SPORTSBRIEFING STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
Several area wrestlers make All-OVAC
Area standouts named to the All-Ohio Valley Athletic Conference wrestling team were Beaver Local’s Cole McComas, Beau Smith and Chad Mays; Crestview’s Landon Talbert; East Liverpool’s Howard Williams and Skylor Wooley; Oak Glen’s Peyton Hall, Southern Local’s Hunter Morris and Toronto’s Garrett Dozier.
Area hoop stars honored
Minerva senior Connor Wright was named the Division I-II boys basketball player of the year by the District #5 Basketball Coaches’ Association.
Wright and East Liverpool junior Gabe Roach are first-team honorees.
East Liverpool sophomore Tresean Jackson and Minerva junior Brice Williams were named to the second team.
East Liverpool’s Brennan O’Hara, Beaver Local’s Luke Chetock and Minerva’s Brock Croston received honorable mention.
Indian Valley’s James Herman was named coach of the year.
Beaver Local sophomore Jenna Riccardo and Minerva senior Lauren Frigyes claimed Division II first-team honors.
Regional finalist New Philadelphia captured top honors as Aaliyah Currence is the player of the year and Tracy Payne is the coach of the year.
Beaver Local’s Madison Cline, East Liverpool’s Emma Ludwig and Minerva’s Kayla Kinsey received honorable mention.
Lucas named Coach of the Year
ALLIANCE — University of Mount Union head track and field coach Kevin Lucas and assistant track and field coach Nate Heddleston have been named Great Lakes Region Indoor Track Coach and Assistant Coach of the Year by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Lucas in his eighth season as head coach guided the Purple Raiders to its sixth-consecutive Ohio Athletic Conference indoor title. They also won the Division III All-Ohio crown this season and finished the year as the region’s top-ranked team. The Raiders enter this week’s NCAA Championships ranked fourth in the nation with nine student-athletes on the men’s side qualified for the event.
Two of those student-athletes — Mason Plant and Connor Troyer — are hurdlers coached by fourth-year assistant coach Nate Heddleston, a Beaver Local High School and Mount Union graduate. Heddleston has guided Plant and Troyer back to the NCAA Championships for a second straight year as the No. 2 and No. 4 seeds respectively.
The Raiders are at the NCAA Division III Championships this weekend at CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama.
Pens move into first
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Conor Sheary scored two goals, Sidney Crosby had three assists and the Pittsburgh Penguins moved into first place in the Metropolitan Division with a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.
Phil Kessel, Jamie Oleksiak and Evgeni Malkin also scored for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions, who have won three straight. Pittsburgh (39-25-4, 82 points) moved one point ahead of idle Washington and three in front of third-place Philadelphia.
Travis Konecny and Jakub Voracek had goals for the Flyers, who lost their fourth in a row.
The teams combined for six goals in an electrifying second period.
Voracek netted his 15th of the season 2:07 into the period to tie it at 1. Nolan Patrick caused a turnover with strong backchecking, passed to Voracek and his shot from the side boards deflected off Pittsburgh’s Derick Brassard and past Tristan Jarry.
Konecny put Philadelphia ahead 3:54 later when he batted the puck over Jarry’s right pad.
But the Penguins scored three straight goals to take a 4-2 lead into the third.
Oleksiak tied it at 2 with 10:36 remaining with a slap shot that got through the screen of Crosby and Jake Guentzel and past Peter Mrazek.
Sheary gave the Penguins a 3-2 lead with his first of the night, finishing a 2-on-1 break with Crosby with 5:35 remaining in the period. Mrazek made a good pad save on Crosby’s initial shot. But the rebound went right to Sheary, who backhanded it in for his 13th of the season.
Sheary’s second goal from a sharp angle with 49.3 seconds left in the period put Pittsburgh ahead by two goals. Guentzel’s shot from the high slot deflected off Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning to a wide-open Sheary to the right of the net, and Mrazek couldn’t recover in time. Crosby got a secondary assist on the goal, his third of the night to give him 1,100 career points
Crosby continued to haunt the Flyers, upping his total to 91 points in 62 career games against Philadelphia.
Kessel, playing in his 900th NHL game, opened the scoring with 1:25 left in the first period on the power play on assists from Malkin and Crosby. Malkin set the goal up with a perfect pass across the crease, and Kessel converted the easy finish with a forehand shot for his 28th goal.
Malkin’s goal was an empty-netter with 1:41 remaining.
NOTES: Philadelphia Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks helped provided on-ice commentary during the first period. … Pittsburgh improved to 3-0 against the Flyers this season. The teams wrap up their regular-season series on March 25 in Pittsburgh. … Mrazek has allowed 19 goals while losing the last four games. … Philadelphia F Wayne Simmonds returned after missing seven games due to a lower-body injury. D Andrew MacDonald also was back on the ice after sitting out Sunday’s 4-1 loss at Florida due to an upper-body injury.
Penguins: At Toronto on Saturday night.
Flyers: At Boston on Thursday night.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.