By Ted Waddell
ROSCOE February 21, 2006 In Thursday nights Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI boys varsity basketball game between the host Blue Devils of Roscoe and the Livingston Manor Wildcats, Manor clinched a berth in the upcoming Section IX Class D tournament by defeating the Blue Devils 63-49.
The Wildcats victory denied the home team a chance at being a sectional spoiler to their longtime rivals.
Roscoe (6-14, 1-7 Division VI) took the floor without a hope of making it past regular season play, as the team missed a chance to secure a sectional berth with a loss the previous week to The Family School in another Div. VI contest.
The Blue Devils outscored Manor 15-13 in the first quarter.
In the last seconds of the second period, it looked like the game was going into halftime with the score tied at 27-27. But the Wildcats snuck in a 3-pointer before the game clock wound down to take a 30-27 lead into the locker room.
Manor (6-12, 4-4 Div. VI) outpaced the Blue Devils 17-14 in the third quarter and 16-8 in the fourth period despite the best efforts of Dan DeVantier, Roscoes leave it all on the court sparkplug.
When the buzzer sounded to end the third quarter, the Wildcats went up 47-41, and at the 6:50 mark of the fourth, they were up 53-41 as the Blue Devils began to fade.
Double digit scorers for the Wildcats were Mike Perry, who recorded a game-high 23 points, and Rob Baker who netted 13. Cody DeRosia led Roscoe with 18 points and DeVantier added 12.
Manor posted the 14-point win despite making just 6-of-16 free throws (38 percent). Roscoe was 6-of-9 (67 percent) at the free-throw line.
Its been a long year, and the Manor-Roscoe games are always very physical and fast paced, Manor Coach Charlie Hicks said. We didnt play that great a first half, but I thought we came alive in the second half
we moved the ball better and no more run-and-gun.
Hicks said that after the win that got them into sectionals, he told his players that its a whole new game [and] weve got a second chance to do some things.
We were knocked out of sectionals before the game, and in the second half Livingston Manor started controlling the boards, said Roscoe Coach Fred Ahart, now in his 37th year of coaching boys varsity hoops at Roscoe Central School.
They had a good inside game, and made their shots from the outside, he added.
Wrapping up the 2005-2006 basketball season, Ahart said, These guys played hard right to the finish, and Im very proud of them.
Since it was the Blue Devils final home game of the year, seniors DeVantier and Troy Kirchner, who are both in their third varsity season, and Lance Brookins, in his first year of varsity basketball, were honored before tip-off.
Asked about his coaching future after almost four decades of guiding the Blue Devils hoops squads, Ahart replied with a grin, Just like I always say One game at a time, I believe in one season at a time.