By Lori Brown
MONTICELLO February 3, 2006 The Washingtonville Wizards defeated the host Monticello Panthers with a close finish in Tuesday nights non-league boys varsity basketball game.
With just a few minutes remaining in the contest, there was a struggle to see which team would come out victorious. Throughout the fast-paced game, the Wizards and Panthers worked their hardest and they were not giving up.
By the end of the evening, Washingtonville posted a 64-57 victory over the Panthers. Washingtonville improved its season record to 13-3 and Monticello fell to 9-5.
Monticello started off by scoring the first two points of the game. From that point on, the Wizards momentum started to gradually pick up. Washingtonville racked up 18 points in the first quarter, while the Panthers only scored 11 points. In the second quarter, the score was still fairly close.
Coming into the third quarter, with guidance from Coach Dick ONeill, the Panthers knew what they had to do. It was apparent that the Monties were not going down without a fight.
With 2:29 remaining in the third quarter, Monticello senior guard Brad Cooper scored to tie the game at 46-46. Then with 1:01 left, Tyrone White put the Panthers ahead by two points, causing the home team crowd to go wild.
Then Washingtonvilles Chris Kingly made a basket to tie the game again. So going into the fourth period, the score was knotted at 48-48.
During the final stanza, the Panthers scored two points out of a possible six at the free-throw line.
With the score even at 50-50, Washingtonvilles Kyle Yocum made a 3-pointer to give his team a 53-50 advantage.
ONeill called a timeout with 3:09 remaining in the game to talk over some strategy with his players.
The Panthers responded to their veteran coach as Mike Normann scored four points within one minute and Cooper swished a 3-pointer with 1:05 remaining to make the score 60-57.
However, in the final minute, Washingtonvilles Jed Turnbull and Kevin Foley each made a basket to give the Wizards the seven-point victory.
ONeill said that this was a pretty good high school game. His team did not play tough defense in the first half, but they played better defense in the second half. Throughout the game there were a lot of unforced turnovers.
We had no offensive flow and rhythm, ONeill said. The effort was there, but the execution was not.
Washingtonville Coach Todd Rose stated that his team came in trying to stop Monticellos Normann and Cooper as they were two very good players. He said that Monticello was a solid team and thought the Panthers should do well in the upcoming Section IX, Class A Tournament because they are a tough team.
Cooper was the Monties top scorer as he finished with 21 points. Normann recorded 16 points.
Rose had decided that in the second half his team should employ a better defensive strategy. They started to jump and trap in full court, he said.
[But] man-to-man defense at the end, Rose added.
He mentioned that his guards Andy Clyne and Kyle Yocum made good decisions during the game, while handling pressure from Monticello players.
They did a great job running the offense, Rose commented.
Double-digit scorers for the Wizards were Blake Williams (13 points), Clyne (13 points) and Turnbull (10 points).