Here’s everything you missed this past week in high school sports around Centre County:
State College cruises to district title
The Lady Little Lions left no doubt last Tuesday with a 20-6 win over Delaware Valley in the District 2/6 championship to punch their ticket to the state tournament.
State College will take on the fourth seed out of District 1, Downingtown West (17-5), at 5:30 p.m. this Tuesday in the first round of the PIAA Class 3A state tournament at Penn State’s Panzer Stadium.
Sally Stahl led the offensive attack for State College in the district title game with six goals and three assists while setting a season high with five caused turnovers and four ground balls. Elaina Ohlson added four goals and a pair of assists, while Emily Hall and Ariana Angus also turned in hat tricks with three goals apiece.
Other contributors on the stat sheet included Alison Houtz (2 goals), Alyssa Dunlap (1 goal), Phebe Herlocher (1 goal, 1 assist), Sydney Washell (2 assists), Kayla Bennett (1 assist) and Madde Tambroni (1 assist).
In goal, Grace Jones had one save.
Little Lions fall in district championship, remain alive in states
State College made a strong run at the District 3 Class 3A championship but came up a little short in the finals.
After knocking off Warwick in the quarterfinals and Northeastern in the semifinals, the Little Lions fell to a “dynamic” Central York squad in the championship match Friday 29-27, 25-22, 24-26, 25-15
“The guys stayed focused and aggressive for most the night. Both Tanner (Kuruzovich) and Jeremy (Bullock) had exceptional production,” State College coach Kim-Li Kimel said. “We are extremely proud of the guys, our team had more to overcome than any other team in this tournament and to be in the championship match is a testament to their determination.”
Kuruzovich led the team with 14 kills, and Bullock had 11. Ryan Kustaborder dished out 41 assists.
Digs leaders were Quinn Williams with five and Ben Krantweiss with four.
The loss did not end the team’s season, however. The Little Lions qualified for the state playoffs and will play a first-round match 7 p.m. Tuesday at Bald Eagle Area against District 1 runner-up North Penn.
“We will need to sharpen both our blocking and defensive game to advance in the state tournament,” Kimel said.
To get to Friday’s district championship match, State College first had to beat four-time defending state champ Northeastern. The Little Lions dropped the first game 27-25 before sweeping the next three for the win 26-24, 25-20, 25-16.
“Tanner and Tom led our offense while Ben Kranweiss and Jon Bristol had season-high defensive touches and passing,” Kimel said. “These seniors will be talking about this performance for many years to come.”
Kuruzovich had a team-high 14 kills and tied for the team-lead in blocks with four. Tom Leahey had four blocks as well to go along with 11 kills and two aces.
Kustaborder had 39 assists and four digs. Krantweiss led the squad in digs with six.
Against Warwick on Monday, the Little Lions needed all five games in the win: 25-22, 24-26, 25-23, 17-25, 15-10.
“This was a tremendous match for us from top to bottom. Warwick was the higher seed but our guys played consistently aggressive offense with just a few slides in points,” Kimel said. “Jeremy Bullock and Tanner Kuruzovich had a particularly good match. Ryan Kustaborder handled some very challenging passes and fed our offense consistently.”
Kuruzovich had team-highs in kills with 15 and blocks with four. Bullock added 11 kills, and Kustaborder had 48 assists. Williams’ 10 digs led the team.
Little Lions’ doubles fall at PIAAs
The State College doubles team of Owen Lloyd and Drew Cagle lost to Lower Merion’s Vikas Miller and Justin Minerva in the PIAA Class 3A doubles tennis championship preliminary round Friday.
The District 1 champions defeated Lloyd and Cagle 6-4, 7-6 (4).
“They played a great match, but just came up short,” State College tennis coach Jane Borden said.
Bellefonte moving on to states
Bellefonte defeated Somerset 1-0 Wednesday at Altoona’s Peoples Natural Gas Field to win the District 5/6 Class 4A championship.
Ashton Wetzler pitched a five-hit shutout and struck out 13 for the team’s third gold medal in four years.
Bobby Marsh knocked in Nick Capparelle with an infield single in the third for the game’s only run.
The win qualifies the Red Raiders for the state playoffs, where they’ll play the District 7 runner-up on June 3.
P-O advances to district title game
Philipsburg-Osceola will play Mount Union at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Peoples Natural Gas Field in Altoona for the District 6 Class 3A championship.
The Mounties secured their spot in the title game with a 6-1 win over Forest Hills in the semifinals Friday. Ryan Whitehead gave up a leadoff home run but shut down the Rangers from there, giving up just two more hits and striking out 13.
P-O tied the game with a run in the fourth then took the lead in the fifth on a Keegan Soltis home run. Trey Shaw singled home two as part of four-run sixth that sealed the win.
Soltis and Shaw had big games as well in the team’s 15-7 quarterfinal victory over Richland on Monday. Soltis went 3-for-4 with four RBIs, and Shaw knocked in a pair.
Jeremy Whitehead added three hits and two RBIs.
SJCA surprises, advances to district championship
Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy entered the District 6 Class A playoffs as the sixth and final seed, but the Wolves managed to spring two straight upsets and will play for the district championship.
After wins over the second and third seeds, SJCA plays top-seeded Bishop McCort for the gold medal 4 p.m. Tuesday at Peoples Natural Gas Field in Altoona.
Zane Thornburg helped the Wolves secure their spot in the finals with a two-run double that gave his team the lead against second-seeded Blacklick Valley in Thursday’s semifinals. Jack Mangene followed with a two-run double of his own later in the inning, and Ben McAfee struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh in the 8-5 victory.
SJCA started its playoff run with an 11-4 win over third-seed Saltsburg Monday in the quarterfinals.
Cam Burris shut out Saltsburg for six innings, giving up just two hits and striking out 14. He also had two hits and two RBIs. McAfee was 2-for-2 while Mangene and Matt Steyers each scored three runs.
Little Lions win district title
State College won its third straight District 6 Class 6A championship with a 7-3 win over Altoona on Wednesday at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
Tyson Cooper and David Shoemaker each had two hits. Cooper drove home two, and Shoemaker knocked in one. Jack Hurley had two hits and an RBI as well.
Cooper was also on the receiving end of right fielder Jake Hillard’s throw to the plate that got Altoona’s Adam Sinisi in the bottom of the fifth that maintained a 5-3 lead. The Little Lions extended the lead to four with a pair of runs in the sixth.
Shoemaker gave up three earned runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings to get the win.
State College plays McDowell at 4 p.m. Thursday at Bald Eagle Area in a subregional game for a berth in the state playoffs.
BEA downs P-O to advance to district title game
Bald Eagle Area knocked off defending state champion Philipsburg-Osceola in the District 6 Class 3A semifinals Thursday 8-4 to clinch a spot in the state playoffs.
Trailing 3-2, the Lady Eagles rallied for six runs in the bottom of the sixth and held off P-O in the seventh for the win.
Makenna Baney started the decisive frame with a single. After Mara Hockenberry doubled to put runners on second and third, Maralee Caldana was intentionally walked to load the bases. Madison Peters drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the tying run then Maegan King gave BEA the lead with a two-run double.
The Lady Eagles added runs with a successful squeeze bunt and a sac fly. King and Caldana hit solo home runs earlier in the game for BEA’s first two runs.
P-O briefly took the lead in top half of the sixth with three runs. Jordan McDonald drove home London Cutler and Kendra Carns. Kam Harris’ sac fly scored McDonald with what was the go-ahead run at the time.
The Lady Eagles play top-seeded Chestnut Ridge for district gold 5 p.m. Wednesday at Saint Francis University.
Bellefonte in district title game
Bellefonte plays Tyrone in the District 6 Class 4A championship at 5 p.m. Thursday at Saint Francis University following a 7-0 win over Johnstown in the semifinals.
The Lady Red Raiders scored five runs in the third, and Lexi Rogers took it from there, striking out 10 and giving up just three hits and one walk in the shutout victory.
State College falls in heartbreaker
State College came up just short of winning the District 6 Class 6A championship last Wednesday, falling to Mifflin County 6-5 in eight innings.
Mifflin County came up with a walk-off hit for the second straight year to knock off the Lady Little Lions. Alyssa Souders hit a ground ball through the middle of a drawn-up infield that brought home Jade Morningstar with the winning run.
Boys’ track and field
State College wins state title; 3 locals win gold
State College won the Class 3A state title and three Centre County athletes won gold medals Friday and Saturday in Shippensburg.
State College’s Lance Hamilton won gold in the triple jump with a leap of 49-6, and teammate Luke Knipe was the top pole vaulter clearing 16-0 in Class 3A. In Class 2A, Penns Valley’s Colton Sands outpaced the field in the 3,200 for gold as well.
Overall, the Little Lions won the state title with 47 team points. Coatesville finished second with 40 and Central Dauphin East was third with 36.
Among the other medalists for State College were Conrad Moore (3rd, high jump), Lokey Howell (4th, 110 hurdles), Knipe (6th, long jump), Hamilton (2nd, long jump), the State College relay team (8th; 3,200 relay), Zachary DeCarmine (8th, 300 hurdles) and David Wasson (6th, pole vault).
Girls’ track and field
SJCA places in top 10; 2 other teams medal
Izzy Warren won three medals at the state track and field championships in Shippensburg on Friday and Saturday to help Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy finish seventh in the team standings.
After a sixth-place finish in the long jump Friday, Warren came in fifth in the triple jump and seventh in the 100 hurdles Saturday. She set school records in the triple jump with a distance of 37-2 and the long jump with a 17-1.75.
The 3,200 relay team of Julia Cusatis, Sera Mazza, Myah Chappell and Kathleen Simander won silver with a school-record time of 9:32.12 for the team’s highest finish. The 1,600 relay team set a school record as well with a 4:07.08, which was good enough for eighth place.
Clare Marsh finished third in the 300 hurdles in 45.50 for another school record.
State College brought home two medals. Kileigh Kane finished fourth in the 1,600, and Lyndsey Reed was fourth in the pole vault. Penns Valley’s Bella Culver medaled as well, finishing fifth in the 400.