By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR February 10, 2004 The Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats earned an OCIAA Division VI victory Thursday night over the visiting S.S. Seward Lady Spartans.
But the Lady Wildcats win was not certain until the final buzzer.
With 1:25 remaining, Manors Mary Mills scored inside the lane to extend her teams lead to 32-27. Over the next 70 seconds, Seward missed chances to score on two possessions and Manor turned the ball over on a traveling violation.
In the final 20 seconds, Seward (10-4, 4-1 OCIAA) began fouling the Lady Wildcats in an effort to preserve time and force Manor to the foul line for a one-and-one situation, whereby the Lady Spartans could get the ball back.
Theresa Space brought Seward to within three points when she stole the ball and hit a 15-footer with five seconds on the clock.
As the clock continued to wind down, Seward received another possession when a Manor player was called for traveling with eight-tenths of a second remaining. Following a timeout, Lady Spartan Tricia Dugan received the ball on the inbounds play and quickly launched a three-point shot. However, the ball hit the rim and bounced away, preserving Manors 32-29 win.
Except for three ties early in the game and a 10-9 Seward lead at the end of the first period, Manor (8-4, 3-2 OCIAA) led the entire way. The Lady Wildcats biggest advantage came with 2:08 left in the second quarter when Tegan Kern hit a pair of foul shots to put her team ahead by eight, 23-15.
I liked the way we fought back, Seward Coach Joe DiMattina said. We had the shots tonight, we just didnt make those shots.
While DiMattina was pleased that we played good defense in the second half, he noted that his teams shooting woes were tough to overcome.
We had good looks at the basket throughout the game, but just could put the ball into the basket, he said.
Justina Moodie, Melissa Oliphant and Space each scored a team-high six points for the Lady Spartans.
The victory was even more satisfying for the Lady Wildcats since Seward won by 14 points when the teams met earlier this season.
I think we came out a lot more focused this time, Manor Coach Kevin Clifford said. We came out and played well.
Clifford also praised Seward for its performance.
Theyre a very good team, he said. Coach DiMattina is doing a very good job working with them.
I was kind of surprised by their level of play in that first game, Clifford added. But all of the teams in this division are tough, there isnt a weak team from top to bottom.
Mills and Heather Sherwood each scored a team-high eight points for Manor. Charlene Vail added six points for the Lady Wildcats.