By Rob Potter
FALLSBURG January 18, 2002 In the opening minutes of Tuesdays OCIAA Division V game between visiting Tri-Valley and Fallsburg, it looked as though the game would be one-sided.
Fallsburg (10-1, 2-1 OCIAA) jumped out to a 9-0 lead, forcing Tri-Valley Coach Jason Semo to take a timeout and giving the large Fallsburg crowd reason to cheer loudly.
Tri-Valley (6-5, 0-1 OCIAA) recovered from the early deficit, however. In fact, as the game went on the Bears answered each time the Comets attempted to build a comfortable, double-digit lead.
In the end, however, Fallsburg was able to hold off T-V, 48-46.
A free throw by T-Vs Kyle Humphrey with eight seconds left in the game drew the Bears to within 48-43. Then with two seconds left, Bear point guard Danny Weisberg hit a three-point shot to cut the Fallsburg lead to only two points.
But time expired before the Bears could even hope to steal the Fallsburg inbound pass and put up a desperation shot.
It was a much closer game, we beat them by nine points at their tournament, said Fallsburg Coach Paul Marsden, referring to last months T-
V tournament which is traditionally a regular season opener for area teams. But its always a tough, competitive game when we play them. Im sure when we go to their house it will be another battle.
While praising the T-V squad for its improvement over the course of the season, Marsden noted that his team worked very hard during the contest.
We just played our game, Marsden said.
The Comet coach said that a key to the win was Brandon McKenney, who was the only Fallsburg player to reach double digits.
The forward scored a game-high 22 points and snared 14 rebounds.
Jesse Hinton had seven points, Brooks Whitaker scored six points and Tito Flores and Sean Rigg each netted five for the Comets.
They have a great team and Paul has done a great job with those kids, Semo said. But Im proud of my kids, they could have put their heads down when they grabbed that big lead early, but they didnt. We came back and played great.
Semo also noted that many of the players on the respective rosters know each other from summer league competition.
They love to compete against each other and tonight the game went back and forth, he said. That makes for fun basketball. We had a highly competitive game, but after the game while we were going through the line shaking hands the players showed good sportsmanship.
Humphrey led the Bears in the scoring column with 17 points. Teammates Jeremiah Salomon and Martin Henry-Lester had nine and eight points, respectively.
Were getting closer, Semo said. Im pleased with the way we played and one of these games I feel were going to get (a win over) them.