By Rob Potter
ROSCOE December 3, 2004 Four local boys hoops teams began their 2004-2005 seasons on Tuesday night in Roscoe.
The Eldred Yellowjackets, Family School Falcons, Livingston Manor Wildcats and, of course, host Roscoe Blue Devils played in the opening round of the second annual Blue Devils Tournament.
In the first game of the evening, Manor defeated The Family School by a final score of 63-35. In the second contest, the host Blue Devils topped Eldred, 56-49.
Manor (1-0) and The Family School (0-1) exchanged the lead five times in the first period of their game as both teams worked through some first-game-of-the-season jitters and turnovers. At the end of those eight minutes of play, Manor held a 15-13 lead.
But in the second quarter, the Wildcats outscored the Falcons by a 21-4 margin to take control of the game.
Danny Hinkley opened the stanza by scoring inside while being fouled. He then swished the subsequent free throw to complete an old-fashioned 3-point play and give his team a 18-13 lead.
With 3:32 remaining until halftime, Rob Baker put back a missed shot to boost the Wildcats lead into double digits at 24-13.
Manor then ended the second period with an 8-0 run to take a 36-17 advantage at intermission.
The Wildcats then held a lead of at least 15 points throughout the second half.
The second quarter was our best quarter, Manor Coach Charlie Hicks said. We have a lot of good athletes, they like to run the court on the fast break. We just have to keep it under control.
Hicks noted that guard Josh Mendez, who is one of four returning starters from last seasons team that reached the Section IX Class D championship game, is the heart and soul of the team.
Like Hicks, Family School Coach Ted Towsley thought that the second period was the key to the contest.
We came out flat in the second quarter, Towsley said.
On the positive side, Towsley noted that in the second half, we played better than we did in the first half.
The Falcons coach was also quick to praise the Wildcats.
They are well-coached and they have a lot of good athletes, Towsley said.
Roscoe Holds Off Eldred
In another matchup of Class D teams, the host Blue Devils defeated Eldred.
The first quarter ended with the score knotted at 7-7 and the second period featured ties at 14, 16 and 18.
Roscoe guard Dusty Sullivan made a 3-point shot with five seconds remaining in the first half to give the Blue Devils a 21-20 lead at the intermission.
The Blue Devils expanded their lead to double digits within the first three minutes of the third quarter. Troy Kirchner and Kristopher Mershon scored layups on fast breaks as Roscoe took a 32-22 lead with just over four minutes to play in the stanza.
However, with 1:29 left in the period, Eldreds Patrick Kean put the ball off the glass and into the hoop on a fast break situation to cut the Roscoe lead to 36-33.
After the Yellowjackets narrowed the score to 36-35, Sullivan knocked down a 3-point shot from the corner to make it a 39-35 contest.
In the fourth quarter, the Blue Devils again grabbed a double-digit lead when Kirchner scored an easy two on an assist from Dan DeVantier. That hoop gave Roscoe a 47-37 lead with 4:45 left in the contest.
With just 11 seconds remaining, Kean made a 3-pointer from the wing to bring Eldred within five points (54-49).
But with 5.3 seconds displayed on the scoreboard clock, Sullivan swished both ends of a 1-and-1 to seal the Blue Devils victory.
In basketball, you need to do two things well control the basketball and rebound the basketball. We didnt do either one of those well tonight, Eldred Coach Doug Reiser said. We had some bad passes, missed layups and missed free throws.
Leading Roscoe to the win were DeVantier, Kirchner and Sullivan. DeVantier netted a game-high 23 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and had six assists.
Kirchner had 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Sullivan scored 14 points and dished out seven assists.
Nick Klufas led all Yellowjacket scorers with 17 points. Kean finished the game with 11 points and Tyler King added nine.
Roscoe went 11 for 22 at the foul line, while Eldred converted just 4 of 17 free throws.
Getting that first win of the season under your belt is good, Roscoe Coach Fred Ahart said. I thought we played hard. We shot well, especially early in the second half.
Ahart also noted that the Yellowjackets competed well in the hard-played game.
The tournaments consolation and championship games will be played on Wednesday, December 8. Eldred and The Family School will meet at 5 p.m. in the consolation game and Manor and Roscoe will square off at 6:30 p.m. in the title game.