Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Frank Rizzo

ZACH SERRANO OF Tri-Valley gets an uncontested rebound over Delaware Valley’s Dan Steele and Jeremiah Johnson in Friday’s game. At left, looking on, are Gary Buley (54) and Matt Kitson.

The Third Quarter Makes
All the Difference

By Frank Rizzo
GRAHAMSVILLE — December 19, 2000 – The faces of the Tri-Valley Bears did not reflect those of winners as they filed from the locker room Friday night.
They had just beaten visiting Delaware Valley 40-33 in a non-league boys’ basketball game, but coach Jason Semo confirmed that he had not been gentle with his charges in his postgame talk.
“That wasn’t us,” Semo said of the offensively-challenged contest which saw the Bears hold a slight 15-14 lead at the half. “What can you say that’s good about this game?”
Of course, the subpar performances could be put down to both teams being out of action for nearly two weeks.
T-V had not played since losing to Liberty in the finals of the T-V Tip-Off Tournament on December 2, and the Eagles faced a similar dearth of actual game experience.
“We haven’t been able to get even a scrimmage scheduled, but no excuses — we played very flat,” Semo commented. “That’s what happens when you have a (long) break.”
“Both teams were cold in the first half,” said DV coach John Hubert. “I can’t say we played great defense — they missed a lot of shots too.”
The third quarter was the difference, as Tri-Valley outscored the visitors 17-4 to pull away.
The stanza started off badly for DV when its starting center, Emanuel “E.T.” Toledo, picked up his third foul and was not a factor the rest of the way.
“One of our goals was to get ‘E.T.’ in foul trouble, and he picked up two in the first quarter,” Semo said.
The Bears started out the third stanza with 14 straight points, a streak broken when Bob Wayne drew a three-shot foul with 1:02 left. He made just one of the three but on his last miss backup center Dan Steele snared the board and put it back in for the first Eagle field goal of the quarter.
Down 32-18 at the start of the fourth, the visitors went on a 13-3 run to cut the lead to 35-31.
“We got a couple of breaks on the press, and it helped us come back,” said Hubert.
Bill Gorman scored a layup to give the Bears breathing space, but Reichmann fed Steele for two of his 10 points in the quarter to cut the edge back to four.
T-V guard Zach Serrano closed out the scoring at 1:35 with a three-pointer.
The Eagles then had no choice but to foul, and even in this they were only partially successful, as T-V executed a four-corner offense and managed to consume 31 seconds before drawing the first intentional foul.
Guard Josh Lowitz led the Bears with 12 points while center Durk Pearston added seven.
For the Eagles, Steele, up from the jayvee, made an impressive showing with 15 points to lead all scorers. Reichmann added seven.
“Hopefully, we can start putting the ball into the basket,” said Hubert. “They have to get confidence in themselves.”
Semo also hoped to put this game behind.
“Later we’ll have consistency in our (schedule) and we’ll be hitting on all cylinders,” he noted. “At least this game put us in game shape. It’s hard to get game speed in practices.”

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