By Jeanne Sager
GRAHAMSVILLE December 4, 2001 It seemed to be a stalemate in the Tri-Valley gymnasium Saturday afternoon, but by the second half, it was clear one team would have to pull ahead.
The Ellenville Lady Blue Devils (2-0) were that team.
As a result, the Lady Devils downed the Eldred Lady Yellowjackets (1-1) in the championship game of the Tri-Valley tournament by a 52-38 margin.
The two teams paced each other point for point through the first two quarters, rarely allowing the score to rise to more than a two-point deficit.
Point guards Samantha Ellis of Ellenville and Aimee Schneider of Eldred fought hard against each other, blocking shots and racking up points.
By the end of the first quarter, Ellis had added six points to the board and Schneider had sank both a three-point shot and a two-point basket.
The game didnt take a turn until shortly after the first half, when the Lady Blue Devils led by Brienne Karow who was named the tournament MVP began pulling ahead.
Karow hit a free throw to begin Ellenvilles rise to the top, and Ellis added several more points to the board to bring the Lady Blue Devils to a seven-point lead by the end of the third quarter.
Karow also dominated Stacie Blaut, an aggressive scorer for the Lady Yellowjackets.
Blaut ended the game with just 10 points, but earned herself a spot on the all-tournament team.
I have to give Ellenville credit, said Eldred Coach Frank Kean. They have speed in two girls, and they just took it to us.
Schneider, who scored nine points for Eldred, played excellent defense for the Lady Yellowjackets, Kean added.
But when she got into foul trouble, it hurt us, he said. She had to pull back a little bit.
Schneider was named most outstanding defensive player for the tournament.
Ellenville Coach Mike Guiney was proud of his teams comeback after the first half.
It was a good game and both teams played really hard, he said. But we made adjustments in the second half and Samantha [Ellis] and Brienne [Karow] played well.
It was a good, hard-fought game, he noted.
Karow contributed 23 points to the Ellenville win. Ellis, who was named to the all-tournament team, added 22.
Becky Rymans 10 points, with another seven added by Lauren Timan, helped pace the Lady Yellowjackets.