By Rob Potter
ELDRED February 23, 2001 The Sullivan West/Jeffersonville girls basketball team avenged its only loss of the season Monday night.
In front of a vociferous capacity crowd in Eldred, the Lady Trojans defeated the Lady Yellow Jackets in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association Division IV contest. Following a 26-26 tie at the half, SW/JY outscored Eldred by a 17-11 margin in the third period en route to a 51-45 win. (Back on January 11 in Jeffersonville, Eldred posted a 55-39 victory over the Lady Trojans.)
Inside buckets by Lady Trojan center Tiffany Hauser and a pair of driving layups by forward Aileen Semenetz on consecutive SW/J-Y possessions in the final two minutes of that third quarter helped the visitors boost their lead. Semenetz second layup, which came with 35 seconds remaining in the period, gave SW/J-Y a 43-35 lead.
The Lady Trojans enjoyed their largest lead of the game at the 6:55 mark of the final quarter when Hauser hit a jump shot in the lane. That boosted the SW/J-Y advantage to 47-37.
We were standing around and motionless in the first part of the third quarter, Eldred coach Frank Kean said. And that was when they took it to us. That was the turning point of the game.
Kean was quick to praise the effort of both teams, noting that it was a tough game where both teams came to play.
SW/J-Y coach Ron Bernhardt was thrilled to come out with the win.
This is a tough, tough place to play, he noted. In the first half, I think the girls had trouble hearing me. We missed nine layups in the first half.
In the second half, the Lady Trojans were shooting at the basket closer to the their team bench and therefore better able to hear Bernhardts instructions.
We were better offensively in the second half, he commented. We were able to take it to the basket. And the team got great looks at the basket.
Bernhardt also noted that his team had a very balanced scoring attack. Hauser paced the Lady Trojans with 14 points, while Semenetz and Shelisa Duquette each netted 13 on the evening.
This is an unselfish team, they dont care where the points come from, Bernhardt said. We do things as a team.
Leading the Eldred offense were junior center Stacie Blaut, who netted 15 points, and senior guard Christine Lizzi, who scored 14.
While a six-point loss was not how Lizzi and her fellow seniors Erin Donnelly, Jessica Timan and Loretta Wolff wanted to script their final regular season home game, Kean expected the Lady Yellow Jackets to bounce back quickly.
Were disappointed, but tomorrow well be planning for the next game, the veteran coach said. Im proud of the girls and Im sure theyll be up for our game at Chester on Friday.
Notes: The contest Kean spoke of, which will be Eldreds final Division IV game of the season, tips off at 6:30 p.m. tonight in Chester.
SW/J-Y defeated Division IV foe Fallsburg 51-18 Wednesday night to assure itself of at least a tie for the division title. The Lady Trojans travel to Tuxedo tonight for a key game that will be the division finale for both teams.
If SW/J-Y wins, it would claim the Division IV title outright as the Lady Trojans would finish the regular season with only one division loss. A Tuxedo win would give both teams a 10-2 record in Division IV competition and a share of first place.
If SW-JY lost to Tuxedo last night and Eldred beats Chester this evening, that trio of teams Eldred, SW/J-Y and Tuxedo would be tied for first place with identical 10-2 division records.
How such a tie would be resolved was not known at press time.