By Rob Potter
ROSCOE December 7, 2001 The home team scored the win in the first of potentially four meetings this season between Route 17 rivals Roscoe and Livingston Manor Wednesday night in the Roscoe gymnasium.
Roscoe (1-0) used a 16-6 second quarter run to break open a close game and go to post a 61-49 win over Manor (1-2) in the non-league boys basketball game.
The two teams are both members of OCIAA Division V and will meet on each teams home floor during the regular season. (Those games are scheduled for January 29 in Roscoe and February 13 in Livingston Manor.) The Blue Devils and Wildcats are also participating in a tournament later this month in Downsville, where they could meet again in the events consolation game or championship game.
Wednesdays game played in front of the usual standing room only crowd when these teams meet was even in the first quarter. Although the shooting of Kytt McManus and Jason Kean allowed the Wildcats to take a 13-7 lead in the first six minutes, Roscoe rallied to knot the score at 16-16 at the end of the first period.
The Blue Devils scored another 16 points in the key second quarter and held Manor to only six. The lead first reached double digits when senior Brian Bury hit a pair of free throws with 2:19 left until halftime.
They just caught fire, Manor Coach Les Hyde said of the Blue Devils. They shot the lights out of the ball.
After a fairly even third period, Roscoe extended its lead early in the fourth. Junior guard Brian Ballard, who finished the night with a game-high 20 points, spurred a 9-0 run in the first two minutes of the fourth period. Ballard scored two baskets, Keith Buck swished a three-point shot and Dusty Bury hit a 15-ft. jumper in those two minutes as the Blue Devils quickly boosted a nine-point lead into a 54-36 advantage.
Manor utilized the three-point shot to draw closer in the fourth period, but could not reduce the Roscoe lead to single digits.
While those second quarter and fourth quarter scoring bursts certainly helped the Blue Devils, Coach Fred Ahart noted another aspect of the game that contributed to the win.
We shot well, but I thought we defended well, Ahart said. I thought defensively we did a good job and many times when you do that, it leads to good play offensively.
Ahart also praised the way the Wildcats played defense, especially in the first half.
Give Manor credit, their press was working well, the veteran coach commented. They had us disoriented on our own court a couple of times.
Brian Bury netted 12 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for the Blue Devils and Buck finished with 11 points nine of which came on three-point shots.
Leading Manor in the scoring column were Travis Morton and Brian Will. Both scored 14 points, with Will swishing four three-point shots in the game.
Hyde, perhaps anticipating those future meetings with the Blue Devils, noted that there will be other nights for the Wildcats to defeat their rivals.
Im proud of my team and the way they played the game, Hyde said. They did a great job.