The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Cory Isenberg

December 30, 2012

CORY ISENBERG| Class A Portage making big impact

JOHNSTOWN — Last week’s winter weather played havoc with the holiday hoops tournaments.

There were plenty of interruptions because of weather conditions - welcome to western Pennsylvania in the winter time - but a variety of winners emerged over the past couple days.

The Portage girls are a Class A school that is playing big at this early point of the season.

The Mustangs successfully battled their way through the field at the Ligonier Valley Tournament, downing Class AAAA Latrobe in the opening round and the Class AAA Rams to win the title. MVP Olivia McCabe is a tall threat down low for Portage and guard Emily Chobany has done a good job of decision making thus far getting the ball to McCabe when she is open or taking the shot herself.

But what has really helped the Mustangs to their 8-0 record is the roles that the other members of the squad have played, including a tough, scrappy defense.

In the preseason, Portage was not picked as the top team in the WestPAC, but it has definitely gotten the other coaches’ attention.

The Mustangs will get their next challenge on Wednesday when they travel to Berlin Brothersvalley to face the low-key Mountaineers, who quietly claimed the championship in their tournament, downing St. John’s Prep of Frederick, Md. in the title game. Berlin is still not at full strength, but has played well despite the absence of its low-post player, Shelby Cougenour.

Other girls winners were Forest Hills at the Boswell Jaycees Tournament, Westmont Hilltop at the Punxsutawney Tournament and Cambria Heights at its tournament.

On the boys side, Blacklick Valley continues its impressive march.

The Vikings are 7-0 and won the championship of the Berlin Tournament. Blacklick’s Dalton Cesarz and Johnny Sheesley combined for 60 of the Vikings’ 72 points in the title game against HOPE for Hyndman. Cesarz, who earned MVP honors, scored 72 points in the two-night tournament while Sheesley, who was selected the Most Outstanding Player, had 41 points.

The Vikings face some tough opponents including Rockwood, Ferndale, Conemaugh Valley and Conemaugh Township before going to Shade to take on the Panthers in late January.

Other boys tournament winners included Richland at its own tournament with a big victory over Tussey Mountain; Chestnut Ridge over Ferndale in the Windber Rotary Tournament; and, Cambria Heights in a thrilling double overtime win over Northern Cambria at its tournament.

Two tournaments are set to wrapup today after being postponed on Saturday.

The County Seat Tournament in Ebensburg features cross-town rivals Central Cambria and Bishop Carroll in the boys title game set to tipoff at 1:30 p.m. Ironically, the Laurel Highlands schedule has the Red Devils at the Huskies gym on Thursday.

Also today at Central High School in Martinsburg, the Central Cambria girls will face Tyrone in the consolation game at 1 p.m.

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Cory Isenberg
  • lantzy22 color Cory Isenberg | Big numbers posted all around in Lantzy game

    The South’s 48-18 victory over the North in Friday night’s Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game was an entertaining evening of football for the reported crowd of close to 4,500 at Greater Johnstown’s Trojan Stadium.
    The point total for the Rebels equaled the output of the South squad in the 30th edition of the game but is behind the 51 scored by the Yankees in the 1992 contest and the 50 points tallied by the South in the 39th game.

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  • Isenberg, Cory CORY ISENBERG| Ramblers take back their tournament

    An 11-year drought came to an end on Saturday night when the Windber boys basketball team defeated Conemaugh Township 57-48 in the title game of the Windber Rotary Tournament to capture the tourney title.
    The Ramblers (5-2) had lost to the Indians (5-2) 68-64 on Dec. 17 and gained a measure of revenge with Saturday’s victory, which featured double-digit scoring from three players including Tournament MVP Bryce Spak.

    December 29, 2013 1 Photo

  • Isenberg, Cory CORY ISENBERG| Basketball season getting interesting

    While it’s still very early in the high school basketball season, there have already been some interesting matchups.
    In girls play, Westmont Hilltop knocked Forest Hills out of the ranks of the unbeaten while Bishop Guilfoyle, which lost all five starters from last season, handed Bishop McCort its first loss. The Crushers, who play at troublesome Penn Cambria this evening, entertain the Rangers on Thursday.

    December 16, 2013 1 Photo

  • Isenberg, Cory CORY ISENBERG | Three schools from area remain in football

    Just three area football teams remain alive in postseason play and all three will play in 7 p.m. contests on Friday night.
    Showing that it was no fluke the first time around, Chestnut Ridge (9-3) powered its way past Bedford for the second time this season in the District 5 Class AA championship. The Lions earned a berth in the PIAA playoffs opposite District 9 champ Karns City (11-1), which defeated Kane 49-21 in the title game.

    November 17, 2013 1 Photo

  • Isenberg, Cory CORY ISENBERG| Area fans treated to playoff dramas

    Some of the most exciting high school football playoff games over the weekend came courtesy of area squads.
    Shade’s hard-fought, dramatic victory over Northern Bedford in the District 5 Class A quarterfinal was a stunner, especially for the Black Panthers faithful, who were already planning for Saturday’s playoff game against Tussey Mountain.

    November 10, 2013 1 Photo

  • Isenberg, Cory. CORY ISENBERG | Fall sports coming to an end

    The autumn leaves are cascading to the ground and the fall high school sports are moving right along.
    Conference and district champions have already been crowned in golf, which heads to PIAA regional action this week.
    The West Region Class AA championships are set for Wednesday at Tom’s Run Golf Course at Chestnut Ridge Resort in Blairsville.

    October 13, 2013 1 Photo

  • Isenberg, Cory CORY ISENBERG| Ferndale going week by week

    Ferndale’s football game against Shade on Friday was halted at halftime when the Yellow Jacket ranks fell to just 11 available players.
    According to Athletic Director Steve Clawson, the decision of whether to play Saturday’s game against Meyersdale will be determined today.

    September 23, 2013 1 Photo

  • Isenberg, Cory CORY ISENBERG| Berlin's Fochtman rushes under the radar

    Berlin Brothersvalley sophomore Braden Fochtman is not an imposing figure when you see him standing on the sideline, but he certainly gets a team’s attention when he is on the field.
    Listed as 5-foot-8, 162 pounds on the Mountaineers preseason roster, the wiry No. 3 is following in the footsteps of some pretty impressive Berlin rushers, including Drew Glotfelty, Ian Sayler and Eric D’Carrion.

    September 8, 2013 1 Photo

  • CORY ISENBERG | How local Legion team lost spot in tournament

    The final spot in the American Legion Region 7 tournament will be on the line tonight in Bedford, even if it wasn’t supposed to be that way.

    July 14, 2013

  • Isenberg, Cory CORY ISENBERG | Rare double duty for Cernic’s Bizjak

    Hunter Bizjak has been doing double duty thus far this baseball season.

    June 30, 2013 1 Photo

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