By Rob Potter
LAKE HUNTINGTON December 9, 2003 The Sullivan West Bulldogs used a combination of good shooting and good defense to record a 53-40 victory over Fallsburg last Thursday night in the opening round of the Billy Moran Tip-Off Classic.
The Bulldogs made eight three-point shots during the game in the gymnasium of the new Sullivan West High School in Lake Huntington. The first of those long-distance shots came with 4:30 remaining in the first quarter. After Fallsburgs Doug Novogrodsky scored inside to give the Comets a 5-3 lead, SWs Joe Meyer swished a three-point shot from the top of the key to give the Bulldogs a 6-5 lead.
A minute later, teammate Sean Semenetz connected from beyond the arc to boost the Bulldogs advantage to 11-7.
Meyer and Semenetz each added a three-pointer in the first five minutes of the second period as SW went on a 20-7 scoring run from the last three-and-a-half minutes of the first period until halftime. As a result, the Bulldogs enjoyed a 31-14 advantage going into the locker room.
SW (1-0) continued its good shooting in the second half. At the 4:16 mark of the third quarter, Meyer knocked down a three-point shot to give the Bulldogs a 39-19 lead.
Fallsburg (0-1) outscored SW by a 19-12 margin in the fourth period, but could not overcome the Bulldogs early scoring advantage.
I was happy with the way we shot the ball tonight, said SW Coach Rick Ellison, who is guiding the Bulldogs with the help of assistant coaches Cliff Kelly and Bob Menges. Im pleased with how we played defensively.
Ellison noted that it was good to get a win over Fallsburg, which he said is a very skilled, well-coached team that always comes to play.
Leading SW to the win were four juniors: Sean Kelly, Meyer, Brian Parks and Semenetz. Kelly scored a game-high 20 points for the Bulldogs, while Meyer finished with 11 points and Semenetz recorded nine. Parks added six points.
I was really happy with our energy tonight, Ellison said. I was pleased with the teams effort. We got contributions from everybody who was on the court.
Novogrodsky paced the Comets with 12 points. Teammates Sean Buckner and Kalvin Carter added eight points apiece.
Chapel Field Tops Liberty
In the other opening round game, Chapel Field defeated Liberty, 47-39.
Chapel Field (1-2) grabbed a 10-4 lead at the end of the first period and held a 22-8 advantage at halftime.
However, the Lions had to hold off a determined Liberty (0-1) squad in the second half.
With time running out in the third period, Libertys Andrew Riegler had possession of the ball about three feet beyond the three-point arc. As the scoreboard clock hit :02, Riegler put up a shot that fell through the net as the buzzer sounded to bring the Indians to within seven points at 34-27.
Riegler then hit a jump shot from just inside the arc with 3:05 left in the game to narrow Chapel Fields advantage to 41-36. A minute later, the Indians Chris Paddock made a short jumper to make it a 41-38 game.
But the Lions converted four-of-five free throws in the final two minutes to preserve the win.
Chapel Fields Daryl Gros registered a game-high 20 points and teammate Abe Vennik added 13 points.
Riegler led the Liberty offense with 16 points. Paddock added six points for the Indians.
The Lions made the most of their trips to the foul line, converting 12-of-18 free throws. Conversely, the Indians shot only 2-of-8 from the line.
The team played really well tonight, Chapel Field Coach Tom Rickard said. We lost focus there for about three of four minutes, but for 28 of the 32 minutes we were a very disciplined team. Any coach would be happy with that.
Liberty Coach David Slater noted that he has a very young team. Riegler and Shayne Fuller are the only two seniors on the Indians roster, which includes four juniors, four sophomores and a freshman.
We did a nice job in the second half, Slater said. I think we were playing with some nerves in the first half, but we did great job of coming back.
Notes: The championship and consolation games of the tournament were scheduled to be held on Friday night, but were postponed in anticipation of the snowstorm that hit the area late Friday night and Saturday. As a result, Fallsburg and Liberty will meet at 6 p.m. tonight in the consolation game. The championship game between Chapel Field and SW will tip-off at 7:45 p.m.
Proceeds from this event and the girls basketball tip-off tourney held last week at SW will benefit the Billy Moran Scholarship Fund. Moran, an outstanding student-athlete at Delaware Valley Central School who went on to play basketball and football at Union College, was killed by a drunk driver in April 1981 in Florida.