By Rob Potter
ELDRED Although high-school basketball games feature 32 minutes of competition between the teams of student-athletes, often what happens in one particular quarter impacts the entire contest.
Such was the case on Monday night at Eldred Central School.
The visiting Livingston Manor Wildcats outscored the Eldred Yellowjackets 18 to 2 in the second quarter of their Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI basketball game. Manor used that scoring run to transform a 19-12 deficit at the end of the first period into a 30-21 lead at halftime.
The Wildcats went on to register a 55-43 victory.
Manor (10-4, 6-2 Div. VI) took the lead for good midway through the key frame.
At the 4:09 mark, senior forward Mike Hendrickson scored inside the lane to bring the Wildcats to within a point at 21-20. Slightly more than a minute later, teammate Justin Miranda swished a 3-pointer to give Manor a 23-21 advantage.
Miranda knocked down another 3-point shot on the Wildcats’ next possession to push their lead to five.
The Wildcats extended their advantage to double digits in the third period.
Manor took its largest lead of the evening with 6:25 remaining in the fourth quarter as senior forward Shane Lewis scored in the key off an assist from fellow senior Claude Davis. Lewis’ basket gave the Wildcats a 48-32 advantage.
The Wildcats used a balanced scoring attack to earn the win as Davis, Hendrickson, Lewis and Miranda all finished in double digits.
Lewis led the way with a game-high 18 points, Hendrickson had 12 points, Davis netted 11 points and Miranda recorded 10 points.
“I was very happy with our defense tonight,” said Manor Coach Charlie Hicks, especially noting the second quarter when his team held Eldred to a single basket.
“I was pleased with how our guys in the post, Claude, Mike and Shane, played tonight,” Hicks added.
Hicks was also impressed with the Yellowjackets.
“Eldred has improved this season, they played a very good game,” he said.
Eldred (3-8, 1-6 Div. VI) played the Wildcats virtually even in the second half, but could not rebound from the second quarter.
“In several games this season we have played well in three of the four quarters, but we seem to have one bad quarter,” Eldred Coach J.J. Gass said. “We haven’t put together four good quarters of play on a consistent basis.”
Gass noted that Manor played well.
“They have a very good team,” he said. “They are the best passing team we have played this season.”
Jason Jennings paced the Yellowjackets with 17 points, while Rik Dilles had eight points and Bryan Henry added four points.