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Laurel Spartans

The Laurel High boys basketball team found a way to overcome a slow start Saturday.

The Spartans dug an early eight-point hole before rallying for a 51-43 win over West Middlesex in the Showdown at Sharon.

Laurel (8-1) fell behind 10-0 to open the game.

“I don’t think it was our best performance, especially early on,” Laurel coach Ken Locke said. “These guys are resilient; we did it on defense.

“Once we got one shot to go down, it helped us get going. I don’t think there was any panicking. We’ve been in that spot before.”

Laurel trailed 12-4 after one quarter. The Spartans erased that deficit and forged a 22-18 buffer at the half. Laurel led 34-26 going to the final eight minutes.

Laban Barker netted 18 points for the Spartans and Eli Sickafuse was next with 14 markers and 11 rebounds.

“Eli has been a force inside for us,” Locke said. “He was getting second-chance opportunities and finishing. Laban is steady as well. I don’t think we are one dimensional. Our guys are doing a really good job of playing together as a team. We’re playing unselfish basketball and playing as one.”

Neshannock 55,

Sharon 37

The Lancers took control in the second half en route to a win over the host Tigers in the Showdown at Sharon.

Neshannock (8-3) led 10-6 after one quarter and 27-16 at the half. The Lancers put the game away in the third, stretching the lead to 49-26 going to the final frame.

Jack Glies netted a team-high 13 points for Neshannock and Mike Sopko chipped in with 12. Kurt Sommerfeld added 10 tallies for the victors. Sopko notched eight boards and five steals, while Glies added five steals.

The Lancers were coming off a 56-34 home loss to WPIAL Section 1-3A rival Ellwood City Lincoln on Friday night.

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Sports Editor

Ron Poniewasz Jr. is the sports editor at the New Castle News. Email him at

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