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Democrat Photo by Frank Rizzo

BASELINE MOVE: Brianna Tolli of Monticello dribbles past Cornwall center Nancy Randolph in Tuesday’s 51-50 win by Monticello.

Monties Moving Up,
Showing Marked Improvement

By Frank Rizzo
MONTICELLO — February 25, 2000 -- The past four seasons have not been kind to Monticello girls’ basketball coach Karen Atack, filled with lopsided losses, roster problems, and a permanent hold on last place in the division.
Quite a change for someone used to winning, and hating losing.
Before taking a five-year break from varsity coaching after the 1990-91 season, Atack’s teams had gone 76-12 over a four-year stretch. Led by future Penn State star Katina Mack, they won three Section IX—Class B titles along with two Orange County League (OCL) championships.
Tuesday night’s 51-50 win over visiting Cornwall closed out this year and left Monticello with an 11–6 record, 4–6 in the OCL National Conference Division I.
“That’s more wins than we’ve had the past three years combined,” Atack noted.
Against Class C and D schools in the non-league portion of their schedule, the Lady Panthers were 8–0.
“Those were the teams we lost to last year,” Atack said.
Tuesday’s victory also assured the Monties of fourth place in the six-league team; they finished ahead of Goshen and Cornwall.
“We’ve done it with hustle and defense,” Atack said. “For the girls we had, I’m proud of our record. We got as much as we could out of the team. I never saw anybody give up — and that means something to me.”
Tuesday’s game was close throughout, with the hosts leading 14-12 after one quarter and 26-23 at the break.
Cornwall put on a 9-0 run at the beginning of the third quarter to take its biggest lead, 32-26. The stanza ended with the Lady Green Dragons ahead 40-38.
Kim Fore’s steal and lay-up at 6:46 of the fourth tied the game, and seven lead changes ensued before Fore fought her way through the paint to score the winning bucket with 52 seconds left.
Both teams lost chances to score again, and seemed determined to give the game away before the final buzzer sounded to spark a spirited outpouring of emotion from the Monticello side.
“Monticello has improved a whole lot in my years coaching,” said Cornwall coach Tito Maisonet. “Tonight, we needed to do a better job of matching up against (Fore and point guard Brianna Tolli), to put pressure on them. We gave it our best shot tonight, but they were the better team.”
Fore led all scorers with 23 points, 11 in the fourth quarter. Tolli had eight while freshman center Brady Dollard contributed seven, all in the second half. Soph Kim Donohue finished with six. Fore also had 10 rebounds and seven steals while Latoya Snowden contributed 11 boards and six thefts.
Nancy Randolph led Cornwall with 16.
Atack noted some young and promising players on her roster, and looked forward to the years ahead.
“They can develop,” Atack said. “If they want to learn basketball, I’ll teach it.”

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