By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR January 25, 2005 The theme of Friday nights Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI girls basketball game between visiting S.S. Seward and Livingston Manor was set in the first quarter.
That theme was Sewards aggressive defense creating scoring opportunities on the other end of the court.
The Lady Spartans demonstrated the ability to use their defense to spur their offense just one minute and 28 seconds into the game. Forward Kylie Burnside stole the ball from a Manor player and quickly passed it upcourt to teammate Theresa Space, who then drove to the hoop and scored an easy basket. The successful shot gave Seward (12-2, 6-0 Division VI) a 6-0 lead and prompted Manor Coach Kevin Clifford to call a timeout so his team could regroup.
Ten seconds after play resumed, senior guard Ashley Mann put the Lady Wildcats on the scoreboard by nailing a six-foot jump shot in the lane thanks to a pass from Carrie Lewis.
But Seward wasted little time in responding to Manns hoop.
About a minute later, Melissa Oliphant stole the ball, quickly ran to the basket and made a layup. The easy deuce gave the Lady Spartans a 8-2 advantage.
Over the next two minutes, Space converted a layup and Selin Tekin made a shot from close range to extend the Seward lead to 10 points, 14-4.
The Lady Spartans outscored Manor (7-7, 2-4 Division VI) by a 21-12 margin in the second period to take a commanding 35-18 lead at halftime.
Seward added to its advantage in the third and fourth quarters on the way to a 54-29 victory.
Pacing the Lady Spartans offense was Space, who registered a game-high 16 points. Teammates Oliphant and Cameron Morrill each added nine points.
Seward Coach Joe DiMattina noted that his teams defense was a key factor in the contest.
We created a lot of turnovers tonight, he said. We played good overall defense.
DiMattina also praised the way the Lady Spartans played on offense.
We have a very unselfish team, he said. We were able to get a lot of easy baskets tonight.
Lewis, a senior forward, netted a team-high 11 points for the Lady Wildcats. Teammate Jackie Trotti recorded 10 points on the evening.
We made a lot of stupid mistakes and you cant afford to do that against a very good team like Seward, Clifford said. I think they are a very underrated team. I think Seward is one of the top five teams in all of Section IX.
Making the loss to Seward even more difficult for the Lady Wildcats was the fact it was their second double-digit defeat in as many nights. On Thursday evening, Manor traveled to Grahamsville to face the Tri-Valley Lady Bears in a non-league contest. T-Vs Lacey Moore recorded a double-double (15 points and 16 rebounds) and Shauna Murray scored 19 points as the Lady Bears clawed the Lady Wildcats, 72-34.
We just didnt play well at all, Clifford said of the loss to T-V. We just didnt play our game.
One bright spot for Manor in the contest was Lewis, who registered a team-high 18 points.