Eagles Trip J-Y
Democrat Photo by Frank Rizzo
BIG OBSTACLE: Delaware Valley point guard Billy Reichmann, left, tries to get around Jeff-Youngsvilles 6-foot-7 back-up center, Mike Ahnstrom, in Wednesdays 56-54 win by the visiting Eagles.
By Frank Rizzo
JEFFERSONVILLE February 18, 2000 -- This is the crucial, and cruel time of the season, when teams struggling to make the playoffs can knock off teams vying for the league title.
On Wednesday evening, visiting Delaware Valley upended Jeffersonville-Youngsville 56-54, thus derailing the Trojans shot at a Western Sullivan League (WSL) title.
Cody Bojo made two free throws with 5.4 seconds left to lift the Eagles (56 WSL, after a 15 start) over the Trojans (93 WSL and losers of two straight).
The loss, coupled with Tri-Valleys 66-46 win over Livingston Manor that night, dropped the Trojans out of a first place tie with the Bears (102 WSL).
The game was closely contested in the first half, with six ties and 11 lead changes.
A desperation heave by Terrance Fink at the buzzer banked through the hoop, giving the Eagles a 25-22 halftime lead.
The visitors asserted themselves in the second half, leading by eight points on several occasions, a lead that loomed large as the Trojans shooting was off.
A pair of free throws by Bill Reichmann with 1:45 left put DV ahead 54-46, its last big advantage.
Twenty-five seconds later Chris Rodriguez stole the ball and made a lay-up to cut the lead.
With 53 seconds left Scott Ruppert made the first of two clutch 3-pointers from the corner, his second tying the game with 29 seconds showing.
DV set up for the last shot, under intense Trojan pressure. Fink made an inaccurate cross-court pass to Bojo, and in the scramble for the ball Ruppert fouled the Eagle center, his fifth. Bojo then proceeded to clinch the game.
At the J-Y end Rodriguez took the ball to the hoop, and his shot was trapped against the backboard by back-up center Emmanuel (E.T.) Toledo. Rodriguez then grabbed the ball but his putback attempt missed and the buzzer sounded.
I saw him coming and I thought, Oh no, Toledo said. I think that was the most careful jump I ever took.
I always get hassled for not making free throws, a happy Bojo said afterward. I was like, two-for-nine against Eldred and the same against Manor. I had to redeem myself.
Its always extra special beating Jeff, he added. We havent had much success this year.
Toledo also helped the Eagle cause by making all four foul attempts in the final stanza.
This is the most success Ive had (at the line), Toledo said. Yesterday in practice I must have been three-for-fifty.
Its a good feeling, a four-and-six team beating a nine-and-two team, Toledo added.
E.T. (Toledo) stepped up and played a big game after we had Bojo where we wanted him on the bench with foul trouble, praised J-Y coach Rick Ellison.
Fink led DV with 18, followed by Bojo (13), and Toledo (12, eight in the final quarter).
Ruppert and center Alex Van Loon paced the Trojans with 15 each.
According to Ellison, Were just playing not to lose. Weve very tentative, making bad decisions with the ball. Look at all the easy shots we missed in the first half. I told my kids that we didnt lose this game in the last four minutes.
This loss hurt more than the one at Eldred Friday night, Ellison noted at least that was on the road, and Tri-Valley also lost that night, keeping the Trojans tied for first.
I told my kids to be thankful that theres still more ball to play, Ellison said. This game doesnt end our season, but maybe our chances for a WSL title. Well have to refocus our energy.