By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR January 12, 2007 The Livingston Manor Wildcats were behind for most of Wednesday night’s Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI basketball game versus the visiting Roscoe Blue Devils.
But the Wildcats were ahead when it mattered most.
Manor outscored Roscoe 22 to 12 in the fourth quarter to post a 57-47 victory.
With the win, Manor improved its record to 6-5 overall and 3-0 in Division VI play. Roscoe fell to 3-8 overall and 0-3 in Division VI.
After being tied at 35-35 at the end of the third quarter, Roscoe took leads of 37-36 and 39-38 early in the fourth period.
But with 5:26 remaining in the stanza, Manor’s Eric Bonilla swished a 3-point shot to give his team a 41-39 lead.
During the next two minutes, the Wildcats extended their advantage. James Baker hit a one-handed shot while driving to the basket and Bonilla made a pair of jump shots to help Manor take a 47-39 lead.
With exactly 2:30 left in the game, Roscoe’s Cody DeRosia grabbed a rebound in the lane and put the ball back up off the backboard for a basket. The hoop allowed the Blue Devils to close their deficit to four points (47-43).
But the Wildcats quickly added to their lead. Over the next minute and a half Claude Davis made a free throw and Mike Hendrickson scored inside the lane thanks to a timely pass by Shane Lewis, which enabled Manor to take a 50-43 lead.
With 1:05 left, Lewis swished a pair of foul shots to extend the Wildcats’ lead to nine points at 52-43.
Lewis finished with a team-high 15 points. Hendrickson registered a double-double by scoring 13 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
Baker and Bonilla each netted nine points, while Baker added five points.
Manor enjoyed an advantage at the free-throw line. The Wildcats made 16-of-23 shots at the line, while the Blue Devils were just 2-of-6 at the line.
Roscoe’s Jayson Harris, who knocked down a trio of 3-point shots, finished with a game-high 17 points.
Also pacing the Blue Devils’ offense were John Clancy, who scored 12 points, Justin Haas, who recorded eight points, and DeRosia, who finished the evening with five points.
“We didn’t have any energy the whole game,” Manor Coach Charlie Hicks said. “And we shot about 15 or 20 percent in the first half.”
Hicks noted that defense was vital to the Wildcats’ win.
“We played better defense in the second half,” he said. “We turned up our defensive intensity, which led to some turnovers and baskets for us.
“And they missed some shots at the end, which was big,” Hicks added.
Roscoe Coach Fred Ahart said his team played well, but noted that the Wildcats were better on this night.
“They definitely cranked up their defensive effort in the fourth quarter,” he said.