Sponaugle and Misericordia wrap up regular Freedom season with a win

Times Leader | February 18th, 2017 8:36 pm

Griffin Sponaugle scored a game-high 23 points Saturday as the Misericordia University men’s basketball team ended the regular season with a 78-55 win over Manhattanville.

Jason Kenny added 12 points and James Hawk had 10 as the Cougars closed their MAC Freedom schedule on a four-game win streak to finish 18-7 overall and 9-5 in the MAC Freedom. They earned the third seed for this week’s conference tournament and will travel to Eastern on Wednesday. Top-seeded Delaware Valley will host DeSales in the other semifinal.

Sponaugle had five three-pointers and grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

Sponaugle and Kenny combined for 15 points over the final 5:14 of the first half as the Cougars closed on a 17-5 run to take a 47-27 halftime lead.

Manhattanville cut the lead to 63-51 with 7:08 remaining, but Sponaugle answered with two three-pointers over the next four minutes as the Cougars stretched the lead to 74-52 with 3:35 to play.

FDU-Florham 95,

King’s 87 (OT)

Jake Barber and Connor Callejas both scored 17 points, but the Monarchs closed their season with yet another excruciatingly close loss.

In a year plagued by narrow defeats, the loss was especially cruel as King’s was outscored 15-7 in overtime, but 12 of the Devils’ points came from the foul line as the Monarchs were called for six fouls in the five minutes of extra play.

With the loss, King’s finished its with a 5-20 overall record while standing 1-13 in Freedom Conference play. FDU, meanwhile, wrapped up its season at 8-17 and 5-9.

In the extra session King’s scored first on a Barber driving lay-up to take the lead and Tyler Millan added two free throws to put the Monarchs ahead 84-80 with 4:37 on the clock. But FDU outscored King’s 15-3 the rest of the way.

Dan Rutecki posted a double-double in the final game of his college career for King’s, scoring 15 points with 11 rebounds and a team-high four assists. Nate Oliver added 13 points off the bench for the Monarchs.

Eastern 93,

Wilkes 69

Freshman Mark Mullins scored 13 points, but the Colonels concluded their season with a defeat after narrowly missing the MAC Playoffs.

Freshman Rob Pecorelli scored 10 points in 19 minutes off the bench for Wilkes.

The Eagles were led by senior Shaquan Turk (15 points, six assists) and senior Austin Carroll (15 points, three assists).

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

FDU-Florham 74,

King’s 54

Senior Kayla Feairheller led King’s in her final game with a season-high 18 points, but the Monarchs fell to nationally-ranked FDU-Florham.

Alexis Steeber added 13 points and five rebounds for King’s, while Rebecca Prociak had 10 points and five rebounds. Olivia Hoffman had nine rebounds, five points, and three blocks.

The host Devils came into the game ranked 25th in this week’s WBCA Coaches’ Poll and receiving votes in the D3hoops.com poll.

The Lady Monarchs season comes to an end with a 5-19 overall record and a 3-11 mark in conference play while the Devils, who had already clinched the top seed in this week’s MAC Freedom Tournament, improved to 22-3 overall and 13-1 in conference play.

Manhattanville 61,

Misericordia 51

Rachel Carmody had 20 points, five rebounds and three blocks as the Cougars lost their regular season finale.

Shannon Croasdale had 12 points and seven rebounds for Misericordia, while Jaclyn Hajec had nine points and three assists off the bench.

The 18-7 Cougars, who finished 11-3 in the Freedom Conference, will host DeSales in the MAC Freeedom semifinals Wednesday. ​

Eastern 97,

Wilkes 51

Senior Missy Oertner finished with 12 points as the Colonels wrapped up their season with the defeat.

Senior Emelie Meinhart added eight points and five rebounds for Wilkes, while freshman Amber Grohowski contributed a career-high seven points and four rebounds off the bench.

The Lady Colonels finished their season 5-20 overall and 0-14 in MAC Freedom play.

The Eagles were led by Emily Lavin, who finished with a game-high 18 points and nine rebounds.

Lackawanna College 79,

Raritan Valley CC 43

Led by Alexandra Jackson’s 14 points and 5 steals, Lackawanna College tied with Harcum College in the Region XIX Division II standings. As a result, where Lackawanna and Harcum will be seeded in the upcoming Region XIX DII Tournament will be determined on Monday.

Former Meyers standout Quieterriua Gross also contributed a double digit scoring performance to the team’s winning efforts. Gross ended the game with 11 points. Jasimine Williams led the team in rebounds with 16.

The team selected as the second seed will receive a bye into next weekend’s final four, while the third place seed will play a quarterfinal game against Harcum — with the winner of that game advancing to the final four.

The Region’s semi-finals will be played at County College of Morris, Randolph, New Jersey next Saturday. The title game will be played next Sunday.

MEN’S TRACK & FIELD

A record-setting day for King’s

Nick Cionci and Ben Siegel set school records and Mikal Butler came within two-hundredths of a second from breaking another as the Monarchs finished seventh among Division III teams at the inaugural Artie O’Connor Invitational at the New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory in New York City.

Butler crossed the line in 7.56 seconds in the 60-meter dash, barely missing King’s mark of 7.54.

Nick Cionci broke his own school record in the 200 meter dash, finishing in 24.09.

Former Tunkhannock standout Ben Siegel set a school record in the 1-mile run, finishing in 4:42.96 and breaking the former mark of 4:52.05 set by Michael Havrilla last season.

Misericordia makes a dash

Jonathan Buck, Michael Harth, Sean Luzzi and Alex Fitch won the distance medley relay to lead the Cougars at the Susquehanna Invitational.

The group qualified for the ECAC championships with a 10:34.43.

Tobi Olugbenga finished third in the high jump and eighth at 200 while Greg Shultz was fourth in the pole vault.

Wesley Hill was sixth in the 60 meter hurdles.

Misericordia will compete at the MAC Championships next weekend at Lehigh.

WOMEN’S TRACK & FIELD

Strong showing for King’s

Jill Korgeski earned 10 points for the Monarchs with her fourth first-place finish of the year in the shot put and Tara Johnson and Lauren Sterner broke school records Friday at the inaugural Artie O’Connor Invitational.

The performances helped King’s finish 11th out of 19 scoring teams at the New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory in New York City.

Korgeski had her best throw of 13.01 meters (42’8.25”) on her final throw of the event.

Johnson, a former Pittston Area standout, ran the mile in 5:30.65 to best Marissa Durako’s former record of 5:39.62, set last season.

Lauren Sterner broke the school record in the 800 run with a MAC qualifying time of 2:36.17. She beat the previous record of 2:38.01 that Johnson had ran at the DuCharme Invitational last weekend. Alexandra Evangelista ran a season-best time of 2:36.45.

Margaret Bentkowski qualified for the MAC Championships with a time of 1:07.38 in the 400 meter dash, while her sister Kristine Bentkowski had a season-best time of 1:12.60.

Cougars’ Wagner a three-time winner

Reilly Wagner won three events in a standout performance for Misericordia University at the Susquehanna Invitational.

Wagner captured the high jump and 60 meter hurdles and joined Kate Fairchild, Melanie Fry and Kelty Fairchild to win the 1600 relay and qualify for the ECAC championships.

Wagner added a sixth-place finish in the long jump.

Jacquelyn Bamberski, Shelbi Jones, Jill Eberly and Lauren Hause finished third in the distance medley relay.

Kelty Fairchild was third at 400 dash, while Jones was fifth.

Lindsay Lord finished sixth in the 60 meter hurdles and Kelsey O’Donnell was seventh at 200 race. Meredith Hartz placed eighth at 3000.

BASEBALL

Misericordia drops two

Tyler Holzapfel had two hits in both games in his collegiate debut, but the Cougars opened their season with a doubleheader loss, 5-4 and 6-3, to Shenandoah.

Alec Iurato and Connor Smith drove in runs for the Cougars.

Biasia works against top-ranked team

A three-run seventh inning was not enough for Penn State, as No. 1 TCU held on to a 6-3 advantage to defeat the Nittany Lions in the 2017 baseball opener for both teams Friday night.

Six Penn State (0-1) pitchers combined to hold No. 1 TCU to just two hits and former Hazleton Area star Sal Biasi struck out seven, but Penn State dropped a 6-3 decision in its season opener.

The Nittany Lions issued six six walks, a wild pitch on a strikeout and a hit batsman, and allowed two unearned runs on an error and passed ball, respectively.

Biasi suffered the loss.

The righthander struck out the side in the third inning, but a wild pitch on a strikeout and two walks loaded the bases for TCU with one out, and a fielder’s choice scored one. After issuing another walk, Biasi was relieved by Dakota Forsyth, but a passed ball allowed another run to score for a 4-0 margin.

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