By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE January 4, 2002 It was nip and tuck all the way.
In last Saturday nights Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) High School Holiday Basketball Tournament boys championship game between the Family School Falcons and the Tri-Valley Bears, both teams struggled to take a commanding advantage on the scoreboard.
The Falcons took an early lead, but by the end of the first quarter the game was tied 11-11. In the second period, the Bears fought back to hold a 27-24 halftime lead.
In the third period, Tri-Valley (4-3) outgunned the Falcons by a 14-8 margin. In the final stanza, the pendulum swung the other way as the Family School staged a late game comeback, outscoring T-V, 19-13. At the closing buzzer, the Bears posted a 56-51 victory against a team that doesnt know the meaning of the word quit.
On the way to being tabbed as the games MVP, Tri-Valleys Kyle Humphrey racked up a whopping 31 points as he led the Bears to victory.
Double digit hoopsters for the Family School were Ryan Callihan (15) and Paul Williams (13).
Stats from the free throw line: TV 4/9 (44 percent); Family School 14/21 (67 percent).
Our guys played great, Family School Coach Larry Patrisso said.
Patrisso said his players were flat against Liberty in Fridays game, but rallied in the championship game.
Tonight, we came out and played with everything we had, he said. They left it all on the court.
The Falcons have only been together as a team since November 12, do not have a summer program and lack a jayvee squad all of which are factors Patrisso said his team overcame to make it to the final.
Its a real credit to our school and the kids, he added. They worked real hard, and made it up with hustle.
Patrisso was hesitant to single out any individual player for praise, saying it was a team effort.
They all worked hard, but the guys who dont play (as much) really deserve the credit because they make the guys who start play their butts off in practice.
Jason Semo, coach of the Tri-Valley boys varsity hoopsters, said Im always happy with a win, especially against a team like this . . . they play tough, and just wont give up . . . they run it to the end.
Im very happy with our kids. They stuck with the pressure, and didnt break.
Semo said Humphrey really got us out of a hole when we couldnt get over the hump . . . he picked it up and got the team involved.
He also credited the performance of Brenton Smith, whom he noted did a great job on the boards, and Jeremiah Salomon, whom he noted did a great job penetrating and making their guys pick up some fouls.