By Lori Brown
GRAHAMSVILLE February 21, 2006 The Chester Hambletonians were victorious over the host Tri-Valley Bears, 46-32, Thursday night in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V basketball game.
With the win, Chester (10-9, 6-2 Div. V) clinched a share of the Div. V title. Both the Hambletonians and Tuxedo Tornadoes finished the regular season with identical 6-2 records in Div. V competition.
Both teams played very strong defensively during the contest. Throughout the entire first quarter, the Bears and Hambletonians racked up a total of just eight points. Chesters Nick Schust made four points, while teammate Kevin Jones scored two points. T-Vs Fred Moore scored a basket after Coach Jason Semo called a timeout to discuss why the Bears were caving into Chesters defense.
The second quarter was much more fast-paced than the first as Chester scored 13 points in the period, while T-V netted seven points.
Going into the second half down 21-9, the Bears knew they had to come into the remaining 16 minutes of play with a solid effort on offense. Conversely, the Hambletonians knew they had to have tight defense.
In the third quarter, Chester dominated, outscoring the Bears by a 12-5 margin. The Hambletonians were quite motivated during the stanza and entered the fourth period with a seemingly comfortable 35-14 advantage.
But T-V (13-6, 4-4 Div. V) started to make a comeback in the final eight minutes of the contest. The Bears scored 18 points, in those minutes, but it was not enough to overcome Chesters lead. Chester Coach Jason Closs called several timeouts throughout this quarter to get his team back on track. Chesters Derek Sharp made a 3-point shot just prior to receiving some guidance from his coach during a timeout.
T-Vs Dustin VanLieu had swished a pair of 3-pointers and teammate John Merchant made a 3-point shot as well.
Chester played a good game, Semo said. Jason Closs has done a great job coaching his team. They played every aspect of the game well.
As for the Bears, Semo said, Fred Moore, a junior, was a constant presence on the board, scoring eight points and having 10 rebounds.
Merchant led the T-V offense with nine points, while VanLieu followed closely behind with seven points.
Defensively my team played excellent, especially in the first three quarters, Closs said. Tri-Valley deserves a lot of credit, they had great character and made a good team effort.
The Hambletonians leader also praised his players for their effort.
Ruddie Montalvo did a great job leading the team and made good decisions, Closs said. Kevin Jones, a junior, played great defensively and was the floor leader.
Bryan Vandermark was the Hambletonians high scorer with 10 points. He also had seven rebounds.
Chesters Nick Schust scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds, while teammates Derek Sharp and Ruddie Montalvo netted nine and seven points, respectively.