The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Cory Isenberg

December 16, 2012

CORY ISENBERG| Season coming into focus early

JOHNSTOWN — It’s still only the second week of the high school hoops season and already some patterns are beginning to emerge and two players have topped the 1,000-point plateau.

With a strong starting rotation returning, the defending District 5 Class A champion Shade boys have their eyes set high again this season and are currently 6-0. The Panthers emerged with the tournament title from the 35th annual Mountain Cat Tournament at Pitt-Johnstown over the weekend, downing a talented Northern Bedford squad in the title game to win the championship.

It was Shade’s second appearance in the UPJ title game and first victory. The Panthers, who also came away with the crown at the Chestnut Ridge tip-off tournament, tangled with Hollidaysburg in 2008, losing 58-57 to the Golden Tigers.

Shade’s Ryan Fyock, who scored 30 points to lead the Panthers against Northern Bedford, was selected tournament MVP, and teammate Wade Walker (16 points) was selected to the All-Tournament Team.

With just a few games in the books and section play not yet started, four boys squads in the Laurel Highlands are still unbeaten in the league, including Bishop McCort, the defending District 6-AA champion, and Greater Johnstown (2-2), the Class AAA four-time defending titlists, in Section 2, along with Penn Cambria (3-0) and Bishop Guilfoyle (2-0) in Section 2.

The Crimson Crushers head to Hollidaysburg’s Golden Tiger tournament facing the hosts in opening-round action on Wednesday. The other boys teams at the tournament include Erie McDowell and Brooklyn (N.Y.) Transit Tech.

In the girls section of the Laurel Highlands Conference, play has already been interesting with the ladies from Bishop Guilfoyle targeting themselves as the top team to beat, just as the coaches predicted.

The Forest Hills girls, who are also headed to the Golden Tiger Tournament and will face Erie McDowell on Thursday, had their hands full last Friday as Richland handed the Rangers their first loss.

And speaking of the Rams, they are 4-0 overall under new head coach Mike Urban and are 2-0 in Section 2, where Bishop McCort is also undefeated in the league. In Section 1, the Marauders (3-1) and Cambria Heights (1-2) are unbeaten.

Richland’s Katie Gehlmann topped 1,000 points on Wednesday against Penn Cambria and became the first area player this season to achieve the milestone.

A night later, Natalie Sokira of Cambria County Christian followed Gehlmann to the 1,000-point mark.

Teams will play their final week before the Christmas break and many squads will then head to holiday tournaments the following week.

Cory Isenberg is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat.


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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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    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.

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  • 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.

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    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.

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    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.

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  • 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.

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    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.

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  • 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.

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    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.

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Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
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