By Rob Potter
DOWNSVILLE December 31, 2004 The Roscoe Blue Devils overcame an early deficit to record a win over the Hancock Wildcats on Wednesday night in the consolation game of the Downsville Holiday Tournament.
After falling behind by as many as seven points in the first quarter, Roscoe gradually chipped away at the Wildcats lead. By halftime, the Blue Devils had knotted the score at 24-24.
Throughout the third period and into the fourth, the teams exchanged the lead several times. But Roscoe outscored Hancock 7 to 0 in the final 2:04 to post a 46-43 victory and capture the third place trophy.
Roscoe improved to 3-5 on the season, while Hancock, a Section IV Class D team, fell to 1-7.
With 33.4 seconds on the scoreboard clock, Roscoe junior forward Dan DeVantier stepped to the free-throw line for a 1-and-1 situation. He converted the first shot to give the Blue Devils a two-point lead, but missed the second shot.
Hancock then narrowly missed a pair of 3-point shots. With four seconds remaining, the Wildcats turned the ball over on a traveling violation.
With 2.4 seconds left in the game, DeVantier was fouled and stepped to the line for another 1-and-1 opportunity. He swished the first shot to give Roscoe a 46-43 lead. The second shot bounced off the rim, but the clock ran out before the Wildcats could get a quality shot to possibly send the game into overtime.
In leading the Blue Devils to the win, DeVantier recorded a double-double. He netted 21 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.
Dusty Sullivan and James Madera scored nine and eight points, respectively, for the Blue Devils. Sullivan dished out a team-high three assists and sophomore center Justin Klinger grabbed a team-high 14 rebounds.
Justin Murphy added six points for Roscoe.
Madera hit a 3-point shot with 28 seconds remaining in the second quarter to tie the game at 24-24.
That 3-pointer James made right before halftime was huge, Roscoe Coach Fred Ahart said. Dan [DeVantier] was on the bench with foul trouble at the time, so for James to get that shot to go down and tie the game was a big plus for us.
The veteran coach noted that it was a good game.
Both teams played hard tonight, Ahart said. We had to work very hard to get a W. Hancock deserves credit for playing a good game.
Senior forward Nunzio Lombardo paced the Wildcats offense, scoring a game-high 24 points. Dustin MacRabie recorded eight points and 11 rebounds and Brock Flynn grabbed eight rebounds for Hancock.
We have lost a lot of close games, Hancock Coach Keith Esolen said. It seems like we havent had the right chemistry at the end of games.
Esolen noted that DeVantier was a key factor in the games outcome.
Hes a great basketball player, Esolen commented. He really took over the game in the second half.
I thought we played well, we just didnt get over that hurdle to get a win, he added.