By Lori Brown
FALLSBURG The Eldred Lady Yellowjackets and Fallsburg Lady Comets started the 2009-2010 basketball season with a non-league game on Tuesday night in the Fallsburg Central School gymnasium.
Players, coaches and fans from both schools were excited to start a new scholastic hoops season.
While the Lady Comets played tough the entire game, Eldred prevailed, 52-42. Sharp shooting from the foul line enabled the Lady Yellowjackets to open the season with a “W.”
Eldred’s Heather Oullette had five points during the first eight minutes of play to help her team take a 10-9 lead heading into the second quarter.
Fallsburg (0-1) got into some foul trouble early in the opening frame, but rebounded to stay within a point (18-17) at halftime.
Eldred (1-0) continued to retain its advantage in the third quarter as Meaghan Hazen scored a basket and made a free throw.
Fallsburg’s Keyshawn Kennedy landed a 3-pointer to help her team stay close.
But the Lady Yellowjackets scored 20 points in the period, including a 3-point shot by Amanda Busch with only 33 seconds remaining.
Facing a 38-25 deficit entering the fourth quarter, the Lady Comets came out and played great defense and offense.
Despite outscoring Eldred 17-14 in those last eight minutes, Fallsburg could not recover from its early deficit.
Halfway through the fourth quarter, Fallsburg teammates Sheryl Pinder and Cassie Orlan each made a steal and then scored a basket to bring their team closer on the scoreboard.
Moments later, Pinder swished a 3-pointer to bring her team within four points of Eldred.
However, the Lady Yellowjackets made seven foul shots in the final three minutes to ensure their victory.
“The girls played very well for just starting the season,” Eldred Coach Frank Kean said. “I just got done with the football season and have not had much time for basketball practice.
“This was a tough game,” he continued. “There were a lot of fouls during the game, and we scored 14 points out of a possible 31 foul shots. We won the basketball game on the foul line.”
Kean added that “Kim Elvin did a great job and scored 10 points in the third quarter.
Eldred’s leading scorers were Meaghan Hazen and Sage Owens, each of whom netted 12 points. Elvin finished with 11 points.
“We had too many turnovers and too many fouls,” said Fallsburg Coach Daniel Redmond, who is in his second year of guiding the Lady Comets. “In the fourth quarter, we increased pressure in the zone [defense] and we had more energy and made good shots.
“We have a lot to do as we are still learning and making good progress,” he added. “The girls made a good effort tonight. Jasmine James is a strong rebounder and recorded seven rebounds tonight.”
Kennedy led the Lady Comets with 14 points, while Pinder added 13 points all in the second half.