By Rob Potter
ROSCOE February 15, 2008 The Livingston Manor Wildcats held a 31-23 halftime lead over the host Roscoe Blue Devils in last Friday night’s Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI basketball game.
But in the third quarter, the Wildcats outscored Roscoe 20-9 to take a 51-32 lead into the final period.
Manor (13-4, 6-1 Division VI) went on to post a 66-42 victory, its ninth in a row.
The teams traded baskets early in the third quarter.
But after Cody DeRosia converted a pair of free throws to bring the Blue Devils to within 10 points at 37-27 with 4:59 left in the stanza, Manor outscored Roscoe 14-5 during the remainder of the frame.
The Wildcats held a 15-10 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter.
Roscoe (8-8, 1-6 Division VI) took a 10-6 lead with 3:30 remaining in the first quarter when Joe Ladenhauf made a 3-point shot.
But Manor’s Mike Hendrickson scored five baskets in the next three minutes to give his team a 16-10 advantage.
Ladenhauf made a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 16-13 at the conclusion of the opening period.
Hendrickson scored 16 points in the first half and finished the game with a double-double of 30 points and 12 rebounds.
Claude Davis also scored in double figures for the Wildcats, netting 10 points.
Shane Lewis added eight points for Manor.
The Wildcats made the most of their trips to the free-throw line, converting 13-of-16 shots (81 percent).
“We have won nine straight and everything seems to be clicking,” Manor Coach Charlie Hicks said. “All of the guys on the team, one through 15, are playing well.
“The key was the third quarter,” he added. “Earlier in the season, the third quarter was our downfall. But the last few games we have played well in the third [quarter].”
DeRosia was the Blue Devils’ leading scorer with 12 points, while teammates Jayson Harris and Clay Banks added 10 points and seven points, respectively.
Like Hicks, Roscoe Coach Fred Ahart noted that the eight minutes of play immediately following halftime were integral to the game’s outcome.
“I’ve always thought that the third quarter was the key quarter,” Ahart said. “It changes the momentum of the game.
“Give Manor credit, nine wins in a row speaks for itself,” Ahart added.