Sullivan County Democrat
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Playing With Heart

Democrat Photo by Nathan Mayberg

MONTICELLO’S BRITTNEY MORSE puts up a shot over a James I. O’Neill defender during a game this past season. Among the players looking on in the background are Monticello’s Liila Mack (32) and O’Neill’s Rochelle Ralph (15).

That Was 'Their
Biggest Asset'

By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO — April 5, 2005 – The Monticello girls’ basketball team played competitively this year and finished with an 8-11 overall record
In Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division III competition, Monticello had a 1-3 record.
Coach Karen Atack, who is one of the most successful girls’ basketball coaches in the region, was pleased with her team’s effort all year. She said the Lady Panthers improved drastically throughout the season.
“No matter what the score was, we played hard – even against good times like [John S.] Burke [Catholic School] and Sullivan West,” she said. “We improved the whole year.”
Among the aspects of her team’s play which improved were shooting and fundamentals, Atack said.
“Their biggest asset was their heart,” she said of her players.
Atack expects the team to do better next year.
However, the Lady Panthers will lose standout seniors Vicky Carter and Ana Rivera to graduation in June.
The highlight of the 2004-2005 season for Atack was Monticello’s win against OCIAA Division III rival Goshen. The victory atoned for a loss to the Lady Gladiators a few weeks earlier.
Rivera led Monticello in scoring this season. Liila Mack was the team’s top rebounder. Her best game was when she grabbed 30 rebounds against Goshen in the first battle between the teams. Nichole Christopher led the Lady Panthers in assists.
Mack was recently given the Coach’s Award by Atack, because “she plays hard, she makes a difference…nobody worked harder.” Atack said that Mack was an all-star “on and off the court.”
Other team awards went to Carter, Rivera and Iris Robinson.
Atack said the team’s record would have been better if Fallsburg had not cancelled four times.
In addition, the Lady Panthers might have posted a few more wins this past season if Rivera had not missed some action due to injuries.

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