Breitbach, Bowlers Qualify for States March 9, 2018
The goal of any athlete is to compete on the biggest stage possible. For Alaina Breitbach and the Penn Manor bowling team, that stage is the PIAA Championships. Breitbach punched her ticket at the District Championships while the bowling team handled the competition at the PA East Regionals.
After a three week layoff, the Comet swimmers, with a couple of medals and a pair of school records, took to the pool with a vengeance at the District Three Championships held March 3 at Cumberland Valley High School.
Breitbach, seeded second in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:06.46, improved her time, grabbed her second consecutive bronze medal and qualified for the PIAA championships. The sophomore also broke a 1990 school record in the 200 individual medley and placed tenth with a time of 2:10.61. She was seeded eighth but with a 2:13.21.
Also in record-breaking mode was Sam Lutter. The sophomore, seeded 12th in the 100 breaststroke, clocked a 1:00.80, breaking a school record set in 1993. He also dropped five seconds in the 200 IM, posting a time of 2:02.31.
"It was an awesome weekend," said head coach Eric Urban.
The girls 200 medley team of Erica Shaub, Breitbach, Jalyn Clow and Anna Sugra also finished 12th with a time of 1:54.07.
"Anna also PR'd in the 200 free with a 1:59.59 and she PR'd in the 100 free with a 54.88," noted Urban. "Jared Stephan dropped five seconds in the 200 IM and placed 17th with a 2:00.37 and dropped 11 seconds in the 500 free, placing 14th with a 4:52.54."
Also with a chance to extend their season, the Comet bowlers took to the lanes March 2-3 and punched their ticket to the big dance by winning their first East PA Regional Championship by upending Wilson.
"We've been second the past couple of years so it was nice to finish on top," said head coach Chris Vital. "This is such a nerve-wracking day as only the top six teams qualify for states and only the top 12 individuals."
As for the individual competition, that got underway Friday with the boys again competing at Leisure Lanes and the girls at 222 Dutch Lanes. In a pool of 191 qualifying bowlers, the Comets had five chances to break into the top 12 but managed just one. Dan Mease, with a third place finish, became just the fourth Comet to qualify for states in 14 years, joining Tanner Simet, Cody Johnson and Brandon Yarnell.
"Only two boys qualified from the L-L League," noted Vital, "Dan and Tanner Michael from Manheim Central. It's a tough task."
Dan rolled a 246, 247, 250, 238 and 227 for a 1208 total. Danville's Cody Kizis earned the top total with a 1223 and Hunter Mikosz, of Muhlenberg, followed with a 1210.
In the bracket finals, Dan faced Lewisburg's Anthony Neuer in the quarterfinals where he suffered a 278-201 loss. For his efforts, Mease was one of five named to the Eastern PA Boys All-Star Team.
Joining him in the singles competition was Gavin Davidson (43rd with a 1046 total), Nick Mease (57th - 1025), Michael Morris (108th - 944), Mark Smith (109th - 941) and Jimmy Mahler (12st - 924).
"To have five guys qualify is an accomplishment," said Vital. "They all kept battling. And, because of their efforts, I had a pretty good feeling going into the team competition on Saturday."
In the girls' individual competition at Dutch Lanes, Katelyn Welsh was Manor's top finisher, rolling a 948 five game total for 41st place. Carrie Shertz (107th - 774), Lisa Strausner (125th - 739), Lauren Shroyer (140th - 691) and Stephanie Mohn (146th - 651) also competed.
In team competition on Saturday, starters Mark Smith, Davidson, D. Mease, Michael Morris, and N. Mease rolled a 1056 in their first game. "We were in fifth place after that and Dan rolled a 267," noted Vital. "But because of the importance of qualifying for states, I actually made some substitutions, bringing in Jordan Kahler and Jimmy Mahler and Jordan wound up throwing five of the last six strikes. We did better in the second game with everyone throwing over 200."
Davidson (225), D. Mease (242), N. Mease (217), Kahler (245) and Mahler (238) contributed to an 1167 second game score.
"After that second game we were in second place but the lanes started to dry out and most teams were struggling," noted Vital. "We finished with a 1018 and that kept us in second place heading into the baker sets where five bowlers each bowl two frames. We got off to a slow start with a 168 but the rest of our games were over 200 and we finished with a 4569, behind Neshaminy with a 4637."
In the bracket finals, the Comets edged Daniel Boone 2-1 in the semifinals. They rallied from a 244-213 loss to win 217-150, and 232-213 and faced Wilson, who knocked off Neshaminy 2-0, in the finals. Again the Comets got off to a slow start, bowing out 189-184 but came back strong, winning 225-157, and 201-193.
"It was a total team effort," said Vital. "We got contributions up and down the lineup. Now we see if we can secure our third straight PIAA crown."
The girls' team (Welsh, Shertz, Strausner, Shroyer, Michala Harvey, Leila Abbas and Natalie Whiteside) had a rougher time, finishing 12th (3289) out of 31 teams. Shikellamy was the top squad with a 4388 while Elizabethtown finished fourth (4008).
Lady Comets Finish 8th in District 6A Playoffs March 2, 2018
Thursday night at Hempfield, the Comets had one last chance to qualify for the PIAA Championships. Standing in their way was Section One champ Manheim Township. The Comets (15-10) had lost to the Streaks 44-43 and 62-57 during the regular season. And in a battle for the final PIAA playoff spot, Township, the districts' top seed, again prevailed, 57-41.
"Not exactly how we wanted to go out, but finishing eighth in the district isn't too shabby, especially when we weren't even picked to finish in the top half of our section and considering the loss of our center (Kate Levato) all season," said head coach Megan Collins.
Both teams came out determined. Carroll, Greggs and Heisey all hit first quarter threes and Township's Megan Baldassare racked up nine points all by herself as both teams fought to an 11-11 tie. The Streaks, however, started to pull away after that, using a 15-10 second quarter run to push out to a 26-21 halftime lead.
"We did cut the lead to three in the third quarter, but couldn't get any closer," said Collins. "We made some turnovers that they converted and we couldn't come back."
Manor all but tied Township in the third quarter 12-10 but the Streaks, who had three players in double figures, pulled away with a 19-10 final frame effort.
Baldasarre led all scorers with 24 points while Shriver was tops for the Comets with 15. Carroll followed with 10, including a pair of treys, and both Heisey and Greggs netted seven each with Wiker adding one field goal.
"I'm thrilled with the effort and passion our girls showed this season," Collins remarked. "They made me proud to be their coach."
After a ten point loss to Elizabethtown in the District Three Class 5A quarterfinals, the Comets matched up against Cedar Cliff last Monday night in the consolation semifinals at Warwick High School. With a less than typical shooting performance, the Comets suffered another hard-fought loss, this time 35-29.
Denied a single point in the opening quarter, the Colts weren't exactly lighting up the nets either. They led just 4-0 after eight minutes.
"It seemed like a repeat of the E-town game as far as the offensive side of the game is concerned," said Collins. "We couldn't seem to finish, and it's hard to win when you don't score."
The Comets all but matched the Colts in the scoring department over the next three quarters, falling short 31-29. Cedar Cliff, seeded 6th, led 6-0 before a pair of Alyssa Schriver free throws put the Comets on the board in the second quarter. In fact, it was the free throw line where the 10th seed Comets picked up six of their nine points, falling behind 14-9 at the half. Schriver went 3-for-4 and was 5-for-8 for the game and Macy Carroll's three ball right before the buzzer, was Manor's only field goal of the half.
The Comets outscored the Colts 10-8 in the third quarter and cut the lead to 20-19 on a trey by Schriver with 2:19 on the clock. Cedar Cliff, however, used a 10-0 run that started with the last bucket of the third and continued into the fourth for the biggest lead of the night.
"Defensively, I felt we gave ourselves a chance to win," said Collins. "When we cut the lead to one, we needed some kind of spark or momentum and we couldn't seem to find one and they went on a decent run."
The Colts hit for 13 points in the fourth quarter and held a 32-20 lead with 2:04 left to play. Manor ended the game with a 9-0 run that included making 5-of-6 free throws.
Schriver matched the Colts' Rachael Reilly with a game-high 12 points. Macy Carroll added eight while Danielle Heisey, Ella Hart, Nasheyla Greggs and Sarah Wiker added two points each with Dashona London collecting one.
With a trip to Hershey and the PIAA Championships on the line, five Comet matmen competed in the District Three/South Central Region Class 3A wrestling tournament February 22, 23, and 24. While all five failed to advance, they represented more than a handful of grapplers who wished their seasons had continued through districts.
Tanner Stefanick, a sectional champ at 106, got off to a strong start, posting a 4-0 lead over Red Land's Christian Dennison before working a 1:24 fall. In the quarterfinals, the freshman met up with Ben Monn of Cumberland Valley. The eventual champ worked a pair of takedowns and four nearfall points en route to an 11-0 major decision.
Stefanick rebounded against Esteven Muniz. The Reading grappler fell behind 6-0 before Stefanick wrapped things up with a 2:18 fall.
In the consi-round of four, Stefanick's season came to a close with a 5-2 loss to Governor Mifflin's Jalon Lavine. Stefanick opened with the first takedown of the night but was denied after that.
Wrestling at 126, Nick Fafel's round of 16 bout resulted in a 5-2 decision over Red Land's Bryce Brennan. After a scoreless first, period, Fafel earned three nearfall points in the second and a pair of escapes in the third to advance to the quarterfinals opposite Spring Grove's Dalton Rohrbaugh. Down just 2-0 in the first period, Fafel gave up six more points in the second and dropped a 9-0 major.
The senior then met up with Nick Tewell, of Mechanicsburg. Tied at 2-2 after two periods. Fafel's season came to a close when he gave up a fourth period escape with 32 seconds left and was denied the chance to advance.
Also advancing as a sectional silver medal winner, Nick Baker (160) went 2-2 in district action. Leading 3-2 in his opening bout, Baker finished with a 6-4 decision over Governor Mifflin's Johnny Arentz. In the quarterfinals, the sophomore lost to Caden Morrison, of West Perry in ultimate tie breaker.
He rebounded in the consolation bracket with another extended bout, escaping Shippensburg's Eddie Ocker in the second OT period for a 2-1 thriller. Baker's third period escape extended the bout.
His second consolation match was yet another one point result, unfortunately it was Exeter Township's Matt Ward that advanced with a 4-3 win. Ward led 2-0 early in the second period before Baker escaped with 25 second left. His third period escape tie the score at 2-2. Neither wrestler gained ground in the fourth and fifth periods. Ward's reversal in the sixth was more than Baker's escape that followed.
Another Comet freshman, Caden Rogers (132) also gained valuable post-season experience and finished with a 2-2 mark. After two scoreless periods, Rogers gave up eight nearfall points and lost his round of 16 bout 9-2 against Mason Myers of Central York.
Determined to pick up a win, Rogers shook off a 2-0 first period deficit with an escape, a takedown and four nearfall points en route to a dominating 15-4 major decision over Garden Spot's Christian Schilling.
He followed that up with a 4-3 thriller over Anthony Steinmeyer of Wilson. Rogers' second period takedown midway through the second period gave him a 2-1 advantage. Steinmeyer tied the score with an escape but gave up late takedown to fall behind 4-2. He was awarded a third period stalling point but Rogers survived with the victory.
His season ended with a 6-2 loss to the eventual third place finisher, Zack Zeamer of Manheim Central. Rogers worked a first period takedown but was denied after that.
Wrestling at 195, TJ Keener got off to a rough start, suffering a 2:49 fall against Darrick Rudisill of New Oxford, the eventual fourth place finisher. The junior settled in, however, with back-to-back wins, working a 4:16 fall over Garden Spot's Brandon Sabasino and then scoring a first period takedown and a second period reversal in a 4-0 shutout over Kegan McCord of Manheim Central.
Keener, like three of his teammates, fell one bout short of the consi-semifinals. He gave up a first period takedown but dominated the second period with a reversal and five nearfall points for a 7-2 advantage. The third period, however, belonged to West Perry's Jake Quaker who started his comeback with an escape and a takedown followed by five nearfall points and a 10-7 win. Quaker finished fifth overall.
Six Penn Manor bowlers competed in the District Three singles bowling championships at Berks Lanes on Saturday, February 24 and one came home with a medal.
In the preliminary round of six games, Nick Mease rolled a 203, 269, 193, 244, 233, 187 for a 1329 total and, in a field of 36 bowlers, finished in fifth place. With the top six bowlers advancing to the finals, Mease faced the fourth place finisher, freshman Alex Horton of Daniel Boone.
"Nick lost that game 206-191 and Horton went on to beat CV's Ryan Graham and Conrad Weiser's Dan Althouse," noted head coach Chris Vital.
Also placing for the boys was Dan Mease, who's 1285 was 22 pins shy of the top six, was 10th. Mark Smith (1235, 17th) and Michael Morris (1178, 21st) followed.
Placing for the girls' team was Katelyn Welsh (1127, 23rd) and Carrie Shertz (1050, 32nd).
Comet Bowlers Grab 5th Straight L-L League Title March 1, 2018
Penn Manor's bowling team captured its fifth straight Lancaster-Lebanon League bowling title on Wednesday, February 14 at Rocky Springs with a 5-2 victory over Warwick in the championship game.
"The team championship seems to be our specialty," said head coach Chris Vital. "This was our eighth title in 14 years."
After capturing their ninth Section One title in 14 years, the Comets opened league playoffs with 4-0 wins over both Manheim Central and Ephrata to get to Warwick.
Gavin Davidson's 236 and a 222 by Dan Mease fueled a 1063-966 game one over the Barons while Nick Mease, with a 237 and Michael Morris (221) led a 1030-858 effort in the second game.
The Comets battled Ephrata in the semifinals where Davidson (244) and N. Mease (223) anchored a 964-910 win in game one.
"Ephrata kinda fell apart in the second game and we won easily, 1035-884," noted Vitale. The Mease brothers led the way with Nick rolling a 246 and Dan collecting a 212.
"In the finals, Warwick came out strong and we struggled," noted Vitale. "They beat us 965-918 and I felt the lanes got even tougher in the second game. I took Dan out and put Gavin back in," he added. "Gavin really had a great day.
"Michael was struggling too so I took him out and put Katelyn Welsh in and she finished with four strikes to end the game. It was a nail biter but we pulled it out 938-912."
Then, in the first frame of the rubber match game, Welsh threw the first ball and left the 10-pin standing. "I took Katelyn out and went with Dan, a lefty, who converted the spare and then throws the last six strikes to win," Vitale stated. "We won that last game 998-906."
Thursday at Leisure Lanes the girls, in a field of 63, competed in the L-L League singles championships.
"Carrie Shertz finished 11th and Katelyn was 13th," note Vitale, "and they both qualified for the district tournament."
Also placing for the Comets was Stephanie Mohn 23rd, Lauren Shroyer 24th and Leila Abbas 26th.
Penn Manor capped its busy week on Friday when the boys took their shot at the individual championships held at Dutch Lanes. In a field of 91, five of the Comets placed in the top 14.
"The boys had a really good day," said Vitale.
The first round of qualifying consisted of five games. The top 25 advanced to bowl four more games. The top five after this round bowled head to head finales. Mark Smith, who was in fourth place after the first round, stayed in fourth place and was the only Comet to advance to the finals. He dropped his opening round game to Kolby Bennett, of Cedar Crest, 259-216 and finished in fifth place overall.
"Nick was just three pins away from fifth place," noted Vitale, "and Dan was seventh."
Davidson was 12th, Morris finished 14th and Jimmy Mahler settled for 26th place.
After an eight year playoff absence, the girls' basketball team made the most of the opportunity last Monday night, rallying from behind to knock off No. 7 Governor Mifflin, 55-45 in a first-round District Three Class 6A game at Governor Mifflin Intermediate School.
The last time Penn Manor won a district game was back in 2002 when the Comets defeated McCaskey 64-58 in double overtime in the opening round. Athletic Director Jeff Roth was the head coach.
With both teams feeling each other out in the first quarter, the Comets (14-8), behind Macy Carroll's eight points, held a 12-11 edge. In the second frame, however, the hosts picked it up a notch. With eight points from Ta'shonna Wright-gaskins, and a pair of three balls from senior Kyra Hartman, the Mustangs exploded for 20 points, held the Comets to 12 and led 31-24 at the break.
They extended that lead to 38-25 midway through the third quarter before the No. 10 Comets dug deep. Alyssa Shriver hit for five points that frame, Dashona London hit a pair of jumpers in the lane and Nevaeh Neal beat the buzzer as the Comets closed the quarter with a 10-0 run and cut the lead to 38-35 with eight minutes remaining.
With momentum on their side, Nasheyla Greggs knocked down a triple that knotted the score at 38-38 and Carroll unleashed three more treys as the Comets took the lead for good. They racked up 20 points in the quarter and held the Mustangs (17-8) to seven points in both the third and fourth quarters to advance to the quarterfinals opposite L-L League foe and No. 2 seed Elizabethtown.
"In that second half we went into a full denial man defense," said head coach Megan Collins of the comeback. "Our up-tempo defense caused a number of turnovers. Plus we knew we had to stop their three point shooting."
Hartman netted four treys, all in the first half, and finished with a game-high 24 points and teammate Stella Mallica added two first half triples. But Mifflin's seven third quarter turnovers proved bigger than those points.
"Macy Carroll took a charge in the second half which proved to be a pivotal turning point," added Collins. "And Nevaeh Neal's defense was on point, especially at the top of the key.
"To come back from being down 13 in the third, and going on a 16-0 run to end up winning by 10 is just a great win. I'm proud of the girls and the effort and passion they played with and have played with all season."
Carroll finished with four treys on the night and paced the Comets with 17 points. Schriver, who did not score in the first quarter, followed with 13 and went 4-for-7 from the foul line. Greggs and London each chipped in with seven points, Neal added five and Sarah Wiker and Ella Hart combined for six.
Thursday night the Comets traveled to Elizabethtown for their third meeting against the Bears. This time, a trip to the Giant Center was on the line. Unfortunately, the Bears remembered it was the Comets (15-9) that denied them a shot at the Section One title and enacted a bit of revenge with a 38-28 victory.
This low scoring game featured just one double figure scorer. Amber Orban paced the Bears with 10 points. Seven different Comets reached the scoring column but none had more than Schriver and London who both netted 6. Carroll and Neal combined for 9.
"We just couldn't buy a bucket," said Collins. "No one was hitting. Our plan was to shut down Megan Lonardi (7pts), because if we did, we knew we had a chance. We gave ourselves a chance by playing good defense, but not finishing shots and not boxing out ended up hurting us."
E-town took control early, leading 11-4 at the end of one. The Comets picked up the scoring in the second quarter, netting 10, but still fell behind 19-14 at the half.
Manor cut the lead to three, 22-19, with a putback by Danielle Heisey in the third quarter but the hosts outscored the Comets 12-7 in the quarter for a 31-21 advantage with eight minutes left.
The cold shooting Comets managed just seven points in the final frame as well.
Saturday, February 17, at Hempfield High School, the Comet matmen wrestled a good part of the day in hopes of punching their ticket to the District Three tournament in Hershey. Five Comets placed in the top four at that Class 3A Section II tournament and extended their seasons. For their efforts, the team finished in fourth place out of 15 with 143.5 points. Central Dauphin claimed the team title (208) with Manheim Central (181) and Lower Dauphin (157) rounding out the top three.
Freshman Tanner Stefanik, seeded second, rose to the top and was Manor's only gold medal winner. Stefanik opened action with a 1:33 quarterfinals fall over Manheim Central's Brandon Kheuangthirath and then got past Josh Miller, from CD, 12-7.
"This match was back-and-forth early until Tanner came out on top with a headlock to go up 11-6," recalled head coach Mike Fowler. "This was a break through match for Tanner to guarantee him a district appearance."
In the finals, Stefanick faced No. 4 Micah Sams. The Township grappler pinned the top seed in the semifinals. Stefanick turned a 6-5 lead into a 1:33 fall and grabbed the gold.
"With the score 6-5 after just a minute, I thought maybe the match would end up 24-22 or something crazy when Tanner locked up a bar and got the fall," said Fowler.
Finishing in second place was Nick Fafel. The 126 pounder pinned Solanco's Zach Spade in the quarterfinals in 4:51 and then blanked No. 2 seed Nick Carroll (25-4) with a 4-0 result. After a scoreless first period, Fafel took the lead with a second period reversal.
"This was the first time I saw Nick smile this season after a win," said Fowler. "He punched his ticket to districts after missing it the last two years."
Fafel, in the finals, faced top seed Chris Wright, from Central Dauphin, who is ranked No. 1 in the state at 40-1 and dropped a hard-fought 2-0 loss.
"It was 0-0 after two periods," recalled Fowler. "Nick was in on a shot deep late but couldn't finish. This was a great match. Nick never backs down and loves to compete. This was definitely one of his better performances."
Also settling for a silver medal was Nick Baker (160) who met Solanco's AJ Wilson, the top seed, in the finals. "Wilson beat Nick 13-0 and 8-1 already this year but he closed the gap to 4-0," Fowler noted. "He continues to grow with every tough match he wrestles.
"Getting experience at districts for the underclassmen will be very important for the upcoming seasons," he added.
Baker opened with a 15-0 quarterfinals result over Rus Hanes of Hempfield and then pinned Donegal's Will Small in 5:45 in the semis.
Picking up a bronze medal was fourth seed Caden Rogers. The freshman topped Lampeter's Michael Hazboun 8-1 in the quarterfinals but was pinned by Andrew Wert, a Central Dauphin senior.
"Wert, I believe, is ranked #1 in the state," said Fowler. "Now Caden needed to win one more to get to districts. He came back with a 4-1 decision over Solanco's Chase Charles, who he beat twice already this year, and then, in the consi finals, he worked an escape and rode out Lower Dauphin's Tyler Walters, another senior, to win 1-0."
Manor's final district qualifier was TJ Keener who settled for fourth place at 195 after suffering a 2:49 fall to Solanco's Nick Yannutz.
After getting pinned in the quarterfinals by fourth seed Steven Seepaul of Warwick, Keener needed two wins to advance. He bounced back with a 1:23 fall over Hershey's Austin Courchaine and then flattened E-town's Blake Andrews in 3:50.
"Andrews came in at 24-5 and beat TJ 8-2 at the league meet," Fowler noted. "This was a big win for TJ and hopefully a confidence booster to let him know he can go with some of the top guys if he wrestles to the best of his ability."
Ending their seasons with fifth place finishes was Trevor Grassel (113), Owen Rohrer (120) and Marquis Sweigart, the seventh seed at 170, while Kole Marley at 152 was close behind in sixth.
Grassel lost to both the third and fourth place finishers, Rohrer went 3-2 with a loss to the third place finisher and Sweigart also went 3-2 having suffered a loss to the eventual second place winner, Nylem Flucas of Hershey before placing with a hard-fought 5-4 decision over Lampeter's Connor Penry.
Marley went 2-3 and was bounced to the consolations with a quarterfinals loss to eventual champ, Clayton Ulrey of Lower Dauphin.
"The boys had a strong finish this year and we're hoping to win some more at districts," said Fowler. "These guys do not back down and I look forward to sitting in their corner and watching them battle with the best."
Lady Comets Qualify for District Three Playoffs February 9, 2018
An overtime victory over Conestoga Valley last Tuesday on the road improved Penn Manor's record to 14-8 overall and moved them into the ninth seed of the District Three Class 6A playoffs behind top seed Manheim Township and No. 3 seed Elizabethtown.
"We were 8-14 last year so this year's record is the exact opposite," said head coach Megan Collins. "It has been eight or nine years since the girls have qualified for districts, so we're definitely excited and ready. It shows that hard work goes a long way."
That hard work started with Manor avenging a 59-48 loss to the Bucks in their first half meeting. CV's leading scorer, Kenzie Reed, bucketed a game-high 24 points that game. Tuesday night, however, Reed was not in the lineup but the Bucks didn't seem to mind as they opened the first quarter with a 16-5 advantage.
The Comets slowly battled back. With a seven-point second quarter from Alyssa Schriver, the visitors outscored the hosts 13-6 in the second quarter, cutting the lead to 22-18 at the break.
Manor maintained its consistency in the third frame, got a nine point effort from Schriver that included two treys and again outscored the Bucks 13-11 to get within two, 33-31. The fourth quarter was every bit as close and just before the final buzzer, Macy Carroll dropped in a jumper to tie the score at 43-43.
"Macy also hit two free throws in overtime to give us the lead," noted Collins. "We struggled in that first quarter. Nothing seemed to be working, but I was proud of how we came back."
Schriver, a senior, led all scorers with 20 and Carroll chipped in with 15 to lead the double digit scorers.
"Alyssa shot the ball rather well from the outside, which was a huge help in digging us out of the hole we were in," noted Collins.
The Comets were coming off a hard-fought 56-46 Friday night (Feb. 3) loss to Cedar Crest (14-7 overall) where again, a sluggish start proved to make the going difficult.
"We missed too many layups and foul shots to be able to win that one," said Collins. "We talk about the simple things and how they are so important in games, especially against good teams."
Crest came out on fire, drilling three treys and jumping out to a 17-9 first quarter lead. They got an eight point effort from Hannah Woelfling (game-high 21 points) in the second quarter and again outscored the Comets 12-6.
Despite looking at a 29-15 halftime deficit, the Comets regrouped and played a strong second half. Ella Hart and Nasheyla Greggs combined for 11 points as Manor outscored the visitors 17-10, closing the lead to 39-32 but could get no closer.
Crest hit just two field goals in the fourth frame but went 13-for-14 from the free throw line to pull away. Hart collected six more points in that quarter and finished with a team-high 16. Greggs, with nine in the second half and a 4-for-4 effort from the foul line, added 14 points and Schriver, who was recognized before the game with a 1,000 career points game ball, added 10. Seniors Danielle Heisey, Macy Carroll, Nasheyla Greggs, and Sarah Wiker were also honored before the game.
The bowling team, setting its sights on the post-season, clinched the Section One title with a 5-2 victory over Conestoga Valley, Friday, Feb. 2 and then wrapped up the regular season last Monday with their eighth shutout of the season, blanking third place Hempfield.
The Comets got off to a strong start against the Bucks. Behind Mark Smith's 207, Manor won the first game by 34 pins. Four of the Comets rolled over 200 in the second game and the Comets clinched the win with a 50 pin advantage.
Nick Mease collected a 202 but two of CV's bowlers racked up 228 as the Bucks won the third game 960-912 but it wasn't enough. The Comets had the last say, out rolling CV in total pin count by 36.
Michael Morris rolled the highest game of the day with a 223 and finished with a 594 series but Smith led the team with a 601, rolling a 207-216-178. N. Mease followed with a 590 (179-209-202). Chipping in with two game totals was Gavin Davidson (331), Jordan Kahler (349) and Dan Mease (402).
Against Hempfield on Monday, the Comets got out in front early, went to the bench for the third game, and pulled away for a fairly east shutout.
"Once we scored enough in those first two games I put some senior girls in that never bowled varsity," said head coach Chris Vital. "It worked out well for us. Now we'll get ready for the League team tournament and singles."
The Comets topped the Knights by 28 pins in the first game, a slim seven in the second and another 27 in the final game. They won the total pin count by 67 pins.
Contributing with two game totals was D. Mease (485), Smith (475), Davidson (441), N. Mease (428) and Carrie Shertz (332). Others rolling single games included Katelyn Welsh (256), Morris (205), Steph Mohn (193), Kahler (177) and Michala Harvey (137).
While the boys' basketball team didn't exactly pile up the wins, finishing 6-16 overall, they did improve as the season moved along. Four of their last five games were lost by six points or less, including a 53-51 loss to CV last Tuesday night.
Having dropped a 15 pointer to CV in their first meeting, the Comets were determined to end their season, at home, on a high note. And they almost did.
The Comets got off to a great start. With Josiah Edwards netting seven points in the paint and Colin Morrison and Kevin Roldan combining for nine more, Manor took a 16-12 lead after eight minutes.
"The game shifted in the second quarter," noted head coach Larry Bellew. "Their two best offensive players (Logan and Austin Monroe) were on the bench in foul trouble and we were not able to extend the lead. I felt we missed a real opportunity to go up 10 or 12 points."
Both teams finished with seven points and the Comets maintained their four point lead, 23-19, at the break.
The hosts started strong in the third frame, stretching the lead to ten, but CV responded with a run of their own, scored the final four points of the half, and took a one point lead after winning the frame 16-11.
"We missed a couple assignments late in that third quarter that let them back in," Bellew.
The Comets got hot from three point range in the fourth quarter with Drew Greenawalt and Ethan Hine each burying two but it wasn't enough as the Bucks, behind Logan Monroe's eight points, pulled out a squeaker.
"The Monroe brothers were able to control the quarter with their ability to score and make plays for others," commented Bellew. "I was disappointed in our sloppiness with the ball. That and a couple of key defensive mistakes were too much to overcome."
Edwards led all scorers with 17 points and Greenawalt chipped in with 13. Roldan (8), C. Morrison (7), Hine (6) also contributed.
The Comets were coming off a hard-fought 62-51 Friday night loss to playoff bound Cedar Crest.
After suffering a 31 point loss in their first meeting, the Comets had nothing to lose Friday night and, with seven points from Roldan, tied the hosts at 12-12 early on. With gaining confidence, Edwards and Reed Morrison combined for 10 of the team's 15 second quarter points and helped carry the Comets to a 27-21 lead at the break.
The momentum, however, did not carry over into the second half. Crest started their comeback with a 20-15 third quarter advantage, including a pair of treys that helped cut the lead to one, 42-41.
"Then Crest amped up the defensive pressure and their attack on offense and we were not able to hold up," said Bellew. "We missed some open shots and did not get any help from the whistles. Plus we missed two foul line box outs that led to four points in that fourth quarter which were huge.
"Early on our ball handlers were able to beat their man off the dribble and knock down some shots," he continued. "Ty Erisman knocked down three treys that way but as the game progressed, we started missing those shots."
Crest won that final quarter 21-9, holding the Comets to just two field goals in the frame.
Roldan, who finished as the high scorer for the season with 226 points, put up a team-high 12 points and Edwards added 10. Erisman (9), R. Morrison (6), C. Morrison (5), Jacob Matias (5), Greenawalt (2) and Anthony Rosario (2) contributed to the final total.
"I was impressed with the leadership and unselfishness of this team," stated Bellew. "They had every reason, when the season wasn't going right, to play for themselves and they didn't. They pulled together and proved to themselves and others that we are capable of playing with everyone in Section One."
Comet Bowlers Win 10th Straight Match February 2, 2018
Comet bowlers continued to make short work of their Lancaster-Lebanon League opponents last week, winning their tenth straight match, this one a 5-2 result against Manheim Township.
Michael Morris rolled the top series of the day with a 674 and Nick Mease, with a 668 series, claimed the top individual game with a 244.
The Comets won the first game by 225 pins. The Streaks tried to make a comeback in the second game, but fell short by 93 pins. They did, however, take the third game, topping the Comets 1001 - 955. Manor earned its fifth point of the match with a 3076 total pin count. Township finished at 2804.
Also rolling for the Comets was Mark Smith (221-201-165 - 587), Gavin Davidson (189-227-165 - 581) while Dan Mease and Katelyn Welsh combined for a 566.
The Comet swimmers, against visiting Hempfield, honored seniors Karley Frankford, Thomas Hartenstine, Aidan Mahoney, Trevor Charles and Vincent Vozzella last Tuesday in their last home meet of the season. But it was the Knights that left town with a win. The second place boys' squad (4-1) topped the Comets 111-59 while the Lady Knights (3-2) defeated the Lady Comets (1-4) 103-67.
"We did have a number of personal best swims," noted head coach Eric Urban. "And Vinny Vozzella won the 50 free by .01 in his last duel meet of his high school career."
Pan Kunya was the top point-getter for the Comets, winning both the 100 free (51.38) and the 100 back (1:00.50).
Third place finishes included Jared Stephan in the 200 IM, Andrew Pursel in the 200 free, and Noah Buckwalter with a PR in the 100 fly (1:02.1).
The girls' picked up four wins on the day but couldn't catch the third place Knights. Manor opened strong, with Erica Shaub, Alaina Breitbach, Jalyn Clow and Anna Sugra winning the 200 medley relay in 1:59.09.
Sugra, who was second in the 100 breaststroke, went on to win the 200 free with a personal best 2:02.20 while Breitbach added two wins, taking the 200 IM (2:15.98) and the 100 back (1:01.77).
The Comets also got seconds from Jordyn Kendig in the 500 free and Allison Steele in the 100 back.
"Kelly Johnson also dropped significant time in the 200 free and Kayla McCormick swam her best time in the 500 free," noted Urban.
A Friday night upset win over Elizabethtown and last Monday's crossover victory over Garden Spot pushed Penn Manor's win streak to five straight. That all ended, however, when the Streaks, fighting for the Section One crown, took care of business Tuesday night and held off a spirited Comet effort with a 62-57 result.
Manor fell behind 30-21 at the half but gained some ground with a 21-12 third quarter effort that knotted the score with eight minutes left.
"We played a fantastic third quarter and took the lead early in the fourth," recalled head coach Megan Collins. "But we needed to be more disciplined offensively and play better defense down the stretch. We had to foul them late in the game to stop the clock and give ourselves a chance. It wasn't the result we were looking for, but we have showed that we can play with all of these teams."
The Streaks pulled away with a 20-15 fourth quarter advantage that included 10-of-13 free throws.
Township's Olivia Matteo, who is closing in on 1,000 career points, led the way with 29. Macy Carroll was tops for the Comets with 14. Nasheyla Greggs, who canned four triples on the night, finished with 13, Alyssa Schriver added 11, and Ella Hart chipped in with 9.
On Monday, the hosting Section Two Spartans anticipated a battle against the Comets and were poised for an upset in their own fight for a playoff berth. But the Comets had just a little more. They outscored GS by two points in each of the first two quarters for a 22-18 halftime advantage.
Behind Carroll's nine point effort, they padded the lead by six more points with a 16-10 third quarter that sealed the deal as both teams knocked down 19 fourth quarter points. Free throws were the difference in this one. The Comets nailed an impressive 18-of-19 attempts including 8-of-9 in the fourth quarter.
"This was a nice win on the road," said Collins. "It wasn't pretty, but a win is a win. The court we played on was small and we struggled to make those adjustments. Just things to continue to work on as we strive to improve."
Schriver led a trio of Comet double-digit scorers with 19 points, including a perfect 12-for-12 from the charity stripe. Carroll chipped in with 15 and Greggs followed with ten.
Prior to last week, the Comets gained momentum with a 34-32 thriller over Elizabethtown Friday, January 19. Hart's put-back bucket at the buzzer was the game-winner.
This one was nip-and-tuck the whole way. With both teams battling on the defensive end, the Bears held a slim 16-15 lead at the half. E-town forged ahead in the third, outscoring the Comets 9-5 only to see the Comets return the favor in the fourth with a 14-7 advantage and that game-winning bucket.
"Our defense, rebounding and foul shots won that game for us," Collins stated. "We wanted the game more at the end and it showed."
Clinging to a one point lead, Carroll knocked down a pair of free throws to push it to three before E-town drained a triple to tie it up.
"I called timeout with about nine seconds left," said Collins. "The initial play we designed didn't work but Ella saw an opening and went for it. It was an amazing game and atmosphere to be a part of."
Hart bucketed a team-high 11 points, including seven in the second quarter. Carroll finished with eight and both Dashona London and Schriver added four each.
After avenging a first half loss to McCaskey with a 53-50 result Tuesday, January 23, the Comets nailed down their second straight win and third of the season with a solid 57-45 victory over Lebanon three days later.
The Cedars defeated the Comets 44-31 in their first half meeting but this time around Manor was deadly from three point range and gained momentum with a 21-13 first quarter that featured five made triples, two each by Kevin Roldan and Colin Morrison. The Comets drained eight on the night with Roldan canning four. He finished with a game-high 18 points.
"We knocked down 8 of the first 10 threes we took," noted head coach Larry Bellew. "That was a good reason for our early lead.
"But the key was the defense on their two main scorers," he continued. "Drew Greenawalt, Colin Morrison and Jakob Matias did an outstanding job limiting Luis Aquino-Rios (the third leading scorer in the section) to six points. Sincere Scott finished with 13 but he missed a lot of perimeter shots."
Manor led 33-23 at the half and outpointed the Cedars by one in both the third and fourth quarters, pushing their overall mark to 3-11.
"We were efficient enough in the second half that we never felt the pressure of a lead slipping away," said Bellew.
C. Morrison also hit double figures with 15 while Josiah Edwards added 10.
Last Tuesday the Comets were four points away from their third straight win. Tied at 41-41 to start the fourth quarter, visiting Manheim Township outscored the hosts 13-9 to steal a 54-50 win. Roldan netted six of Manor's nine points and finished with a game-high 18 points.
"Kevin knocked down a three with just under three minutes left to give us our last lead," Bellew recalled. "Down the stretch we missed two foul shots and had a turnover on an inbounds play. We missed some scoring chanced and the opportunity to make a good shot a great one."
The first half was just as close as the final minutes with neither team leading by more than five. Township led 30-25 at the half. Roldan and Reed Morrison each knocked down a trey and hit two jumpers to account for Manor's 14 third quarter points and a tied ball game.
C. Morrison finished with 10 points, R. Morrison added 9 and Ty Erisman netted 7.
Fresh off a fifth place finish (out of 22 teams) at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Championships, the Comet matmen traveled to Spring Grove High School last Tuesday to compete in the District Three Class 3A team tournament opposite the home team, No. 2 seed Rockets. Knowing it was an uphill battle, Manor dropped a 45-16 result.
"We knew it was going to be a tough match," said head coach Mike Fowler. "They had a lot of guys from 30-0 to 18-5. And they only had maybe four weaker spots, one being heavyweight, which we do not have."
Down 23-0, Manor got on board with TJ Keener's 5:16 fall over Calvin Flemmens (195). After three straight forfeits, two by the Comets, Trevor Grassel (113) controlled Braden Ross to the tune of a 14-2 major decision.
"They were just a little better than us, staying one step ahead all the time," said Fowler. "We did score first at 138 (Chad Mowbray) and 145 (Ian Young) but they were a little tougher on the mat. Our guys fought hard the entire time, and with experience and practice, we will get better at these types of matches over the next few years."
As for the League Meet January 26-27, the Comets, who finished with ten medal winners, were in third place after Friday's action but couldn't push enough guys through to the finals, thus settling for fifth place out of 22 teams.
Caden Rogers', with a second place effort at 132, was Manor's highest place winner.
"He beat a tough senior from Garden Spot, Christian Schilling, in the semis before losing 6-1 to Central's Zack Zeamer," said Fowler.
The Comets also came home with three bronze medals efforts. "Freshman Tanner Stefanick (106) lost a tough one in the semis (8-6) to Donegal's Ethan Herr, the eventual champ," said Fowler. But bounced back with a 4:27 fall over Garden Spots Mason Casey.
At 126, Nick Fafel also suffered a semifinals loss, bowing out against Cocalico's Kayde Althouse before placing with a 5-0 decision over Warwick's Mateo Chacon.
Nick Baker (160) was Manor's third bronze medal winner who dropped in the semis, losing 8-1 to Solanco's AJ Wilson, the eventual champ, before rebounding with a 53 second fall over Donegal's William Small.
"Nick wrestled great," said Fowler. "This was a good test for him going into sectionals."
Finishing in fourth place was Chad Mowbray (138). "Chad did not get many varsity matches last year and this year he is taking advantage of the opportunity and has over 20 wins," Fowler noted.
Manor's sixth place medal winners included Keener (195), Trevor Grassel (113) and Dylan Coleman (120).
"Dylan wrestled through a lot of pain, competing with, what we found out later was a ruptured appendix," said Fowler. "And still, he placed."
Marquis Sweigart (170) contributed to the team total with a seventh place finish while Ian Young, seeded 10th at 145, placed eighth.
Greenawalt Ices Victory Over Visiting McCaskey January 26, 2018
Drew Greenawalt's layup with 32 seconds left to play against McCaskey gave the Comets the three point edge they needed last Tuesday, pushing the score to 53-50 which proved to be the final score and Manor's second league win of the season, fifth overall.
"The first time we played them we did not handle their trapping press and they hit five threes in the first quarter to go up 20-0 in the blink of an eye," stated head coach Larry Bellew. "This time we attacked the press well and converted at the other end and after four minutes, they were out of the press."
The Red Tornado got out quickly, posting a 20-14 first quarter advantage and extending it to 31-22 at the break. Down but not out, the Comets poured in their own 20-point quarter with Colin and Reed Morrison and Greenawalt each scoring six, and then turned in a pivotal 11-7 fourth quarter advantage to steal the win. Greenawalt dropped in seven of his team-high 13 that frame to lead the comeback.
"We were down one going into the fourth," Bellew recalled. "We played well the first 5:30 of the quarter and pushed out to a six point lead. Then we missed an open layup and had three turnovers. But our defense held up until the 45 second mark when they hit a three to cut the lead to one. We ran a sideline inbounds play with 20 second left," he continued. "They jumped on the first option and Drew flashed to the opening and scored a layup that pushed the lead back to three.
"It was nice to have a balanced effort on offense but defensively we were passive in that first quarter, giving up 20 points," added Bellew. "But we only gave up 30 points the rest of the game. Josiah Edwards and Reed did a nice job rebounding and Kevin Roldan had a number of steals and Colin finished some of those steals in transition. It was a great win for the kids. They've continued to stay together and work every day. They needed a win."
C. Morrison followed with 10 points while M. Morrison and Edwards each netted eight. Roldan (7), Ty Erisman (5) and Jakob Matias (2) also contributed.
When the top team in the section takes on the bottom team, a very lopsided result is usually anticipated. On Friday, January 19, however, that was not the case as the then 1-8 Comets almost pulled off the upset of the season over then 8-1 Hempfield.
"The game was close all night," said Bellew. "Defensively we wanted to limit Ryan Moffatt's effectiveness and to try to take their point guard, Eli Washington, out of the game. Moffatt scored about his average (18) but Washington was held to two points. Offensively, we attacked the zone much better."
Down three (38-35) headed into the fourth quarter, the Comets eventually knotted the score at 41-41 before being outscored 5-2 down the stretch and bowing out a respectable 49-43.
Greenawalt, with a pair of threes, accounted for half of Penn Manor's first quarter total as they tied the Knights after eight minutes. Roldan, who bucketed a team-high 17 and dished out six assists, sparked the second quarter with nine as Manor continued to go toe-to-toe with the hosts and went into halftime down one, 26-25.
The back-and-forth continued in the third quarter as well with Hempfield holding a slim 11-10 advantage, setting the stage for a fourth quarter that saw the Knights finish on top 12-8.
"They switched to a 2-3 zone in the fourth and we struggled to get the ball to the middle and the rim," said Bellew.
Edwards chipped in with 16 points and eight rebounds.
The girls' basketball team is in the midst of a four game win streak after topping McCaskey last Tuesday and Hempfield on Friday, January 19.
"We've been playing well enough to win these last four games," head coach Megan Collins stated. "We are still working on being able to play a strong 32 minute game."
Alyssa Schriver not only bucketed a game-high 21 points in Manor's 47-39 win over the Red Tornado but hit the 1,000 point plateau with a pair of free throws last Tuesday on the road. She needed 21 points to hit the mark and did so with a nine point fourth quarter that included a 5-5 effort from the free throw line. Schriver becomes just the third Comet to reach the mark following Kelsey Caruthers (2008) and Carol Flinchbaugh (1989).
In what proved to be a slow start for both teams, the Comets held an 11-9 first quarter advantage before the hosts stepped up the offense while holding Manor to just four second quarter points. The result was a 28-15 lead for McCaskey.
"We played a terrible second quarter and found ourselves down 13 at the half," said Collins. "We talked about the adjustments we needed to make and that we needed to come out on fire and play with a lot of heart. We did just that, holding McCaskey to 11 points and scoring 32," she continued. "I love our desire, our want to win and the heart that we played with in the second half. You could tell we wanted it more. I'm proud of our squad for not getting down and giving up. Good teams find a way to win and we did."
Ella Hart got going in the third quarter, netting six of her ten and Schriver chipped in with five as the Comets out-pointed the hosts 15-6 to cut the lead to 34-30. The momentum continued through the final eight minutes with Schriver sparking a 17-5 advantage and the win.
"Ella has been a great contributor for us, replacing Kate Levato (ACL)," stated Collins. "And right now we seem to be playing more together as a team."
Dashona London and Macy Carroll each chipped in with six points.
In what has proved to be one of the biggest rivalries of Section One bowling, the Comets, who blanked the Warriors on their home lanes on December 14, survived Warwick on Friday, January 19, 4-3, and hold a comfortable lead on the top of the standings.
The Comets got off to a strong start, taking the first game 969-930 but hosts were determined and came back to win the second game by an even bigger margin, 1132-993. Now tied at 2-2, the Comets dug deep. Behind Mark Smith's 244 game, the visitors took the third game 1032-988 to clinch the victory.
With Warwick's Isaac Erickson rolling the top series of the day (744), the Warriors closed the gap by winning the total pin count, 3050-2994 but it wasn't enough. Nick Mease followed with a 650 series that included the highest second game score of 251. Dan Mease was close behind, rolling a 3-game 635 series. Rounding out the Comet five was Smith (597), Michael Morris (576) and Gavin Davidson (536).
The Comets continued their winning ways last Monday with a 7-0 final over McCaskey for their sixth shutout of the season. Smith, with a 672, rolled the top series of the day. M. Morris, with the highest single game of 279, finished with a 649 with Carrie Shertz just two pins behind. N. Mease picked up a 638 and Jimmy Mahler rounded out the top five with a 573 total.
Thursday afternoon the Comets met little resistance from Lebanon as they posted yet another shutout and pushed their overall record to 60-10.
Morris led all bowlers with a 703 series. Smith was consistent in rolling a 674 while Davidson finished with a 658. Katelyn Welsh earned the fifth highest series of the day with a 600.
The swim teams hosted Warwick last Tuesday afternoon and were left with a pair of losses. The boys' squad, hoping to move ahead of the Warriors in the Section One standings, suffered a 100-70 loss and were denied a single first place finish.
The girls' (3-5) had a tougher challenge facing the 6-1 Warriors but earned three firsts in a 92-78 loss.
"With leagues next, I gave some swimmers rest in their strong events," said head coach Eric Urban, "and to get end of the season times for some strokes they haven't swam before."
While the boys came up empty in the wins department, Jared Stephan led the way with a personal best second in the 200 free (1:54.25) and another second in the 100 breaststroke. Andrew Pursel also clocked a PR, going 5:28.74 in the 500 free for another second place effort. Other second place finishers included freshman Everett Barry in the 200 IM, Vincent Vozella in the 50 free, and 100 backstroker and freshman Pan Kunyu.
Anna Sugra picked up the only individual win on the day, recording a 2:06.14 in the 200 free. She also anchored the winning 4x400 free relay with Jaylyn Clow, Allison Steele and Erica Shaub and was the lead-off swimmer in the 200 free relay, joining Clow, Shaub and Alaina Breitbach. She also grabbed a second place finish in the 100 breaststroke.
Shaub added to the scoring with seconds in the 200 IM and the 100 free. Clow was second in the 100 fly and Breitbach was second in the 100 back.
In their final regular season match, the Comets fought from behind to defeat McCaskey 50-22 in Lancaster Wednesday night.
"Going in, there were some matches that I knew what to expect, but there were others I wasn't sure of," said head coach Mike Fowler. "113, 120 and 152 we had seen before but 106, 145 and 152 we had not and their two biggest studs are at 120 and 152. I was hoping if we won two of the other four we would be good."
In a match that started at 145, the hosts worked a decision and a major decision for a 7-0 advantage. The Comets, however, came back with four straight wins for a lead they never relinquished. Nick Backer opened the run with a dominating 20-5 tech fall over Gilbert Valentin and a Marquis Sweigart's (170) fall over Daniel Ortiz put the Comets in front for good.
"Nick broke open what looked to be a close match," Fowler recalled. "He looked great on his feet and got a few sets of back points as well. He worked hard for five and a half minutes to get that tech fall."
AJ Cox (182) added a 4:59 fall over Nathanael Saez and TJ Keener (195) followed by putting Shayne Hartley to his back in 1:32.
McCaskey closed the gap to 23-19 when the Comets forfeited at 220 and 285 but won just one bout after that, an 8-4 decision at 120. Prior to that, Manor's Tanner Stefanick (106) picked up more bonus points with the fastest fall of the night, decking Jordan Holland in 49 seconds and Trevor Grassel added an 18-2 teach fall at 113.
"Tanner has been very aggressive and looking tough," stated Fowler, "and Trevor got a good win against a solid opponent."
Nick Fafel (126), with a fall, Caden Rogers (132) with a major decision and Chad Mowbray's forfeit victory capped the scoring for the Comets.
Matmen Beat Solanco 41-30 in Key Section Clash January 20, 2018
It was a great day to be a Comet!
Last Wednesday Penn Manor hosted Solanco in a key Section One matchup. The winner would maintain sole possession of second place in the standings. And when all was said and done, the Comets, on senior night, calmly walked away with a rather convincing 41-30 victory.
"These boys gave me one of the best birthday gifts ever, on top of a snow day to spend with my kids," said head coach Mike Fowler. "We knew this would be a very tough match and all of the guys wrestled tough. Every single kid had a part in this win and I am proud of the work they put in every day."
After both teams traded forfeits, Tanner Stefanick (106) set the tone, pinning Dominic Flatt in 37 seconds. Bonus points were the story of the night as only one bout, Ian Young's (145) 5-1 final over Joey Vandegriff, finished with a straight decision.
"That was probably the biggest match, on paper," said Fowler. "Ian went out and got two takedowns and an escape to win. That may have been his best match of the year."
Solanco forfeited at 113 and came back with a major decision at 120 to cut the lead to 18-10. That was as close as it would get.
Senior Nick Fafel (126) turned a 5-0 lead into a 2:58 fall over Zach Spade and Caden Rogers (132) fought off a tight 3-2 first period advantage to finish with a takedown at the final buzzer that provided an 11-3 major over Chase Charles.
Then, Solanco's Grayson Charles pinned Chad Mowbray at 138, cutting the lead to 28-16.
"I knew we were going to forfeit two bouts and we were trying to give them to their best guys," said Fowler. "By winning the coin flip we were able to forfeit to Ben Root (170), who only has one loss on the year. This gave the rest of our guys a chance to win matches and save us points.
"Tanner got the fall, Owen Roher fought off his back at 120 and saved us two points. Nick gets a fall and Caden gets a major decision," Fowler continued. "Charles is a hammer but Chad fought hard."
The 152 bout was the most exciting of the night and brought the Comet crowd to their feet as Kole Marley gave up a late takedown to Tucker Pierson, knotting the score at 9-9 with 14 seconds left. He scored the opening takedown in overtime and decked Pierson for the fall in 6:09.
"I knew we had a chance to win that one," Fowler stated. "It was back-and-fourth but they had the momentum with that late takedown. I was nervous but Kole hit a big move to get the fall."
That gave the Comets a commanding 37-16 lead with four bouts left.
Solanco's AJ Wilson scored a major decision over Nick Baker (160) and the Comets forfeited to Root and moved Marquis Sweigart up to 182 and opposite Chaneef Carter.
"Nick battled for six minutes and saved us two team points against one of their studs," said Fowler. "And Sweigart was fantastic. He kept constant pressure on top and clinched the match with a 10-0 win.
"While the final bout of the night went to Solanco 10-2, AJ Cox just battled. I talked to him a few matches before and told him we may need him to fight hard for six minutes and not get pinned, all when he is giving up 20 pounds. He never complains. He lost the final home match of his career to a tough kid but AJ never backs down."
The Comets were coming off a solid performance at the Annville-Cleona Duals on January 13, picking up wins over East Pennsboro 58-17, A-C 50-30 and Northeastern 53-27 before falling to Middletown 38-27 and L-S 39-30.
Fafel, Baker (4 pins), and Sweigart (3 pins) all went 5-0 on the day with TJ Keener (3 pins) and Caden Rogers (2 pins) both going 4-1.
"We are a young team and the guys are getting better each time they step on the mat," he added.
Last Thursday night, the Comets improved to 4-4 in Section One (9-6 overall) after pulling away from a young Warrior squad 54-34.
Alyssa Schriver led all scorers with 23 points. After just seven in the first half, Schriver picked up the defensive intensity and turned a handful of steals into layups. She sparked a 15 point third quarter with nine points.
Ella Hart's presence in the paint and on the boards was also key. With 11 points in the second half, she finished with 17.
After a dead even first quarter, 11-11, the Comets gave up five straight points to start the second but then held the Warriors scoreless en route to a 23-16 lead at the half. They picked up the intensity in the second half with scrappy full court pressure and solid rebounding that frustrated Warwick.
Macy Carroll (7 points), Nasheyla Greggs (4-of-4 free throws) and Dashana London (2) also scored.
After a string of three straight losses, including a Friday night 59-48 loss to Conestoga Valley on January 12, the Lady Comets picked up a 50-34 non-league win over Exeter on Saturday. Hart, with a career-high 18 points, matched Schriver, who hit 10-of-11 free throws, for game-high honors as the Comets led 27-22 in the first half and sealed the win by holding Exeter to single digits in the third and fourth quarters.
"Ella did a nice job of finding the low block and finishing inside," said Collins. "We knew it was a winnable game and that it mattered, so they picked up the momentum in the second half."
Hart and Schriver combined for 10 of the teams' 12 first quarter points and 12 of their 15 points in the second.
Greggs led the third quarter with four points and Carroll hit for double figures with ten points, including a pair of three pointers.
A day earlier the Comets battled Conestoga Valley for fourth place in the Section One standings. The visiting Bucks outscored the hosts 24-17 over the middle two frames to extend their three point edge in the first quarter. Schriver scored 12 of her team high 20 in the fourth quarter as the Comets outscored CV 19-16, but it wasn't enough as the Bucks prevailed, 59-48.
Carroll (9), Greggs (9) and Neal (6) also scored.
Consistency is a key ingredient to winning basketball games. The boys' team, inexperienced at the varsity level, has battled every game this season but, for the most part, one dismal quarter has prevented them earning more wins.
Last Wednesday's 58-49 loss to Warwick is a perfect example. The Warriors buried five three pointers in the first quarter and led 20-9 after eight minutes. The Comets regrouped, and though they only scored six in the third quarter, outscored the hosts 40-38 over the final three quarters only to fall short.
"We knew we needed to limit their dribble penetration and defend the three point line," said head coach Larry Bellew. "We seemed to over-help or miss a rotation and every time they knocked down a shot.
"We were down 18 and cut the lead to nine at the half," he added. "But in the third we missed some makeable shots, had some unforced turnovers and they hit a couple more threes to stretch it back to 15."
Kevin Roldan matched Warwick's Clayton Mohler, who hit four triples, for game-high honors with 14 points.
Jakob Matias followed with nine. Reed Morrison, with five in the fourth, and Josiah Edwards added seven points each while Ty Erisman (5) and Colin Morrison (5) and Anthony Rosario (2) also contributed.
"Our inconsistencies, lack of a primary scorer and too many turnovers means our defense has to be almost perfect each night," said Bellew. "We've done a good job most nights limiting our opposition's top or top two players but then those teams always seem to have someone else step up with a career night."
A 21-7 deficit in the second quarter against CV on Friday, January 12, was the turning point in a game that went to the Bucks 54-39. CV outscored the hosts over the other three frames but only by two points, 33-32.
Another key component in that quarter was the sharp-shooting of CV's Brad Stoltzfus who canned four of his five triples in the game. He finished with a game-high 19 points. Josiah Edwards was tops for the Comets with 13, including hitting 7-of-8 effort free throws. Drew Greenawalt and Jakob Matias each finished with five points.
"We're just not shooting the ball as well as I had hoped," said Bellew. "We're about 28 percent from 3 and haven't helped ourselves from the foul line either. We're shooting less than 60 percent for the season."
One night later it was Exeter that finished on top, 55-48. This time the Comets fought off a 21-11 first quarter deficit and outscored the hosts 26-22 in the second half but it was too little, too late.
Anthony Wise scored 12 of his game-high 16 in that pivotal first quarter. Edwards netted six of his 15 in the first frame as well. Greenawalt followed with 12 points, including three triples. In a game that was definitely winnable, the Comets hit just 11-of-18 free throws.
"Josiah had given us an inside presence and has been able to get us some easy baskets and offensive rebounds to give us some extra possessions."
The bowling team continued rolling their way past the competition, posting another 7-0 victory, this time over Hempfield on Friday, January 12.
Hempfield's Taylor Fair earned the highest series of the day with a 709 but the Comets took the next three as Nick Mease finished with a 686, Michael Morris added a 666 and Gavin Davidson collected a 659. Mark Smith's 603 was the fifth highest score of the day.
Manor topped the Knights by ten pins in the first game, 15 in the second and left little doubt with a 1060 to 912 third game result.
The Comet swimmers came home with mixed results from Cedar Crest Thursday night. The boys' team improved to 2-1 (5-2 overall) with a strong 102-66 win while the girls' team dropped a 103-67 result.
"We had some really good swims and four best times," said head coach Eric Urban.
Jared Stephan's 5:18.69 in the 200 IM not only secured first place but was a PR as well. He also won the 500 free with Andrew Pursel, who took the 200 free in 1:56.97, taking second. The two also swam with Pan Kunyu and Aidan Mahoney to win the 200 free relay in 1:42.95.
The Comets also went 1-2-3 in the 100 back with Kunyu (59.97), Mahoney and Tom Hartenstine.
While the girls' did not get the final result they were looking for, they did swim four personal bests. Carli May's best time in the 100 free (1:01.70) backed Anna Sugra's first place effort in 57.41 while Mary Anna Vozzella (6:37.68) and Brianna Nissley (7:18.61) did their best in the 500 free following Jordyn Kendig's third place finish in 6:07.98.
Manor's top scorers were Alaina Breitbach and Sugra each with two wins. Sugra took the 200 free (2:06.82) in addition to the 100, while Breitbach won the 200 IM (2:15.20) and the 100 breaststroke (1:07.38). They also teamed with Jalyn Clow (2nd in the 50 free and 100 fly) and Erica Shaub (2nd in the 100 back) to win the 400 free relay.
Comets Face Falcons, Streaks Back-to-Back January 12, 2018
The Comets returned to Section One play with back-to-back outings last week, hosting Cedar Crest Tuesday and traveling to Neffsville one night later.
The hosts, definitely lacking in size this season, fell behind early against the Falcons and never really got on track, bowing out 66-35. Crest dropped in three triples in the first quarter and knocked down 19 points and canned three more in the second, all from the hand of game-high scorer Cole Laney (21 points) and led 41-22 at the half. Morrison Reed scored all seven of his points in the first quarter and Josiah Edwards added seven of his 10 in the second frame. Drew Greenawalt finished with six points, hitting 3-point buzzer beaters at the end of both the second and third quarters. Kevin Roldan also hit for six points.
The Comets got off to a good start in Neffsville Wednesday but couldn't hold on, eventually dropping a heart-breaker, 59-56 to the Streaks.
Colin Morrison netted all nine of his points in an opening quarter that saw the visitors take a 15-8 lead. Township, behind Brendan Mellott's eight points, gained ground in the second frame, outscoring the Comets 22-9 for a 30-24 advantage at the half.
Not to be out done, Manor, behind a seven point effort by Edwards, and three pointers by R. Morrison, Greenawalt and Ty Erisman, outscored the Streaks 20-13 for a 44-43 advantage with eight minutes left.
That momentum, however, fell short down the stretch. Township's Tyler Crespo netted 8 of his 10 points and Will Greiner added a pair of three's, helping the hosts to a 16-12 final frame advantage and the win.
Roldan was Manor's spark down the stretch, splashing in eight of his team-high 11. Edwards followed with 10 points, while Greenawalt, Morrison and Morrison each chipped in with nine apiece.
The Comets came into league play last week after suffering a 61-58 overtime loss to West York as part of the War of the Roses Tournament on Saturday, January 6.
The Comets saw a 45-41 lead evaporate in the fourth quarter due in part to a 5-for-13 free throw shooting effort and seven turnovers. The result was an 18-9 final quarter rally by West York that forced the extra period.
The Comets went back in front, 55-52. West York's Jared Shearer, however, dropped in a trey to tie the game and Dayvon Cortez poured in the final nine points to hold off the Comets. Shearer and Cortez each finished with 18 points.
Roldan led a quartet of double figure scorers with a team-best 13. Drew Greenawalt finished with 11 and Josiah Edwards and Colin Morrison each netted 10.
The Comet bowlers, with three straight shutouts under their belt, last Tuesday collected three of the top four scores of the day and edged Cedar Crest 5-2 in a home match.
"We won the first game by 108 pins but they came back in the second game and beat us by 75," recalled head coach Nick Vital. "That third game went down to the wire and we pulled out a win by 15 pins."
The Falcons notched the top score (724) but Dan Mease, who opened with a 257, Nick Mease, who's top game was a 244, and sophomore Jordan Kahler followed. D. Mease finished with a 718 series, N. Mease added a 695 and Kahler rolled a 636.
One day later the Comets gathered their sixth straight win, blanking Elizabethtown 7-0.
"There is never an easy match this time of year," said Vital, "but the guys were on a roll and beat E-town by 400 pins. We seem to be gaining momentum right now."
Michael Morris rolled the top series of the day (223-275-236 - 734) and Kahler, with the high game of the day (279) finished second with a 697 series. D. Mease's 664 series made it a top three sweep.
"Michael had a big match," said Vital. "He's starting to show some leadership."
Last Tuesday night in Lebanon, the Comets got off to a slow start and while their scoring picked up throughout the game the visitors couldn't stop the hosts and dropped a 53-35 Section One outing.
Held to two field goals in the first quarter, one by Alyssa Schriver and another by Ella Hart, the Comets fell behind 11-4. In a low scoring second frame, Manor got one point back but was on the short end of a 17-11 halftime score.
The Comets matched their first half scoring output in the third quarter but the Falcons exploded for 21 to pull away. Manor held Crest to three fourth quarter field goals but the hosts canned 8-of-12 free throws to remain in front.
Schriver dropped in a game-high 15 points but was Manor's only double figure scorer. Carroll Macy chipped in with nine points.
In Thursday's makeup game with Manheim Township, a valiant fourth quarter comeback fell just short of a victory as the Comets bowed 44-43 to the Streaks in Millersville.
Down 32-24 heading into the final quarter, Schriver netted nine of her team-high 12 points and Hart added six of her ten as the hosts outscored the Streaks 19-12 only to fall short by one.
"Down 44-41 we called a timeout to set up for a 3-point shot," said head coach Megan Collins. "We couldn't get that shot off, instead missed a long two, grabbed the rebound and Nevaeh Neal scored a layup with .5 left.
"I was extremely proud of them and how hard they played," she added. "We played with a lot of heart and no matter how many times they went ahead, we found a way to fight back and never gave up."
Nasheyla Greggs finished with 8 points, Carroll added 7 and Miriam Badri and Danielle Heisey added 2 each.
The Comets fall to 3-3 in Section One while the Streaks sit on top at 6-0.
Wednesday's league match against visiting Cocalico was a big one. The Eagles', having previously defeated CV and Solanco, left Millersville with a 45-18 win and sit on top of the Section One standings.
Looking closely at the match, in the 11 bouts actually wrestled, the Eagles won six, posting two pins, a tech fall and a major, securing what would have been a tighter 27-18 result. The Comets, however, forfeited three bouts, giving Cocalico an easy 18 additional points.
"They're tough from top to bottom," stated head coach Mike Fowler.
The Comets got bonus points from Tanner Stefanick, who posted a 15-0 tech fall over Dylan Rapp, and Trevor Grassel with a major over Seth Fritz (113).
"Trevor, a sophomore, wrestled a kid who was fifth at leagues last year," noted Fowler. "He's been winning key matches lately. And Tanner has been on fire since he dropped to 106 a few weeks ago."
That 9-0 advantage went to the wayside when Cocalico won three of the next four bouts, including a 4-0 win by Josiah Gehr over Nick Fafel (126).
Chad Mowbray's exciting 13-7 decision over Trevor Hale interrupted Cocalico's run.
Kole Marley (152) earned a 9-8 decision, breaking an 8-8 tie with Devin Sensenig with an escape with 40 seconds left and Nick Baker's 8-2 decision at 160 rounded out the Comet scoring.
"Less than a month ago Kole lost to Alex May 11-3," Fowler recalled. "Tonight he wins.
"Nick has been pretty solid this year and Chad improved to 12-8. Almost every guy on the team had some bright spots even in their losses. So from here we will work on our weaknesses and continue to grow as a team."
Saturday, December 6 was a busy day for the Comets. They went 4-1 at the Anthracite Duals at Panther Valley High School and finished in third place in the 16 team tournament.
Despite forfeiting at least two weight classes in each match, the Comets won big. They opened with a 59-19 win over Panther Valley, picked up a 51-24 result over Wissahickon and ran over No. Schuylkill 63-15 before bowing out 41-27 against a tough Wilson Boro squad. The Comets rebounded with a hard-fought 37-35 win over Shikellamy to finish third overall.
"The guys wrestled well in those first three matches," said Fowler. "We had a lot of good wins and things went about as planned. The win against Shikellamy, however, was pretty exciting."
Manor jumped out to a 10-0 lead with a major by Baker (160) and a fall by Marquis Sweigart.
Shikellamy came back with a fall at 187, Manor forfeited at 195, dropped a 10-5 decision at 220 and then forfeited at heavyweight to fall behind 21-10.
With eight bouts left to make up the ground, Manor started with Stefanick's 37 second fall at 106 and Grassel provided some motivation with a 3-2 thriller. Down 2-0 going into the second period, Grassel escaped and then scored a takedown for the 3-2 edge. He finished on top in the third for two minutes and cut the lead to 21-19.
Dylan Coleman's 48 second fall at 120 put the Comets in front, 25-21 but Shikellamy came back with a 4-0 decision over Fafel, who went 4-1 on the day.
Holding a one point lead with four bouts left, Rogers earned a 1:56 fall at 132 and Mowbray sealed the deal with a 49 second fall at 138. Shikellamy took the final two bouts of the night, winning by tech fall and pin but it wasn't enough.
Rogers, a freshman, and Stefanick both went 5-0 with four falls and a forfeit and Coleman, also a freshman, went 3-0 with three falls.
In Section One competition last week the Comets hosted Manheim Township but didn't have the depth to pull off the upsets. The Streaks came into Millersville with identical 4-0 overall records and left with one better. The boys' dropped a 118-52 result and fell to 1-1 in Section action while the girls lost 122-48 and are also 1-1.
"I thought the meet went well," said head coach Eric Urban, "but Township is very strong this year."
Township's biggest edge was going 1-2 in all three relays, a 30 point advantage. They won all but three events.
Sam Lutter was Manor's first winner of the night, taking the 100 fly in 57.61. He also finished second in the 200 IM.
Pan Kunyu followed with a first in the 100 free (51.05) and was second in the 100 back while Jared Stephan's 5:03.74 was the winning time in the 500 free. He also finished second in the 100 breaststroke ahead of teammate Everett Barry who was third.
Andrew Pursel chipped in with a third place effort in the 200 free.
The girls' managed a second place finish in the opening 200 medley relay with the team of Erica Shaub, Alana Breitbach, Jayln Clow and Anna Sugra but recorded just one win on the night, a 1:06.77 by Breitbach in the 100 breaststroke. The sophomore was also second in the 200 IM.
Sugra chipped in with a second in the 200 free and was third in the 100 while Clow added a third in the 100 fly and Shaub was third in the 100 back. Jordyn Kendig added thirds in both the 50 and 500 freestyle events.
Comets Improve to 4-0, Top Warwick 51-23 January 5, 2018
After a successful December, the Comets improved to 4-0 in Section One with a convincing 51-23 victory over Warwick last Wednesday night in Lititz. Penn Manor shares the top spot in the section with Cocalico while the Warriors fall to 0-3.
The Comets jumped out to a 24-0 lead and never looked back. Owen Rohrer (120) got the crowd going early, breaking a 4-4 tie with a third period escape and posting a 5-4 thriller over Conner Esbenshade.
Nicholas Fafel made it 7-0 with an 8-0 major decision over Mateo Chacon and Caden Rogers (132) added more bonus points when he pinned Shaun Stafford in 5:29.
"Caden used a variety of takedowns to open up the match until he could find something tight to secure the fall," stated head coach Nick Fowler.
The bonus points continued at 138 and 145 as Chad Mowbray worked a tech fall over Preston Johnson (16-1) and Ian Young (145) decked Patrick Tocci in the first period.
"Chad pushed the pace and scored a lot of points," said Fowler. "And Ian used a double leg to secure the takedown, followed by a cobra to get the fall in 1:21."
Warwick's Luke Hirtzel calmed the Comet crowd, working a 3:41 fall over Kole Marley at 152 but the momentum was short-lived as Nick Baker (160) broke open a 4-3 edge with a late second period reversal and tacked on six third period points to pick up an 11-3 major over David Hnasko. Marquis Sweigart (170) dominated Andrew Morgan with a 22-6 tech fall that pushed the lead to 33-6.
The Warriors countered with a 20-5 tech fall at 182 but TJ Keener extended Manor's led with a 4:40 fall over Roland McClune at 195.
"TJ had some nice leg attack defense to prevent McClune from scoring and once they got to the mat, TJ used multiple moves to turn McClune and earn the fall," Fowler noted.
The last four bouts of the night were a wash as the Comets forfeited at 220 and 285 and Warwick returned the favor at 106 and 113.
The Comets competed in three tournaments in December. They finished 12th in Solanco's 26 team tournament, were 22nd in their own 28 team tourney and ended 2017 with a bang, finishing second in Governor Mifflin's 24 team event December 28-29.
Fafel was Manor's highest place-winner at Mifflin, finishing second at 126. He came in seeded 6th. "He upset the No. 3 seed in the quarters and then had a great 2-0 victory over the No. 2 seed to get to the finals," recalled Fowler.
Freshman Tanner Stefanick made 106 for the first time this season. He placed fourth and finished with six falls.
Also a freshman, Caden Rogers chipped in with a fifth place effort at 132 while Mowbray (138) and Baker (160) brought home sixth place finishes.
Seventh place finishes included Trevor Grassel at 113, Sweigart at 170 and Keener at 195 and settling for eight place was Owen Rohrer (120) and AJ Cox (182).
"The best thing about the tournament was that we were everywhere from first to fifth place in the team scoring throughout the first night," said Fowler. "The last round was our biggest night. Fafel won a tight semifinals bout to get to the finals and we had nine other guys in the blood round. If they won, they would come back Friday morning to continue. If they lost, they were done. I was hoping for 5-6 wins to give us a good group coming back," he continued. "After the first 5-6 matches, I realized we had not yet lost. At the end of the round I just smiled and could not believe that the guys put together the best round I have ever seen. We won nine of nine matches to guarantee placing ten guys. That was the difference," Fowler said. "We never looked back."
The swim teams traveled to Franklin and Marshall's Kunkel Aquatic Center to take on McCaskey in the Section One opener last Tuesday evening. With a combined 19 of 22 first place finishes, the squads swept the Red Tornadoes.
The girls' team won all but one event and got a pair of wins from both Erica Schaub and Alaina Breitbach in a 126-35 win. Jared Stephan and Pan Kunyu did the same for the boys' leading them to a 116-52 final.
"We swam some good times and came away with two wins," said head coach Eric Urban.
Shaub won the 100 free (1:00.45) and the 100 back (1:06.46) and opened the winning 200 medley relay with Breitbach, Jalyn Clow and Anna Sugra chipping in. The same foursome won the 400 free relay with Breitbach, who won the 200 IM (2:17.17) and the 100 breaststroke (1:08.41), anchoring. Sugra added a first in the 50 free (26.62) and Clow was tops in the 100 fly (1:09.17) and anchored the 200 free relay with Jordyn Kendig, Karly Frankford and Kelly Johnson, who was second in the 200 free, contributing.
Kendig also won the 200 free (2:30.55) and was second in the 100.
Other key seconds were earned by Kailey Stoner in the 50 free, Sugra in the 500, Allison Steele in the 100 back, and Carli May in the 100 breaststroke.
Stephan opened his busy day by anchoring the 200 medley relay. Kunyu swam the opening leg with Sam Lutter and Noah Buckwalter following. The same group, with the exception of Andrew Pursel stepping in for Buckwalter, won the 400 free relay in 3:41.18. Stephan also won the 200 IM (2:09.19) and the 500 free (5:13.07) while Kunyu took charge in the 100 free (52 flat) and the 100 back (58.88).
Pursel, who was second in the 100 free, added a first in the 200 (1:58.9), Buckwalter won the 100 fly by a touch (1:02.41) and Lutter, who was also second in the 200 IM, brought home the top time in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.55) to round out the winners.
Vincent Vozzella chipped in with a key second in the 50 free and freshman Everett Barry was second in the 100 breaststroke.
After suffering three straight losses, the boys' basketball team capped the 2017 portion of their schedule by winning the Northern Lebanon Holiday Tournament December 27 and 28. They head into the New Year with an overall record of 4-6.
"That was the boost we needed at this point in the season," said head coach Larry Bellew.
The Comets opened the tournament with a 55-43 win over Schuylkill Valley on the 27th and then held off a 7-1 Cedars' squad 54-51 one night later to claim the championship.
After a tightly contested first quarter against SV, the Comets gained some breathing room with a 17-6 second quarter effort and led 46-31 heading into the final frame.
Kevin Roldan's game-high 16 points paced the Comets. Ty Erisman chipped in with 12 points and Colin Morrison and Jaden Matias combined for 15.
One night later the Comets survived a 25-point fourth quarter rally by N. Lebanon to grab the tourney trophy. Manor led 11-7 in the first quarter and was up 22-18 at the half. Reed Morrison tallied six of his 13 points in the third quarter as the Comets outscored the hosts 18-7 for a 14 point lead heading into the final frame.
The Cedars' Alex Yeager did his best to overtake the Comets, pouring in 13 of his game-high 18 points, but it wasn't enough. Despite connecting on just six of 13 free throws down the stretch, Manor got six points from Roldan and held off the comeback.
"Their starting guards are nice players so we focused on shutting them down and taking our chances with the other three," said Bellew. "We held the one to nine and then Yeager finished with 18. Had we been more efficient from the free throw line we could have had a comfortable win. But credit them for battling to the end."
Roldan, who was named tourney MVP, and R. Morrison finished with 13 points each. C. Morrison, also voted to the all-tourney team, netted nine and Erisman and Josiah Edwards combined for 11.
"The season has been a bit of a roller coaster," said Bellew. "We've been engaged in a number of close games. We've been able to pull a couple out and we lost two where we had shots inside the last 10 seconds of the game to tie or take the lead.
"From a 'varsity experience' point-of-view, we're young," he continued. "But they are growing each day and coming together. They need to continue to push and hold each other accountable to be their best. If we can eliminate some turnovers and poor shot selection, and continue to improve defensively, we will give ourselves chances to win each night."
A year ago the Lady Comets went 6-13. They lost their leading scorer, Alyssa Schriver, to a knee injury with seven games left in the season. This year their starting center, Kate Levato, went down with a torn ACL. But the Comets are showing their resiliency this season and are putting together a winning record to date. They capped the 2017 portion of their schedule by winning Solanco's Holiday Tournament, December 28-29.
The Comets faced Pequea Valley in the opener and survived the Braves 60-51 in overtime.
Manor got off to a slow start, scoring just seven points in the opening quarter and fell behind 25-20 at the half. A 23 point third quarter, however, helped the Comets turn things around. Ella Hart scored eight of her career-high 13 points in sparking that third quarter run and put the Comets in front 43-39.
The Braves, however, hit a pair of threes in the fourth and outscored the Comets 10-6 to force an extra frame. Both teams hit just one field goal in overtime but the Comets drained 9 of 11 free throws to advance to the championship game for the second year in a row.
Schriver, with six points in the OT period, tossed in a game-high 19. In addition to Hart netting double figures, Macy Carroll scored eight, both Nasheyla Greggs and Sarah Wiker finished with seven and Danielle Heisey added six.
Another slow start plagued the Comets in the title game against Solanco. The Mares jumped out in front 10-0. They led 14-9 at the end of eight minutes and held a 24-15 advantage at the half.
That nine point lead, however, wasn't enough to survive Manor's second half rally. Schriver poured in ten third quarter points and the Comets outscored the hosts 15-4 to take a 30-28 lead. While the Mares regained their composure down the stretch, it wasn't enough. Schriver canned 11-of-14 free throws to help hold the Mares at bay, 48-42. She finished with a season-high 25 points and was named MVP of the tournament.
"Our motivation, in both games, was to not bring home the runner-up trophy for the second year in a row," said head coach Megan Collins. "We made the necessary adjustments at halftime, and had more intensity and fire in both second halves of play.
"We've had to play small this season with Kate going down in our third game but we've gotten great additions in Nevaeh Neal and Dashona London," she added.
Comets Cap Perfect Season With PIAA Crown November 19, 2017
Penn Manor's magical ride through the 2017 season ended this past Saturday afternoon on a soggy field at Zephyr Sports Complex in Whitehall. But the weather didn't dampen the Comets performance or their spirits as they capped a perfect 28-0 season with a 2-0 victory over Downingtown West to earn their third PIAA Class 3A Championship.
"This is just awesome," said head coach Matt Soto. "I'm so proud of this team."
The District One champs, making their first appearance in the state finals since 1988, found themselves pinned in the backfield for the bulk of the contest. Manor, as they have done often through the post-season, set the tone early. After two straight corners, Emma DeBerdine found Alyssa Schriver on the left side for what proved to be the only goal they needed just 3:50 into the game.
They worked their eighth corner of the half with five minutes remaining but again failed to convert. The Whippets (25-1), who advanced with a convincing 3-1 semifinal victory over perennial power Emmaus, thus ending their 81-game winning streak, barely managed to get the ball over the 25 yard line. They were pressing late in the half when the Comets exploded in transition and notched an insurance goal when DeBerdine sent a shot across the circle that made its way to Bri Harsh on the left wing with just 40.6 seconds left in the half.
"The girls were just terrific today," said Soto.
While the second half went scoreless, the Comets were knocking on the door, earning six more corners.
Downingtown, who came into the state championship game, like the Comets, undefeated, managed their first corner of the game with 13:40 left but couldn't crack Penn Manor's defense. Their second and final corner came with 3:53 left but they failed to get off a shot, leaving the Comets as the No. 1 team in the country as rated by MaxFieldHockey.com.
"This whole season, the girls just worked so well together," Soto noted.
Britney Hook again stood alone in goal, collecting her 23rd shutout of the season having made just 19 saves all year. Penn Manor capped its perfect season with eight straight playoff game shutouts. The last and only fifth goal surrendered this season was against Donegal in the L-L League finals on October 17.
"This is the school's first-ever undefeated season," pointed out Athletic Director Jeff Roth. "Girl's soccer won section, league, districts and states in 2002 but were not undefeated. And the field hockey team did not trail in a game all season."
Advancing to the PIAA semifinals was nothing new for the Comets. They've gotten that far each of the last six years. Getting past that point, however, was a bit tougher. In each of the last two seasons, Penn Manor fell to Emmaus in the semifinal round. Before being named PIAA co-champions with Palmyra in 2014, they again bowed out in the semifinals, this time to Lower Dauphin.
"Of course we talked about the past," said Soto. "We knew it was time to make a change."
And so the Comets traveled to Warwick last Tuesday night where they faced, four the fourth time this season, a very familiar opponent in Hershey High School. They not only handed the Trojans a 2-0 loss but advanced to the PIAA finals for the third time in six years. Back in 2008, when the Comets earned their first PIAA crown, they dominated Hershey 5-0.
"They always play us tough and I think every time they've played us this year they have improved," said Soto. "We really didn't change our game plan," he added. "We made a few adjustments but this team is so talented that they can make changes during the game."
Hershey (20-6) went on the attack first, forcing keeper Britney Hook to make one save within the first three minutes. That effort, however, was short-lived. Manor regrouped, gained possession and charged to the other end of the field where they put together a flurry of four straight corners before being awarded a penalty stroke. Eleven minutes into the contest, Emma DeBerdine stepped to the line and calmly placed the ball past Kit Olmsted (8 saves) and into the right corner of the cage.
Olmsted saved Manor's initial shot on goal, an effort by Gabby Bitts, but then dove on the ball to prevent an easy goal and a penalty stroke opportunity was awarded.
Neither team mounted any real threats after that. The Comets finished with six corners in the half and Hershey, who advanced to the semis with two straight shutouts, ended the half in transition with a shot that sailed over the goal.
Manor opened the second half by pinning the Trojans in their half of the field and working their corner options. On their fifth attempt, DeBerdine, who caught the Bri Harsh insert, dribbled across the baseline and sent a pass back to Harsh who connected for the insurance goal.
Hershey, finished with two corners, both late in the game, and managed just one shot, easily saved by Hook.
The Comets finished the season with 148 total goals scored and were led by Gabby Bitts (35 goals, 23 assists) who was one of six Penn Manor players selected for the 17-player All-League team. Also selected was Emma DeBerdine (27g, 30a), Hannah Brown (10g, 10a), Alyssa Schriver (8g, 10a), Lisa Schaefer and Mia Clancy (10g, 2a).
Manor's first team all stars included Clancy, Autumn Gager, Schaefer, Barbusca, Bitts, Brown, DeBerdine, and Schriver.
Rounding out Manor's double-digit scorers were Bri Harsh (22g, 17a) and Anna Mary Barbusca (22g, 15a).
26-0 Comets Advance to PIAA Semifinals November 15, 2017
The top ranked team in the Nation confidently secured its fifth straight post-season shutout this past Saturday at Exeter Township High School, taking one more step in achieving a PIAA crown. Penn Manor, following up on Tuesday's 4-0 opening round victory over Central Bucks South, made quick work of Central Bucks East, ending the Patriots (19-5) season with a convincing 6-0 victory.
And like they did Tuesday, the Comets jumped in front early and never looked back.
"Scoring first is always a great way to start the game," said head coach Matt Soto.
Tuesday, at Warwick's Joseph Grosh Field, and despite some freezing rain, the Comets needed just a minute to jump in front of CBS. From the opening whistle, they sprinted toward the goal, earned the first of 21 corners, and capitalized. Emma DeBerdine took the insert at the top of the circle, dribbled to the right and centered the ball back to Gabby Bitts, who quickly sent the ball to the back of the cage.
Penn Manor's speed was again on display Saturday. Needing just 48 seconds, the District Three champs grabbed the upper hand against CBS when Alyssa Schriver made good on their first shot of the game.
The Comets finished with 15 shots and 13 corners and scored twice more before the half. DeBerdine, assisted by Bri Harsh, capitalized on Manor's sixth corner and pushed the lead to 2-0 with 10:54 left in the half.
"I thought Emma played great defense on their best player and also enjoyed offensive success," stated Soto.
Six minutes later they struck again, this time Anna May Barbusca sent a DeBerdine pass to the back of the cage and the Comets were on top 3-0 at the break.
"I was a little bit surprised by the lopsided score but when we click, we can score some goals," said Soto.
The Patriots, making just their second PIAA appearance, worked their only corner and only shot (saved by keeper Britney Hook) of the game late in the second half but by that time the Comets had tallied three more goals. Bitts, the team's leading scorer, collected her 34th and 35th goals of the season just five minutes apart after Barbusca's second goal pushed the lead to 4-0.
That six goal tally currently leaves the Comets with 144 total goals scored but just as impressive, if not more so, is the slim five total goals they've given up all season.
"Our defense has been very solid," said Soto of Lisa Schaefer, Mia Clancy, Brooke Spezialette, Autumn Gager and Britney Hook in goal.
The Patriots, the third place team out of District One, got to the quarterfinals with a 9-0 rout of District 2 champ Delaware Valley on Tuesday while the Comets took care of CBE.
With 21 corners against CB South (13-10-1), one might expect more than four goals scored but the Titan defense, for the most part, stood tall. Ten minutes after Bitts put the Comets in front, DeBerdine was on the receiving end of a Bitts pass that was sent to the back of the net for a 2-0 cushion.
The second half found Bitts again on the receiving end of a DeBerdine assist, making it 3-0 while Barbusca capped the scoring with 7:34 left in the game.
CB South's keeper, Jillian Heilig, picked up four saves on the day while the defenders in front of her chipped in with two defensive saves.
The wins push the Comets into the PIAA Class 3A semifinals where they will face Hershey on Tuesday, November 14 at Warwick at 7 pm. The Comets have dominated Hershey three times already this season by a combined score of 9-1. Hershey advanced with a 4-0 win over Conestoga.
"I'm not sure it's an advantage playing them again but we certainly have plenty of experience in playing them," Soto said. "We need to simply sharpen our entire game."
As voted on by the Section One coaches, four Comet soccer players received all-star recognition. Senior defender Conlin Groft was a first team selection, senior goalie Blake Martin and junior midfielder Hunter Enck were second team selections, and Conner Braun was an academic all-star.
Comets Blank LD For District 3A Crown November 5, 2017
Penn Manor, the top ranked team in the country, continued its unbeaten streak (24-0) with a convincing 3-0 win over Lower Dauphin (16-5-1) in the District Three Class 3A field hockey championship held at Henry Hershey Field on Saturday, November 4. Having finished second to Palmyra in each of the last two years, the Comets earned their first district crown since 2012 and fourth overall.
"That's a real good change," said head coach Matt Soto to his team after the game.
"It was a very nice win. I really didn't know what to expect but I knew we had the upper hand in possession," stated Soto. "It was just a matter of time. The girls were very focused."
After 11 minutes and a pair of corners, Manor opened the scoring. Emma DeBerdine took a corner insert from Briana Harsh, dribbled to the right and sent a pass to Gabby Bitts, who redirected the ball to the back right corner of the cage.
Lower Dauphin earned its first and only corner of the contest eight minutes later but Manor's swarming defense prevented a shot and in turn transitioned to the other end of the field where they picked up their fourth corner of the half. Harsh again inserted to DeBerdine at the top of the circle. She dished a pass to Bitts who quickly connected and sent the ball back across the circle where Anna May Barbusca easily converted for a 2-0 lead.
The Comets, who defeated LD 1-0 earlier in the season, talked at halftime about catching the ball more consistently and keeping pressure on the Falcons when they used their back transfers.
The second half continued with Manor again dictating the pace and just three minutes in they converted yet another corner. DeBerdine, uncontested at the top of the circle, carried the ball to the right before centering a short pass to Bitts who sent the ball toward the goal where Harsh, patiently waiting on the left post, slipped the ball behind the keeper.
The rest of the half found both teams battling between the 25-yard-lines but failing to crack the defenses.
"I think they sent more runners at our ball handlers in the second half," said Soto. "But our team speed worked to our advantage.
"Now we start a brand new tournament," he added. "We gear up for that and keep working hard."
The Comets open state tournament action this Tuesday opposite Central Bucks South at Warwick. "It's become our home-away-from-home," said Soto of the Warriors field in Lititz.
Penn Manor advanced to the finals with a 2-0 victory over No. 4 Hershey in a double header last Wednesday night at Warwick. Despite 14 corners and 13 shots for the game, it took the Comets until the second half to break on top. With 12:42 left to play, DeBerdine converted Manor's 11th corner with a solid shot from the top of the circle that found its way to the backboard.
Three minutes later it was 2-0. DeBerdine fired another shot on goal but this time the rebound found its way to Harsh who quickly sent the ball to the right corner.
"In that second half we simply said if we get open shots to take them," stated Soto. "We needed to focus on good scoring opportunities and capitalize on them."
The Comets traveled to Section One leader Manheim Township this past Friday night for their last game of the season. The Streaks were coming in with six straight wins and a chance to claim their first Section One title since 2004. And it was Senior Night. Township took care of business and handed the visitors a 62-14 loss, improving to 7-0 in Section One (9-1 overall).
"We were a bit outmatched talent-wise," said head coach John Brubaker. "They have enough tools to contend for the district title."
The Streaks opened the scoring with a 70-yard passing touchdown by Xavier Roman and Grayson Sallade picked up TD's runs of 66 and 59-yards that pushed the lead to 21-0 in the second quarter. Sallade rushed for 169-yards on the night and went over the 1,000 yards for the season.
Manor got on the board with a 52-yard reverse by Taraje Whitefield, taking a handoff from sophomore Josh Gibson.
"That was an exciting score and was executed perfectly," said Brubaker. "Taraje also caught three passes and blocked an extra point.
"We did have some success in running the ball with Cole Heckaman rushing for 97 yards and Josiah Edwards going 93. Josiah also completed 7-of-11 passes," Brubaker added.
The Streaks ran off four more TD's before the Comets added to their total with a 77-yard run by Heckaman in the fourth quarter.
"We did leave a couple points off the board when we missed a field," Brubaker noted. "We were fourth-and-four at the goal line and elected to kick the field goal but it was blocked.
My expectations were higher than we finished," he continued. "After all, wins are the measuring stick but I think these last two weeks the boys still had a hunger and wanted to play hard. The last couple of years we weren't winning much so the motivation to continue wasn't there but this year it was different," said Brubaker. "We have a great group of seniors and they continued to want to play hard.
"Football isn't an easy sport but it builds character and teaches that you need to be leaders in life," he added. "I hope that the boys learned more than just football."
The Comets, who were 0-10 and 2-8 in each of the last two years, were 3-4 in Section One and 3-7 overall. They finished with three of the top ten rushers in the league. Edwards was seventh with 645 yards and 6 TD's, Heckaman was eighth with 584 yards and four touchdowns and Ben Wright, who scored six times, rushed for 539 yards and was tenth.
Just one Comet runner competed in the PIAA Championships held at the Parkview Cross Country Course in Hershey this past Saturday. In a field of 236 runners, senior Nick Fafel finished in 90th place with a 17:08. Fafel, the team's top runner all season, opened with a 5:17 first mile split and found himself in 143 place. He buckled down and moved into 102nd place by the second mile and passed 12 runners down the stretch to earn that 90th place finish, just two places behind E-town's Charles Scharf. He was the 9th L-L League runner to complete the 3.1 mile course.
Neshaminy's Rusty Kujdych claimed the PIAA 3A title with a 15:47.
Jones Scores 3 TD's, Comets Top McCaskey 31-21 October 29, 2017
For the second time in three games the Comets rushed for over 400 yards. And for the second time in three weeks they finished on top. This past Friday night in Lancaster, the Comets, with a season-high 446 rushing yards on 61 carries, fought from behind and earned a hard-fought 31-21 win over McCaskey.
Josiah Edwards and Evann Jones, who also scored three touchdowns, both rushed for over 100 yards and the Comets picked up three interceptions to hold off the Red Tornado.
"We did a great job moving the ball," said head coach John Brubaker. "Our option game was consistent. I think we only punted once in the first half."
The hosts returned the opening kickoff 98-yards to pay dirt but the Comets responded with back-to-back touchdowns by Evann Jones and a pair of PAT kicks by Liam Hart to go in front 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Up to the challenge, McCaskey knotted the game at 14-14 with a 30-yard passing score early in the second frame. The Comets again jumped in front when Jones scampered 29-yards for his third TD of the night only to see the Red Tornado return the favor with an 89-yard passing TD to Isiah Speller to once again knotting the score. The visitors, however, had the last say. Edwards, who also passed for 54-yards on 4-of-6 attempts, scored on a seven-yard keeper and the Comets led 28-20 at the half. Hart booted a 30-yard field goal in the third quarter to cap the scoring.
"That first half was full of offense and the second half was full of defense," stated Brubaker, "though we did have opportunities."
Manor had two touchdowns called back after holding penalties and they missed a field goal in the second half.
"We clamped down on the defense in the second half and did a better job denying the long pass," noted Brubaker. "We secured three interceptions that half.
"This was a good team effort," he continued. "A lot of guys contributed. The offensive line (Joel Stoner, Elliot Lawrence, Paisun Harris, Casey McCollum, and Ryan Mahoney) opened holes and Cole Heckaman and Theoren McElheny did a nice job running the ball. Zach Banta picked up an interception and caught three passes for first downs and Mason Sottek led the team in tackles.
"We've been competitive this year and we've been resilient," he continued. "And we have one more chance to see what we can do."
The Comets (3-3, 3-6 overall) travel to Neffsville Friday night to take on Section One leader Manheim Township.
A year ago, the Comets (22-1) were upended 3-2 in overtime against Palmyra (19-2) in the District Three Class AAA finals in Hershey. That game was not forgotten as Penn Manor faced the Cougars this past Saturday in the district quarterfinals held at Hempfield High School. No need for overtime this year as the Comets dominated from start to finish and advanced with a 3-0 shutout. They will take on Hershey, a 5-0 winner over Central Dauphin, in the semifinals this Wednesday.
The Comets, who punched their ticket to the PIAA tournament with the win, worked their first corner just five minutes in but didn't find the back of the cage until the 16th minute. Anna May Barbusca carried the ball down the right side and sent a cross to Gabby Bitts who was patiently waiting in front of Cougar keeper Ava Kristich (9 saves).
The No. 9 Cougars' (13-6-1) long ball tactics didn't have much success against the quicker Comets who kept intercepting passes to keep the ball in their offensive end. Palmyra's biggest threat came in the final 35 seconds of the first half when they were awarded their first and only corner in the game but were denied a shot on goal.
Manor dominated the second half as well, collecting ten corners and two more goals. Briana Harsh doubled the top seeds' lead 11 minutes into the second half. Alyssa Schriver's shot from the right bounced off the left post to Briana Harsh who sent the rebound to the back of the cage.
Bitts tallied her second score of the game with 6:29 left to play, redirecting Hannah Brown's shot from the top of the circle past Palmyra's keeper.
The Comets, who opened the tournament with a bye, are the only undefeated team in the district bracket. A pair of upsets were the highlight in the bottom half of the bracket Saturday as No. 2 seed Wilson (19-2) fell 2-0 to No. 7 Lower Dauphin while Manheim Township, seeded 6th, knocked off No. 3 Cumberland Valley 1-0 in overtime.
The boys' cross country team, fresh off their fourth place finish at the L-L League Championships, traveled to Big Spring High School for the District Three Class AAA Championships on Saturday. Nick Fafel again led the harriers with the top finish of the day. The senior not only clocked a 16:45 for a 24th place finish but was the only Comet to finish inside the top 31 to qualify for states on November 4.
"Nick had a great race," praised co-head coach Tom Ecker. "He ran an even pace throughout, which is effective for him. There was a strong field of runners around him over the final half mile but he persevered and qualified for the state championship."
David Kramer (68th, 17:27) and freshman Lou Lindsley (95th, 17:48) cracked the top 100. Rounding out the top five was Zach Schucker (18:41) and Aidan Toomey (18:52). Marko Rezkalla (18:53) and Dylan Terry (19:00) also competed.
The Comets, who were 12th last year, finished in 22nd place.
The girls' team, behind Madison McKenna's 89th place effort in 21:31, also helped the Comets to a 22nd place team finish, matching last year's result. Freshman Arden Morgan was the only other Comet to place in the top 100. She was 91st with a 21:32.
"Maddie and Arden both had their best races for the year," Ecker stated. "It was a good end to their season."
Also competing for Penn Manor: Lauren Zink (22:20), Andrea Funk (22:38), Brianna Ulkay (23:18), Becky Kramer (23:43) and Julianne West (25:02).
PM Field Hockey Team Wins L-L League Crown October 22, 2017
Getting to the finals of the Lancaster-Lebanon League Championships is nothing new for Penn Manor's field hockey team. Winning it isn't either. Despite coming up empty in each of the last two title round bouts, the Comets took care of business last Thursday night at CV High School, earning a 2-0 shutout over Manheim Township for their sixth L-L League crown in nine years.
The Comets rolled through league opponents with 89 total goals for, three goals against, and 10 shutouts. Ironically, the closest was a 2-0 season-opener against Manheim Township.
In typical Comet fashion, Penn Manor spent a good portion of the first half attacking the Township circle. All good things take time and 24 minutes into the contest Anna May Barbusca corralled a Bri Harsh rebound and pushed it past Township keeper Cat Wilson for the 1-0 advantage.
Both teams battled through the second half with the Comets again controlling the bulk of possession time. They didn't record that second goal until the last two minutes of the game when Emma DeBerdine converted the team's ninth corner.
"I was happy with our teamwork and our passing game this week," stated head coach Matt Soto. "The girls are playing great hockey."
To get to the finals the Comets had to get past their nemesis, the undefeated Donegal Indians Tuesday night at Warwick. And to do that, they needed to stop league leading scorer Makenzie Allessie who has racked up 69 goals this season.
The Indians defeated the Comets in each of the last two L-L League finals. Their third post-season meeting, however, went in favor of Penn Manor, 2-1, as they handed Donegal its first loss of the season and ended a 48 game winning streak.
DeBerdine set the tone early in this one. After picking off a pass just outside the circle, the junior raced toward the goal, dodging anyone in her path and calmly fired a shot into the left corner of the net just 2:51 into play.
"Emma had some terrific individual plays, including that 70-yard scoring run," Soto noted. "The entire team played great."
Both teams attacked and defended and had opportunities, though the Comets carried the bulk of the action with 15 shots and ten corners. Donegal had five of each.
Allessie, despite being double and triple teamed all night, would not be denied. On Donegal's final corner of the game, the junior lifted the ball past Comet goalie Brit Hook (4 saves) and tied the game at 1-1 with 10:29 left on the clock.
"We tried to contain her with anyone available," said Soto.
That momentum was squashed just over a minute later. With 9:45 left, the Comets converted a corner when DeBerdine pushed the ball to Bri Harsh for the game-winner.
Nick Fafel's seventh place finish at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Championships last Tuesday afternoon propelled the Comets to a fourth place team finish. The senior, who posted a 16:40.5 was right on the heels of Cedar Crest's Jake Barrett (16:40.1). The cross country postseason got underway at Ephrata's Middle School and saw the Comets finish behind Hempfield (72 team points), Cedar Crest (102) and Cocalico (109).
David Kramer also earned a top 25 medal placing 20th in 17:00. Seniors Aidan Toomey and Zach Schucker supported each other throughout the race and finished 47th (17:30.8) and 48th (17:34.5) respectively while freshman Lou Lindsley rounded out the top five with a 17:39.2 for 54th place in a field of 163 runners.
"The boys ran very well, improving on last year's fifth place team finish," noted co-head coach Tom Ecker. "Our upperclassmen came through with strong performances."
Fafel, Kramer, a junior, Toomey and Schucker all ran faster times than last season with Kramer showing the biggest drop at 2:13.
The girls' ran a solid race as well and matched last year's eighth place effort. Freshman Arden Morgan was the top finisher of the day, placing 32nd in 20:53 with junior Madison McCanna just eight seconds back in 37th place.
"Arden stepped up to lead the way," said Ecker. "She and Maddie had their best races of the season."
Like Toomey and Schucker, freshman Lauren Zink (48th, 41:36.7) and Andrea Funk (49th, 21:37.5) finished together with another freshman, Becky Kramer, rounding out the top five in 66th place (22:15.5).
The Township girls were the overall winners with Elizabethtown and Hempfield rounding out the top three.
Logan Herr was Manor's lone representative at the PIAA Class 3A East Regional Championship's held last Monday at the Golden Oaks Golf Club in Fleetwood. The junior was hoping to qualify for the PIAA Championships and extend his season but a round of 83 just missed the 79 cut to advance.
"Logan has worked so hard this year and truly deserved to be at states," said head coach Tom Reustle.
"But sometimes you just don't have it and unfortunately, his day came at the wrong time. He hasn't shot in the 80's for six months or more. Regardless, I'm proud of what he has accomplished this season," he continued. "He can't be defined by one round. I know he'll be back next season and will make it to states."
The volleyball team closed its season with a win over Manheim Township and loss to second place Warwick last week. They finish the year in fourth place in Section One with a 5-6 mark and are 5-9 overall.
Monday, behind an 11 kill night by Emily Cummings and four aces each by Shayna Warfel and Sydney Leichliter, the Comets avenged a 3-2 first half loss to Manheim Township with a 3-1 thriller in Millersville.
"This was probably the highlight of the season," said head coach Tim Joyce. "It was our Senior Night and we had a touching ceremony for Emily Cummings, Ava Dunford-Groves, Tiana Ferko, Sydney Leichliter, Miranda Phelan and Mikiah Sangrey."
Manor battled their way to identical 25-22 wins in each of the first two sets only to be stopped by the Streaks 25-23 in the third set. Wanting to go out with a final home victory, the Comets took control down the stretch, winning the match with a 25-16 fourth set result.
"The girls just refused to lose," stated Joyce. "We moved Sangrey to hitting on the right side and Shanya Warfel, a junior, to the left. Warfel heated up during the second half of the season, causing teams to commit more effort towards her. She only had six kills against Township but freed up Sangrey (8 kills) and Cummings."
Leichliter distributed the ball for 31 assists, Ava Dunford-Groves (3 aces) anchored the back row with 15 digs and both Cummings and Elizabeth Kubicar (5 kills) put up one block each.
"We pressured their passing with tough serving from Warfel, Leichliter and Dunford-Groves and gave a much more intense defensive effort," Joyce said. "Mikiah, our captain, had some tremendous defensive saves. In the end, we played a cleaner match this time around and our senior leadership led the charge."
That momentum, however, failed to carry over to the Warwick match on Wednesday. The Warriors were tuning up for playoffs and won 25-17, 25-14, 25-18.
"We put up a good effort," said Joyce, "but they were the better team that night."
Cummings paced the action at the net with 10 kills while Dunford-Groves recorded double-digs again with a dozen. Jordan Schucker added three aces.
"Jordan is our freshman serving specialist," Joyce noted. "She served well against a tough serve receive team.
"Ultimately, their service pressure was too much for us, compounded by the fact that they have several offensive weapons."
Coming off an impressive 427-yard rushing effort that resulted in a 33-17 over Conestoga Valley, the Comets felt confident going into this past Friday's home game against Warwick. Turnovers, however proved to be the difference in this one as the Warriors raced to a 35-0 victory and forced a three-way tie for third place in Section One. CV, Warwick and Penn Manor all sit at 2-3. The Comets are 2-6 overall.
"It was a disappointing loss," said head coach John Brubaker. "Five turnovers doomed us. Despite our miscues, we were only down 14-0 at the half but we failed to grab the momentum. Having some guys out with injuries hurt us a bit."
Manor's first series took the Comets deep into Warwick territory but instead of putting the pressure on the visitors, a fumble set up the Warriors first score, giving them early momentum. The Comets never got on track, finishing with 67 rushing yards and 76 through the air while giving up 396 total yards.
After a scoreless second quarter, the visitors extended the advantage with a lone TD in the third quarter and two more in the fourth.
"Ayden Hinkle and Logan Legenstein, along with Josh Gibson got some good experience and played well on defense," Brubaker pointed out.
PM Football Spoils CV's Homecoming, 33-17 October 15, 2017
Friday the 13th did not cast its spell on Penn Manor's football team. The Comets rolled in to Witmer and rolled over the favored Buckskins of CV, 33-17, and spoiled their Homecoming.
"It was a fantastic night," praised head coach John Brubaker. "This was the start of a new four game season. We wanted to be physical on the offensive line and swarm the ball on defense. The guys were enthusiastic and they executed our game plan."
Manor went in front early and often in the first half and led 25-3 at the break. Taking advantage of a Tanner Schwilk interception, the Comets needed just six plays and a one-yard plunge from Ben Wright to get on board.
After blocking the extra point, CV looked to counter with Schwilk finding a couple of open receivers but the Comets not only forced but recovered a fumble and took advantage of another turnover. This one resulted in a 3-yard scamper by Wright and a 12-0 first quarter lead.
After giving up a 30 yard field goal early in the second quarter, Comet QB Josiah Edwards extended the advantage with a pair of TD's, racing 25 and two-yards to pay dirt and that commanding lead.
"Josiah ran some counter plays to open things up," said Brubaker. "He finished with 170 rushing yards and as a team, we rushed for 427, a season-high."
CV gained its footing in the second half, outscoring the visitors 14-8 but it wasn't enough.
"We had Taraje Whitfield covering Jose Barbon and he did a great job," noted Brubaker. "He tipped a pass in that first series that was a huge play. And Jake Hollinger came up with that early interception and added a first half sack as well. Evann Jones also played well, adding two sacks and a couple tackles for a loss," he continued. "Ben and Cole Heckaman ran hard and Casey McCullough dominated the offensive line. We had numerous guys step up. Everyone worked hard."
Coming off an overtime victory over McCaskey, the boys' soccer team knew Thursday night's home match with Conestoga Valley was a 'must win' to qualify for the district playoffs. Unfortunately, CV was in the same situation, though the Bucks were sitting inside the 16 team Class 4A field that advances.
The visitors struck early and often, scoring three times in a period of three minutes and went on to win 4-1.
"I have never experienced getting scored on three times in three minutes," recalled head coach Paul Taylor. "We were very flat and weren't pressuring the ball and we weren't marking up inside the 18. It was surreal for that brief moment of time."
But that was all CV needed. The Bucks came in with 38 goals scored but 21 of them were courtesy of Robbie Krasinski. The junior would not be denied though Manor's Jared Harvey, a senior, did his best to slow him down. Krasinski finished with a hat trick, including two of those three early tallies, and the only second half goal.
"Krasinski is fast and crafty," said Taylor. "He was only able to get the ball a few times and he made those times count."
After the Comets settled in, the possession of play and opportunities favored the hosts. Manor cut the lead to 3-1 when senior Conlin Groft juked a pair of defenders and fired a shot into the upper left corner in the 36th minute.
With momentum building in favor of the Comets, CV was awarded a PK just four minutes into the second half. Backup keeper Fahri Sivri (5 saves) not only stopped Krasinski's initial kick but the rebound shot as well, adding to Manor's momentum.
Try as they might, the shots on goal by Mitch Martin, who actually hit a post, Hunter Enck, Liam Hart and Groft were just wide or just high. Manor held an 11-9 edge in shots.
"The boys played extremely hard and created a number of dangerous opportunities," stated Taylor. "The better team did not win. We beat ourselves. We had a solid game plan and felt good we would get the win. We have been on the wrong side of good luck for a number a years now. The tide will turn," he added. "I feel badly for the seniors."
Penn Manor entered the game ranked 17th in the district. Last year they finished 17th in the 16 team field. In 2015, they missed the 20 field playoff bracket by one spot.
The harrier teams traveled to Lebanon last Tuesday for their last duel meet of the season. Both squads dominated the undermanned Cedars with 15-55 wins on the day.
The boys, competing against just three runners, were led by Nick Fafel and David Kramer both clocking an 18:02, with Lou Lindsey literally on their heels and one second back for third. Zach Shucker added a fourth place finish in 18:20 with Marco Rezkalla grabbing the final counting position with a sixth place 19:14.
Also placing for the Comets: Dylan Terry (8th, 20:05), Trevor Charles (9th, 20:05), Jordan Photis (10th, 20:07), Brady Lehman (11th, 20:11), Jesse Kanagy (12th, 20:29) and Emmitt Richey (13th, 20:45).
The girls' squad evened their league mark to 4-4 by claiming the first 10 places. Andrea Funk was the overall winner with a 22:09. Arden Morgan was second in 22:23 and Maddy McCanna took third with a 22:45. Lauren Zink, with a 23:01, ran fourth for the Comets while Brianna Ulaky rounded out the top five with a 24:05.
Rounding out the top ten was Puja Neopaney (6th, 24:20), Julianne West (7th, 25:07), Carly Wall (8th, 25:32), Becky Kramer (9th, 25:49) and Libby Sullivan (10th, 26:32).
"Both teams performed well as we overpowered a developing team from Lebanon," said co-head coach Tom Ecker. "The meet provided the runners a chance to work together at a set pace in preparation for the League Championships."
Needing to win out for even a chance to get to the post-season, the girls' soccer team was dealt a 6-1 loss to Hershey last Monday in a game rescheduled from September 23.
"That knocked us out of playoff contention," said head coach Jacob Marino.
The girls fell behind 4-0 in the first half and couldn't regroup. The Trojans improved to 5-8-1 overall while the Comets fell to 4-9 overall.
Last Thursday on the road, the Comets ended their season with a hard-fought 2-0 loss to Section One champ Conestoga Valley, leaving them with a 3-9 league record.
The 10-1-1 Bucks needed 44 minutes to post their first goal and three minutes later they picked up an insurance goal by leading scorer Emma Weirich.
"We created three opportunities early on where we were one-on-one with the keeper and just could not finish," said Marino. "The level of play was even from both sides. It was a great last game of the season."
The wins have not come easy for the Comets this season so they were more than happy with their 9-1 victory over McCaskey Saturday morning, October 7.
Scoring two goals in each half and dishing out three assists on the day, Susan Porambo sparked a 6-0 first half rally for the Comets. Kara Huber tallied the second goal of the game and opened the second half scoring ten minutes in. Kylee Hess, Aislyn Evans and Danielle Heisey, who also added an assist, rounded out the scoring.
Miriam Badri needed just four saves to secure the victory.
"Anne Shoelkopf, Danielle Heisey, Jenna Mylin, Megan Sangrey and Susan Porambo deserve nothing but praise for what they did this season," Marino stated. "I have never seen a team dominate play in so many games and not come out with a winning result. But at the end of the day, being really good at kicking a ball around pales in comparison to being able to make a positive impact in the lives of others, which is what they did," he continued. "These seniors will go on to do much bigger things than win soccer games. I believe they will see the fruits of their labor in the coming years as they watch the girls coming up take lead."
Playing three matches in four days, the volleyball team came away with one win on the week and saw their record slip to 4-6 in the L-L and 4-9 overall.
Shayna Warfel put down a match high 17 kills but it wasn't enough to propel the Comets past Spring Grove last Monday. Tied at 1-1 after two sets, Spring Grove rebounded from their 25-12 loss with a 25-19 win and then pulled out a 25-23 thriller to steal the win.
"We were able to serve them out of system in that second set, forcing a number of errors," said head coach Tim Joyce. "But in the end, they just had too many weapons.
Emily Cummings served up four aces, Ave Dunford-Groves worked the back row for 19 digs, Sydney Leichliter directed the offense with 32 assists and Tiana Ferko put up one block.
The Comets faced second place Cedar Crest one night later but didn't have what it takes to pull out the win. They suffered 25-15, 26-24, 25-19 set results.
"We got off to a hesitant start but by the end of the first, we were playing at full speed, but it was too late at that point," said head coach Tim Joyce. "We led for a portion of that second set mostly due to tough serving. Both teams had a chance for game-point, but Crest was able to finish. The third set was back-and-forth for a while but they proved to be the tougher team."
Warfel was again tops with 14 kills but the Falcons led in aces, digs, assists and blocked shots.
Jordan Schucker served up three aces, Dunford-Groves led with six digs, Sydney Leichliter added 21 assists and Elizabeth Kubican recorded two blocks.
The Comets wrapped up the week with a sweep over McCaskey, winning 25-8, 25-18, 25-12.
Warfel needed just seven kills and two blocks to lead the way. Schucker finished with six aces and 11 assists, Kendra Weiss added 5 digs and Krahulik chipped in with a pair of blocks.
"Shayna had strong passing and hitting performances," noted Joyce. "And Jordan Schucker, a freshman recently pulled up to varsity, stepped in and had an immediate, positive impact as a serving specialist. Senior captain Mikiah Sangrey also had strong nights defensively."
The Comets opened the playoff portion of their schedule this past Saturday morning when they hosted Manheim Central in the quarterfinals round of the L-L League playoffs. The Section One champs, with 22 corners and 15 shots, blanked the Section Two runners-up with a balanced effort and a 3-0 final.
Gabby Bitts led the way with a second half goal and assisted both Briana Harsh and Emma DeBerdine to put the Comets in front 2-0 at the half. The win pits the Comets against the Indians in the semifinals October 17 at Warwick. The two teams have met in the L-L Finals each of the past two years.
With a pair of goals from Harsh and a three assists, one goal effort from DeBerdine, the Comets capped their undefeated run through the regular season with their ninth league shutout (13th overall) last Tuesday at Comet Field. The home team piled up six first half tallies en route to an 8-0 sweep over Cedar Crest. Harsh scored once in each half but it was Mia Clancy, on a feed from Gabby Bitts that opened the scoring about eight minutes in.
Hannah Brown, Bitts, Alyssa Schriver and Anna May Barbusca also found the back of the cage with Brown and Bitts (2) contributing assists.
Fafel, Kramer Lead Comets Over Solanco October 8, 2017
The Comet harriers matched Elizabethtown with four runners in the top ten but dropped a close one to the Bears Tuesday afternoon. The hosts claimed four of the top six places, interrupted only by the Comets, to pull out a 28-20 victory. The Comets, who worked a 20-35 win over Solanco, improved to 3-4 in league competition.
Nick Fafel clocked a personal best 16:23 and finished four seconds ahead of E-town' third place winner, Charles Scharf, in a determined final 400 sprint. David Kramer finished in fourth (17:00) and ahead of E-town's third and fourth runners.
Aidan Toomey (8th, 17:51) and Zach Schucker (9th, 18:00) ran together for the bulk of the race and Marco Rezkalla rounded out the top five counters while Lou Lindsey (15th, 18:33), Dylan Terry (16th, 18:34), Evan Lyon (17th, 18:37) and Jordan Photis (18th, 18:43) earned top 20 finishes.
"Nick had an outstanding race against two of the top runners in the league in E-town's Christopher and Charles Scharf," said co-head coach Tom Ecker. "His time was faster than the previous course record.
"Marco Rezkalla and Brady Lehman (20th), both sophomores, also raced well finishing much higher because of their effort," he added. "The boys ran well overall, we just lacked sufficient strength in the mid-pack to overtake E-town."
The girls' team, giving up the first four places to the Bears, went 1-1 on the day, posting a 21-39 win over Solanco and a 22-39 loss to third place Elizabethtown.
The Comets were led by senior Andrea Funk and freshman Arden Morgan who finished 5th (20:48) and 6th (21:01) overall.
"Both girls keep improving and we look forward to the post-season competition," stated Ecker.
Maddy McCanna (9th, 21:21), Lauren Zink (10th, 21:45), and Brianna Ulaky (11th, 22:20) rounded out the top five while Julianne West (12th, 22:27) and Carly Wall (14th, 23:30) finished in the top 15.
The Comets competed in the Champions race at the Carlisle Invitational on September 30.
"Both teams ran their best races of the year with the boys placing 5th out 50 teams and the girls finishing 12," said co-head coach Bob Ulmer. "Hopefully that bodes well for the league championship race."
The Comets continued their march through the second half of the league schedule last week, piling up three more wins and clinching the Section One title for the 11th straight season.
Monday night in Lititz, Hannah Brown sparked a six goal first half with her first hat trick of the year and chipped in with one assist, as the Comets swept the series with a convincing 8-1 road win.
Brown got the action rolling, scoring the first goal of the game in the sixth minute. The Warriors, having lost 5-1 the first time around, were determined to keep this one closer and scored 2:30 later. That only got Penn Manor's attention. The Comets went to work after that, tallying five more goals, including four in the last six minutes to take control.
Holding a 6-1 lead at the break, Manor got second half goals by Briana Harsh and Jasmine Miller.
Emma DeBerdine's goal at 24:02 sparked a flurry of Comet scoring. Gabby Bitts, the team's leading scorer, scored less than one minute later and picked up her second goal 2:18 after that. Brown's goal at 29:34 closed the first half scoring.
Alyssa Schriver, Bitts, DeBerdine, Brown and Anna May Barbusca were credited with assists.
In goal, Brittney Hook needed just two saves to preserve Manor's undefeated record but gave up her fourth goal to date, a league low.
At home Wednesday, in a night game honoring ten seniors, the Comets made short work of Hempfield and clinched the Section One crown. DeBerdine, the team's second leading scorer, took over for Brown and almost single-handedly dismantled the Knights (4-11 overall). The senior tallied four first half goals with Anna Katherine Kirk adding one as they made a 5-0 first half lead stand.
An offense that fired off 21 shots and worked 16 corners left little for the defense. The Knights were denied in both shots and corners.
Barbusca's two goal effort on Friday fueled a tightly contested 3-0 outing against CV. Despite 20 corners for the game, the Comets were held scoreless in the opening half but then ripped off three goals in a span of seven minutes. Bitts tallied the first goal of the half and DeBerdine (2) and Alyssa Schriver chipped in with assists.
The boys' soccer team used a balanced attack Tuesday afternoon to sweep the series with another 7-0 shutout against winless Lebanon. Scoring four times in the first half and three after the break, six different Comets found the back of the net. Liam Hart led the way with a pair of first half tallies with Conlin Groft, who led with two assists, and Connor Mayers (1a), who notched his first goal of the season, pushing the lead to 4-0 at the break.
Ryan Mowery opened the second half scoring and Shane Tapani scored his first goal of the season just over nine minutes later. Hunter Enck capped the action in the final minute of play.
Despite the lopsided final, keeper Blake Martin was not without action, needing ten saves to preserve Manor's third league shutout.
A lot has happened since the Comets took second place Warwick to a double overtime tie two weeks ago and most of it has been injuries. The depleted Comet squad traveled to Lititz Thursday night and came home with a closer than it may seem, 2-0 loss.
"We made some bad mistakes and they capitalized," said head coach Paul Taylor. "And we had some great opportunities. Hunter Enck was dangerous.
"But we are hit very badly with injuries," he continued. "With three starters out and three more injured, that leaves us very strained. This is affecting our performance. With two games left, and possibly a bid to districts, we need to win out. That's the bottom line. We need to find a way to win."
On Saturday, they did just that, though it took over 90 minutes. Enck not only capped his hat trick but tallied the game winner early in the second extra period, lifting the Comets to a 3-2 win over McCaskey.
Gifted with a penalty kick when Conlin Groft was tripped in the box, Enck converted early in the second half to put the Comets in front 1-0. His breakaway goal later in the half made it 2-0.
The hosts cut that lead in half when they converted a corner and then knotted the game with seven minutes remaining, setting up Manor's sixth overtime game of the season.
The going has been tough for the girls' soccer team. Coming into Tuesday's game with Cedar Crest, the Comets were on a four game losing streak, suffering losses to CV, Township, Hempfield and Central Dauphin.
"I think sometimes we forget how hard our schedule really is," said head coach Jacob Marino. "These last four games were against top teams not only in the district, but also the state."
Tuesday the Comets were looking to split the series against Cedar Crest. The Falcons (5-8-1 overall) had won a high scoring 4-2 verdict the first time around. In Millersville, however, it was a different story. With not a lot of action at either end of the field, the game featured a combined two corners and six shots and a disappointing 1-0 loss for the home team. Crest's goal by Jade Rolon midway through the first half proved to be the game-winner.
After four scoreless games, the Comets finally found the back of the net. Unfortunately, Warwick did too, and twice as they got past the hosts 2-1 in overtime Thursday night.
Tied at 1-1 in the first half, the Warriors broke through just two minutes into the extra period.
Kylee Hess, on a setup from Kara Huber, prevented the shutout for the Comets.
Marly Rohrer and Julie Ward competed in the L-L League Tennis Tournament this past Friday afternoon. Ward, playing in Flight 3 at Warwick, opened with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Solanco's Faith Redcay but dropped a 6-2, 6-0 result against No. 2 seed Sophie Granbois, of Hempfield.
In Flight 2 at Ephrata, Rohrer ran into No. 3 seed Serena Cheng of Cedar Crest and suffered a 6-1, 6-0 loss.
In doubles play, Ward and Morgan Smoker suffered an 8-0 first round loss to Kassie Nichols and Angel Strickler of Cocalico.
Logan Hess, Manor's lone representative in the PIAA District Three tournament, advanced to the second day of competition at Briarwood Golf Course with an opening round 77 on the par 72 course. It was the ninth lowest score of the day. He did even better on Saturday, tying for the third lowest score of the day, a 72 and punching his ticket to the PIAA Championships. Central York's Joe Parrini won the title with a two-day, eight under 67-69.
It's always a tall task when you go up against Hempfield. Last Tuesday on the road proved to be just that for the Lady Comets who suffered a 25-13, 25-13, 25-22 loss to the 8-0 Knights.
"We didn't play as well as we would have liked," said head coach Tim Joyce. "They kept us off balance most of the match. We did take the opportunity to play all of our younger varsity players to get them some experience."
Sydney Leichliter turned in a solid game with 17 assists, 10 digs and one ace while Mikiah Sangrey was strong at the net with six kills. Emily Cummings, Kendra Weiss and Logan Adams also served up one ace and Tiana Ferko added one block.
"Ferko, our middle hitter, had a strong night putting pressure on Hempfield with her attacks and blocks," noted Joyce. "And Mikiah, our senior captain, hit very efficiently at .222 and played tough defense."
On the road Friday night the Comets gave up three first half touchdowns and never quite recovered, dropping a 35-12 Section One result against Wilson.
Despite the finish, the game opened in Manor's favor. After stopping the Bulldogs on their first series, a high snap on the punt gave the Comets the ball on the Wilson 9. The hosts stopped three run attempts and then not only blocked the field goal attempt but ran the ball back 89 yards for a 7-0 first quarter lead. Wilson (3-0 L-L, 4-2 overall) then ran off four unanswered touchdowns, two in the second frame, to take a commanding 28-0 lead. They were led by Iggy Reynoso and Connor Uhrig. Reynoso became the 4th player in Berks Co. history to pass the 4,000 career rushing mark, going 165-yards on 21 carries while Uhrig became the 4th Wilson QB to throw over 3,000 career yards, passing for 202 against the Comets.
The Comets scored the final two TD's of the game with Josiah Edwards hitting Josh Gibson with a 55-yard strike and Zach Banta hooking up with Logan Legenstein on a 42-yard toss. Both two point conversion attempts were denied.
The Comets finished with 232 total yards while the Bulldogs piled up 395 in a game that featured zero turnovers by either team.
Comets Push Streaks, Knights but Fall Short October 1, 2017
The second half of the L-L League Section One season opened Tuesday night in Millersville where the Comets, on Senior Night, hosted Manheim Township in hopes of splitting the series. A pair of early goals, however, lifted the Streaks to 4-3 and dropped the hosts to 2-3-2.
"Defensively we just didn't apply enough pressure in the midfield, and the result was their early goals," said head coach Paul Taylor. "We also have a number of injuries which limits what we can do. We did make appropriate adjustments in the second half and had better opportunities."
On the road Thursday, a goal by Conner Braun, set up by Conlin Groft midway through the first half knotted the score at 1-1 against Hempfield. The Knights, however, scored twice over a span of 13 minutes early in the second half to sweep the series.
Coming in, the Comets had the second toughest defense in the league, yielding 8 goals. Hempfield leads that category, having given up just four to date.
The Comets were coming off a 2-0 victory over Carlisle in the Lower Dauphin Tournament on Saturday, September 30. Hunter Enck and Mitch Martin were the goal scorers with Liam Hart and Kyle Mowery providing the setups.
Manor opened play with a 4-0 loss against Lower Dauphin.
"It was a good opportunity to play against a former state champ," said Taylor of LD.
In an up-tempo, non-league game Saturday, September 30, the Comets, despite twice holding the lead, settled for a 2-2 double OT tie against visiting Central Dauphin. Martin put the locals on the board just 90 seconds in. The Rams knotted the score with a penalty kick early in the second half while Hunter Enck made good on a PK for the Comets (5-6-3 overall), putting the home team back in front. The visitors, however, tied the game before the end of regulation.
It was Manor's fourth OT game of the season and third tie.
Falling behind quickly by two scores early, Penn Manor's hopes of topping visiting Hempfield on homecoming night were dwindling. A fourth quarter rally, however, improved their momentum. The Comets scored a pair of TD's and took and 14-10 lead with two minutes left but couldn't hold on.
"We didn't generate much offense in that first half but we definitely played better after that," said head coach John Brubaker. "We had more fire in the second half but we need that for four quarters. We showed signs of doing things right. We just need more of it."
Josiah Edwards threw touchdown passes of 16 and 58 yards to Taraje Whitfield and Josh Gibson, respectively, to put the Comets in front. The Knights, however, countered with a five-play, 79-yard drive and secured the win with a 33-yard passing TD.
The boys' cross country team traveled to Warwick last Tuesday to face two teams ahead of them in the Section One standings, Manheim Township and the host Warriors. And when the final runner crossed the line, the Comets came up short. The Streaks (3-3) not only had the top individual but placed all five counters in the top 14 to edge Manor 25-30. The 4-2 Warriors had five of the top 11 runners and finished on top 25-34. The Comets are currently 3-4.
"The course is a long loop, out in the sun, making it a challenge for all runners with the temperatures we had," said co-head coach Tom Ecker.
"We knew the boy's race would be tight," he continued. "Our front runners finished well but our mid-pack did not finish as strongly as we needed."
Nick Fafel once again was the top Comet to finish, just five seconds out of first with a 16:51. David Kramer was fourth (17:24) and Aidan Toomey placed 10th in 18:15.
The Comets packed it in after that with Lou Lindsey (16th, 18:50), Zach Schucker (17th, 18:55), Dylan Terry (18th, 19:03), and Evan Lyon (19th, 19:03) cracking the top 20.
The girls had a tougher challenge going up against the undefeated Streaks, who earned the top seven places to win 15-54. Warwick, on the other hand, was an obtainable goal and Manor pulled through with a 21-39 win to improve to 3-4.
"The girls performed as we had planned," Ecker stated. "We knew we could not beat Township so we focused on Warwick and each girl came through, finishing in their target place or better."
Andrea Funk was right behind the Township pack and finished 9th in 21:40. Arden Morgan (11th, 21:55) and Maddy McCanna (12th, 22:19) ran as Manor's second and third runners while Lauren Zink (17th, 23:26) and Brianna Ulaky (18th, 23:35) rounded out the top five.
"Maddy had her strongest race of the year, adding strength to our squad when we needed it," added Ecker.
On a balmy Monday the golf team competed in the L-L League Tournament at Honeybrook Golf Course with the hopes of extending their season. With nine chances to advance, only Logan Hess qualified for the District Three Tournament which will be held October 6-7 at Briarwood Golf Course in York.
Hess carded the fifth lowest score of the day, a 75, to lead the Comets to a fifth place team finish.
"We actually had a great day," said head coach Tom Reustle. "Sometimes you play great and still miss the cut by a few strokes."
A total of 19 AAA boys carding 81 or lower, and 13 girls shooting 104 or better advanced.
"Erin Purzycki (106) and Amanda Wolf (107) both had solid rounds and just missed the cut," Reustle noted. "The rest of the team put in a great effort. It one of our best performances as a team. There are a lot of good players at this level and sometimes it truly comes down to a few strokes.
"I'm proud of the way we competed this year," he continued. "We have a tremendous group of student athletes."
Also competing were Hunter Long (82), Griffin Rineer (83), Max Forrey and Kaden Peart (87 each) and Josh Heckman and Drew Greenawalt (88 each).
While the wins have been hard to come by, the girls' tennis team hasn't stopped working. Their efforts last week left them with a 5-2 loss to Garden Spot last Wednesday, the first time this season they've scored a pair of team points. And Thursday they capped the regular season with their best effort yet, a hard-fought, 4-3 loss to Solanco.
Emma Bachelor and Morgan Smoker pulled out a 9-7 thriller at No. 2 doubles while Julia Ward earned a 6-2, 2-6 (10-6) result at No. 3 singles over Paula Groff.
"Emma and Morgan had to shake off some nerves to come away with the GS victory," said head coach Allie Fetter. "They played aggressively and used angled volleys to their advantage. I think the spirit of senior night motivated them to leave with a win."
The top doubles team of Maddy Groff and Marly Rohrer and the No. 3 team of Ward and Liv Chipriano put up good numbers but fell short 8-4, and 8-3 respectively.
"Julie took an early lead in the tiebreaker and ended up letting a few points go before securing her win," noted Fetter. "Her great footwork and consistency gave her the edge. She has been involved in a few tie breakers and I'm happy to see her win one."
Also in singles play, Groff fell 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1, Rohrer bowed out 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2 and Batchelor lost 6-1, 6-1.
On Thursday the Mares took a 2-1 lead in doubles with Batchelor and Smoker putting up a 7-5 win at No. 2. Singles play was incredibly close. Groff won a tie breaker (5-7, 7-6 (13-11)) at No. 1 and Batchelor pulled out a 6-4, 7-5 win at No. 4 to account for the scoring. In between, Ward dropped a heartbreaker at No. 3 (2-6, 6-2 (10-7)) and Rohrer fell 6-3, 7-5.
The team opened the week with a 7-0 loss to Cedar Crest.
After cruising through the first half of league play with a Section One best 88 goals for and a league low 3 against, the Comets opened the second half of the regular season with a sweep over visiting Manheim Township on Pink Night. The Comets defeated the Streaks 2-0 in Neffsville but doubled that effort on Comet Field.
While the Streaks may have been focused on Gabby Bitts, the section scoring leader coming in (20 goals), the Comets have a handful of players ready to step into the scoring action. Bitts finished with two assists while Emma DeBerdine put the home team on the board midway through the half and Mia Clancy padded the lead with another penalty corner opportunity with two minutes left.
Brianna Harsh handled the second half scoring, beating Township keeper Cat Wilson (10 saves) in the 22nd and 29th minutes.
"As we move through the second half we'd like to continue to play great defense and improve our penalty corner output," said head coach Matt Soto.
The Comets were coming off a hard-fought non-league battle against Lower Dauphin Monday. Bitts provided all the offense needed, scoring on DeBerdine's setup at the 7:36 mark in the second half.
"This was great field hockey from both teams," said Soto, "but it showed that we need to produce more scoring opportunities."
Friday's two goal efforts from DeBerdine and Bitts highlighted Manor's third straight shutout, a 7-0 result over McCaskey, and pushed their unbeaten streak to 14-0. Harsh, Clancy and Autumn Gager also scored.
Fresh off a disappointing five set loss to Manheim Township, the Comets hosted the second place Warriors (5-1) in Section One Tuesday night and, try as they may, came up short 25-16, 25-12, 25-10.
Shayna Warfel matched Warwick's McKenzie Cossette with 12 kills and both teams recorded 20 digs with Warfel and Ava Dunford-Groves collecting ten each. Sydney Leichliter chipped in with 16 assist and one ace and Tiana Ferko put up one block as their record fell to 3-4 (3-6).
"Shayna had another good night as one of our top passers and kill leader," said head coach Tim Joyce.
The Comets righted the ship on Thursday, pulling out a hard-fought 25-21, 28-26, 25-21 result against a one win CV squad.
Warfel and Emily Cummings put down five kills each, compliments of Leichliter, who tallied 16 assists. Mikiah Sangrey collected the only ace and added 15 digs while Elizabeth Kubicar recorded two blocks.
"Emily had a very consistent night," said Joyce. "She only had one error on 20 attempts. Tiana set an aggressive block, getting three stops and Mikiah kept had several tough serving runs that scored us 11 points through the match."
On the pitch last week the lady booters were denied in league play against two of the top three teams in Section One, falling to Manheim Township (2-0) on Tuesday and Hempfield (4-0) on Thursday.
The Comets gave up two second half goals to the Streaks and three to the Knights in bowing out.
PM Volleyball Makes Quick Work of McCaskey September 24, 2017
The volleyball team split back-to-back games last week, falling short in a 3-2 (25-21, 25-15, 20-25, 23-25, 15-8) marathon on the road at L-S before coming home and taking care of a winless McCaskey squad 3-0.
"We had the same goal both days: to play our best," said head coach Tim Joyce. "We were pretty close to achieving that goal on both nights, but with different results."
Shayna Warfel racked up a match and career-high 20 kills Monday but it wasn't quite enough.
"LS is a tough team and it took until the third set to get our offense firing," recalled Joyce. "By the fourth set, we were finally believing, but in the end, they were more experienced, having gone five sets already this season."
Warfel collected those kills on 37 attempts with only four errors. She also served up five aces. Sydney Leichliter chipped in with 15 digs and 32 assists. The Comets also had three other players (Mikiah Sangrey, Ava Dunford-Groves and Kendra Weiss) with double-digit digs.
"Our level of defense made us tough to defend," said Joyce.
Tuesday's outing was far less intense as the Comets cruised to a 27-8, 25-18, 25-8 victory that took just about an hour.
"McCaskey was a fun match because everyone got playing time," noted Joyce. "In that second set we had the most subs, and the most performance fluctuation, but we got it together by the end.
"Warfel had six kills in 10 attempts with only two errors which is excellent," he added. "Sangrey also had a strong hitting night with five kills and two errors, and junior Lizzy Kubicar had four kills on nine attempts."
Thursday the locals found themselves in another five set thriller and for the second time on the week fell short. Manor jumped in front 28-26, 25-19 but the Streaks rallied for three straight and took the match 25-17, 25-23, 25-14.
Leichliter dished out a match-high 31 assists with 15 going to Warfel for a match-high in kills.
Taking advantage of five Lebanon turnovers, the gridiron team ground out a 35-20 win over the visiting Cedars this past Friday night to collect their first win of the season.
"I thought we played well," said head coach John Brubaker. "Lebanon is pretty talented and might have one of the best quarterbacks in the league."
The league opener featured 226 yards and three touchdowns by Ben Wright as the Comets broke a 20-20 third quarter tie with a dominating 15-0 final frame. Wright also stopped the Cedars with a goal line interception and recovered a fumble.
Manor started strong, scoring first quarter TD's on short runs by Josiah Edwards and Wright and led 13-0 at the break.
The Cedars regrouped and put together a solid game plan in the third, outscoring the hosts 20-7 to tie the game heading into the fourth.
"We definitely controlled the first half," said Brubaker. "But then a few errors let them back in. It was frustrating but we got a positive response to that adversity."
The Comets, behind Wright's 25-yard scamper and Edwards with a 28-yard run to the end zone, capped the fourth quarter scoring.
Lebanon countered Manor's 324-yard rushing game with 310-yards in the air. Liam Hart successfully booted three field goals and Nick Baker hauled in a two-point conversion pass that put the Comets in front for good, 28-20.
"Casey McCollum had a fantastic game on the offensive line," praised Brubaker. "He's the guy we like to run behind. Josiah, Cole Heckaman, Theoren McElheny and Ben accounted for all 340 of our rushing yards so we have some diversity in our backfield.
"And we moved Evan Jones to defensive end this week and, with three sacks, he made a positive response to the move," he continued. "Mike Brown, a first year starter, added two interceptions. He's been consistent in the secondary."
The Comets hosted the Section One contingent in last Tuesday's regular season finale and settled for a middle of the road finish. Their 338 team score handled Hempfield (349), Cedar Crest (393) and Lebanon (536) easily. The tough part was finishing just six strokes behind second place Warwick (332) and three behind CV (335). Township remained undefeated with their 307. Manor settled in for fourth place (18-24).
"All in all it was a good day," said head coach Tom Reustle.
Logan Hess turned in a solid outing. His 71 was the second lowest score of the day, following Township's Jacob Mancinati (68). Drew Greenawalt was second for the Comets with an 82 while Hunter Long (92) and Griffin Rineer (93) rounded out the counting four.
"Logan continued his great play," said Reustle. "What's amazing about his is how humble he is and what a great team player.
"Drew shot a solid round," he added. "He's been working hard and really wants to qualify for districts this year. I know he can do it.
"We have nine players who have qualified for leagues. That is a true testament to their hard work and dedication," stated the coach.
The Comets battled the third place Bucks on the road last Wednesday night and came away with their second league overtime tie of the season, moving their league record to 2-2-2.
After a scoreless first half, the Bucks jumped in front with a goal in the 51st minute and put the pressure on Manor's struggling offense. With about one minute left in regulation, Mitchell Martin successfully converted Liam Hart's feed on a breakaway to extend the game.
"I thought we had the better chances in the first half and both overtimes," said head coach Paul Taylor. "Liam, Mitch and Kyle Mowery were just inches off in a few of their shots.
"We have the least amount of goals allowed in Section One which speaks volumes for our backs and our goalie, especially in this tough section," he added. "Our holding midfielder, Jackson Hostetter, played a great game and held his own against a very physical opponent.
"As our attack improves, the goals should start coming," the coach continued. "We have another half of the regular season and plenty of opportunities to score goals. These guys are capable of scoring them."
The harrier teams were off last week but competed in the Ben Bloser Invitational at Big Springs High School on September 16.
Nick Fafel (18:23) and David Kramer (18:25) were Manor's top two finishers, placing 77th and 78th overall.
"We ran the meet to provide the team with exposure to the District course," said co-head coach Tom Ecker, "and to give them experience participating in a large invitational. With the warmer temperatures and high humidity, we chose not to push the runners given that our race was held in the heat of the afternoon."
Aidan Toomy (18:50), freshman Lou Lindsey (19:02) and Marco Rezkalla (19:12), in a field of 220, rounded out Manor's top five.
Andrea Funk earned the best finish of the day, placing 56th with a 22:04. Freshmen Arden Morgan (87, 23:13) and Lauren Zink (96th, 23:32) also placed in the top 100. Maddy McCanna (23:44), Brianna Ulaky (23:58) and freshman Becky Kramer (24:37) also competed.
While the tennis team isn't racking up the wins, they certainly are working at it. Last week the girls played Warwick, undefeated Manheim Township and third place Hempfield on back-to-back-to-back days and suffered two 7-0 losses.
"Our team is new to tennis but we have witnessed a lot of growth throughout the season," said head coach Allie Fetter. "We are proud of how far they have come since preseason."
At No. 4, Julie Ward turned in the toughest battle of the day against Warwick, bowing out 5-7, 6-1, 10-4 against Heather Mitchell. Emma Batchelor, at No. 5, was also competitive, shrugging off a 6-1 first set loss and closing the gap to 6-4 in the second set.
"Julie was very consistent," stated Fetter. "She hustled and had many long rallies."
Against the Streaks, Ward and Liv Chipriano secured the only games of the match for the Comets, dropping an 8-2 result at No. 3 doubles.
On the heels of two straight shutouts, the girl's soccer team battled Conestoga Valley, tied for the top spot in Section One, but didn't quite have the horses to pull out the upset. The Bucks, holding a slim 1-0 lead at the break, pulled away with a three goal second half.
"They played a direct kick and run style of soccer," noted head coach Jacob Marino. "We played a great passing game and possessed the ball nicely, but when a team plays kick and run it's difficult to develop a rhythm. Down the stretch, fatigue and injuries took its toll. But the girls maintained their composure to the end and showed no let down or lack of intensity.
"This game would have been a big ask even if we were completely healthy and rested," he added.
The field hockey team piled up 21 goals in two league games last week and ran their league unbeaten streak to 6-0 (10-0 overall).
Briana Harsh tallied her first hat trick of the season and sparked another dominating victory as Manor steamrolled yet another opponent Tuesday afternoon. Scoring five goals in each half, the Comets reached a double-digit offensive effort for the third time this season, cruising past Conestoga Valley 10-1.
Emma DeBerdine (1a) broke the ice in just 54 seconds and Gabby Bitts made it 2-0 about two minutes later. Harsh notched her first score of the day midway through the half and then made it 4-0 at the 18:01 mark. Hannah Brown (1a) capped the first half scoring with 1:28 left.
The second half was more of the same. Harsh got things rolling, taking a cross from Bitts and pushing it past CV's freshman keeper Brooke Eberly (10 saves) and AnnaMay Barbusca, who dished out a pair of assists, scored twice in 31 seconds and extended the lead to 8-0.
CV cracked the Comet defense with 10 minutes left as senior keeper Brit Hook gave up just her second goal to date.
Manor, however, went back to work, getting goals from Mia Clancy and Alyssa Schriver, finishing the day with 10 goals on 20 shots. Lisa Schaefer and Brook Spezialetti chipped in with assists.
Thursday afternoon it was Barbusca with a hat trick while Bitts and DeBerdine scored two goals each and added two assists to fuel an 11-0 shellacking over visiting Cedar Crest. The Comets pounded out 27 shots, were awarded 24 corners and led 5-0 by the midway point of the half.
Mia Clancy's two goal effort sparked a six goal second half. Brown (1a) and Shriver also added goals and Taylor Lefever and Lisa Schaefer dished out assists.
Hook earned the shutout with making a single save and the defense denied the Falcons in both corners and shots.
The Comets gave up just their third goal of the season but their undefeated record remained intact with a 2-1 nod over Hershey Saturday morning. A first half goal by Harsh put the hosts on the board and a second half tally by Brown proved to be the game-winner.
Lady Comets Again Score 14 Goal Victory September 17, 2017
With nine players contributing at the offensive end last Monday afternoon, it's safe to say the Comets have more than a handful of weapons. Those nine players accounted for 14 goals in a 14-0 train wreck over McCaskey. In fact, it was the second time the Comets, who advanced to the District finals and the PIAA AAA Final Four last year, netted 14 goals, having crushed Daniel Boone in their second game of the season.
"We never expected to score 14 goals once, let alone twice at this point," said head coach Matt Soto, "but we do have some very skilled goal scorers."
Anna May Barbusca's hat trick effort spear headed the attack. Emma DeBerdine and Hannah Brown both scored one goal in each half while Gabby Bitts, who also recorded three assists, netted a pair of second half goals. The junior almost single handedly dismantled Warwick Wednesday night at Comet field, tallying four of the teams five goals in their 5-1 final. Bitts, who leads the team in scoring, found the back of the net twice in less than a minute to push Manor's lead to 2-0 with 18:07 left in the first half. DeBerdine's goal with 8:58 left in the game rounded out the scoring. Barbusca's timely passing set up three of her team's goals.
"Emma is doing a great job controlling the middle of the field and directing penalty corner offense," said Soto, "and Gabby is off to a great start, with goals in every game. Lisa Schaefer has also been solid on the defensive side of the ball."
The Warriors prevented the shutout when Adrienne McGarrigle beat senior keeper Brit Hook with a good strike at the 18:49 mark of the second half. It was the first goal Hook and the defense have given up to date as they pushed their record to 5-0.
Also contributing to the McCaskey victory was Briana Harsh (2a), AnnaKatherine Kirk, Addison Ewing, Jasmine Miller and Schaefer each with one goal. Dishing out assists were DeBerdine, Brown, Autumn Gager, Alyssa Schriver and Brooke Spezialetti.
"Every game has been a total team effort," Soto said. "We have strength at every position and skillful reserves but we need to work on speeding up the attack and having more skill inside the offensive circle."
The domination continued Friday afternoon as the Comets rolled past Hempfield 9-0 and on Saturday they blanked Central York 8-0 and Hershey 5-zip to win the Hershey Tournament. Bitts, with a hat trick against CY, was the top Comet scorer of the day. Clancy, DeBerdine, Harsh and Barbusca each scored twice.
The harrier teams hosted McCaskey, CV and Ephrata on their new home course last Tuesday afternoon and pulled away with three victories. Nick Fafel's second place finish in 17:02 led Penn Manor to a hard-fought 26-29 victory over McCaskey. David Kramer (6th, 17:48), Lou Lindsey (7th, 18:02) and Aidan Toomey (8th, 18:03) helped widen the margin against Conestoga Valley (20-44) while Zach Schucker (15th, 18:55), Graham Thomas (16th), Dylan Terry (17th) and Marco Rezkalla (18th) helped seal the deal against the Mounts (22-39).
"This was the first time on our new course," noted co-head coach Tom Ecker. "Changes at Herr Park, along with planned changes on school property prompted the change and gave us the opportunity to add two long gradual hills. This makes it much more challenging for all runners, but we're hoping it will result in some form of a home-field advantage."
The PM - McCaskey races are always tight. Two years ago the Comets edged the Red Tornado 27-28 and last year survived a 28-28 tie on the sixth runner rule.
"We knew it would be tight again and require five runners to perform well," Ecker stated. "This was our strongest showing against them.
"Nick had a great race and an excellent time," he added.
The girl's team faced two strong teams in McCaskey and Ephrata and hoped to pull out a win over CV. They did just that, topping the Bucks 21-34 behind Andrea Funk's seventh place finish (21:29). McCaskey (18-38) and Ephrata (20-35), however, prevailed.
"Our goal was to run a strong race against CV and we were able to do that," stated Ecker.
Rounding out the top five Comets were Arden Morgan (10th, 21:56), Maddy McCanna (13th, 22:47), Brianna Ulaky (14th, 23:09) and Becky Kramer (20th, 24:20).
Having scored just three goals in their first four games, the Comet offense is starting to find its groove. They netted three goals in a non-league win over Red Lion and last Monday exploded for seven in a shutout over winless Lebanon.
The hosts needed just 14 shots to corral those seven goals. Hunter Enck, with two first half goals and a pair of assists, fueled the offense. Kyle Mowery knocked home two second half goals and Conlin Groft chipped in with two assists as the Comets extended their 4-0 first half advantage. Conner Braun's goal in the ninth minute opened the flood gates. Ryan Mowery and Mitchel Martin (1a) also contributed.
At home again Wednesday the boys faced a bigger challenge against the undefeated Warriors. But with their offense building confidence and a defense that seemed to bend but not break, the Comets settled for a double OT scoreless tie.
"It was a disappointing final result," stated head coach Paul Taylor, "but our ball movement is really improving. Once the concepts we are showing them click, it will be exciting."
With just three shots on goal for the day, the Comets actually had the best opportunity, a penalty kick by Hunter Eck with 8:42 remaining. That attempt sailed wide of the post.
The Warriors kept Comet keeper Blake Martin and his defense busy. Martin was credited with 10 saves as he recorded his second shutout of the week and had plenty of help from his defense.
"Jared Harvey, Conlin Groft, Zach Bailey, Connor Braun and Ethan Nace are the back line and are doing great," Taylor said.
Harvey, in fact, headed one of Warwick's attempts out of harm's way.
The play in both extra periods was back-and-forth with neither team mounting an exceptional threat.
"Offensively we had better possession of the ball and our good team defense and physicality stood out," added Taylor.
The Comets pushed their record to 4-3-1 overall with a hard-fought 2-1 nod over visiting McCaskey on Friday. Mitchell Martin's first half goal knotted the score at 1-1 while Paul Karpouzis delivered the game winner in the 53rd minute. Kyle Mowery and Enck were credited with assists.
In their only match of the week, the volleyball team dropped a closer than it appeared 3-1 result at Cedar Crest Thursday. They lost the first and fourth sets by identical 25-22 margins, lost 25-15 in the second and rebounded with a 25-17 win in set three.
Shayna Warfel was solid at the net with 11 kills and one block. Sydney Leichliter directed the offense with 25 assists and served up three aces while Ava Dunford-Groves hustled for a dozen digs.
Manor's tennis team battled a 3-1 CV squad last Monday in Millersville but failed to pull off the upset, suffering instead a shutout.
Friday's outing against Ephrata was a bigger battle. Though the Comets lost 6-1 they were able to put more numbers on the board. At No. 1, Maddy Groff earned her first singles victory of the season, holding off Kachel for a 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 win.
Julie Ward played a tough match at No. 3 but fell short 7-5, 6-4. She teamed with Nicole Rudy at No. 3 doubles but bowed out 8-4.
One week after their best performance of the season, the Comets found the going a bit tougher at Four Seasons last Wednesday afternoon. Their 326 team total left them in fifth place overall but just one stroke behind Hempfield and five behind third place Warwick.
"This was definitely a close one," said head coach Tom Reustle. "We had a few players who left some shots on the course, but that's golf."
Township, with a 296, against led the contingent while CV was second with a 312. The Comets were way ahead of Cedar Crest (367) and Lebanon (524).
A consistent Logan Hess tied Warwick's Brock Fassnacht with a 74, the third lowest score of the day. Griffin Rineer carded an 82, Max Forrey an 84, and Hunter Long's 86 rounded out the counters.
"Max and Griffin both played well and qualified for leagues," Reustle noted. "We have nine players now who have qualified."
Despite a slow start Friday night, the gridiron team found itself tied at 14-14 against visiting Dallastown with 7:47 left in the second quarter. The Wildcats, however, ran off four unanswered touchdowns, including three in the second frame and left Millersville with a 49-20 win.
"It was a sloppy start," said head coach John Brubaker. "We committed two turnovers and they capitalized. But we seemed to respond after that."
Manor answered with an 80-yard pass and run from Josiah Edwards to Cole Heckaman with 7:41 left in the first and knotted the score early in the second on Heckaman's 30-yard scamper.
"Cole did a nice job and Ben Wright ran close to 100 yards as well," praised Brubaker. "Theoren McElheny also had some success.
"Ben was tough on defense too as was Greg Zanowiak," he continued. "He's a bit undersized but he battles. Jake Hollinger, at outside linebacker, also looked good. Overall, though, our unforced errors (3 fumbles) and penalties (93 yards) hurt."
The Comets stopped the bleeding early in the fourth quarter when Heckaman picked up his third TD on a 16-yard run, but the Wildcats, despite being out-rushed 265-209, wrapped up the scoring with a 54-yard jaunt.
This week the Comets host Lebanon and will once again support Coach to Cure MD. Text "cure" to 50555 to donate $10 in honor of their team captain, Adam. Coach to Cure is a partnership between the American Football Coaches Association and Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.
The lady Comets battled the two teams in front of them in the Section One standings and settled for mixed results. They were dealt a 4-2 loss to Cedar Crest (2-3-1) on Monday but rebounded with their first shutout of the season, a 2-0 result against the hosting Warriors Wednesday.
"Susan Porambo stepped it up in the attack and scored both of our goals against Cedar Crest," said head coach Jacob Marino. "The first came on a great cross from Ella Hart that Susan put away with one minute left in the first half. In the second half, she took on a few defenders and finished the ball past the keeper."
Wednesday the girls set the tone early when freshman Kylee Hess found the back of the net just 1:30 gone in the game.
"We had some great passing in the midfield to set up that goal," said Marino. "Kylee played well throughout the game."
Manor's second goal came when Anne Shoelkopf sent a corner kick to Hart who finished as the ball came off the ground.
"We began to tire as the game wore on," said Marino. "Warwick subbed consistently in key places on the field while most of our starting 11 played 80 minutes.
"Megan Sangrey (senior) and Miriam Badri (keeper, 8 saves) were both back from injury and a solid presence on the field," he added. "This was an important result and our best game to date."
Friday the Comets blanked McCaskey behind two goal efforts from Evans and Porambo. Hart, S. Hess and K. Hess also scored.
Golfers Go 5-1 at Lebanon, Hess Cards Low Round September 10, 2017
Last Tuesday afternoon at Lebanon Country Club, the Comets, in a nine-hole event, competed in their fifth L-L League golf match of the season and came away with their best finish yet.
"This was a great match for us," said head coach Tom Reustle. "We went 5-1 which brought us to 13-17 overall. We've been so close to putting it all together and today it showed."
Logan Hess, who carries a 73 average, tied Township's Jacob Macinati for the low round of the day, a 1-under par 35. Hunter Long followed with a 42 while Drew Greenawalt and Max Forrey both carded 45's, leaving the Comets in second place with a 167 total, just one stroke in front of both CV and Warwick, and two strokes ahead of second place Hempfield (21-9). Cedar Crest (192) and Lebanon (200) rounded out the field.
"We have eight returning players and five have qualified for leagues to date," stated Reustle. "Joining Hess will be Long, Greenawalt, Erin Purczyiki and promising freshman Amanda Wolf. She has a tremendous work ethic and a bright future.
"It's just a matter of time for Forrey, Griffin Rineer, Josh Heckman and Kaden Peart to have a breakout round," he added. "They show true grit and determination."
First year head coach Jacob Marino and his young Comets not only battled wet and soggy conditions Wednesday afternoon but the visiting Streaks of Manheim Township as well. After 80 minutes of sloshing around Comet field, Township's Alison Heckman spear-headed a 5-0 victory over Manor with a hat trick.
"They deserved the victory," stated Marino, "but our girls played some quality soccer when on the ball. A few careless mistakes in the back, due to inexperience, proved costly as Township capitalized. And we weren't able to make the most of our opportunities."
Six of Manor's starters are freshman and sophomores. They have just four healthy seniors on the squad of 26.
"We're not only young, but injured," Marino said. "Three of our four keepers are out, including senior Mary Ellen Campanaro who will miss the entire season due to a shoulder injury. Freshman Brooke Hinkle (3 saves) was asked to step in. She kept her head up and the girls rallied around her.
"We also have several players that make up our back line out," he continued.
Heckman scored all three of Township's first half goals, including two in less than two minutes.
"Sophomore Ella Hart was a standout up front, but Danielle Heisey and Anne Shoelkopf anchored the middle of the field and created some attacking opportunities for us," noted Marino. "And Kylee Hess, a freshman, has stepped up in the center of the field. We're an entirely new team from last year.
"The girls know that on paper we're the underdogs," he stated. "But they have embraced that. They are determined not to settle for a "rebuilding" season. Section One is tough, every opponent is a challenge, but we wouldn't have it any other way," Marino continued. "We're going to take it one challenge at a time. I was happy with our intensity and how the girls carried themselves with class."
The Comets fell to 0-2 in Section One play when they dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker against Hempfield on Thursday. Meghan Greenawalt's first half goal knotted the score in the 32nd minute, but a 2-1 deficit in the second half was the difference. Ella Hart's goal in the 71st minute came after the Knights forged ahead 3-1.
Hinkle faced 11 shots on the day and recorded 8 saves.
Senior Mikiah Sangrey dished up nine aces to lead the Comets to a 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-17) Section One opening victory over Conestoga Valley last Tuesday at home. They were coming off a 3-0 season opening defeat against Section Two power Garden Spot.
"We had control of the match most of the time," noted head coach Tim Joyce. "CV is developing a good team but they're young."
The victory over the Bucks included senior-heavy contributions, starting with seven kills from Emily Cummings and three blocks by Tiana Ferko. Ava Dunford-Groves anchored the defense with 19 digs and Sydney Leichliter paced the offense with 20 assists.
"Sydney did a nice job spreading the ball to Mikiah Sangrey and Shayna Warfel," stated Joyce. "Sangrey also had a staggering nine aces and Dunford-Groves played some lights out defense.
"I was pleased that our starters got us into a comfortable enough lead to put some of our substitutes in. All 12 players on our roster got to play at some point. This was a confidence builder heading into Hempfield."
Unfortunately, that confidence did not lead to an upset over the Knights Thursday night. Hempfield swept the action, winning 25-18, 25-16, 25-15.
Cummings matched Hempfield's Jailene Lugo with eight kills and Leichliter put up a match-high 21 assists. Warfel (1 blocks) served up a pair of aces but couldn't match Natalie Virts who dished out eight for the Knights. Dunford-Groves was tops for the Comets with four digs.
Despite forcing Lampeter-Strasburg into five turnovers, Penn Manor failed to capitalize and eventually dropped a 25-21 thriller on the road this past Friday night.
"You don't typically win a game when you turn the ball over as much as we did," said Pioneer boss John Manion. "Our defense did a nice job of putting pressure on the quarterback."
L-S took a slim 2-0 lead in the first quarter when Cam D'Imperio sacked PM QB Josiah Edwards in the end zone with 2:59 left in the quarter. That and a 23-yard field goal by Peyton Denlinger in the third quarter proved to be the difference as both teams managed three touchdowns through the final three quarters.
The hosts pushed out to a 9-0 advantage early in the second quarter on Todd Shelley's five yard strike to Kris Pirozzi. Denlinger's PAT was good.
Manor closed the gap in the final seconds of the opening half. Michael Brown's interception with 4:44 on the clock set up a nine-yard keeper by Edwards, cutting the lead to 9-7 at the break.
The Comets got off to a good start in the second half. Jacob Hollinger fell on yet another L-S fumble, setting up a 19-yard touchdown pass from Edwards to Michael Morris.
That lead, however, was short-lived. L-S answered back when Shelley found Connor Blantz in the corner of the end zone, putting the home team in front 15-14. A 23-yard field goal by Denlinger with 16 seconds left in the quarter extended the lead to 18-14.
Both teams turned the ball over to start the fourth quarter. Manor capitalized on Ben Wright's fumble recovery when Edwards hit Taraje Whitfield with a 38-yard strike and Liam Hart cashed in on the PAT kick with 10:27 left.
Lampeter quickly countered. Marc Wilson's 54-yard run up the middle put the home team on the one-yard line and Shelley followed with a two-yard toss over the top to Alex Knapp.
Four games into the season the Comets sit at 1-4 with a pair of overtime losses. They dropped a 1-0 result against Lampeter-Strasburg in the 96th minute. The following morning they rebounded against Solanco and pulled out a 1-0 win on a first half goal by Mitchell Martin.
Last week the Comets again found themselves in a back-to-back scenario. Due to Tuesday's storms, Manor battled Manheim Township Wednesday afternoon and came back to host Hempfield the following night. Both games were one goal losses.
The Streaks dominated play, putting up 11 corners and 12 shots while holding the visitors to 1 and 3 respectively. But they needed overtime to break Manor's defense. Greyson King got the job done in the 89th minute.
Liam Hart, assisted by Conlin Groft, tallied Manor's second goal of the season but it wasn't enough. Tied at 1-1 in the first half, Hempfield's Drew Johnson scored his second goal of the game in the 79th minute, lifting the Knights to victory.
"Our defensive back line is strong," said head coach Paul Taylor. "And Blake Martin is a great goalkeeper. We are sorting our attack and are close to having it complete. We didn't lie down, and won't lie down for any team," he added. "We are fighters and will continue to improve.
"We have four returning starters in Hunter Enck, Jared Harvey, Conlin Groft and Blake Martin," noted Taylor. "Newcomers Zach Bailey played great while fighting a cold and Ethan Nace filled in nicely in a variety of positions.
"We have missed playoffs by one spot each of the last three years," he continued. "The expectation is to get there this year. They can do it. I believe in them."
In non-league play Saturday, Martin's hat-trick performance lifted the Comets to a 3-1 victory over Red Lion. Tied at 1-1 at the half, Martin scored twice in a period of seven minutes to help ice the win. Conner Braun (2) and Groft were credited with assists.
The harriers opened their season with a tri-meet on Thursday at Cedar Crest. The girls' squad, behind Andrea Funk's second place finish (19:72) went 1-1 on the day, defeating the hosts 25-31 but falling short against Hempfield, 21-38.
Freshman Arden Morgan was solid in placing fifth overall. Lauren Zink (10th), Maddy McCanna (12th) and Becky Kramer (19th) rounded out the top five.
"We are optimistic that the addition of several freshmen will help our overall team strength," said head coach Tom Ecker.
On the boy's side, league powers Hempfield and Cedar Crest handed the Comets a pair of losses. Returning starters Nick Fafel (4th, 15:47), David Kramer (8th,) and Aiden Toomey (12th) led Manor's scorers with freshman Lou Lindsley working his way to 13th place.
"We lost our top two runners in Doug Kramer and Malachi Lyons," said Ecker. "That will have a definite impact on our depth but we expect to do well based on a good off-season training program."
Four matches into the season the Comets are still searching for their first win. While three of those losses are shutouts, the Comet line scores have been pretty competitive and rarely feature shutouts.
With four seniors and a pair of sophomores in the lineup, the Comets dropped a 7-0 result against McCaskey last Thursday. One of those sophomores, Julie Ward, put up the best numbers of the day. Playing No. 3 singles, Ward battled to a 6-3, 6-2 loss.
At No. 1 doubles, seniors Madison Groff and Marly Rohrer dropped an 8-4 result while Emma Batchelor and sophomore Olivia Chipriano fell 8-3 at No. 3.
Groff lost a 6-4, 6-0 result at No. 1 singles and Rohrer fell 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2. Batchelor played No. 4 and fell short 6-2, 6-0.
"The girls are enjoying their season so far and have been making improvements each match," said head coach Allie Fetter. "They are using what they learn in practice and applying it on the court. I am proud of their sportsmanship and desire to persevere."
The field hockey team opened league play Friday afternoon with a 2-0 victory over Manheim Township. The Comets dominated at the offensive end, piling up 10 corners and a dozen shots but only broke the defense twice. Briana Harsh put Manor on the board with a first half goal while Gabby Bitts provided a second half insurance goal.
Senior keeper Brit Hook needed just two saves to preserve the shutout.