By Rob Potter
NARROWSBURG February 20, 2001 The tiny Sullivan West/Narrowsburg gymnasium was filled with fans Saturday afternoon for the non-league boys basketball game between the host Indians and the Eldred Yellow Jackets.
But the standing room only crowd, which was predominantly SW/N parents, faculty members, staff and alumni, came not only to enjoy the athletic contest but to be part of history. The SW/N team did not disappoint its fans, rolling to a 70-46 win in its final game on the court.
Because of last years Sullivan West merger, the district which currently has boys varsity basketball squads at the Delaware Valley, Jeffersonville-Youngsville and Narrowsburg campuses will field only one varsity boys hoops team next season and each season thereafter.
The Bulldogs will play their home games at the SW/J-Y campus until the new high school is built in Lake Huntington.
During the pre-game introductions, each of the five SW/N senior starters David Curreri, Ken Emeigh, Bruce Nober, Chad Powell and Kevin Taylor kissed the N painted in the half-court circle. They then went out and played an outstanding first quarter, forcing the Eldred players to kiss goodbye whatever hopes they had of spoiling SW/Ns last home game.
Utilizing a 2-2-1 defense and pressing out of that zone setup, SW/N (123) caused numerous Eldred (512) turnovers in the opening eight minutes. In fact, the Yellow Jackets managed only two baskets by Ryan Jasper in the opening stanza.
The Indians offense, meanwhile, was off and running. Nober netted 14 points and Powell added eight as SW/N grabbed a commanding 27-4 lead by the end of the period.
Nober finished with a game-high 26 points, while Powell netted 21 and Curreri added seven for the Indians. Jasper, who finished with 19 points, was the only Yellow Jacket to reach double figures in the scoring column.
Though the two teams were fairly even on the scoreboard over the remaining three quarters, Eldred could not recover from the first-quarter deficit.
The Narrowsburg kids are great, praised Eldred coach Charlie Donnelly. They play hard and are excellent shooters. Theyre a nice group of kids that play well together. They play hard and fair and thats a credit to (SW/N coach) Cliff (Kelly).
Kelly noted that his team wanted to have an outside attack and keep the middle open for rebounds. His team carried out that plan as Powell nailed a trio of three-point shots in the contest and other Indian players swished several shots just inside the three-point arc.
We wanted to win this game, Kelly said. But when Charlie Donnelly is at the helm of the other team you cant count them out. Hes a class act and a good coach. You can see that by the way his players perform on the court.
Kelly, a 1979 Narrowsburg graduate, said he still bleeds blue and gold. He added that it was tough to bid farewell to the old court which over the past few years has gained a reputation as a very tough court for opposing teams.
In my first few years of coaching, it wasnt a tough court, Kelly said. Other teams would beat us here. The court may be tough, but you still need good players. When you have good players and this court, then you can win some games.
Those players, who have won many important games on the cozy court, were determined to get the W in the finale.
We were all psyched up because we had a big crowd here and it was a big day, Nober said. There was no way we were losing here.
Nober added that he and his fellow seniors came up with the idea of the pre-game floor kiss on Friday.
We love this place, he said.