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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

MANOR’S JENNIFER TAGGART puts up a shot as S. S. Seward’s Rose Kerstanski attempts to block her shot amid a crowd of players in Wednesday night’s game.

Lady Wildcats Crush S.S. Seward

By Ted Waddell
LIVINGSTON MANOR — January 18, 2002 – The home team Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats (8-3) were not too hospitable to their guests from Florida on Wednesday night.
That would be guests from Florida, New York as opposed to visitors from the Sunshine State.
The Lady Wildcats defeated the Lady Spartans of S.S. Seward, 58-17, in a non-league game.
Things got off to a bad start for the Lady Spartans (1-10) in the first period, as Manor leapt out to a 20-0 lead. In the seconds quarter, Manor added 12 points to their scorebook, while the Lady Spartans fought back to pick up seven hard-earned points.
At the half, the Lady Wildcats took a 32-7 lead into the locker room.
In the third period, the scoring was dead even at nine points each. In the closing eight minutes of play, the Lady Spartans ran out of steam, as they were outscored by Manor a spirit-deflating 17-1 margin.
On the way to victory, Manor’s Jennifer Wright racked up a career- high 19 points. Wright scored 10 of those points in the fourth quarter. Bridget Ellison added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Lady Wildcats.
Katie Akrop was high scorer for S.S. Seward with nine points.
Stats from the free throw line: LMCS was four for 11 (36 percent), S.S. Seward converted five of eight (63 percent).
Seward Coach Chris Knittel had a hard time maintaining his usual positive attitude toward the game of buckets.
“We definitely stuggled tonight,” he said. “We dug ourselves into a hole at the beginning of the game, and if you dig yourself into a big hole it’s tough to get out of it.”
Knittel said that in his mind, no game is ever out of reach, but if you’re down 20-1, it’s hard to come back.
“It takes its wear and tear,” he said.
The Lady Spartans helmsman cited a couple of bright spots on the horizon of the rather disappointing season: their Jan. 8 victory over Fallsburg (by a 40-33 margin) and their Monday night loss to Eldred (55-30).
“It was probably our best game of the season, even though we lost (by 25 points),” he said of Seward’s game against Eldred. “We were hoping to build on that, but we took a couple of steps backwards tonight . . . I guess that’s part of the road to success.”
Manor Coach Andy Taggart said his team “looked pretty good tonight” on their way to outscoring the opposition by a whopping 41 points. He noted Manor was playing without a couple of key players who were sidelined with knee injuries – guard Elizabeth Weickum and point guard Amy Krupp.
“I think we did some good things defensively, and we opened up our offense because we were able to control the boards,” he said.
According to Taggart, Jen Wright “had a strong game” as she benefited from a lot of fast breaks by Nikki Argent and Bridget Ellison as they fed her the ball for some virtually uncontested layups.
He said that after the Lady Wildcats jumped out to an early lead, they were able to work on their half court defense, and on offense they got the ball up and down the court, “consequently scoring a number of easy baskets off the fast break.”
Taggart said he has his eye on the Lady Blue Devils of Roscoe, who are traditional rivals and also OCIAA Division V foes.
“We just hope we can play well enough that when we meet Roscoe again, it’s going to be meaningful,” he said.
When the teams met earlier this season in Roscoe, the Lady Blue Devils defeated Manor. And Taggart and the Lady Wildcats are awaiting the February 6 rematch in the Manor.
“Roscoe is playing really well right now, and I can’t see anybody touching them,” he added. “We need to play a little better offensively in order to beat them.”

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