Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

LIBERTY’S LAKARRI BYRD keeps the ball away from Fallsburg defender Darius Buckner, left, as he goes up for two points in Monday night’s consolation game.

Liberty Sinks Fallsburg

By Ted Waddell
LOCH SHELDRAKE — December 16, 2005 – Despite a strong third frame by the Fallsburg Comets (0-4), the Indians of Liberty (2-2) prevailed over the opposition 62-53 on Monday night in the consolation game of the 2005 Billy Moran Tip-Off Classic varsity boys’ basketball tournament at Sullivan West High School.
Fallsburg (0-4) outscored the Indians by a 24-13 margin in the third period. But Liberty (2-2) outscored the Comets 15-11 in the first quarter, 17-5 in the second period and 16-13 in the fourth quarter to record the nine-point victory.
Leading Liberty to victory were three players who scored in double figures. Lakarri Byrd led the Indians with 18 points, Andre Brand netted 17 points and Tyrone White added 14.
Fallsburg also had three players reach double figures: Chris Gates (16 points), David Anthony (15) and Ian Roosa (10).
At the free-throw line, Liberty was 14-of-25 (56 percent) and Fallsburg was 8-of-10 (80 percent).
“I think we played better tonight with a lot more intensity,” Fallsburg Coach Paul Marsden said. “The problem was that we missed too many layups… that’s the way it goes.”
Liberty Coach Dave Slater said his team played a good first half, but got a “little flustered” in the third frame as Fallsburg gave them a run for their money.
“We started to let them back in, but our boys held on and didn’t give up,” he said. “I’m proud of ‘em.”
About Billy Moran
Billy Moran of Hortonville graduated from Delaware Valley Central School and was an honor student in the engineering program at Union College.
In April 1981, while attending spring baseball training in Florida, he was struck while crossing the road by a drunk teenage driver. As a result, he was, as noted on the memorial plaque displayed in the hallway just outside of the SWHS gymnasium, “lost to the world and community.”
A year later, physical education teacher Andy Ranaudo started a junior varsity boys’ basketball tournament, that over the years has evolved into Billy Moran Scholarship fund raising JV and varsity tourneys for boys and girls, and a golf tournament at the Villa Roma Country Club, directed by golf pro Matt Kleiner. Incidently, Kleiner’s son Ben plays on the SW varsity squad, which defeated S.S. Seward in the title game that followed the Liberty vs. Fallsburg consolation contest.
On Monday night, Billy’s mom Kathleen Moran and his aunt Virginia Guglielmone were out in the front lobby selling tickets to the two tournament games. The scholarship started out at $500 and is now up to $2,500.
“Our goal is to make it self-sustaining,” said Kathleen Moran, adding that by 2007, plans are to raise the annual scholarship to $3,000 funded in part by gifts from the family.
“Billy was the best kid,” she recalled while standing next to Billy’s plaque on the wall outside the gym. “I think of him every day, he always had a smile on his face.
“He was walking across the street and this drunk driver came along and hit him,” she added. “He lived for four days, and that was it.”
Twenty four years after the death of her son, Kathleen Moran is a member of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD).
“The whole family talks to young people about drunk driving,” she said.
Guglielmone also has fond memories of Billy.
“You wouldn’t want to meet a nicer kid, from a little toddler right on up,” she said. “He always gravitated toward helping the younger ones in the family, playing ball and making up games… he was a good kid.”
Guglielmone recalled that the day before Moran was hit by the drunk driver, he was telling his Union College baseball coach all about life in the rural community of Hortonville and serving with the local volunteer fire department.

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