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Rob Potter | Democrat

Eldred’s Chris Pitcher puts up a shot over Rondout Valley defender Erik Johansen early in the third quarter of Monday night’s non-league basketball game at Eldred Central School. Among the players looking on in the background are Eldred’s Nick Mehedin (13) and Rondout Valley’s Cody Markle (11).

Eldred tops Rondout, 40-36, in non-league hoops game

By Rob Potter
ELDRED — December 10, 2010 — At the end of the third quarter of Monday night’s non-league basketball game, the host Eldred Yellowjackets trailed the Rondout Valley Ganders, 29-28.
But in the fourth quarter, the Yellowjackets, who were spurred on by their home crowd, especially the student section known as the “Bee Hive,” outscored the Ganders by a 12-7 margin. As a result, Eldred earned a 40-36 victory.
After a very close first period, Eldred (2-0) held an 11-9 lead. The Yellowjackets then went on a 9-0 scoring run in the first two minutes of the second quarter. Chris Pitcher capped the run by scoring a basket inside the lane to give Eldred a 20-9 advantage.
However, Rondout Valley (0-2) put together a 10-2 scoring run during the rest of the period to cut its deficit to 22-19 at halftime. One of the key baskets in those six minutes was a 3-pointer by Teal Harrison-Herts which brought the Ganders to within a basket at 21-19 with exactly one minute remaining until the intermission.
The Ganders took the lead late in the third quarter. With 16 seconds remaining, Harrison-Herts swished another 3-point shot to bring his team within a point at 28-27.
Eight seconds later, he made both ends of a 1-and-1 at the foul line to give Rondout Valley a 29-28 advantage.
Just 17 seconds into the fourth period, Nick Mehedin made a 12-foot jump shot to give Eldred a 30-28 lead.
The Yellowjackets maintained the advantage for the rest of the quarter and made some free throws in the final minute to seal their victory.
Leading Eldred to the win was junior center P.J. Collins, who had a double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds. He also blocked eight shots.
Also keying the Yellowjackets’ offense were Pitcher, who netted 11 points, and Mehedin, who had eight points.
“It was an intense game,” Eldred Coach J.J. Gass said. “I was happy with the way we came out and took the lead in the first half. I was glad Rondout [Valley] made a run at us in the second half, because I wanted to see if we would respond to it or crumble. We responded and took the lead back.”
Gass was pleased with all of his players, especially the seniors, as the Yellowjackets earned their second straight victory over a larger school. Eldred is a Class C school, while the Port Jervis Red Raiders, who the Yellowjackets defeated last week, and Rondout Valley are both Class A teams.
“I am happy with our senior leadership,” he said. “The seniors are really stepping up and becoming our team leaders.”
Harrison-Herts led Rondout Valley with 14 points, the majority of which came on four successful shots from beyond the 19-foot-9-inch arc.
Erik Johansen and Thaddeus Tolbert each added five points for the Ganders.
“Their height is tough to contend with,” Rondout Valley Coach Peter Colomer said of the Yellowjackets. “They controlled the boards tonight.
“Eldred was able to make their free throws late in the game,” Colomer added. “They made shots at the end and we didn’t and that was the difference.”

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