By Rob Potter
HANCOCK January 4, 2008 It was close in the early going.
In the first quarter of last Friday night’s championship game of the first annual Hancock Girls’ Basketball Holiday Tournament, the Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats and host Hancock Lady Wildcats were not separated by more than a few points.
After a 2-2 tie in the first minute of play, Manor took a 10-4 lead midway through the period when Megan Ellison drove down the lane to score a basket.
With 1:56 left in the frame, Hancock’s Ariel Kravetsky scored inside the paint to pull her team to within a basket at 10-8. About 45 seconds later, Chelsea Adamec put back a teammate’s missed shot to give Manor a 12-8 advantage.
In the second quarter, Manor outscored Hancock by a 16-8 margin to take a 28-16 lead at the intermission.
Manor (7-0) gradually added to its advantage in the second half to record a 54-34 victory and earn the first place trophy in the inaugural tourney.
Hancock (4-6) tied the score at 12-12 with 7:07 left in the second period when Alycia Jones took a pass from teammate Ashley Raymond and put the ball off the glass for two points.
Just over a minute later, Ellison swished a 3-pointer to give Manor a 15-12 lead. From that point on, Manor never trailed.
Adamec and Marissa Diescher each posted a double-double to lead Manor to the victory. Diescher, a freshman guard, scored a game-high 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Adamec, a senior forward, netted 16 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
Manor also had key contributions from several other players. Natalia Cruz had seven points and nine rebounds, Ellison registered five points and nine assists, Angela Trotti recorded four points and nine rebounds and Danielle Baker had nine rebounds.
“We missed some shots early, but we kept working hard and shot better in the second quarter and second half,” Manor Coach Kevin Clifford said. “We also improved our defense and got some easy transition baskets.”
Clifford praised his team’s overall effort.
“Everybody got in the game and they played pretty well,” he said.
Clifford also lauded the performance of the other three teams in the tourney Andes, Hancock and Margaretville.
“The players from all four teams played very hard the entire tournament,” he said. “This was a very well-run tournament.”
Kravetsky and Daisha Kane paced the Hancock offense. Kravetsky, a sophomore guard, scored a team-high 13 points. Kane, a junior guard, netted 10 points.
“We stayed with them in the first quarter and tied it early in the second [period],” Hancock Coach Kyle Emerich said. “But then they went on a scoring run in the second quarter.
“Manor is a very good team,” he added. “They are well-coached and have a lot of talent.”
While disappointed with the loss, Emerich was pleased with his team’s performance.
“We have a very young team and these girls played hard tonight and didn’t give up,” he said. “We just want to improve game by game this season.”
Emerich added that his team has already won four games this season after going winless during the 2006-2007 season.
Notes: The winner of the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award and selections for the All-Tournament Team were announced following the game.
Marissa Diescher, who scored a team-high 21 points in Manor’s 56-27 victory over Margaretville in last Thursday night’s opening round contest, earned the MVP award.
Named to the All-Tournament Team were: Brandi Balcom (Margaretville), Megan Ellison (Manor), Carrianne Fairbairn (Andes), Daisha Kane (Hancock), Ariel Kravetsky (Hancock), Jordan Leet (Hancock) and Angela Trotti (Manor).
Diescher also won the tourney’s 3-point contest. Two players from each team competed in the event’s first round on Thursday night. The top four shooters advanced to the final round, which was held prior to Friday afternoon’s consolation game between Andes and Margaretville.
In the final round, Diescher made 15-of-25 shots (60 percent) to take first place honors in the competition.”