By Ted Waddell
FALLSBURG February 23, 2001 In the opening minutes of Wednesday nights boys varsity basketball game between the Fallsburg Comets (2-7 league/8-8 overall) and the Trojans of Sullivan West/Jeffersonville-Youngsville, it looked like a team with two league wins was going to walk all over one of the league leaders.
But after a game that could be called a real barnburner, the squad from SW/J-Y walked off the floor with a 51-47 overtime win in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV game.
In the first period, the Comets jumped out to a 22-8 lead, while in the second, the Trojans started to close the gap by outscoring their opponents 9-2. The home team took a 24-17 lead in the locker room at the half.
In the third period the Trojans battled back to outgun the Comets 14-10 and close the gap to 34-31.
With 7:03 remaining in regulation play, Gregg Semenetz made a key shot for the Trojans to tie it up at 36-36. With 2:40 on the game clock, Jon Tanous gave the visitors a 43-40 lead with a critical 3-pointer.
But Fallsburg wasnt about to quit, as Charles Hinson nailed a shot from the 3-point line to force the game into a four minute overtime.
With 1:06 remaining on the OT clock, the score was tied at 47-47, but then Alex VanLoon put the Trojans ahead 49-47.
The Comets fouled Tanous on his way up to the basket, and he iced the game from the free throw line, sinking both shots under a lot of pressure.
In OT, Tanous scored six of his teams eight points and led the games scoring with a total of 19 points. Alex VanLoon also racked up double digits for the Trojans with 13 points.
For Fallsburg, it was Dennis Arscott (14) and Donald Frasier (13).
Stats from the free throw line: SW/J-Y 7/15 (47 percent); FCS 6/11 (55 percent).
According to Trojans co-coaches Rick Ellison and Bob Menges, in their last three games the teams defense intensity had let them down in the opening minutes.
Thats why they sat for a while [on the bench] and we talked to them very nicely at halftime, said Ellison, noting that at one point in the opening frame his team was down 22-4.
After we get down, we pick it up, added Menges. We knew we could crawl back in
and hopefully pull it out with a win at the end.
Asked how they managed to pull off a real come from behind victory, Ellison said, We had some kids step up and make some big buckets. Jon Tanous made some big buckets down the stretch, he was the go-to guy. He knows what it takes to win.
The go-to guys take on the game? We came out flat in the beginning, but we picked up the intensity after a few of us came out and then went back in, said Tanous, a 17-year-old senior at SW/J-Y. We had to pick things up and go out of here with a win, and then go onto the sectionals.
On the Fallsburg side of the court, there wasnt a lot of joy, but coach Paul Marsden told his team he was proud of their effort in a hotly contested game that went right down to the wire.
I think both teams came to play with a real urge to win, he said. It was a matter of whoever had the gas at the end.
I thought my kids worked really hard, he added. We need two wins to go to sectionals.