By Ted Waddell
ROSCOE February 22, 2002 For the Blue Devils of Roscoe, Tuesday nights OCIAA Division V boys varsity basketball home game against the Eldred Yellowjackets had a bittersweet ending.
They lost by a four-point margin, 82-78, and it marked the end of an era as it was the last boys varsity game of hoops played on the tiny hardwood court.
Eldred (3-16, 2-6 OCIAA) jumped out to a slim two-point lead (20-18) in the first quarter and at the half, the Yellowjackets were up 43-38.
In the third period, the Blue Devils (10-10, 5-3 OCIAA) fought back to outscore the Yellowjackets by a 19-18 margin.
The fourth quarter was even, as each team netted 21 points in those eight minutes of action.
Eldreds Henry Bosch set the tone of the win by racking up four three-pointers in the first half, followed by a trio of threes in the final quarter.
Roscoes Brian Ballard scored 20 points, but was otherwise contained by a determined Yellowjackets defense.
The closing seconds of the intense game was a real barn burner as the Blue Devils almost pulled a victory out of the heartbreaking flames of defeat.
With only a few ticks remaining on the game clock, a three-pointer by Brian Bury brought Roscoe to within a point, but then Eldred went back up by two.
The Blue Devils had a good look at tying the game as a three by Keith Buck went into the hoop, but then right back out again.
With no timeouts remaining for Roscoe, Bosch stepped up to the free throw line and iced the game for the Yellowjackets.
Bosch finished with a team-high 26 points. Chris Ryman added 23 for Eldred, while John Martin and Devin Weyant each netted a dozen.
Bury led all scorers with 27 points and Dave Eggleton added 11 for the Blue Devils.
I thought Eldred did a good job of hitting their shots, Roscoe Coach Fred Ahart said. They put us under a lot of defense pressure . . . we fought back from behind against a team that was playing very well.
On Bucks missed three-pointer, Ahart noted that it was a good look, but it just didnt go.
Eldred Coach Charlie Donnelly was understandably happy with the outcome.
I thought it was very, very exciting . . . Im pleased with the effort by our kids.
I thought Roscoes intensity was great, as it always is when you play against one of Freds teams, he added.
Weve been struggling all season to score points, so Henrys four threes in the first half kind of relaxed us a little bit and got us off to a good start, Donnelly said. Every kid contributed, and the whole team worked hard. I feel fortunate to get a win.
Among those contributing was Bosch.
I thought it was a great game, said the 17-year-old junior guard. We really played hard, and the wins for Mr. Donnelly (because) hes a great coach.