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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

S.S. SEWARD'S RICK Gillespie (25) shoots over Sullivan West/Jeff-Youngsville’s Mike Ahnstrom (33) in Tuesday’s game. Seward’s Joe Oszmanski (21) and SW/J-Y’s Matt Parks (21) look on, along with Kevin Erlwein, far right.

Seward Big Second
Half Leads to Rout

ByRob Potter
JEFFERSONVILLE — February 16, 2001 – The first half of Tuesday night’s Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV boys’ basketball game between the two teams with the best division records, Sullivan West/Jeffersonville-Youngsville and S.S. Seward, lived up to its billing.
Although S.S. Seward (13–3, 6–2 Division IV) grabbed a quick 4-0 lead in the opening minute and never trailed in those first and second periods, SW/J-Y (12–4, 7–2 Division IV) was within two to eight points the entire time. Seward’s J.J. Gass hit a three-pointer to give the Spartans a 29-19 lead with only 14 seconds left until halftime. But Trojan guard Matt Parks answered with a tri-factor of his own at the buzzer to cut the Spartan advantage to 29-22 at the break.
Parks’ shot energized the home crowd and seemingly gave SW/J-Y some momentum for the second half.
But any momentum was quickly stifled by the Spartans in the third quarter. Seward outscored SW/J-Y 26-9 in the third period and went on to post a 71-50 victory.
The Spartans led by as many as 28 points in the second half, giving the raucous home crowd few opportunities to cheer.
“They just beat us in every facet of the game,” SW/J-Y co-coach Rick Ellison said.
Shooting the basketball was one of the key facets of the evening.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well and we didn’t hit the boards well,” said SW/J-Y co-coach Bob Menges. “When you’re not shooting well, you have to get to the boards and we didn’t.”
The Trojan coaches also noted the pace of the contest hurt their team.
“We weren’t as patient as I would like us to be,” Ellison said. “We should have used a little more clock on our possessions.”
“We played their game and they are much better at it than we are,” Menges added.
The Trojans had trouble slowing down Spartan guard Michael Hoyt. The quick sophomore burned the nets for a game-high 28 points. And on Seward possessions when Hoyt did not score, he often found an open teammate who did.
Gass, who drilled four three-pointers in the contest, finished with 16 points. Joe Oszmanski added 11 for the Spartans.
“We’re very pleased with our shooting tonight,” Seward coach Rob Gravelle said. “We haven’t shot well the past four or five games so we were due for a good night.”
Gravelle noted that the shooting performances of the teams were quite opposite of those displayed when the teams met on January 12 in Florida. SW/J-Y scored a 60-57 win that night.
“They shot the ball pretty well on our court and we had a dry spell in that game,” Gravelle explained. “Tonight, they were cold. I think our defense played well and had a little bit to do with that.”
Only two Trojans managed to hit double figures in the scoring column. Parks, who matched Gass’ performance with four three-point bombs of his own, finished with 14 points. Junior center Mike Ahnstrom added 11 for the Trojans.
The outcome certainly tightened up the Division IV standings as each team now has a pair of losses against division foes. And that may mean another matchup between SW/JY and Seward later this season.
“I’m sure we’ll see them again in another big game,” Gravelle said.

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