By Ted Waddell
ELDRED January 9, 2007 It was a game of Charlies in Thursday’s Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI boys’ hoops contest between the home team Eldred Yellowjackets, who are coached by Charlie Donnelly, squared off against the Livingston Manor Wildcats, who are coached by Charlie Hicks.
At the end of the first half, it looked like Eldred (0-6, 0-2 Division VI) was destined for its first win of the season as the team headed off to the locker room with a four-point lead (26-22) after outscoring the Wildcats in both the first quarter (17-15) and the second quarter (9-7).
But in the second half, after Hicks fine-tuned his squad’s press, defensive rotations and offensive play calling, Manor (5-4, 2-0 Division VI) rallied to sting the Yellowjackets in the final periods. The Wildcats outscored Eldred 16-9 in the third and 13-10 in the fourth.
James Baker put the Wildcats up by one early in the second half, and Manor enjoyed a 383-5 advantage at the end of the third quarter. Manor went on to post a 51-45 victory.
John Scully put Eldred’s final points on the scoreboard with a 3-pointer at the two-second mark.
Scully, who recorded a game-high 22 points, was the only double-digit scorer for the Yellowjackets.
Double-digit scorers for the Wildcats were Eric Bonilla, who netted 21 points, and Baker, who had 11 points.
Stats from the free throw line: ECS 6-of-13 (46 percent); LMCS 14-of-24 (58 percent).
“We’ve just got to get back together and try as hard as we can,” said Donnelly in the wake of a lengthy post-game chalkboard session with his players.
“In the first half, we played pretty well under control, but in the second half we got down a little bit and it seemed to bother us more than it should have. They put a lot of pressure on us and we made mistakes that ended up being very costly,” he added.
Hicks praised the Wildcats’ performance and was thankful to walk away from Eldred’s William “Coach” Werneke Gym with a victory.
“I’m happy to get out of here with a win,” he said. “They beat us up and down the floor the whole game and totally outplayed us… they were more aggressive and physical, and wanted to win more than we did.”
“At the half, we made some adjustments and that seemed to do the trick down the road,” Hicks added.