By Rob Potter
LAKE HUNTINGTON December 14, 2004 A fast start was the key for the Sullivan West Lady Bulldogs in their game Friday night versus the Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats.
SW charged out to a 22-3 lead after the first quarter of play on its way to a 47-19 victory in the championship game of the Billy Moran Tip-Off Classic Girls Basketball Tournament at Sullivan West High School in Lake Huntington.
SW improved its record to 3-0 on the season. Manors mark fell to 3-2.
The Lady Bulldogs employed the same style of aggressive full-court defense in the first quarter versus the Lady Wildcats as they did two nights earlier in defeating the Fallsburg Lady Comets in the tournaments opening round. That SW defense lead to steals and turnovers, which in turn created opportunities for layups and short jump shots on the other end of the court.
With 4:58 left in the opening quarter, Manor sophomore forward Jackie Trotti scored a hoop inside the lane to pull her team within four points at 7-3.
But SW (3-0) responded with a 15-0 run to close out the stanza and take a 19-point lead into the second period. In that scoring surge, Kate Fanning netted six points and April Ackermann added four.
Ackermann, a junior forward, and freshman forward Sarah Lander each finished the contest with a team-high 12 points. Ackermann grabbed 10 rebounds and Lander had five rebounds.
Fanning, a junior guard, recorded 10 points and six rebounds. Senior guard Heather Lander led the Lady Bulldogs in assists (seven) and steals (four).
We had that deer-in-the-headlights look, Manor Coach Kevin Clifford said of his players. Sullivan West is a well-coached team and they execute their offense well.
Clifford also noted that his team didnt box out well on rebounds, which allowed the Lady Bulldogs to get second shot opportunities.
Trotti and fellow senior forward Carrie Lewis each scored a team-high six points for the Lady Wildcats.
We tried to use a lot of different combinations of players, said SW Coach Ron Bernhardt, noting that with only 10 players on the roster he and Assistant Coach Kurt Scheibe are still working to establish a rotation of the five starting players and substitutes.
We are really pleased to get out of here with a win, Bernhardt added.
Ackermann, who scored a game-high 23 points in SWs win over Fallsburg in the opening round of the tournament, was chosen as the events MVP. Fanning was named to the all-tournament team.
For Manor, Trotti and sophomore guard Rose Curtis were named to the all-tournament team.
Liberty Takes Third Place
In Friday nights Moran Tournament consolation game, the Liberty Lady Indians defeated the Fallsburg Lady Comets, 45-24.
After taking a 15-8 advantage in the opening quarter, Liberty (1-1) outscored Fallsburg (0-2) by a 14-3 margin in the second period to grab a 29-11 advantage at halftime.
Leading the Lady Indians to the victory were senior center Keely Hamlin, who scored 16 points, and senior forward Amber Miller, who netted eight points.
Our defense was excellent tonight, Liberty Coach Tom LaGattuta said.
He also praised Hamlin for her performance.
She really stepped up and played the way you would expect a four-year varsity player to, LaGattuta commented.
The Liberty helmsman noted that Fallsburg kept hustling and competed fairly well throughout the game.
Fallsburgs Erin Gilmore recorded a game-high 19 points in the contest.
For their outstanding performances on Friday night and in the opening round, Hamlin and Gilmore were both selected for the all-tournament team.