Loyalsock Boys Basketball winning state title was best story of the year | News, Sports, Jobs
This past year has been rich in remarkable sporting achievements. Over the past 12 months, many teams and individual players have done things that have stood out.
There was Hepburn Lycoming Little League winning the league’s first District 12 title since the 1970s and being one of the last four teams in Pennsylvania State.
Jersey Shore and Canton both reached the semifinals of PIAA Class AAAA and A, respectively, in football marking the first time in history that the region had two state finalists in the same year.
Taylor, Michigan, won the Little League World Series in a year that had only American teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And of course, there was Olivia Dorner, senior from South Williamsport, crushing the competition all season on her way to winning her second straight PIAA Class AA women’s tennis title, becoming the only player in District 4 history to win. a medal in the United States every four years and also the only player to ever win four consecutive District 4 titles.
And while each of these athletic achievements was impressive in itself and stood out among the hundreds of games and storylines that developed throughout 2021, there was one that surpassed them all.
On Saturday, March 27, Loyalsock Boys basketball coach Ron Insinger watched the final seconds time at the GIANT Center in Hershey as his Lancers beat District 9 champion Brookville in a rout, 75-53, for give Insinger and Loyalsock something they’ve been waiting for decades: a state championship.
Loyalsock winning the region’s first state basketball title, boys or girls, since 1999 has been voted Sun-Gazette Story of the Year for 2021 by athletic staff.
Standing on that pitch this Saturday afternoon, the Loyalsock players stood side-by-side for a group photo with the PIAA Class AAA Championship trophy front and center. It was a time when players worked for their entire careers.
“It’s an incredible feeling. It’s so surreal, “ point guard Idris Ali said after last year’s national final. “Every time we step on this court we become a family, and it is the best feeling to walk on this court with this family and achieve victory.”
For Insinger, it was a moment he had hoped to achieve for decades. The victory capped a remarkable 53-2 record over the past two seasons, and it made the state title even sweeter for Loyalsock given in 2020, the Lancers’ season ended prematurely in the quarterfinals of the state after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended winter sports.
“It’s a coach’s dream to have this. This does not happen every year ”, Insinger said. “Sometimes you have to build the team around one or two children. This year we had a whole nucleus to build around.
You could see what winning the state title meant for Insinger as he was whisked off the field by his players. Raising a finger and sporting a beaming smile from ear to ear, Insinger has finally made it to the top of the mountain in a career filled with accolades most coaches only dream of. Last year was Insinger’s 46th season and he coached the Lancers to an astounding 1,065 wins, 24 District 4 championships and an astonishing 38 seasons of 20 wins entering the State Championship.
Insinger has overseen many amazing teams, including one team in 1993 that reached the Class A final, and four teams reached the Final Four.
All that was missing from his resume was a state title, and he checked it off on March 27.
While the Lancers won by 22 points, the game did not start in favor of Loyalsock. The Lancers found themselves in an 8-3 hole early on, but from there Loyalsock regained his composure and played his game, quickly starting a 16-0 streak and never let Brookville s ‘Approaching more than eight points the rest of the game.
The state title for Loyalsock was also the first time a public school had won the Class AAA title in 10 years.
SUN-GAZETTE STORIES OF THE YEAR 2021
# 2 – South Williamsport’s Olivia Dorner ends her career as a two-time state women’s tennis champion and becomes the first player to win four straight singles titles in District 4.
# 3 – Taylor, Michigan wins the 2021 World Little League Series by beating Hamilton, Ohio. The series is an area reserved for the United States due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the first tournament reserved for the United States since 1975.
# 4 – Hepburn Lycoming Little League won the league’s first District 12 title since 1977 and the first-ever Section 3 title as the league finished fourth in the Pennsylvania State tournament.
No. 5 – Williamsport’s Tre Taylor wins gold in the 110 hurdles and long jump, and Loyalsock’s Idris Ali wins a state title in the triple jump after competing for the first time in early May.
# 6 – The Hughesville Men’s Cross Country Team wins the first PIAA Class A Championship in program history as Morgan Gavitt finishes seventh and Hunter Foust 17th.
# 7 – Jersey Shore and Canton football both reach the state high school football semifinals in grades AAAA and A, respectively. This is the first time that two regional teams have reached the state semi-finals in the same year.
# 8 – Montgomery wins his second Class A District 4 softball title – the first since 2010 – on his way to the PIAA Class A quarterfinals for just the second time in program history.
No.9 – Williamsport’s Cael Nasdeo (106 pounds) and Riley Bower (145) both won medals at the PIAA Class AAA Championships, the first time two wrestlers from Williamsport have won a medal in the same state tournament since 1995.
# 10 – Montoursville’s Cael Crebs wins the 189-pound state title for the Warriors in the PIAA Class AA Championships to help Montoursville finish second on the team.
PAST STORIES OF THE YEAR
2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting sport, from youth to national level, including the cancellation of spring sports for high school athletes.
2019 – Montoursville native Mike Mussia is inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
2018 – St. John Neumann graduate Alize Johnson and Loyalsock graduate Kyle Datres are both drafted for the NBA and MLB respectively.
2017 – The first MLB Little League classic is played at Bowman Field between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
2016 – Former Lycoming coach Frank Girardi is inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
2015 – The Lewisburg boys’ football team win the PIAA Class AA Championship, the first title in 15 years with a 25-0 record.
2014 – Greatest LLWS of all time: Mo’ne Davis, Jackie Robinson West, Dave Belisle and record audiences.
2013 – Williamsport Outlaws retreat in the middle of first outdoor hockey season; cancel six weeks of games.
2012 – The Ugandans are the first African team to originate in the Little League World Series.
2011 – Penn State fires Joe Paterno over Jerry Sandusky’s child abuse charges.
2010 – Girls from Jersey Shore and Montgomery Compete for PIAA Softball Championships; both finished second.
2009 – The Loyalsock Girls win a PIAA Class A Football Championship.
2008 – Loyalsock wins the PIAA baseball and softball titles on the same day.
2007 – Frank Girardi retires after 36 seasons as Lycoming football coach.
2006 – The South Williamsport girls win the PIAA Class AA Women’s Football Championship.
2005 – No.14 seed Bucknell surprises Kansas No.3 seed in the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament.
2004 – A bad year in football when only one local team – Montoursville – finished with a record of victories.
2003 – Lycoming wide receiver Ricky Lannetti dies of MRSA the day before an NCAA playoff game
2002 – Aaron Alvey of Louisville and Walker Kelly of Fort Worth combined 40 strikeouts as each pitch a maximum of nine innings in a semi-final game in the United States. Louisville wins, 2-0, in 11 innings en route to claim the LLWS title.
2001 – Driver Blaise Alexander of Montoursville is killed in an ARCA series crash.
2000 – Mike Mussina of Montoursville leaves the Baltimore Orioles as a free agent after 10 seasons to sign with the New York Yankees.