By Ted Waddell
LIVINGSTON MANOR February 8, 2008 In Wednesday night’s Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI basketball game, the home team Wildcats of Livingston Manor defeated the Eldred Yellowjackets, 52-31, in a defensive battle that got off to a snail’s pace in the first quarter.
Eldred (5-8 overall, 2-3 Division VI) led 10-9 at the end of the first period, but saw their hopes of victory dwindle away like sand in an hourglass, as the Wildcats outscored them in the remaining three quarters: 15-6, 20-9 and 8-6.
The top scorers for Manor (11-4, 5-1 Division VI) included James Baker with 15 points, Shane Lewis (13 points) and Claude Davis (10 points).
For Eldred, John Scully had 10 points and Kojo Williams netted five points.
Before the start of the game, patriotism was on display as a quartet of Manor cheerleaders Chantel Baker, Hillary Hoag, Sarah Riegal and Diana Trotta led the crowd in singing The Star-Spangled Banner.
“Charlie’s done a great job with them,” Eldred Coach Charlie Donnelly said of Manor Coach Charlie Hicks.
“They work really hard, and they deserved to win… they came out in the third quarter and worked extremely hard,” Donnelly said. “Those kids deserve a lot of credit, and they outhustled most of the teams they’ve played.”
Hicks said of the game, “We came out slow, they came out slow.
“We’re both pretty good defensive teams, and both teams missed a couple of chippies… it was a low scoring first half,” Hicks continued. “Both teams were pumped up, we just had to loosen up a little bit.
“Mr. Donnelly does an awesome job with that team and has them very well disciplined and they play great ‘D’ and they play well as a team.”
Hicks said that while Eldred limited the Wildcats’ Mike Hendrickson, who has been the team’s leading scorer in many games this season, to eight points, Hendrickson came within a basket of racking up a triple-double as he had 17 rebounds and 10 assists.
“A lot of other guys picked it up,” said Hicks, crediting the play of Lewis, Baker and Davis.
“I’m just happy to get a win,” he added.