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Rob Potter | Democrat

Monticello seniors Dorentina Rraci, left, Anastasia Bowden, center, and Alma Gashi smile after receiving flowers and balloons from their teammates and coaches prior to Thursday night’s game vs. Fallsburg

Monti seniors honored as team earns a victory vs. Fallsburg

By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO — February 16, 2010 — Prior to Thursday night’s non-league girls’ basketball game, three Monticello seniors – Anastasia Bowden, Alma Gashi and Dorentina Rraci – were honored during a ceremony in which they received flowers from their coaches and teammates.
Bowden, Gashi and Rraci then led the Lady Panthers to a 46-33 victory over the visiting Fallsburg Lady Comets.
Dorentina Rraci and her sister, junior forward Valentina Rraci, each scored four points in the first quarter to help Monticello (3-13) take a 16-6 lead during those opening eight minutes of play.
In the second quarter, the Lady Panthers’ press defense continued to cause turnovers and steals, which then led to fast-break baskets on the other end of the court. As a result, Monticello increased its advantage to 14 points (26-12) at halftime.
The Lady Panthers led by as many as 22 points in the third period.
Despite outscoring Monticello 9-7 in the fourth quarter, Fallsburg (4-13) could not overcome its early deficit.
Valentina Rraci scored a game- high 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Dorentina Rraci, Bowden, Gashi and Yadira Montes each added six points for the Lady Panthers and Shamira Moore had five points.
Dorentina Rraci recorded nine rebounds, Moore had six rebounds and Bowden had five rebounds.
“This was great to get a win on senior night,” Monticello Coach Karen Atack said. “We played a good game.
“Our goal all along this season has been to get better every day and that’s what we are doing,” she added.
Atack also praised her team’s three seniors, especially Bowden, who is the Lady Panthers’ point guard.
“Anastasia has done a great job this season,” Atack said. “She has been a very good leader for us.”
Sheryl Pinder paced the Lady Comets with 10 points, while Shaina Swerdling had six points. Both Pinder and Swerdling swished two 3-point shots on the evening.
Myana DeCosta, Jasmine James, Kayla Kearns and Keyshawn Kennedy added four points apiece for Fallsburg.
“Monticello is a lot better than the first time we played them this season,” said Fallsburg Coach Daniel Redmond, referring to the Lady Comets’ 61-55 win against the Lady Panthers when the teams played a non-league game in Fallsburg on Dec. 7. “Their press caused a lot of turnovers and we came out flat. We had some opportunities to score baskets, but couldn’t finish.”
Redmond noted that his team kept working hard throughout the game.
“I’m proud of our effort on the court,” he said.
The Lady Comets will conclude their season this Friday. At 6:30 p.m., they will play the host S.S. Seward Lady Spartans in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V game.
Monticello has two games left this season. At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the Lady Panthers are scheduled to visit Cornwall for an OCIAA Div. III game. At 5 p.m. Friday, the Lady Panthers play at Goshen in another OCIAA Div. III contest.

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