Democrat Photo by Rob Potter
IN THE LANE: Jeffersonville-Youngsvilles Stephanie Johnson drives to the hoop while being defended by Roscoes Jill Spaulding. Two seconds earlier, however, Roscoes Becky Evans (lying on the court), J-Ys Kristen Erlwein (12) and J-Ys Erin Bose were all attempting to grab the loose ball. Watching the play unfold are Roscoes Danielle Austin, J-Ys Tiffany Hauser (32) and J-Ys Beth Fanning (33).
Roscoe Captures Final WSL Crown
By Rob Potter
ROSCOE February 25, 2000 -- A perfect 14-0.
Thats how the Roscoe Lady Blue Devils stand after completing the 1999-2000 Western Sullivan League basketball season.
The Lady Blue Devils officially clinched the last-ever WSL crown on Feb. 15 with an 81-29 drubbing of Narrowsburg. But a 57-39 win over the visiting Jeffersonville-Youngsville Lady Trojans Monday night ensured that Roscoe would be undefeated league champions.
(The only blemish on the Lady Blue Devils overall record is a 44-43 loss to Section IVs Roxbury in a December tournament.)
This is extra special because it is the last WSL title, the team was undefeated in the league and we won (the final league game) here at home, Roscoe coach Becky Ahart said. It feels really good.
In the first quarter of the game, however, Ahart and her squad were in a real battle with the Lady Trojans. Both teams employed a stifling press defense that made good ballhandling and passing essential for the offenses.
Roscoe was able to build a small lead by taking advantage of Lady Trojan turnovers and hitting the boards on both ends of the floor.
A long jump shot by J-Ys Tiffany Hauser at the buzzer cut the Lady Blue Devil advantage to only 16-11 at the end of the opening quarter.
Both teams went ice cold in the second quarter, missing shots of varying range and difficulty. Roscoe managed only nine points in the period and J-Y netted only five.
Early in third quarter, however, the Lady Blue Devils offense heated up and took control of the game.
Forward Lexie Eggleton keyed a 14-1 run for Roscoe in the first six minutes of the quarter. She successfully converted a conventional three-point play, a putback of an offensive rebound, a short jumper and a 3-point shot from the top of the key in the span. Teammate Becky Evans added a pair of buckets during those pivotal six minutes, which turned a 25-16 halftime advantage into a 39-17 cushion.
Eggleton finished with a game-high 18 points. Evans had nine points and 11 rebounds on the evening. Jill Spaulding had eight points and six rebounds and Danielle Austin added 12 points and six rebounds. Point guard Mary Kate Johnston dished out a dozen assists.
Lexie had quite a game, Ahart observed. Actually all of the girls had quite a game. They set some goals at the beginning of the season and theyve completed the first one.
While Ahart didnt specify the next goal the Lady Blue Devils want to achieve, it is a safe bet that the team wants to add a Section IX Class D championship to its trophy case.
Another key to victory for Roscoe was their defense. They held J-Ys leading scorer, senior forward Beth Fanning, to only four points, which is about a quarter of her scoring average.
We used a 2-1-2 defense on her and made sure someone was on her when she got into the lane, said Ahart. We tried to double team her whenever she got the ball.
Shelisa Duquette lead the Lady Trojan offense with nine points, while Kristen Erlwein and Hauser each added six points.
J-Y coach Ron Bernhardt was obviously disappointed, but admitted it was their year and their night.
They were the much better team tonight, he said of the Lady Blue Devils. Nobody could step up and take the torch for us offensively. They were far superior to us tonight. Thats why theyre the league champions. They put a whupping on us.
Still Bernhardt was quick to point out that his team will come back and learn from its mistakes. And he noted that the Lady Trojans have lost only six games all season, four of which came at the hands of Roscoe and Livingston Manor squads that have a combined 32-6 record on the season.
Hopefully, well get another shot at them in sectionals, Bernhardt said of Roscoe.
So what will it take for J-Y or some other foe to knock off the Lady Blue Devils in the sectional tournament?
A team will have to play a very good game, Bernhardt replied. And playing the game on a neutral floor will help.