By Rob Potter
ROSCOE February 13, 2004 Wednesday nights OCIAA Division VI boys basketball game between visiting S.S. Seward and Roscoe was close in the opening minutes of play.
But midway through the first quarter, Seward began to show why it captured the 2002-2003 Class D state championship and is the top-ranked Class D team in the latest New York State Sportswriters Association poll.
After Roscoes Justin Bowers swished a three-point shot with 5:11 remaining in the first period to give the Blue Devils an 8-7 lead, Sewards James McAteer answered with a three-pointer to put the Spartans back in the lead, 10-8.
Seward then scored two quick baskets following Roscoe turnovers to take a 14-8 lead with 3:51 remaining in the stanza.
Roscoe Coach Fred Ahart then called a timeout to try and stop Sewards momentum.
But after the timeout, Seward (14-2, 7-0 OCIAA) responded with a 12-5 scoring run to take a 26-13 lead at the end of the quarter.
The Spartans extended that advantage in the second period and held a commanding 52-26 lead at halftime.
Seward went on to record an 89-48 victory.
That was the first time we played a complete game this season, Seward Coach Rob Gravelle said. In our other games, we came out and were not very sharp. Tonight, we were focused and ready to play.
Gravelle, who rested his starting five for most of the second half, praised the Blue Devils for their tenacity.
Theyre a tough team, he said. They really boxed out well and forced us to work hard on the boards. They made us do the fundamental things needed to get rebounds.
Leading the Spartans to the victory were Joe Hoyt, who scored a game-high 22 points, Rob Gillespie and Rich Paras. Gillespie finished with 12 points, while Paras had 10.
Bowers was the top scorer for Roscoe (4-10, 2-3 OCIAA). He made a trio of three-point shots and finished the evening with 16 points.
Vincent Carpinone netted 14 points for the Blue Devils and Dan DeVantier added 8 points.
Theyre the number one team in the state and they deserve to be, Ahart said of the Spartans. They really shot the ball well tonight.
Ahart also praised his team for its work ethic.
Our guys played hard and hustled to the last minute and I appreciate that, he said.