By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR January 16, 2007 What a difference a month makes.
In early December, the Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats defeated the Chapel Field Lady Lions, 49-44, in overtime in a first-round game at the annual Eldred Holiday Tournament.
But the Lady Lions avenged that loss in the first of two regular season meetings between the teams.
Chapel Field took a 10-9 lead over the host Lady Wildcats at the end of the first quarter of Thursday night’s Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI game. The Lady Lions then extended that lead in the remaining three periods to record a 62-34 victory.
After taking a 24-13 advantage at halftime, Chapel Field (9-1, 2-0 Division VI) took command in the third quarter. Baskets by Kristen Theodore and Grace Hodges in the first 1 minute, 30 seconds of the period gave the Lady Lions a 17-point cushion at 30-13.
About two minutes later, the Chapel Field advantage swelled to 20 points at 35-15 as Katie Oskum put back a missed free throw.
Hodges and Jen Oskum each scored four points in the fourth quarter as the Lady Lions extended their advantage to as many as 28 points.
Lyndi Fielitz led a balanced scoring attack for the Lady Lions. She recorded a game-high 17 points, including a pair of 3-point shots. Hodges and Theodore each netted 12 points and Kiersten Kuperus added eight points for Chapel Field.
“Manor is a good basketball team,” Chapel Field Coach Sal Patane said. “They are the type of team that if they get the idea in their minds that they can beat you, they are capable of going out and doing it.
“But we played very well tonight,” Patane continued. “Grace [Hodges] had a big second half, she was a force going to the basket. Lyndi Fielitz had a great game. I think she has the quickest first step of any player I have ever seen.”
Patane noted that losing to the Lady Wildcats a month ago provided some motivation for the Lady Lions.
“Our players were thinking about that loss and they were inspired by it, they wanted some payback tonight,” he said.
None of the Lady Wildcats reached double digits in the scoring column. Leading the team offensively were senior forward Desirae Dutcher and senior guard Jackie Trotti, each of whom registered eight points. Marissa Diescher and Bridget Ellison each had five points for Manor (6-3, 2-1 Division VI).
“They came out and played hard and played to win,” Manor Coach Kevin Clifford said of the Lady Lions. “We came out and acted like the win was going to be handed to us.”
Clifford said that on a few occasions the Lady Wildcats were able to run their offensive sets and score some easy baskets. But he noted that most of the time, they were prevented from doing so because of turnovers and the tough Chapel Field defense.
Although he was disappointed with the loss, Clifford stressed that his team still has plenty of time to improve before the end of the season.
“We have to work on pushing each other harder in practice,” he said.