Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

JAMES SALVATO OF The Family School drives to the basket as Manor’s Patrick Branning attempts to block his shot.

'God Willing, We'll
Come Out on Top'

By Ted Waddell
LIVINGSTON MANOR — February 5, 2002 – After a halftime pep talk, the Livingston Manor boys’ basketball team clawed its way back into Friday night’s OCIAA Division V basketball game versus the Family School.
In the third quarter, the Wildcats, who went into the halftime break down by a 30-8 margin, managed to close the gap. Manor outscored the Family School 20-2 in the period.
However, the visiting Falcons responded to the Manor run in the fourth period. The Falcons outscored the Wildcats, 28-13, in the final eight minutes of play.
As a result, The Family School (5-1, 4-0 OCIAA) posted a 58-41 victory over Manor (4-11, 2-2 OCIAA).
As the game unfolded, the home crowd sat stunned as the Wildcats couldn’t seem to get a bucket despite shots all over the place. Their only point in the first quarter came from the free throw line.
The second half was a different story, as Manor surged back to score 33 points. And that was a big improvement over a 2-for-25 shot ratio in the opening half.
Manor Coach Les Hyde said his team played “a horrendous first half . . . we aren’t going to win many ball games scoring eight points in a half.”
“I had a little chat with the boys at halftime,” he said. “I told them they were going to have to work a little harder and keep shooting the basketball . . . you’ve got to keep shooting.
“We picked it up a little bit in the second half – Jason Kean got us back in the ballgame – but it’s tough coming from behind.”
Kean was the only Manor player to reach double figures. He led the Wildcats with 17 points and had five rebounds.
“I think we were a little rough in the first half,” he said. “In the second half, we got our heads together, finally calmed down and started to play our type of basketball.”
Asked about his tenacity on the boards, the 17-year-old junior replied, “I love crashing on the boards. It’s my favorite thing to do . . . just leaping in and banging bodies going for the ball.
“We’re a young team, and we really try hard in practice,” added Kean. “Hopefully by the end of the season, everything will come together we’ll play four quarters of basketball and win a couple of games.”
The only Falcon to reach double figures in the scoring column was Landon Cross, who finished the game with 10 points.
His reaction to the victory?
“I think it was an alright game, [but] we can definitely play better,” said the 16-year-old junior. “Some days we play good, somedays we play bad.”
“I think we’re playing very good basketball . . . I’m really happy with the way we’re playing,” said Family School Coach Larry Patrisso, who added that he treats his players like a father.
“I build ‘em up when they need it, but I yell at them too. I see a burning fire in these kids. The kids just play so hard, they never quit. These kids would walk through a brick wall for me!”
Looking ahead to the remainder of the regular season after their fourth consecutive Division V win, Patrisso said, “I’m real excited and real nervous. Every game’s one at a time. God willing, we’ll come out on top.”

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