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Jeannette grad Cook, Coastal Carolina hitting tough times

| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Michael DePalma, a Jeannette High School graduate, is a redshirt freshman for the Edinboro University wrestling team. Submitted.

What started as a promising season has turned rocky for the Coastal Carolina University women's basketball team and local product Kayla Cook.

After winning six of their first eight games, the Chanticleers have dropped nine of their last 10, including four in a row.

Last Thursday, Coastal dropped a game to Radford, 68-50.

Cook, a Jeannette High School graduate, had one point, three defensive rebounds and a steal in the loss.

On Saturday, the team blew a 38-25 halftime lead to Longwood and ultimately fell 77-63.

Cook, a 5-foot-10-inch shooting guard, had five points, four rebounds and a team-high three steals in the loss.

Overall, Cook is sixth on the team with an eight points-per-game average.

She's also tied for fifth with 3.1 rebounds per game.

Coastal is now 7-11 overall and 2-6 in the NCAA Division I Big South Conference.

Despite the shaky play, the Chanticleers do have a chance to turn things around as they play four straight home games, beginning tonight with Winthrop (11-8, 5-2).

The game will be broadcast live at GoCCUSports.com.

DePalma wins again

Wrestler Michael DePalma, a Jeannette grad, improved to 19-9 this season with an 8-6 win over Aaron Fry in Edinboro's 35-6 manhandling of Lock Haven on Saturday.

The dual meet started at the 157-pound weight class, meaning that DePalma's win set the tone for the team's slaughter.

The redshirt freshman led 4-0 after one period, but Fry stormed back, tying the match 6-6 with 16 seconds left.

DePalma earned an escape with 10 seconds left and collected a riding time point to seal the victory.

In addition to his impressive performance on the mat, DePalma has also been impressive in the classroom, carrying a 3.15 grade point average last semester.

Division I Edinboro is 7-3; the team will visit Bloomsburg (11-2) Friday.

Spino shines

Jeannette grad Nick Spino, a fifth-year senior on the Seton Hill University track team, had an impressive performance on Saturday as the Griffins competed in the Marietta Open.

Spino tied for second in the 300-meter dash with a time of 37.77 seconds and was third in the 55-meter hurdles (7.89).

He also was a member of the first-place 4x400-meter relay team with teammates Anthony Phillips, Steve Carr and Algeron Johnson with a time of 3:28.91.

Bortak impresses

Jeannette area Joe Bortak native and the Juniata picked up where they left off last year, taking their first two matches of the season, beating Penn-State Altoona and Lancaster Bible in Division III action. The team hosts Elmira and Vassar this Saturday.

Bortak, a Penn-Trafford graduate and sophomore middle blocker, had a team-high 14 kills in the two matches.

Brian Knavish is a freelance writer.

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