By Ted Waddell
ELDRED December 9, 2005 Defense (or the lack thereof) and fast breaks ruled the night in Mondays championship game between the home team Lady Yellow Jackets of Eldred and the Chapel Field Lady Lions at the 2005 Eldred Varsity Girls Holiday Basketball Tournament.
At the buzzer, the Lady Lions had defeated the Lady Yellowjackets, 68-39.
In the wake of falling behind by 12 points in the first quarter (17-5), Eldred (1-1) rebounded in the second period to outscore Chapel Field by 11 points (21-10). The Eldred scoring surge narrowed the Chapel Field lead to a single point (27-26) at halftime.
The Lady Yellowjackets resurgence was spurred on by a trio of Eldred athletes Jeremy DeForge, Chris Mehedin and Nick Proscia standing on the top row of seats in the bleachers. At first glance, there was nothing so unusual about all the yelling, until DeForge, Mehedin and Proscia peeled off their shirts to spell out E.C.S painted in green on their bare midriffs.
To secure a berth in the championship game, the Lady Lion and Lady Yellowjackets won opening round games last Thursday night. On that evening, Chapel Field (2-0) defeated Livingston Manor 52-42 and Eldred edged The Family School, 43-38.
The Lady Lions clawed their way to victory through the efforts of a trio of players who scored in double figures. Bethany Sgandurra scored a game-high 20 points, Grace Hodges had 18 points and Jessica Wiejak added 17 points.
For Eldred, sophomore Gabby Westfall netted team-best 12 points.
Stats from the free throw line: ECS 5-of-8 (63 percent); Chapel Field 12-of-18 (67 percent).
Were still trying to find ourselves, Chapel Field Coach Sal Patane said. We had some early game jitters, but we have some heady ballplayers who know what to do come crunch time.
Eldred Coach Frank Kean noted that the Lady Lions played very well.
I think their percentage of shooting was just great, and their fast break was just like they were in mid season form
they looked good, he said.
As for his team, Kean said, Its early in the season, and our problem is when were behind, we need to get back on defense, instead of holding ourselves like were at the line in a scrimmage.
Checking the scorebook and reviewing the game in his mind, Kean said Chapel Field grabbed 10 to 12 points on fast breaks in the first half and in the third quarter the Lady Lions sprinted downcourt to take control of the game.
Weve got to get on defense, he added.