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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

SULLIVAN WEST’S KEVIN Capiello tries to drive past Tri-Valley’s John Merchant in Tuesday night’s non-league game.

Tri-Valley Finds
No Haven from SW

By Ted Waddell
LAKE HUNTINGTON — February 4, 2005 – The Bulldogs of Sullivan West took a big bite out of the Tri-Valley boys’ varsity basketball team by defeating the Bears 72-39 in Tuesday night’s non-league game.
Although the host Bulldogs outscored them in every frame (15-5, 21-15, 22-12 and 14-7), the Bears walked off the court with their heads held high.
“We fought as hard as we could, and we never put our heads down,” T-V Coach Jason Semo said.
“Our goal was to make a game of it, and I think we earned the respect of their players,” he added.
A trio of SW players attained double digits: Sean Semenetz (a game- high 20 points), Sean Kelly (17 points) and Derek Hahn (13 points).
For the Bears, the leading scorer was Ian Exner. He recorded a total of 13 points.
Stats from the free throw line: SW 12-of-18 (67 percent); T-V 7-of-9 (78 percent).
SW improved its record to 13-3, while T-V fell to 3-11.
“I thought both teams played hard, but they controlled the game and the tempo,” Semo said.
“Sullivan West is a very good team, and you can tell they’ve been playing a lot of basketball together… they’re on the same page and communicating,” he added. “Ricky [Ellison] and the guys coach their tails off, and it shows. Their kids are fundamentally sound.”
The Bears’ coach said he saw a lot of things Tuesday night that he would eventually like to see his young team doing out there on the floor.
“It was an entire team effort, but Ian Exner stood out in my mind,” said Semo. “He came off the bench and is really starting to get some confidence.”
Next week is a big week at home for for the Bears.
In order to make the sectionals, they need to win two out of their next three games against Tuxedo, Chester and Fallsburg.
“We played pretty hard, but we’ve got to work a little more on our defense,” said Exner, a 16-year-old junior guard.
SW Coach Rick Ellison said that before the contest he told his team it was important to pick up the momentum where they left off after beating the Monticello Panthers 63-61 last Friday night with a 3-pointer at the final buzzer.
“We had a lack of intensity in the first half, but we played better in the second half,” he said.
In recounting the game, Ellison sang the praises of Sean Semenetz.
“He was the only kid who was playing hard from the getgo… he has been playing spectacular basketball ever since we came back from break with his ‘twos’, ‘threes’ and rebounding,” he said.
Ellison said that in the third frame he called a timeout to “chew them out for a lack of movement.”
Eighteen-year-old senior point guard Sean Kelly apparently got the message.
“The coach wasn’t going to be very happy if we didn’t pick it up,” he said. “They played us hard in the first half, but then we picked it up and started playing better in the second half.”
With his eye on the future, the Bulldogs’ helmsman gave a lot of credit to the up and coming Bears.
“Jason’s a good coach and he gets the most out of his kids,” Ellison said. “They’re going to be something in the next couple of years.”
Next Thursday, February 10, SW will take on the Goshen Gladiators, a team noted around the region for a front line made up of a lot of tall timber.
“It’s going to be tough,” Ellison said. “They’re huge!

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