By Rob Potter
LOCH SHELDRAKE August 9, 2002 A scoring run late in the second half carried Ellenville to a victory over Sullivan West Wednesday night in the girls division championship game of the Sullivan Generals Summer High School Basketball League at Sullivan County Community College.
With just under eight minutes remaining in the contest, Ellenville held a slim 24-22 lead. But Ellenville outscored SW by a 13-7 margin in the remaining minutes to post a 37-29 victory and claim the first place trophy.
Consecutive baskets by Sam Ellis and a hoop inside the lane by Brienne Karow gave Ellenville a 30-22 lead with 5:28 left in the game. A long jumper by Laura Schmalzle a minute and a half later boosted the Ellenville lead to 10 points.
SWs Katie Cappiello scored inside the lane with just over two minutes left on the clock to cut the Ellenville lead to seven at 33-26. Following an Ellenville hoop, SWs Joanna DiCostanza scored to again make it a seven point game with 1:41 remaining.
But that was as close as SW would get in the final minutes of play.
We just couldnt run our plays as well as we had in past games, SW Coach Erica Haray-Butcher said. Our girls hustled, but Ellenville ran their offensive plays very well. They played a great game tonight.
Leading Ellenville to victory was Ellis, who scored a game-high 20 points. Heather Lander paced SW in the scoring column, netting 10 points. Four SW players Cappiello, DiCostanza, Vanessa Kline and Jessica Lederman each scored four points in the contest.
To reach the title game, SW defeated Fallsburg by a 46-36 score in last weeks first round of the playoffs and then knocked off Roscoe, 41-36, in Tuesday nights semifinals. Ellenville beat Livingston Manor, 39-31, in the first round and edged Liberty 35-34 in the semifinals.
Ellenville Coach Tom Nolan noted that his team was able to take advantage of the SW defensive alignment.
I was kind of surprised they stayed with a zone defense for quite a while, Nolan said. Against a zone (defense), youre supposed to penetrate the open spaces to score and thats what we did.
Nolan, who noted that SW played hard tonight, also had praise for his players, especially Ellis, Karow and Shannon Gath.
Sam, shes our MVP, he said of Ellis. And Shannon and Brienne did great job rebounding tonight. Rebounding is always key in games like this.
While SW obviously would have liked to have won the first place trophy, Haray-Butcher noted that the summer league experience will help the team during the 2002-2003 regular season. SW will be moving up to Class B competition this year.
Im proud of the girls and the job they did this summer, she said. We had a good final game.
Nolan also spoke about the value of the Sullivan Generals Summer League.
This is a very good league, he commented. In terms of officiating, fundamentals and competition, I think this is the best summer league around.