By Frank Rizzo
ELDRED December 26, 2000 Eldred is with the big boys now. No more comforting familiarity of the old Western Sullivan League.
Were the smallest school in this division, said Eldred coach Charlie Donnelly, referring to Division IV of the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA). We have no misconceptions. We know what were in for. Lets face it, were in a whole other world.
The teams in Division IV are Fallsburg, Tri-Valley, Tuxedo, Jeff-Youngsville, Chester, S.S. Seward, and Eldred.
Eldreds first encounter in this new world took place Thursday night, when the Yellow Jackets hosted Fallsburg in the Division IV opener and came away with a 56-44 win, their first in the new league.
Exhibiting the pressure defense and opportunistic rebounding that have always characterized Donnellys teams, the hosts jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead. A pair of three-pointers by Eric Milisauskas and Ryan Jasper to end the opening stanza gave Eldred its biggest lead, 18-8.
In the second quarter, Fallsburg coach Paul Marsden put in his big lineup mainly, backup center Brooks Whittaker (starting center Charley Robinson missed the game because he had not been in school that day).
Whittaker began taking away Eldreds rebounding advantage and his seven points in the stanza all from close to the hoop enabled the Comets to cut the gap.
A three-pointer by Donald Frasier with 1:02 showing knotted the game at 22-22.
Joe Scullys free throw regained the lead for the Yellow Jackets, but Jesse Hinton gave the guests a 24-23 halftime lead when he sank a bucket from near the foul line with eight ticks showing.
Brooks really stepped up big, praised Marsden. He showed leadership and played his game.
Added Marsden apropos this second quarter comeback, We did a much better job on the man-to-man defense, helping out. We forced them to one shot.
Eldred took the initiative at the start of the third.
Jasper drained a trey to open the stanza, the first of the eight points he would net in the quarter.
With Whittaker on the bench, Eldred effectively fed Scully inside and took advantage of a size mismatch. Scully scored nine as he and Jasper accounted for all 17 points in a 17-9 Eldred advantage that put the hosts up 40-33 after three.
The Comets could not mount a comeback in the fourth.
(Eldred) did everything they had to do to beat us, Marsden commented. They went from zone to man [defense] and we did not play the man very well.
Marsden also thought his teams rebounding could use improvement.
We didnt box out very well, he noted. We were trying to jump with them rather than boxing out, which is not good.
Fallsburg has good jumpers, they have great athleticism, Donnelly acknowledged. [Thats why] I was pleased with our rebounding positioning. We rebounded well tonight.
Of the game itself Donnelly commented, Everybody contributed. We hung together well and it was a good team effort.
Jasper and Scully finished with 17 points each for Eldred (31, 10 Division IV), and Milisauskas added eight.
Whittaker paced Fallsburg (31, 01 Division IV) with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Darren Kenney (eight) and Donald Frasier (seven) also contributed.