By Rob Potter
FALLSBURG December 23, 2005 The Fallsburg Comets grabbed a big lead in the first half of Monday nights non-league basketball game against the visiting Roscoe Blue Devils.
Fallsburg raced out to a double-digit lead in the first four minutes of the contest and held a 23-point advantage at halftime.
But the Comets had to hold off a spirited second-half comeback by the Blue Devils, which was led by senior guard Dan DeVantier, who scored a game-high 42 points.
However, Fallsburg (1-4) made some key steals and layups in the games final moments to record an 82-67 victory.
With 1:41 left in the game, Roscoes Jayson Harris made a 6-foot baseline jump shot to narrow the Comets advantage to 73-67.
But Fallsburg outscored Roscoe 9-0 following Harris basket.
Victor Leventritt swished a pair of free throws with 29 seconds left to give the Comets a 80-67 advantage and teammate David Anthony made a layup nine seconds later which proved to be the final basket of the contest.
Fallsburg raced out to a 26-10 lead in the first quarter, thanks to a few easy baskets set up by steals and turnovers caused by the Comets full-court press.
In the second quarter, the home team extended its advantage. With 6:40 left until the break, Gates scored an easy basket inside the lane thanks to a brilliant pass from Randy Gilmore which gave the Comets a 20-point lead (33-13).
But Roscoe (1-2) outscored the Comets 35-19 in the third quarter to reduce the Fallsburg lead to single digits heading into the final period.
Roscoe Coach Fred Ahart noted playing an aggressive man-to-man defense in that third quarter allowed his squad to close the gap.
We were down 23 at half and cut it down to seven points, he said. Im very proud of my players for the way they came back in the second half.
Fallsburg has some very good players, especially Chris Gates and David Anthony, Ahart added. Coach [Paul] Marsden has nice team and they deserve credit for the way they played tonight.
Marsden was very happy with his teams performance.
We started out 0 and 4, so it was good to get a win, he said. We had three guys in double figures tonight.
Gates led the Comets with a double-double. He scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Darius Buckner netted 19 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and Anthony had 17 points. Daniel Friedman added eight points for Fallsburg.
Marsden praised Roscoe for plugging away and plugging away at our lead.
And he had one word to describe DeVantiers performance.
Unbelievable, Marsden said of the Roscoe senior. It seemed like he was unstoppable at times. He made 22-of-31 shots at the foul line.
DeVantier scored more than half of the Blue Devils points and teammate John Clancy netted 20 points. Nine of Clancys points came on a trio of successful shots from beyond the 3-point arc.