By Rob Potter
LAKE HUNTINGTON December 7, 2004 The Sullivan West Bulldogs wasted little time taking control of Friday nights championship game of the Billy Moran Tip-Off Classic Varsity Boys Basketball Tournament.
Just 40 seconds into the contest, SWs Joe Winski hit a 3-point shot to give the Bulldogs a quick 3-0 advantage over the Liberty Indians.
Moments after Winskis shot from beyond the arc, Sean Kelly scored a basket to give the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead.
At the 5:57 mark, Sean Semenetz scored a basket and was fouled on the play. He then swished the free throw to extend the Bulldogs lead to 9-0.
Liberty Coach Dave Slater then called a timeout in an effort to stop SWs momentum.
However, the Bulldogs kept rolling and took a 19-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
SW (2-0) went on to record a 66-30 victory and win the first place trophy.
Liberty (1-1) did not score until the 6:23 mark of the second period. Sophomore LaKarri Byrd made a jump shot from just inside the 3-point line to officially put the Indians on the scoreboard.
Leading the Bulldogs to the victory were Kelly, Joe Meyer and Winski. Kelly scored a game-high 22 points, while Meyer and Winski each netted 10 points. Derek Hahn added nine points for the Bulldogs.
I was very proud of our defensive effort tonight, SW Coach Rick Ellison said. Our defense fed our offense.
That aggressive defense allowed the Bulldogs to take a commanding 42-9 advantage at halftime.
Ellison also appreciated his teams balanced offensive attack.
I very happy with the way these kids looked for each other on the court, he said. They displayed a lot of unselfish play.
Byrd led Liberty with seven points and Larry Edwards added six.
They just outhustled us, Slater said. And I got out-coached tonight.
Sullivan West has a great team, he added.
Slater, who is in his second year as the Liberty head coach, said his team would look to get back on the winning track in its very next game. The Indians were scheduled to travel to Hancock to meet The Family School Falcons in a non-league contest last night weather permitting, of course.
For his performance in the title game and in Thursday nights opening round victory over Chapel Field, Kelly was chosen as the tournaments MVP.
SW senior center John Nober was named to the all-tournament team.
Byrd, a sophomore guard, and Edwards, a senior guard, were both named to the all-tournament team.
Manor Wins Consolation Game
In Friday nights first game, the Livingston Manor Wildcats topped the Chapel Field Lions, 56-42, to capture the third place trophy.
Manor (2-1) rebounded from an early deficit to record the victory.
Chapel Field (0-2) grabbed a 9-4 lead in the first quarter. The Lions then held a 23-22 lead at intermission.
But Manor outscored the Lions by a 13-8 margin in the third period to take a 36-30 lead into the final eight minutes of play.
Just over one minute into the fourth quarter, Manors Marvin Bonilla made a 3-pointer to push the Wildcats lead into double digits at 41-30.
Manor led by as many as 20 points before recording its 14-point victory.
Wildcat senior forward Timmy Bryant scored a game-high 15 points and Bonilla finished the night with 12 points. Rob Baker added nine and Mike Perry netted eight for Manor.
As a team, Manor made seven shots from beyond the 3-point arc.
We came out very flat. We only scored four points in the first quarter, Manor Coach Charlie Hicks said. But we got our offense and running game going in the second half.
Hicks noted that it was not easy to come back and earn a win against the Lions.
Chapel Field is a good team and they are scrappy, he said.
Peter Lopez scored a team-high 17 points for the Lions. Teammates Daryl Gros and Mike Lloyd added 10 and eight points, respectively.
I knew they would make a run at us after we had the lead, Chapel Field Coach Joe Canazon said. We saw them make a couple of runs against Liberty last night [in the opening round.]
Manor is a tough team, he added. They are a good, well-coached team.
Staying optimistic, Canazon noted that his team is young all five of his starters are juniors and that it was only the second game of the season.
Bryant was chosen as Manors representative on the all-tournament team and Gros was named as Chapel Fields representative on the squad.