Dauphin (5A) on Friday will provide Middletown the opportunity to move up in the ranking.
"Our strength of schedule got us in last year so hopefully we play well this week and let chips fall where they may," said Stetler. "With some luck we squeak into the sixth spot."
The Lady Raiders started their power ranking accent with a stumble in the form of a 58-47 loss to Trinity on January 30th. Middletown was able to hang with the Lady Shamrocks over the middle of the contest and actually held a one point, 25-24, edge in the second and third quarters. Unfortunately, a basketball game is four quarters and the Lady Raiders were outscored 34-22 in the first and fourth frames, making the end result an 11-point Trinity victory.
Despite the loss Stetler remained upbeat. "We did much better than the first time around. First time we got beat pretty bad, this time we were in the game the whole way, we just couldn't bridge that gap in the second half."
Middletown did enjoy a stellar game from Kate Fitzpatrick. The freshman dropped 24 points while adding five assists, six rebounds and four steals. Makaila Nester enjoyed a solid game with 11 points, nine rebounds and one steal while Joci Koser added eight points, five assists and two rebounds. Morgan Noon finished out the scoring with four points and a matching four rebounds.
The Lady Raiders rebounded from the loss with a 53-47 victory over Annville-Cleona on February 1st. "We came out really sluggish and not shooting well. We weren't playing good defense and they made some shots," said Stetler of a first quarter that saw Middletown fall into a 12-3 hole. "I felt like we picked up the intensity and hung on to pull that one out," added Stetler of his squad's 15-point advantage over the final three frames.
The offensive turnaround was fueled by the one-two punch of Fitzpatrick and Nester who combined to score 48 of Middletown's 53 points. Fitzpatrick finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and five steals while Nester was responsible for 22 points, five rebounds and two steals. Koser (two points), Jaelynn Keller (two points) and Noon (one point) finished the scoring while adding a combined 25 rebounds and three steals. Koser claimed three steals and eight of the boards while Noon matched Fitzpatrick with a team high 10 rebounds.
The Lady Raiders closed out the week with a 48-42 win over West Perry.
"Friday we went to West Perry and played extremely well," said Stetler. "For us to go up there, and beat them on their senior night was a good feeling."
Middletown wasted no time jumping out in front of West Perry, leading to a 15-5 lead after the opening frame. That lead turned out to be necessary as the Lady Mustangs flipped things around for a 12-5 second quarter run that made it a three-point game at the break. Middletown was able to regain control in the third, outscoring West Perry 16-13 to stretch their lead back to six-points. It remained a six-point affair as both teams managed 12 points in the fourth quarter.
Fitzpatrick finished her fantastic week with a 28-point effort with Nester adding 12 in the win. Koser (six points) and Keller (two points) finished the scoring for Middletown.
Middletown Girls Battle Milton Hershey, East Penn January 29, 2018
The game of basketball can be a funny sport. Take for instance the Middletown girls' basketball team. The Lady Raiders opened their 2017-2018 campaign by winning four of their first five games. However, with only two more wins over their next 11 games that 4-1 start has turned into a 6-10 spiral that pushed the Lady Raiders outside the six-team District 3-3A playoff field.
One of those two wins took place last Tuesday but the Lady Raiders first had to deal with Milton Hershey on Monday. The game was originally scheduled for January 16th but was pushed back twice due to winter storms that inflicted chaos on high school sports schedules. The battle went to the Lady Spartans 50-43 thanks to Bryanna White's 20-point game.
"We didn't play very well. We had approximately 30 turnovers and when you turn the ball that much it is tough to win and we still only lost by seven points," said head coach Ron Stetler.
Middletown struggled in the first half, scoring just 15 total points while Milton Hershey was able to tally 28, leaving the Lady Raiders in a 13-point halftime hole.
Things started to turn around in the third where Milton Hershey managed just a one-point edge, 13-12, but that still left Middletown to deal with a 14-point deficit and just eight minutes to do so. The Lady Raiders were able to control the final eight minutes, outscoring Milton Hershey 16-9, which cut the final margin in half but the first half struggles proved to be too much to overcome.
Kate Fitzpatrick netted 18-points, six rebounds and five assists in the loss while Makaila Nester added 10-points, two rebounds, three assists and four steals. Joci Koser (seven points), Jaelynn Keller (four points) and Morgan Noon (four points) rounded out the offense for the game.
The Lady Raiders were back in action one night later and managed to slip by East Pennsboro 49-47.
"I thought we played more as a team," said Stetler. "We shared the ball and usually when we play like that we usually do well."
The two sides took turns controlling the game with Middletown taking the first quarter. The Lady Raiders managed a 16-14 lead thanks to Fitzpatrick who picked up 10 of the team's 16 points. The Lady Panthers answered right back behind Brittany Bolig and Calley Joyce. The pair combined for 13 of East Pennsboro's 18 points in the second leading to a seven-point advantage and a 32-27 lead at intermission.
Middletown's defense stepped up in the third, holding East Penn to three points while their offense was busy putting together a 14-point frame. Nester led the charge, scoring five of her 11 points while Fitzpatrick drilled one of her four three pointers to move her closer to her game high 21 points. The third quarter run gave Middletown enough of a cushion to withstand East Pennsboro's 12-8 fourth quarter push, leaving the Lady Raiders with a two-point victory.
Middletown closed out the week on Friday with a trip to Camp Hill where the Diamond Bragg led Lady Lions collected a 63-30 win.
"Going over there is always tough and they have Diamond Bragg who is unreal athletically," said Stetler. "And we were playing good coming off the East Pennsboro game. I thought we would play well over there but that small gym, playing against that caliber of team and that caliber of player, we kinds of got rushed into shots."
That rushed offense left Middletown unable to get anything going on offense, scoring in single digits in all four quarters. Camp Hill, behind's Bragg's 26 points, had no such trouble finishing the first and second quarters with matching 20-point tally's while netting another 19 points in the third. Middletown was able to enjoy a slight, 9-4, edge in the fourth but the result was still the Lady Raiders' tenth loss of the season.
Fitzpatrick paced Middletown with a 10-point game while Nester (eight points), Koser (six points), Keller (four points) and Noon (two points) all chipped in.
The Blue Raider wrestling team closed out an impressive 2017-2018 regular season with a 38-28 victory over Milton Hershey on January 25th. Despite the win moving Middletown to 12-4, the Blue Raiders missed out on the District 3-2A team tournament by one place. Middletown finished ninth, 0.006453 behind Kennard-Dale in the power rankings.
Against Milton Hershey, Middletown used a mid-match run of five straight wins to flip a 16-3 deficit into a 30-16 cushion, enough to stave off the Spartans' late match run that led to the 38-28 final. Four of those five wins came via pinfall starting with Quincy Reinnagel at 285 who ended his match with Rajuan Boyd just 35 seconds after it started.
Luke Fegley also recorded a first period pinfall, taking out Seamus Burns with nine-seconds remaining in the opening period to inch Middletown to within one point. Zach Malay recorded the only win that was not of the pin variety, topping Joshua Minners 9-4 in their 113 clash.
Ryan Berstler moved the Blue Raiders' lead from 18-16 to 24-16 by pining Derrick Nhin early in the second period of their 120-pound bout. Nate Brady finished off the run with Middletown's third first period pinfall, stopping his 126-pound match opposite Nicholas Bell two seconds before the horn.
Milton Hershey claimed the next two matches to trim the lead to 30-25 but Middletown was able to answer with two straight wins of their own to seal the win. Devin Martin posted the first of those wins, topping Abiola Oladipo 15-0 at 145. Sterling Gray followed with a 9-4 win over Jacob McMillen for Middletown's final three team points. Arthur Dash earned the Blue Raiders first three team points and Middletown's first win of the match, taking out Joe Morcus by an 8-5 count at 182.
The boys' basketball team enjoyed a perfect 5-0 run through a brutal five games in six days stretch that capped a seven games in ten days section of their schedule. The Blue Raiders went 6-1 in that stretch and now sport a 12-5 overall record, good enough for the third spot in the most recent District 3-4A power rankings.
Middletown opened their perfect week with their rescheduled game against Milton Hershey. Fronted by Tre Leach's 22 points and a stingy defense the Blue Raiders rolled to an 81-55 victory. Ryan Hughes, Kyle Truesdale and Chris Plummer each chipping in 13 points allowed Middletown to outscore Milton Hershey in all four quarters, including a 23-7 second quarter run that ballooned the lead to 17 points at the break.
Despite just a 10-point final margin, Middletown needed just five players to score in their 62-52 win over East Pennsboro on Tuesday. Plummer was the top scorer, finishing with 20 points while Leach and Hughes split 30 points down the middle. Antonio Gamble and David Alcock netted six points each to account for the final Middletown points.
The Blue Raiders were back on the court Wednesday taking on ELCO in a non-league contest. Hughes dropped a game high 28 points to lead Middletown to another 10-point win, 72-62. Middletown opened a slim three-point lead after one only to see ELCO trim it to two points, 33-31, at the break.
Hughes picked up 10 of his 28 points after intermission where Plummer scored 10 of his 14 points to help Middletown pull away. Leach chipped in with 12 points.
The Blue Raiders picked up win number four of the week on Friday, blowing by Camp Hill 81-52. Middletown jumped out to a 24-10 lead after the opening quarter and never looked back. Camp Hill did manage a slim 15-14 edge in the second but Middletown pushed their lead to 23-points with a 27-17 blitz through the third. A 16-10 fourth set the final margin at 29 points.
Hughes (21 points) and Leach (14 points) were the lone players in double figures but the Blue Raiders had nine other players that scored at least two points.
Middletown closed out the week with a Saturday trip to Lewistown to face Mifflin County. Leach scored 10 of his game high 25 points during a 24-15 first quarter run that gave the Blue Raiders an early lead they would not relinquish. Middletown pushed their lead to 17 points at intermission and 24 points after three thanks to Leach, Plummer (22 points) and Hughes (18 points).
Donte Scott nailed three, three-pointers and scored all 10 of his points in the fourth to help the Huskies make a 22-16 push to shrink the final margin to 18 points.
Hughes Goes Over 1,500 Career Points Milestone January 22, 2018
Thanks to a few reshuffled game dates, the boys' basketball season will be defined by a 10-day stretch in January. By the time that stretch is over the Blue Raiders will have played seven games, including four against teams jockeying for District 3 berths.
Middletown was able to rest up for marathon stretch, having eight days off between their January 9th win over West Perry to the first game of the stretch, a January 18th victory over Northern Lebanon.
"It was tough after a long lay-off, and obviously Northern Lebanon is pretty good," said head coach Chris Sattele of the 71-61 win over the Vikings.
The game may have been tough from the coach's seat but the Blue Raiders held a six-point lead after the opening frame and were only challenged during a 23-18 NL run that covered the second quarter. Middletown was able to control the second half, stretching their lead to five points after three and to the final 10-point margin courtesy of a 19-14 edge in the fourth.
Chris Plummer's 22 points checked in as game high but it was Ryan Hughes' 21 points that stole the headlines because it took the senior guard over the 1,500-career point mark.
"Credit to him but also to his teammates, the guys who pass the ball and put him in those spots and then his work ethic," said Sattele of the milestone. Tre Leach provided backup to Plummer and Hughes with his 18-point effort.
One night later, Middletown went the other way as Steel-High posted a 61-45 victory on January 19th. The Blue Raiders hung around through the opening frame as the teams ended the first quarter knotted at 12-12. Steel-High began taking control in the second quarter which allowed the Rollers a six-point cushion at the break.
They added another six points to the margin through the third and finished off with a 20-16 edge in the fourth for the 61-45 final.
"Steel-High played well, and we only shot 38% from the free throw line," said Sattele. "Their zone gave us some issues, but again it is what it is. Steel-High is good, they are right there in the mix for AAA and moving forward we have five games this week which will be crazy."
Hughes netted a team high 16 points to move his career total to 1,523 while Plummer added 10 points as the only other Blue Raider in double digits.
The girls' basketball team found one foe they cannot compete with, Mother Nature. The Lady Raiders saw their fifth game of the season effected by winter weather, this one twice, with the end result moving that Milton Hershey game to January 22nd and leaving Middletown with just one game on last week's slate.
On Friday the 19th the Lady Raiders suffered their seventh loss in their last eight games, falling to Steel-High. The Lady Rollers, behind Serenity Vider's game high 22 points, slowly pulled away from Middletown leading to a 66-58 loss for the Lady Raiders.
Seventeen points from Makaila Nester, 16 from Joci Koser and 12 from Kate Fitzpatrick were not enough to overcome the methodical march of Steel-High. The Lady Rollers held a three-point cushion after the opening period, extended it to seven points at intermission and stretched the lead to the final margin of eight through the third quarter.
Jaelynn Keller (seven points), Ayanna Reeves (four points) and Morgan Noon (two points) cleaned up the remaining Middletown offense.
The wrestling team was able to avoid all the snow related headaches that plagued their hardwood counterparts but that does not mean the week was all smooth sailing. The Blue Raiders dropped their Mid-Penn Capital Division clash with Camp Hill by a 42-28 count after they had built a 28-6 lead at the midway point of the match.
Luke Fegley opened the match by pinning Xander Heim 25-seconds into the 106-pound bout while Zach Malay (113) gave Middletown two straight wins via pinfall, taking care of Nick Lamay at the 3:54 mark. Ryan Berstler (120) made it back-to-back-to-back pinfalls, putting Luke Waldner's shoulders to the mat 2:50.
Camp Hill picked up their first team points with a Middletown forfeit at 126 but the Blue Raiders went right back to work. Nate Brady and Joseph Spear earned Middletown's only two wins that came via standard decision, upping the Blue Raider lead to 24-6 in the process. Brady topped Sean Getty by a 3-1 count at 132 while Spear slipped by Jacob Coniglio 6-4 at 138. Middletown's final win came at 145 where Devin Martin routed Max Delaye 15-5 which marked the highwater point of the match for the Blue Raiders.
Camp Hill claimed the final seven matches, four by pinfall and one by forfeit, to flip that 28-6 Middletown lead into a 42-28 Lion victory.
The Blue Raiders had no time to wallow in their misery as they spent Friday and Saturday the 19th and 20th at New Oxford for the 2018 edition of the New Oxford Invitational. Middletown sent 11 grapplers to the event and came home with five medal winners and a 13th place finish in the team standings.
Martin enjoyed the best Blue Raider finish, falling in the consolation finals to Northern York's Paul Fiete by a 7-1 count, forcing the Middletown senior to settle for fourth place. Martin opened his 138-pound title quest with wins over Brandywine Heights' Jacob Caskie, Susquehannock's Erik Younkin and Page Karstete of Fairfield before Juniata's Tyler Feltman sent Martin to the consolations. Martin picked up a win over Southern Columbia's Mike Miner before the loss to Fiete.
Fegley would have enjoyed his time in the 106-pound bracket an infinite amount more had it not been for Brandywine Heights' Bailey Gimbor. The freshman dealt Fegley two of the three losses he suffered on the day. The first came in the quarterfinals of the championship bracket. Fegley was fresh off a win over Littlestown's Connor Brown when Gimbor ended Fegley's title hopes courtesy of a 3-2 decision. The second loss to Gimbor came in the fifth/sixth place bout, by a 3-0 count, slotting Fegley into sixth place. Fegley worked his way to the Gimbor rematch with consolation wins over Montana DeLawder (Gettysburg) and Jordan Holland (McCaskey) and a loss to Biglerville's Blake Showers.
Middletown's weekend produced another sixth place finishers in Berstler at 120. After opening his championship quest with wins over LaSalle College's Dominic DeSantis and Susquehannock's Ben Sweigard, Berstler had his title hopes squashed by Southern Columbia's Jaret Lane in the quarterfinals. Consolation bracket wins over New Oxford's Austin Brotherton and Central Dauphin East's Michael Dunleavy had Berstler in the consy-semifinals where David Gavek of Tunkhannock proved to be too much. Line Mountain's Ian Coller handed Berstler his second straight loss, sending the junior home with a sixth-place finish.
Middletown's final two showings on the medal stand came as eighth place finishes with Spear earning the first at 145. Spear kicked off his quest with the easiest Blue Raider win of the day, a forfeit in the round of 32. He followed by pinning Lampeter-Strasburg's Nick Salgado in the second round before a loss to Wilson's Sammy Toggas ended his title run. Spear took care of Line Mountain's Jacob Feese with a second period pin but ended up on the opposite side of the same result in his consolation match against Waynesboro's Adam Wertz. Tyler Waltman of Southern Columbia handed Spear his second straight loss, taking seventh place for himself and forcing Spear to settle for eighth place.
Arthur Dash claimed Middletown's final medal of the day, earning his eighth-place medal in the 170-pound bracket. Dash's work on the mat began in the round of 16 where he slipped by Scranton's Hayden DiAngelo, 6-5. A quarterfinal loss to Susquehanna Township's Edmund Ruth sent Dash into the consolation bracket where a win over Claudio Cruz (West York) earned him a spot on the medal stand. A loss to New Oxford's Luke Lardarello put Dash into the seventh/eighth place match opposite Josh Paul (Gettysburg). Paul's 6-2 victory gave the Blue Raiders their second eighth place finisher.
Zach Malay narrowly missed a medal at 113, his loss to Brandywine Heights' Dalton Gimbor in the consolation round ended his day where a win would have earned him a medal. The loss to Gimbor undid the work Malay had done in the consolation round where wins over Milton Hershey's Josh Minners and Tunkhannock's Matt Rosentel had Malay on the doorstep of a medal. Malay opened the tournament with a win over Harrisburg's Allen Por but followed with a loss to Cole Wilson (Northeastern), forcing the sophomore into the consolation bracket.
Quincy Reinnagel enjoyed some early success at 220 before back-to-back losses ended his tournament. Reinnagel earned a first-round bye and enjoyed a round of 16 win over Montgomery's Eithan Marino but a consolation loss to Fairfield's Jake Moyer made it two straight losses and an end to Reinnagel's weekend.
Sterling Gray and Zach Souders also managed one win but for both it came in the consolation round and followed with a loss. Gray dropped his first match in the 152-pound bracket to Montgomery's Jensen Drick while Souders fell to Line Mountain's Chance Hackenburg in the 160-pound bracket. Gray rebounded to knock off Edward Cole of Troy in his first consolation match but dropped his second to Fairfield's Steve Heinbaugh.
Souders bounced back from his loss to Hackenburg by topping Waynesboro's Keegan Lohman but could not sustain the momentum, falling to Gettysburg's Garrett Young.
The final two Blue Raiders to participate were unable to collect a win before bowing out of the tournament. Nate Williamson (LaSalle College) and Conner Slenker (Northeastern) were responsible for the losses that ended Marcus Williams' time in the 182-bracket. Damian Williams suffered losses to Northeastern's Marco Marienez and West York's Willie Martin in the 195-bracket.
Blue Raider Matmen Trounce Palmyra January 15, 2018
If only they were all that easy. The Blue Raider wrestling team improved to 7-2 overall and 4-1 against Mid-Penn Capital Division foes with a 55-18 trouncing of Palmyra on January 11th. Middletown dominated the action on the mat, claiming 11 of the 14 weight classes but only one of their three losses actually came on the mat. Palmyra earned 12 of their 18 team points via Middletown forfeits with Tyler Boerema (285) and Nick Carroll (126) enjoying the easy wins.
As for the contested matches, Middletown wasted little time flexing their muscle. Zac Dailey opened the match by pinning Ethan Alberto 48 seconds into the 160-pound bout. The Blue Raiders did have a setback at 170 where the Cougars collected their lone win, a Luke Higgins pinfall over Zach Souders. That made the team score 6-6 and marked the last time Middletown would be threatened by Palmyra.
The Blue Raiders ripped off three straight wins starting with Arthur Dash's 12-7 decision over Austin Shuey at 182. Damion Williams and Quincy Reinnagel followed with back-to-back pinfalls to push Middletown's lead to 21-6. Williams took care of Sasha Coburn just before the end of the second period in the 195 tilt while Reinnagel needed just 76 seconds to dispatch Garrett Miller at 220. Boerema's forfeit win at 285 broke up Middletown's run but only for a few seconds as the Blue Raiders answered with another three straight wins.
Luke Fegley (106) kicked off the second three-pack by topping Jacob Myers by a 4-2 count in overtime. Zach Malay needed just 19 seconds to push the Middletown lead to 30-12 courtesy of a pinfall over Dennis Cohick at 113. Ryan Berstler closed out the run with a 10-2 major decision over Matt Carroll at 120. The Cougars picked up their final team points with Middletown's forfeit at 126, making way for another Blue Raider run, this one covering the final four weight classes.
Nate Brady got the run rolling with a 17-7 major decision over Tyler Shifflett (132), pushing the Middletown cushion to 38-18. Joseph Spear earned another six team points with an injury time victory over Josh Myers at 138. Chris Joseph collected Middletown's fifth and final pin, putting Roman Hall's shoulders to the mat at the 5:12 mark of the 145-pound showdown. Devin Martin closed out the match with a 15-0 tech fall win over Scout Bucks (152).
The girls' basketball team experienced both sides of a lopsided final last week. The Lady Raiders got off to a slow start with a 61-31 loss to West Perry on Tuesday the 9th. The Lady Mustangs raced out to a 20-6 lead in the opening frame and never looked back. Kate Fitzpatrick picked up five of her team high 10 points in the third when Middletown played West Perry to a 10-10 draw.
Two nights later the Lady Raiders traveled to Mt. Joy to face Donegal and came home with a 75-60 victory. The teams went back-and-forth through the opening half with Middletown holding a slim 32-29 lead at intermission. Fitzpatrick netted nine of her team high 21 points in the decisive third quarter, helping Middletown outscore the Lady Indians 24-8. Behind Carly Diffenderfer's 13 fourth quarter points, Donegal was able to post a 23-19 edge, cutting the final margin to 15-points.
Fitzpatrick and her 21 points missed game high honors, relinquishing that title to Diffenderfer who bucketed 24 points, but she did finish with a triple-double adding 10 rebounds and 10 assists to her team high point tally. Makaila Nester nearly joined Fitzpatrick and Diffender in the 20-point club, falling a single point shy. Joci Koser added 16 points while Jae Keller chipped in with a 12-point, 20-rebound effort. Ayanna Reeves (five points) and Morgan Noon (two points) rounded out the scoring.
The effects of the late start to the boy's hoops season appear to have worn off the Blue Raider squad. Middletown picked up their third straight win on January 9th. The 56-44 victory over West Perry sparked head coach Chris Sattele to say, "Good win for us at West Perry, getting on the road inside a league game it's a long drive for our kids."
With the three-game streak the Blue Raiders sit at 6-4 overall and 4-2 in the Mid-Penn Capital Division. The former slots them sixth in the most current District 3-4A power rankings while the latter has them third behind Milton Hershey and Steel-High in the Capital Division pecking order.
The long drive that Sattele mentioned did not have an effect on the Blue Raiders as Middletown held a 27-13 lead at halftime thanks to a strong effort on D.
"Defensively we played real well in the first half, gave up seven points then six points," said Sattele of his squad's sixteen-minute effort.
The Mustangs were able to get their offense going in the second half, scoring 31 total points that included a 14-10 advantage in the third quarter. Sattele was not concerned with the small West Perry push.
"We stayed in our zone a little bit, they brought in some kids to shoot the basketball," said Sattele. "They put up a ton of shots which obviously some of them went in. We gave our bench pretty good opportunity to play, so it was nice."
The extended time in a zone defense and a bench clearing second half did little to Middletown's bottom line as the Blue Raiders' 14-point halftime lead remained strong and shrunk only two points to the, 12-point, 56-44 final. Tre Leach led all scorers with 19 points while Ryan Hughes collected 15 points.
Middletown Girls Fall to 5-5 On The Year January 8, 2018
While the rest of the Midstate is wishing they could go back in time to before record-breaking cold gripped the region, the Middletown girls' basketball team would like to take that journey for an entirely different reason. With losses to Camp Hill and Trinity last week the Lady Raiders fell to 5-5 on the season and all five losses have come after Middletown opened the season with five straight victories.
On January 2nd the Lady Raiders ran into Wisconsin commit Diamond Bragg and the rest of the Lady Lions of Camp Hill, leading to a 58-34 loss. Bragg was one of four Camp Hill players to reach double figures, doubling up Middletown's total. Kate Fitzpatrick and Makaila Nester both finished with 13 points for Middletown while Camp Hill added Passion Bragg (12 points), Sheridan Reid (11 points) and Anne Johnson (11 points) to Diamond Bragg's game high 16 points.
A few nights later the Lady Raiders made the trip to Camp Hill to take on Trinity and came home with their fifth straight loss. Middletown never really found their footing in the 74-36 result, enabling the Lady Shamrocks to post a scoring edge in all four quarters. That left the Lady Raiders down eight after the opening frame, 26 at intermission, 28 heading into the final stanza and the final margin of 38.
Nester was the lone Middletown player to reach double figures, settling on 11. Fitzpatrick added nine points, Joci Koser and Jaelynn Keller six points apiece while Nakia Scott picked up the final four points. Sunshine McCrae and Ava Stevenson both tallied 15 points for the Lady Shamrocks.
With a second straight season delayed by the football teams' deep postseason run, the Middletown boys' hoops team is just starting to find their footing. A thrilling last second, overtime win over Trinity last Friday coupled with a 20-point shellacking of Annville-Cleona on Saturday have the Blue Raiders at 5-4 overall and 3-2 in the Mid-Penn Capital Division.
While the week ended with back-to-back victories, Middletown started the week on the opposite end of things with a 67-65 loss to Camp Hill. The Blue Raiders were in control early, holding a 15-12 lead after eight minutes and a 29-25 cushion at the break. The Lions started to shift control to their side in the third frame, outscoring Middletown 22-18, sending the game into the final frame knotted at 47-47. Camp Hill's hot hand continued, allowing the Lions to post a 20-18 edge in the fourth to steal the win. Ryan Hughes dropped a game high 23 points in the loss while Tre Leach and Kyle Truesdale chipped in with 14 and 11 points respectively.
After a few days off to regroup, the Blue Raiders welcomed Camp Hill's other high school team to town, the Trinity Shamrocks, on Friday evening. The result was a thrilling, 65-64, overtime win. Once again Middletown was able to control the opening half of the contest, leading to an 18-15 lead after the first quarter and a six point, 34-28 advantage at halftime.
As it did on Tuesday, the game started to slip away in the third as Trinity posted a 21-13 advantage, flipping Middletown's six-point cushion into a two-point Shamrock lead with eight minutes remaining. Unlike the Camp Hill game, the Blue Raiders were able to regroup in the fourth, outscoring the 'Rocks 8-6 to force overtime. Middletown kept just enough momentum on their side in the extra period to escape with the one-point victory. Hughes led the way with a game high 32 points while Leach and Truesdale added 10 points each.
The Blue Raiders had no time to enjoy their win over Trinity, traveling to Annville on Saturday afternoon to take part in the 9th Annual Rhoades Foundation Classic at Lebanon Valley College. Middletown was paired opposite Annville-Cleona in the kick-off game of the event's three game slate and wasted little time taking control of the contest on their way to a 68-48 victory.
The Blue Raiders opened the game with an 11-0 run and, after the Little Dutchmen managed two buckets to make it 11-4, closed out the opening stanza on a 12-2 run that put the score at 23-6. Middletown cooled drastically after their torrid start but the damage had been done as Middletown spent the remainder of the game maintaining a lead that hovered around 20 points. Hughes capped his productive week with a game high 24 points. Leach provided back-up in the form of 16 points while Tyler Petroski chipped in with 12 points.
The Middletown wrestling team kicked off the New Year with back-to-back matches against Lower Dauphin and Trinity last Wednesday and Thursday. The Blue Raiders posted split results, falling to LD by a 39-24 count while topping the Shamrocks 42-34.
Middletown never really had a chance against Lower Dauphin as the Falcons claimed eight straight weight classes to open the match. That put the Blue Raiders in a 33-0 hole with just six bouts remaining. Quincy Reinnagel finally put Middletown on the board by pinning Luis Arments 79 seconds into the 220-pound match but LD sealed the team victory with a Middletown forfeit at 285.
Despite the outcome already sealed the Blue Raiders continued to fight with Antonio Pittman earning a forfeit win at 106 followed by a Zach Malay pinfall win at 113. Malay needed just 1:37 to dispatch Matthew Rodriguez. Luke Fegley and Ryan Berstler were responsible for the final two Middletown wins. Fegley topped Sean Donnelly 11-5 in the 120-pound bout while Berstler posted a nearly identical 12-5 win over Richard Skidmore at 126.
The Blue Raiders shook off the Lower Dauphin loss by topping Trinity one night later. Middletown ultimately prevailed but it was anything but smooth sailing through the match. The two sides traded blows over the first half of the match with the Shamrocks' landing the bigger hits early, leading to a 28-18 'Rock lead with five weight classes remaining.
Joseph Spear, Devin Martin and Arthur Dash were the only three Blue Raider grapplers to come out on top over the initial nine matches, leading to the 28-18 Trinity lead. Spear pinned Daniel Kosinski with two seconds remaining in the 145-pound match while Dash needed just 3:25 to pin his foe, Brian Bodle, in the 182-pound tangle. Martin's forfeit win at 152 allowed Middletown to enjoy a brief lead before Trinity claimed five of the next six bouts.
Fegley kicked off Middletown's victorious push by pinning Charlie Aber at the 1:32 mark of the 106-pound clash, drawing Middletown to within four points at 28-24. A quick Trinity forfeit win at 113 made it 34-24 in favor of the Shamrocks but the Blue Raiders closed out the match with three straight forfeit wins to steal the victory, 42-34. Malay (120), Berstler (126) and Nate Brady (132) enjoyed the quick victories to close out the win.
Middletown Gridders Cap 2nd PIAA Silver Medal December 11, 2017
For the second straight season, so close but so far away, is the most adept way to describe the Middletown football team's season. As they did in 2016, the 2017 edition of the Blue Raiders marched through their initial 14 games, outscoring opponents 597-100 along the way to earning a spot in the PIAA-3A title game at Hershey Park Stadium. And for the second straight year that title quest ended with a tough to swallow loss. This year it was a 41-24 final to Quaker Valley on December 9th that ended the Blue Raiders magical two year run with another state silver medal.
"Without a doubt, 28-2 that's special, not many people can say that," said head coach Brett Myers. "Two division titles, two district titles, and two eastern champs. Not many people playing in December and these kids deserve to be out here in a winter wonderland playing in a pretty special setting."
The scene was set for a perfect Middletown fairy tale ending with a light snow falling that coated everything white. Only it was Quaker Valley earning their first state title, not the Blue Raiders. Making matters worse the Quakers used Middletown's own formula, suffocating defense combined with a powerful rushing attack, to get the job done.
That suffocating defense never really let the Blue Raider attack get going. Middletown surrendered 282 total yards while the Quaker ground game churned out 246 yards and accounted for three touchdowns. Add in two Middletown turnovers, one of which was returned for six Quaker points, and it was enough to cause Middletown's all-time leading rusher Brady Fox to say, "They were the better team today. They played hard. They are a good team but that score board doesn't identify our team. I think we could have played a lot better but it just happened to be 41-24."
Fox's narrative played out basically from the opening whistle as Middletown's first three drives yielded a combined 10 yards, two punts and one interception. Thankfully the result was only a 7-0 deficit thanks to a stingy defense that limited the Quakers to just Jordan Taylor's 34-yard score late in the opening frame.
The Blue Raiders' fourth possession is where things first started to go sideways for Middletown. The drive spanned the final 73 seconds of the first quarter, nearly half of the second quarter and covered 70 yards but produced no points. Unfortunately, the drive stalled on the Quaker Valley seven-yard line and the end result was a missed field goal leaving the score at 7-0.
The Quakers were unable to capitalize on Middletown's miscue as the Blue Raider defense forced a quick three and out. That set up the first half highwater mark for the Blue Raiders, a 55-yard Tre Leach punt return touchdown that knotted the game at 7-7 and gave the Middletown faithful a spark with 5:59 remaining in the half.
That spark was quickly extinguished as the Quakers answered the Leach punt return TD with a quick three-play strike punctuated by a 66-yard TD. The Ricky Guss to Ethan Moore score was made possible because the Middletown defender fell down while trying to break up the pass, leaving Moore free to scamper untouched for a 14-7 Quaker lead.
A quick Middletown three and out gave the ball right back to Quaker Valley with a short field to boot. The Quakers needed only four plays to traverse the 34 yards, stretching their lead to 21-7 with 1:54 remaining in the half on another Guss to Moore connection, this one from one yard out.
Three plays and 50 seconds later, the Quakers were enjoying a 28-7 lead thanks to Andrew Seymour. The senior linebacker tallied Quaker Valley's second interception of the game and returned it 40 yards for a TD.
Quaker Valley tightened their grip on the game with the opening possession of the second half. They marched 67 yards in five plays, capped by Taylor's second trip to the end zone, this one a 35-yarder that made it 35-7 just two minutes into the second half.
The Blue Raiders were able to counter the Quaker score with a score of their own but Donovan Brady's 38-yard field goal proved to be a temporary fix. The impressive boot trimmed the deficit to 35-10 with nearly a quarter and a half remaining but Middletown was unable to maintain the momentum surge.
Quaker Valley answered that Middletown score with their own score, a two-yard Guss plunge that capped a 12-play drive that chewed up the final five minutes of the third quarter and the first eight seconds of the fourth frame. The two sides exchanged punts over the next five minutes of game time leaving only the final score in question.
The Blue Raiders were able to score twice in the final five minutes to put that final at 41-24. The first was a one-yard Leach run that came with just over four minutes remaining in the contest. The six-play drive was highlighted by Kyle Truesdale's crazy 41-yard reception on a pass that was intended for Chris Plummer. Truesdale ended up with the ball after it was jarred loose from Plummer's hands via a hit that arrived at the same time as the ball.
Middletown's final score came after recovering a Quaker fumble but almost never happened after the Blue Raiders' first two plays lost seven yards. Facing third and long deep in their own territory Middletown turned to Truesdale who promptly broke off a 20-yard run, giving new life to the drive. That life was nearly fumbled away as Middletown's next snap hit the turf. A fortuitous bounce right into the arms of Lamar Ventura resulted in a 70-yard touchdown run with 14 ticks remaining in the game.
Ventura's TD scamper vaulted him to the top of Middletown's game leaders with Fox and Jose Lopez finishing well off their typical pace. Lopez's 44 yards gave him 1,793 for the season while the 56 yards Fox tallied in the game pushed his season total to 1,619 and his career record tally to 4,326.
With another 14-1 season and PIAA-3A runner-up finish in the books, Myers was left to say, "We didn't play our best game today and that's on me as a coach. We have some great kids and a pretty good program going. We are 28-2 and I don't want to take away from that but in the end, our goal is to play our best game the last game of the year and today we didn't do that and that falls on the head coach."
Middletown Football Wins Again, Blanks Scranton November 27, 2017
The Middletown football team is using the 2017 playoffs as their laboratory to test an old sports theory, that offense wins games and defense wins championships. A shutout win over Scranton Prep in the PIAA-3A quarterfinals last Friday was the Blue Raiders third live test of that theory this postseason. The 35-0 blanking of Scranton followed Middletown's 42-7 win over Bermudian Springs in the District 3 opener and a most recent 49-0 shellacking of Wyomissing that netted the Blue Raiders the District 3-3A title.
Add it all up and you get a defense that is allowing a measly 2.33 points per game this postseason behind back-to-back shutouts.
"That team we just played is a really, really good football team," said head coach Brett Myers. "Our defense did an amazing job, holding a team like that to a goose egg."
The defense kept the Cavaliers out of the end zone by shutting down Prep's main offensive weapons, senior running back Matt Gilmartin and junior quarterback Leo O'Boyle. Gilmartin did lead Scranton with 86 rushing yards but nearly half of that total came on the senior's first carry of the game. Gilmartin broke free for 36 of his 86 yards but the Blue Raider defense clamped down from there, holding the running back to 50 yards on his other 16 carries.
The defense was even harder on O'Boyle, holding the signal caller to a meger 80 yards on 12 of 24 passing, including two costly interceptions. Add in three sacks for a loss of 18 yards and Scranton was left searching for a way to move the ball for large portions of the game.
As it has all season, the offense was the beneficiary of the defensive domination, albeit a bit later than the Middletown faithful is accustomed. Scranton opened the game by covering 45 yards on two plays, including Gilmartin's big gain, putting the Blue Raider fans on the edge of their seats at BASD Stadium. The defense shook off the early trouble by forcing a Cavalier punt after a third down sack of O'Boyle.
The offense appeared to respond as they have all season, working in tandem with the defense to control the game. Only Middletown's opening drive ended with an uncharacteristic fumble deep in Cavalier territory that gave Scranton new life. That new life lasted all of three plays thanks to the Blue Raider defense with the fourth down punt giving possession back to Middletown at midfield.
The offense wasted little time capitalizing this time, covering the 50 yards in six pays. Brady Fox capped the drive with the first of three scores, this one a two-yard plunge that gave Middletown a 7-0 lead with just a few ticks remaining in the opening quarter.
Scranton's ensuing drive lasted just three plays thanks to a Tre Leach interception that gave Middletown's offense another short field. This time the Blue Raiders needed eight plays to cover 42 yards with Leach enjoying the fruits of his interception. Leach's four-yard score capped the short drive and made it 14-0 with 9:58 remaining in the half.
"We have a lot of good football players," said Myers. "I've been telling everybody that will listen that Tre Leach is an all-league running back if we need him to be but he's always been unselfish and stepped back so the other guys can get theirs. Tonight we needed him and he stepped up," said Myers of Leach who finished with 82 yards rushing in his efforts to help fill the void left by injured running back Jose Lopez.
An exchange of punts over the next few possessions led to Middletown getting the ball back with 76 seconds remaining in the half and 91 yards of turf to cover. The offense needed five plays and just over a minute to cover all that green thanks in large part to work of Scott Ash, Ryan Hughes and Chris Plummer. After Leach picked up 17 yards on two carries to move Middletown out of the shadow of their own end zone, Ash went to work. The signal caller hit a wide-open Hughes for a 52-yard gain and followed with a 21-yard strike to Plummer. The back-to-back completions put Middletown on the doorstep of a 21-0 lead heading into intermission. Fox picked up his second TD of the half, this one from one-yard out, with 14 seconds remaining in the half.
Middletown, behind Fox, kept rolling once the third quarter kicked off. Fox opened the drive with a 40-yard scamper and capped the first possession of the second half with a two-yard, second effort score that made it 28-0.
"He has a special knack for running the ball, we saw that tonight," stated Myers. "Not many times in his career have we had to ask him to carry the ball a little extra because of injury but tonight we did and he came in to do what Brady does and that's run really hard and be physical and find a way to squirt through really, really small holes," said Myers of Middletown's all-time leading rusher who finished the game with a team high 98 yards and three scores on 24 carries.
Middletown's defense appeared to relax a bit on the Cavaliers next possession, allowing five straight completions by O'Boyle. That allowed Scranton to get into a rhythm but Tyeer Mills quickly changed the beat by picking off O'Boyle for the defense's second pick of the game. The Blue Raiders offense was unable to capitalize, punting after just three plays, but the damage had been done as Scranton gained just 37 yards of offense over the final 16 minutes of action.
With the game well in hand the Blue Raider offense downshifted a bit on their next drive, stalling out at the Prep 32-yard line. The result was a missed 48-yard field goal attempt by Donovan Brady that gave the ball back to Scranton. It appeared as if the Cavaliers would capitalize on the possession by putting some points on the board after a Middletown personal foul and a big completion moved Scranton into Middletown territory. Once again, the Blue Raider defense came up big, forcing a turnover on downs that gave the ball back to Middletown with just over seven minutes remaining in the game. In an attempt to bleed the clock, the Blue Raiders ran the ball 11 straight times, moving from their own 40-yard line to the Scranton five-yard line over the span of 6:47. The Blue Raiders landed one last blow before the final whistle with Mills finding Leach in the back corner of the end zone for a 10-yard TD and a 35-0 final.
Middletown's PIAA quarterfinal victory over Scranton Prep gives the Blue Raiders their second straight berth in the PIAA-3A semifinals with this bout opposite the District 12 champion, Cornwell-Egan. The showdown is set for Saturday December 2nd at West Chester Rustin High School with kickoff set for 1pm.
Blue Raiders Grab Second Straight District Title November 17, 2017
The twelfth chapter in the 2017 book of Middletown football was a historic one. Not only did the Blue Raiders pick up their second straight District 3-3A title but senior running back Brady Fox became the program's all-time leading rusher in the process. Coming into the contest Fox needed 55 yards to eclipse Jalen Thompson's mark of 3,855 yards set during last season's run to the state final. He finished with 207 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Blue Raiders to a 49-0 demolition of Wyomissing.
"It's nice, I mean it really is, these guys behind me here did a great job leading and those guys going in there are a special group," said head coach Brett Myers. "Every team has its own identity and this group is still finding theirs, but I guess right now their identity is district champs, we'll enjoy it for a couple of days and see what happens from there."
What a game to enjoy. The Blue Raiders racked up 422 yards behind the one-two punch of Fox and Jose Lopez who finished with 124 yards and a score of his own. Meanwhile the Middletown defense was busy shutting down Wyomissing. The Spartans finished with just 191 yards of offense, a measly 3.67 yards per play.
The Blue Raider assault began with Wyomissing's first possession, a three and out that ended with a short punt that gave Middletown the ball on their own 38-yard line. Fox may have ended up the headliner of the game but Tyeer Mills took center stage on the opening drive. The senior wideout covered 31 yards on the second play of the drive and setup the TD with a 12-yard run two plays later. That TD was a 12-yard strike from Scott Ash to Ryan Hughes that made it 7-0 with 6:58 left to play in the opening quarter.
Wyomissing answered the Middletown score with a long drive that lasted 10 plays but covered just 24 yards and ended with a punt. Momentum seemed to be drifting to the Spartans with a quick three and out from Middletown but the Blue Raiders regained control by shutting Wyomissing's offense down. A quick turnover on downs gave the ball back to Middletown on their own 32-yard line. Fox covered 46 of the 68 yards needed, the final 27 yards making it 14-0.
Another smothering effort by the Blue Raider defense had the Spartans punting from their own two-yard line and punter Owen Pendergast standing at the back of his own end zone. A bad snap led to a partially blocked punt and a short field for Middletown. The field was short but it was enough for Fox to surpass Thompson in the Middletown history books while making it a 21-0 game with halftime just over five minutes away. Neither team was able to get anything going in that final five minutes keeping it a three-score game at the break.
Thanks to the work of Mills, the Blue Raiders needed only five plays, one of which was a busted pass play that resulted in an eight-yard sack, to make it a 28-0 game. Mills opened the second half with a 44-yard return, setting Middletown up near mid-field and followed with a 10-yard run on first down. Four plays later Fox made it 28-0 with a 17-yard score.
Wyomissing countered with a 10-play drive that reached the Middletown four-yard line but Kyle Truesdale intercepted Ben Terefenko's pass in the end zone to kill the drive and the Spartans only chance at breaking up the shutout. Three Jose Lopez runs later and the mercy rule running clock was activated. After picking up nine and six yards on his first two carries, Lopez broke free for his lone score of the game, a 67-yarder that highlighted his 124-yard effort.
A solid return by John Thomas Gaza on the ensuing kickoff led to another quick three and out by the Spartans but an equally solid punt by Pendergast flipped field possession and pinned Middletown inside their own 20 yard line. That made little difference for Fox who promptly ripped off a 36-yard run to move the Blue Raiders out from the danger zone. Four plays later and Fox was covering the final 24 yards for his fourth and final score and the 42-0 lead that came with it.
Another Wyomissing turnover on downs led to Middletown's final possession and their final points. The possession was all Chris Joseph with the running back covering 36 yards on four carries, the final nine-yards for the TD and the 49-0 final. Wyomissing did mount one last ditch effort against Middletown's second unit but the Blue Raider defense held firm to preserve the shutout.
Up next for the Blue Raiders is a PIAA-3A quarterfinal showdown with either Loyalsock or Scranton Prep. The game will take place November 24th or 25th at a site and time not available at press time.
Middletown Football Caps Perfect Regular Season November 5, 2017
The Middletown football team took their final regular season step on their march toward a perfect 2017 campaign. With a 45-7 demolition of Steel-High on Saturday November 4th the Blue Raiders wrapped up their second straight 10-0 season and now turn their attention to another postseason run.
It was the second straight 45-7 final for Middletown, topping Milton Hershey by the same score last week. As a team Middletown racked up 376 yards of offense with Brady Fox accounting for over half of the tally. The senior running back finished with 199 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns.
Despite finishing as the star of the show, Fox began the game in a more supporting role. Scott Ash was the first to take a turn in the spotlight, putting the Blue Raiders on the board with a one-yard plunge just over four minutes into the game. Jose Lopez made it a 14-0 game with the first of his two trips to the end zone, this one from three yards out with 28 seconds remaining in the opening frame.
The home crowd enjoyed the game's next score as Steel-High's Dupri Andrews plowed in from two yards out to make it a 14-7 game with 7:21 remaining in the opening half. Fox, who is just over 200 yards shy of becoming Middletown's all-time leading rusher, took over from there, scoring the next three Blue Raider touchdowns. Two of those scores came in the second quarter with Fox picking up a five-yard TD with 4:14 remaining in the half and a two yarder with 96 seconds remaining. Donovan Brady put the halftime score at 31-7 by drilling a 49-yard field goal with one tick left in the half.
Fox's final trip to the end zone came just 2:14 into the third quarter, the six-yarder making it 38-7. Lopez capped his 84-yard game with a 34-yard scamper that came with just over four minutes remaining in the frame. The result was the 45-7 final score and put the running clock in motion as Lopez's second TD stretched the lead past the 35-point threshold needed for the Mercy Rule to kick in.
Up next for the 2017 Mid-Penn Capital Division Champions is a District 3-3A semifinal showdown with Bermudian Springs. Game time is set for Friday November 10th, 7pm at Middletown's War Memorial Field.
Middletown Football Improves to 9-0 October 29, 2017
One step closer. With a 45-7 manhandling of Milton Hershey last Friday, the Middletown football team moved one step closer to their second straight undefeated regular season. The now 9-0 Blue Raiders outgained Milton Hershey 345-177 on the strength of 275 rushing yards to post their third straight 40+ point game and their sixth of the season.
Brady Fox returned to the line-up to lead the rushing attack with 151 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. Jose Lopez added 105 yards on 15 carries but did more damage with his four receptions, taking two of them to the house to account for both of quarterback Scott Ash's two TD passes.
Those two Lopez TD receptions, from 12 and seven yards, got Middletown rolling and gave the Blue Raiders a 14-0 lead just 2:11 into the game. Fox took over from there, stretching the lead to 28-0 heading into intermission with scoring runs of eight yards in the first quarter and 71 yards in the second quarter.
Donovan Brady made it 31-0 with the only points of the third frame coming on his 35-yard field goal. Ash accounted for his third score of the evening on a two-yard plunge with 8:51 remaining in the game while Kyle Truesdale finished Middletown's scoring with a 60-yard interception return for a score. Milton Hersey broke up the shutout when Jaylen Brown hit Jaiden Parris for a 33-yard TD with just over four minutes remaining in the game.
The Middletown cross country team wrapped up their 2017 season by participating in the District 3-2A Championship Meet at Big Spring High School on October 28th. Of the five Blue Raiders that made the trip only one was a member of the Lady Raiders. Angela Hernandez represented the girls' squad well, finishing in the top half of the 122-person 2A field. Hernandez crossed the line at 23:03, good enough for 61st place.
Justin Shaffer led the quartet of boys across the line, posting an 18:08 to finish 60th out of 203 runners. William Brown cracked the 19-miunute barrier, finishing in 18:51, good enough for 100th place. Zach Malay was the next Blue Raider to finish, doing so in 140th place with a time of 19:15. Mark Cowan was the final Middletown runner to compete, finishing 163rd with a time of 19:36.
The girls' soccer team was fortunate to enjoy the thrill of victory in their District 3-2A first round encounter with Biglerville on October 24th.
"We had multiple opportunities to score in regulation but just couldn't quite put it in the net," said head coach Tim Neff of the 1-0 overtime victory. "Fortunately, we were able to continue applying pressure in overtime and finally cashed in on a set piece.
"Even though we were frustrated in our inability to score, the girls kept pressing and working and the determination finally paid off when Ashley Barni was able to put the rebound in the back of the net," continued Neff.
Barni's game winner came in the 88th minute or 7:52 into overtime and, as Neff mentioned, off a rebound of a Hayli Akakpo-Martin free kick. Amanda Lee finished the shutout win with five saves including one early that Neff mentioned as a turning point for his squad.
The going was a bit tougher on Saturday when the Lady Raiders traveled to Leesport to face the second seeded Lady Panthers of Schuylkill Valley. The Lady Panthers used first half scores from Sadie Goad, Halee Peters and Taylor Romberger to cruise to a 4-0 victory. Lee finished the loss with 11 saves.
For the boys' soccer team earning a first round bye in the District 3-2A bracket put the Blue Raiders directly into the quarterfinals opposite Wyomissing, the third seed in the bracket. The result was a 3-2 win for the Spartans despite the best efforts of David Alcock who was responsible for both Middletown goals.
The Spartans jumped out to a 1-0 lead behind Dominic Flowers' goal just eight minutes into the game. Jaxton Taylor stretched the lead to 2-0 with the first of his two scores, this one coming at 33:10. Alcock began Middletown's comeback bid just two minutes later, converting a penalty kick into a 2-1 game. Alcock would net the equalizer in the 51st minute, converting a Griffin Meyer pass for the score. Not even five minutes later Taylor picked up his second score of the game, this one good for the game winner. Tommy Lee (two saves) and Avery Williams (four saves) split time in goal for Middletown in the season ending loss.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.