Democrat Photo by Rob Potter
NOT THIS TIME: Roscoes Lexie Eggleton knocks the ball away from Haldanes Emily Perpich as she goes up for a shot in Tuesdays game. Also defending on the play are Roscoes Danielle Austin and Becky Evans (far left).
Blue Devils Done In
By State Power Haldane
By Rob Potter
POUGHKEEPSIE March 10, 2000 -- Only one aspect of Tuesday evenings Class D state girls basketball quarterfinal contest at Marist College was certain prior to tip-off a team named the Lady Blue Devils would prevail.
Unfortunately for coach Becky Ahart and her Section IX champion Roscoe Lady Blue Devils, it was the Section I champion Haldane Lady Blue Devils who won the game and took one step closer to a state championship.
Roscoe (212) saw its fantastic season conclude as Haldane (193) cruised to a 58-32 win.
Aharts squad had no answer for Haldane point guard Aaron Nastasi, who scored a game-high 30 points. Half of Nastasis total came from five 3-point shots.
At times, it seemed like just about every shot Nastasi and her teammates attempted found its way through the net. Roscoe, meanwhile, had a poor shooting night.
Though the Haldane defense was good, Roscoe still had plenty of open looks at the basket, but the shots werent falling.
In the opening quarter, however, Roscoe stayed right with its Section I namesake.
A basket by Danielle Austin with 4:15 remaining in the quarter gave Roscoe an 8-4 lead. Two foul shots by Haldanes inside scoring threat, center Emily Perpich, cut the lead to 8-6 with 3:11 left in the period.
With 1:55 left, Nastasi buried the first of her three-point shots. That gave Haldane a 9-8 lead, an advantage that she and her teammates never lost.
Haldane began the second period with a 8-0 run to take a 19-10 lead. Roscoes Becky Evans made one of two foul shots with 4:40 left in the quarter, which ended a string of 10 missed shots by Roscoe.
In the second half, Section IXs Lady Blue Devils could get no closer than eight points. A lay-up by Mary Kate Johnston at the 6:48 mark cut the Haldane advantage to 31-23. Haldane outscored Roscoe by a 10-2 margin in the rest of the quarter to take a commanding 41-25 lead into the final quarter.
Theyre a very good team that is well-coached and has a lot of confidence, Ahart said of Haldane. Theyve had that point guard (Nastasi) for six years and shes a great player. She just started hitting those three-pointers outside and that was trouble for us.
Roscoe focused much of its defensive attention on Perpich, who entered the game averaging 16 points. The Roscoe defense limited her to only a dozen points.
When they clamped down on Emily she made them pay, said Haldane coach Ken Thomas, whose team captured the 1998 Class D state title. Doubling her left Aaron (Nastasi) and (her sister) Ryan (Nastasi) open outside, Emily passed the ball to them and they hit some big threes. We played here twice in the regular season, but didnt shoot well at all. Tonight, we were able to hit our shots.
In addition to Aaron Nastasis five 3-point bombs, Ryan Nastasi nailed a pair of shots beyond the arc. Fellow guard Denise Hunt also netted a 3-pointer in the game.
Ironically, Haldane defeated Roscoe in state tournament play back in 1990. Thomas, who noted that his niece, Jennifer Thomas, was a member of the Roscoe Section IX Championship team a decade ago, was impressed with the current Roscoe squad.
Becky always does a great job, Thomas praised. Her kids always play hard and she has a nice group of kids.
In addition to Aaron Nastasi and Perpich, Ryan Nastasi also reached double figures for Haldane. She finished with 11 points.
Roscoes offense was paced by Austin, who netted 15 points, and Evans, who scored nine. Kelly Ahart, Lexie Eggleton, Mary Kate Johnston and Jill Spaulding each scored two points for the Lady Blue Devils.
The contest marked the final game for seniors Eggleton, Evans, Johnston and Spaulding.
But as Becky Ahart noted, both the graduating players and those coming back had a great 1999-2000 season.
Im proud of my young ladies, the veteran coach said. We captured the last ever Western Sullivan League title and thats something no one can ever take away from us. And we ended Manors league winning streak and their string of sectional titles. We have a lot to be proud of.
She then looked around at the scores of Roscoe parents and friends consoling her players.
Id like to thank all these fans for their support tonight and all year, Ahart commented. Theyve really done a lot for the girls.