By Ted Waddell
ELDRED January 13, 2004 Was this a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) event or a basketball game?
It was a game of hoops, but it sure as heck looked like a wrestling match as the athletes bounced off the mat, or boards, and elbows flew like a gaggle of wild geese in the wind.
In Fridays OCIAA Division VI matchup between the host Eldred Yellowjackets and the Roscoe Blue Devils, the period-by-period lead keep switching back and forth. But Roscoe managed to finally bedevil the Yellowjackets, 73-62.
Roscoe (3-5, 1-1 OCIAA) wrestled its way to a 24-13 lead in the first quarter. But Eldred (1-6, 0-2 OCIAA) rebounded to outscore the Blue Devils by a 15-11 margin in the second period.
Going into the locker room at the half, the Blue Devils were up 35-28.
Roscoe bounced back in the third period, putting up 17 points to the Yellowjackets 14. In the final quarter, the Blue Devils outscored Eldred by a miserly point, 21-20, as the Yellowjackets came out on fire in a last ditch attempt at snatching victory from the slavering jaws of defeat.
In the best tradition of high school basketball, both teams were exhorted to their best performance by fans in the stands and battling cheerleaders trying to see which squad could yell louder.
Roscoes double digit scorers were Brenden Hendrickson (who had a game-high 26 points), Daniel DeVantier (15 points), Justin Bowers (15) and Troy Kirchner (10).
Vincent Carpinone had nine points and 17 assists for the Blue Devils. The teams top rebounding honors were shared by Kirchner and Hendrickson, each of whom had 10.
For Eldred, senior forward Todd Walter scored a team-high 15 points. Patrick Kean netted 12 points and Chris Ryman added 10 for the Yellowjackets.
Roscoe fared better at the free-throw line, converting 12-of-21 (57 percent) shots to Eldreds 5-of-21 (24 percent).
We made improvement since the last time we played, Eldred Coach Doug Reiser said. Were young, but were making improvements.
It hurt when we lost our big guy [Chris Ryman] after he was injured early in the second period, Reiser added.
Veteran Roscoe Coach Fred Ahart said it was a hard played game by both teams.
We made some key foul shots down the stretch and that was important, he said.
Always one to tip his hat to the guys on the other bench, Ahart added, I think Eldred played hard, and I hope Chris [Ryman] comes back soon. Hes a good player, and we wish him well.