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Up for the Crown

Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

LIVINGSTON MANOR’S JENNIFER Taggart shoots the ball over Chapel Field’s Laura Bast.

Livingston Manor
Wins Tournament

By Ted Waddell
ELDRED — The Lady Wildcats of Livingston Manor walked off with the first place trophy in the 1st Annual Eldred Holiday Tournament by defeating the Chapel Field Lady Lions, 44-24, in last Thursday’s championship game.
Manor (3-0) battled to a 20-13 halftime lead, but in the second half really poured it on by outscoring the opposition, 24-11.
The Lady Wildcats also shot better at the free throw line. Manor converted six of eight foul shots (75 percent), while Chapel Field (1-1) was only four of nine at the line (44 percent).
Bridget Ellison of Manor led all scorers with 17 points.
Chapel Field’s Stacy Kuperus also made it into double digits, netting a team-high 11 points.
“I wasn’t as happy as I thought I’d be,” said Rachel McDuffie, first year coach of the Chapel Field Lady Lions. “I was expecting a more even game . . . they kind of took us out of what we wanted to do.”
“[Guard] Amanda Schweiger did a very good job,” said McDuffie. “She stepped up and handled the pressure well.”
The Chapel Field coach said Kuperus (the team’s leading scorer) got a little frustrated with the turn of events, but “kept her head up and kept herself in the game.”
Looking ahead to the regular season, McDuffie said, “We’ll get better by practicing what we know – the basics. We’ll give everybody a fight.”
Like McDuffie, Manor Coach Andy Taggart is also in his first year at the helm.
“Winning the tournament was one of our goals before the season started,” he said. “I wish we’d played a little better . . . I thought we turned the ball over way too many times, but luckily our team played exceptional defense and we were able to shut down their top scorer.”
Taggart’s take on Chapel Field?
“They’re a good team,” he said. “They’re young, but very talented and well-coached . . . they are going to be reckoned with later in the season.”
Taggart cited the play of Ellison, as “she shut down their top scorer” and Jennifer Wright, whom he noted “came up with a couple of crucial steals in the third period that broke open the game when they were trying to make a little comeback.”
“We need to work on offense, but we will definitely improve as the season goes along,” Taggart added.
Among those watching the inaugural tournament from the sidelines was Eldred’s veteran athletic director Al Wojtaszek.
“It’s a nice thing for the smaller schools,” Wojtaszek said. “Anybody has a chance of winning. It’s good competition, and that’s good for the kids.”

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