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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

TRI-VALLEY’S JOHN MERCHANT tries to regain control of the basketball after Roscoe’s Troy Kirchner knocked out of his hands.

Tri-Valley Leaps
Over Roscoe

By Ted Waddell
GRAHAMSVILLE — February 1, 2005 – “I give Tri-Valley credit,” said Fred Ahart, Roscoe’s always classy varsity boys’ basketball coach in summing up his team’s Friday night’s 65-53 loss to the host Bears.
“They hit some big shots down the stretch when it was fairly close,” he said.
In the first period, T-V (2-10) edged the Roscoe (4-10) by a point, 15-14.
In the second frame, the scoring was dead even at 10-10, as the bears headed off to the locker room with a 25-24 lead.
The final two periods saw the Blue Devils start to lose steam, due in large part to their top scorer Danny DeVantier suffering a lower back injury early in the game and then sitting out the rest of the contest.
Both squads had three hoopsters attain double digits in the scoring column. For T-V, John Merchant netted 19 point and teammates Michael Kaplan and Travis Wolfe added 18 and 14 points, respectively. For Roscoe, Troy Kirchner recorded 19 points, while Dusty Sullivan and Justin Klinger registered 11 and 10 points, respectively.
“I thought the kids did a nice job stepping up when our leader [DeVantier] went down,” Ahart said.
“I saw some good things out there tonight, and some things we have to work on,” he added.
On the positive side of the coach’s ledger were “good crisp passing at times and offense plays to the basket.
A few things the Blue Devils can expect to be working on in practice are cutting down on turnovers and grabbing more defensive rebounds.
“We’re working hard to improve with each game,” Ahart explained. “We’re a young team, and we’re working to develop experience.”
T-V Coach Jason Semo said his team picked up its second win of the season due to good man-to-man defense and DeVantier’s absence.
“The shots started to fall for our guys a little bit and they [Roscoe] went cold in the second half,” he said.
Semo said a pivotal turning point in the game was the injury to DeVantier.
“It’s tough to stay focused when you lose your top gun,” he said. “They did a great job of bouncing back.”
Semo lauded the play of John Merchant with keeping the Bears in contention early on in the contest.
“He did a great job on the boards,” the coach commented.
“I though both teams played well,” Semo said. “It’s always good to win.”

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