By Rob Potter
LIBERTY December 25, 2001 A late second quarter scoring surge made the difference for the Ellenville girls basketball team last Thursday night.
As a result of the that offensive outburst, the Lady Blue Devils were able to take an eight-point halftime lead over the host Liberty Lady Indians in a OCIAA Division III game.
Ellenville (3-3, 1-1 Division III) went on to record a 45-36 victory over Liberty (1-4, 0-3 Division III).
With five minutes remaining in the second quarter, Libertys Jayme Hopkins scored inside to cut the Ellenville lead which was as many as seven points earlier in the contest to a single point, 19-18. But the Lady Devils then went on a 10-3 run to take an eight-point advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Ellenvilles Christine Pagan scored eight points in the final three minutes of the period to boost the Lady Devil lead. Two of Pagans hoops, a long jumper just inside the three-point line and an 8-ft. baseline jump shot, came with less than 20 ticks left on the clock.
That was big, Ellenville Coach Mike Guiney said. Without that, we might have only been up by three or four points at the half. Were a relatively young team and being up eight helped the girls a lot. And in the second half, we were able to maintain a lead of at least six points, so the girls were able to play a little more relaxed.
Liberty Coach Ted Crowley concurred with Guiney, noting that the Lady Devil scoring run made the difference.
We gave up a couple of baskets there and in those final seconds they pushed the lead to 29-21, Crowley said.
The coach also noted that Liberty was hampered by its own scoring drought in the third quarter. The Lady Indians had a cold-shooting third period, managing only four points in those eight minutes immediately following halftime.
Christine Waryha and Keely Hamlin each made one foul shot and Kate DeMayo swished a 10 ft. jumper with 33 seconds left to account for all of the Liberty offense in that third quarter.
Outside of the Monticello and Tri-Valley games, we have had third quarters like that this season, Crowley said. I guess well have to change what we do at halftime so we come out more focused for the third quarter.
The Lady Indians, however, were focused in the fourth quarter. Down 38-25 at the beginning of the final stanza, Liberty cut the lead down to six points twice in the period and allowed Ellenville to score only one point in the first six-plus minutes of the period.
But when the clock dipped under the two-minute mark, Liberty was still down by seven points and was forced to foul the Ellenville players to conserve time.
The Lady Devils responded, making six free throws in the last 1:30.
I thought we played well defensively tonight, Guiney said. But I think Liberty beat us on the boards.
Ellenvilles Samantha Ellis scored a game-high 25 points and Pagan finished the night with 10.
For Liberty, Waryha netted eight points and Annie TerBush scored seven. DeMayo and Lisa DeStefano each added four points for the Lady Indians.