By Frank Rizzo
ELDRED March 2, 2001 Eldred at its less-than-best was good enough to beat Sullivan West/Delaware Valley by a 42-28 score in the Class D quarter-final on Tuesday night.
The host and third-seeded Yellow Jackets (183) used a strong second quarter to overcome a stubborn Eagle squad making its first sectionals appearance since 1996.
Eldred faced second-seeded Sullivan West/Jeff-Youngsville last night at Sullivan County CC in the semi-final. Results were unavailable.
Eldred coach Frank Kean made reference to the first [playoff] game jitters.
He added, Its always hard to get over the hump. You never know how youre going to come out and play. Delaware Valley played a good first quarter, [but] the second quarter made the difference.
The Yellow Jackets shot atrociously from the field in the first quarter, and their offense seemed disorganized at times. SW/DV took the lead a couple of times and battled the hosts to an 8-8 tie after one.
But in the second period Eldred turned on a trapping press and slowly pulled away, gaining a 26-14 cushion at the break.
A three-pointer by Loretta Wolff early in the third put the hosts comfortably ahead, 31-16, but SW/DV the sixth seed did not go gently.
Again the Eldred offense hit a dry spell (thanks in no small measure to SW/DVs defense) and the Eagles put together eight straight points, the last coming at 2:25 on Calley Sanders long jumper.
Wolff drew a foul and her free throw with 38 seconds left ended a long drought and gave Eldred a 32-24 lead after three.
The Eagles did not threaten in the final quarter.
Our defense really was it, Kean summed up. We had a lot of steals and forced turnovers, which kept [SW/DV] from coming back. I was very impressed with our defense.
Kean believed a 49-30 win over Chester last Friday helped restore his teams confidence after consecutive losses to Tuxedo and Sullivan West/Jeff-Youngsville.
Eldred, Tuxedo, and SW/J-Y finished with 102 records in the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV. No tiebreaker has been devised as yet.
We bottomed out in the second quarter, said SW/DV coach Patty Roche. That hurt us. We had to play catch-up and were not a good catch-up team.
SW/DV had lost to Eldred by four in the Tri-Valley Tournament and by 20 in the regular season.
We didnt box out, Roche said of her teams major failing. Rebounding killed us. [Stacie Blaut] had most of her points on her second shot.
Roche noted the job Eldred did on her main shooter, Calley Sander, held to two points.
This was Roches second year at the varsity helm. Before that, she had the jayvee for another two years, so she coached many of her players from the beginning.
Roche said she has no interest in coaching next years combined Sullivan West girls basketball squad.
Playing their final games for SW/DV were Alicia Peters, Christine Head, Erika Long, and Debbie Knack.
It was real emotional, Roche said of her postgame talk. My girls played a very good game and did everything I wanted them to except win.
Blaut and Erin Donnelly scored 13 each to lead the Yellow Jackets, while Wolff added 12. Donnelly scored 12 in the first half, when she seemed to have the only effective outside shot for Eldred.
Eldred offensive leader Christine Lizzi had an off night, but she contributed 11 assists and eight rebounds.
Megan Moran led SW/DV (810) with 12 points.