By Rob Potter
ROSCOE February 4, 2003 The Roscoe Blue Devils erased a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat visiting Chapel Field, 54-51, Saturday in an OCIAA Division V basketball game.
Roscoe (5-9, 2-3 Division V) wasted little time in rallying as the third quarter commenced. With 7:21 left in the third period, Dusty Bury hit a 3-point shot to pull the Blue Devils within 29-25. Nearly a minute later, Bury made another shot from beyond the 19 9 arc as the shot clock expired to make it a 29-28 game.
Thirty-six seconds later, Roscoe senior guard Brian Ballard converted one of two foul shots to knot the score at 29-29.
The teams exchanged the lead several times in the remaining minutes of the fast-paced contest.
With 3:02 left, Ballard made one of two free throws to give the Blue Devils a 52-45 advantage.
But Chapel Field (5-8, 3-2 Division V) roared back as Abe Vennik made a 3-point shot a minute later and Luke Zylstra converted one of two at the line to cut the Roscoe lead to 52-49 with 1:11 showing on the clock.
After a Roscoe turnover, Vennik then scored an easy hoop with 34 ticks left on the clock to pull the Lions to within a single point, 52-51.
After the Blue Devils played keep-away with the basketball in order to take some time off of the clock, Ballard was fouled by Chapel Fields John Bast with 15.8 seconds left in the game. Ballard calmly made both free throws to give the Blue Devils the 54-51 victory.
They just outworked us today, Chapel Field Coach Mike Bonagura said. They are a strong team and they outworked us. By the fourth quarter, we were exhausted and could not make our foul shots.
Roscoe converted 17-of-23 free throws in the game, while Chapel Field was only 7-of-13 at the line.
We were able to make our free throws today, Roscoe Coach Fred Ahart said. In close games, that is always the key.
Ballard made nine of 12 shots at the line en route to scoring a team-high 14 points. Teammates Dan Park and Bury added 12 and nine points, respectively.
Rob Lewis scored 14 points for Chapel Field. Bast recorded 12 points and Zylstra netted 11.
Ahart, who noted that he completed a masters research project on free throw shooting while in college, said that his team has been working on foul shots during recent practices.
Were trying to reach what I call the confidence point, Ahart explained. You want to have a balanced stress level. You dont want to be too loose, yet you dont want to be too tight when standing at the line. The guys have been shooting free throws at practice each night and it seems to be working.