By Rob Potter
ELDRED December 13, 2002 Monday nights contest between the Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats and Eldred Lady Yellowjackets featured the kind of last minute excitement usually reserved for late season playoff games.
Manor junior Charlene Vail sunk a baseline jump shot as the buzzer sounded, giving the Lady Wildcats a 36-34 win in the championship game of the Eldred Tournament.
At the 30 second mark, Eldreds Jenny Haas banked in a three-point shot to knot the score at 34 apiece, which brought some of the Lady Yellowjacket fans to their feet. Manor Coach Andy Taggart then quickly called a timeout to set up a final play.
After letting the seconds tick away, the Lady Wildcats passed the ball around and it ended up in Vails hands.
When asked if that was the way the play was drawn up during that timeout, Vail answered simply yes.
Was she sure the shot was going through the net when she released the ball?
No, I didnt think so, Vail said.
But Im very glad it did, she added with a smile.
The win boosted Manors record to 3-1 on the young season, while Eldred fell to 1-3.
Thats where she was supposed to be [on the court], Taggart said of Vails buzzer-beater. Charlene was there and she was able to take the shot. Our girls came back after they made that 3-point shot.
Vail finished the game with a team-high 13 points and was named the MVP of the tournament.
Theres not much you can do when you get beat at the buzzer like that, Eldred Coach Frank Kean said. She took the shot and made it. She deserves all the credit.
Despite the loss, Kean remains optimistic in regards to the upcoming league season.
The girls are coming along, he explained. They are working hard and improving. In our division we should be a tough match for everyone.
Lauren Timan was the high scorer for the Lady Yellowjackets, netting 12 points in the contest.
In the tournaments consolation game Monday afternoon, Chapel Field defeated The Family School, 38-14.
Named to the all-tournament team along with Vail were The Family Schools Lauren Blythe, Eldreds Jessica Cherry, Chapel Fields Stacy Kuperus and Manors Jen Taggart.