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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

GOING UP FOR TWO: Roscoe’s Jill Spaulding prepares to take the ball back up for a shot as Manor’s Casey Green and Dorthel Seibles (right) defend in Sunday’s Class D title tilt. Watching the play are Roscoe’s Becky Evans (left) and Manor’s Bridget Ellison (24).

Blue Devils Blitz Wildcats

By Rob Potter
WEST POINT — March 7, 2000 -- Becky Ahart wanted only one birthday gift Sunday.
“Whenever anyone asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I told them I wanted a Section IX title,” said Ahart, who is the coach of the Roscoe Lady Blue Devils basketball team.
And her team went out and got that birthday present for her. The Lady Blue Devils blitzed Western Sullivan League rival Livingston Manor 47-22 in the Section IX—Class D championship game in Christl Arena at West Point Sunday afternoon.
Roscoe, which two weeks ago clinched its first WSL title since 1976, last claimed the Section IX crown in 1990. The Lady Blue Devils begin state tournament play against Section I champion Haldane at 8 p.m. tonight at Marist College in Poughkeepsie.
Domination on the offensive boards and a balanced scoring attack allowed Roscoe (21–1) to pull away from the three-time defending Class D champion Lady Wildcats (16–6).
Following a close first quarter where both teams missed several shots as they acclimated themselves with the Christl Arena court and its lighting, Roscoe took over in the second quarter.
A 13-4 run in the last six minutes of that second period allowed the Lady Blue Devils to turn their 6-5 advantage into a 23-12 lead going into the locker room. Keying the offensive outburst were Kelly Ahart and Danielle Austin, who scored 12 of the 17 Roscoe points in the quarter.
Roscoe continued to boost its lead in the third quarter. A jumper by Austin from the wing with 2:45 left in the period allowed the Lady Blue Devils to double up the Lady Wildcats’ total, 33-16.
“This is awesome, I feel like I’m flying,” said Roscoe center Becky Evans, who finished with eight points. “We were just so focused on this game. We wanted it and we came out and got it. Everybody played well today and we won as a team.”
“I’m just so happy,” added teammate Lexie Eggleton, who netted six points. “At the beginning of the season, we set two goals. We wanted to win the WSL championship and the sectional title. This is really fantastic.”
But the way the championship game unfolded was a surprise for Eggleton and her teammates.
“We weren’t expecting a 25-point win,” she noted. “Manor is a very good ball club.”
In their two regular season clashes, the Lady Blue Devils prevailed each time but the games were closer. Back on January 18 in Manor, Roscoe won a an extremely competitive game by a 42-38 margin. In the February 10 rematch on Roscoe’s smaller home court, the Lady Blue Devils pulled away late in the second half for a 59-40 win.
“Roscoe played a good game,” said Manor coach Gail Whaley. “Their ability to grab more rebounds today was definitely a key.”
Whaley praised her team for a good season and handling the coaching change that occurred for the 1999-2000 season. This was Whaley’s first year at the helm as she took over for Gary Green, who left the position because it was taking too much time away from his day job.
“We’ll really miss our seniors – Danielle Dutcher, Bridget McCann and Dorthel Seibles,” Whaley commented.
One highlight for Manor and Seibles came with 1:49 remaining in the game. That is when the senior calmly swished a free throw for her 1000th career point. The game was halted momentarily as the crowd of Roscoe and Manor supporters gave her a well-deserved standing ovation.
“I was looking forward to it,” Seibles said of reaching the milestone. “But it would have been a lot better with a win.”
Whaley noted reaching the 1000-point plateau was a “great honor” for Seibles.
“She’s a team player,” Whaley added. “I’m sure she would have traded getting the 1000th point in a loss for not getting the point but winning the game.”
Seibles finished the game with 10 points and a total of 1,001 in her outstanding career. Teammate Rachelle Irwin added six points.
The Roscoe scoring attack was led by Austin, who had a game-high 14 points. Kelly Ahart added eight points and Mary Kate Johnston netted six.
“There were definitely some rough years in between,” Becky Ahart said the span between the Lady Blue Devil sectional crowns. “But that makes you appreciate it even more now.”
Manor Beats Coleman
The third-seeded Lady Wildcats never trailed as they knocked off John A. Coleman 49-42 in a Section IX Class D semifinal Friday night at Mount St. Mary in Newburgh.
The Manor press resulted in 23 Coleman turnovers in the contest.
Coleman, the seventh seed, cut the Manor lead to only four points with a minute left in the game, but Dorthel Seibles scored four points in the remaining seconds to help the Lady Wildcats reach their fourth consecutive Class D title game.
Seibles finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Teammates Bridget Ellison and Rachelle Irwin added 11 and nine points respectively. Irwin also added eight steals.
Coleman, which finished its season with an 8-15 record, was led by Carrie Harder’s 13 points.

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