By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR After the National Anthem was sung and the two starting lineups were introduced, a special announcement was made seconds before tip-off of Tuesday night’s Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI basketball game between the Roscoe Blue Devils and host Livingston Manor Wildcats.
Manor Athletic Director Stephen Schroder took the microphone and asked the audience to join him in congratulating Roscoe Coach Fred Ahart for recently being nominated to the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Schroder said as the fans applauded the man who is in his 40th season of guiding the Blue Devils’ basketball team.
The announcement was a welcome surprise for Ahart.
“I want to express my appreciation for the applause of both the Roscoe and Livingston Manor spectators,” he said. “I also thank Manor Athletic Director Stephen Schroeder for his kind words.”
Once the game began, Roscoe took a 9-8 lead at the end of the first period.
But the Wildcats outscored the Blue Devils 17 to 7 in the second quarter and 24 to 5 in the third quarter to record a 64-34 victory.
Manor improved to 8-3 overall and 5-1 in Div. VI, while Roscoe fell to 0-11, 0-6 in Div. VI.
With 5:56 remaining in the second period, Roscoe’s Nate Brock scored a layup to break a 12-12 tie.
But 19 seconds later, Manor’s Justin Miranda made a basket in the lane to knot the game at 14-14.
The Wildcats took the lead for good when Miranda swished a shot from the top of the key just inside the 3-point arc with 5:13 remaining until the half.
Manor used a very balanced scoring attack to record its win. Claude Davis, Phil Guzman and Mike Hendrickson each scored eight points; Troy Correa, Troy Edwards and Kenny Fisk added seven points apiece and Miranda and Dean Mendez each scored six points.
“Ten of our 11 players scored tonight,” Manor Coach Charlie Hicks said.
“I think Kenny Fisk played very well tonight,” Hicks added. “He had 12 rebounds to go with his seven points.”
The Wildcats’ leader also praised Ahart and the Blue Devils.
“Fred has done a great job with his team, they have improved a lot since the first time we played them,” said Hicks, referring to last month’s OCIAA Div. VI contest between teams at Roscoe Central School.
Ahart lauded the Manor program.
“Manor has a fine team,” he said. “Charlie does a great job of coaching them.”
Nate Brock had a game-high 18 points for Roscoe and Adam Hendrix added eight points.
“I’m proud of my team, they played hard until the end of the game,” Ahart said. “They didn’t quit and we’re still looking to improve.”
In further thanking everyone for their applause prior to the game regarding his Hall of Fame induction in March, Ahart noted the closeness of the two schools and the two communities. For example, several of the Blue Devils and Wildcats who played in the game were teammates this past autumn on the combined Livingston Manor-Roscoe Devilcats football team. In addition, players from both squads were on a combined Manor-Roscoe summer basketball league team in 2007 and 2008.