By Rob Potter
LAKE HUNTINGTON February 22, 2008 On Wednesday night, the Sullivan West girls’ basketball team honored its seniors and won a tournament championship.
SW defeated S.S. Seward, 54-41, in the championship game of the Billy Moran Tip-Off Classic Tournament, which was also the SW Senior Recognition Game.
The Billy Moran Tip-Off Classic title contest was originally scheduled to be played back on Dec. 5, but was postponed due to inclement weather. The game was then set to be played on Feb. 9, but had to be rescheduled again due to snow.
Prior to the contest, the two seniors on the SW team Sarah Lander and Jenn Pitz and all of their teammates joined their parents at center court for a ceremony.
When the game started, the teams traded baskets in the first four minutes.
But Pitz swished a 3-point shot from the wing with 3:46 left in the opening quarter to give the Lady Bulldogs a 10-8 lead.
From that point on, SW (17-2) held the advantage on the scoreboard.
Seward (18-2) cut the SW lead to six points midway through the second quarter when Vivian Greiser made a jump shot.
But the Lady Bulldogs extended their lead to 26-17 at halftime and pushed the advantage to as many as 15 points in the second half.
In the fourth quarter, SW maintained its lead by making the majority of its foul shots. For example, Pitz was 9-of-14 at the free-throw line in those eight minutes of play.
The Lady Bulldogs were 16-of-24 at the line during the game.
“We’re extremely proud of them,” SW Coach Ron Bernhardt said of his players. “They are playing very well together.”
Bernhardt noted that the Lady Bulldogs have won nine consecutive games and was pleased to get a victory against Seward.
“They have a good team,” he said of the Lady Spartans, who are ranked second in the latest Class C girls’ basketball poll released by the New York State Sportswriters Association.
Pitz paced the Lady Bulldogs’ offense with 16 points, while Lindsey Murphy added 14 points.
Rachel Houghtaling had nine points, 14 rebounds and seven assists and Lander had five points and seven rebounds.
For Seward, Kathleen Folkl scored a game-high 17 points, Greiser had eight points and Brooke Burnside netted six points.
“Sullivan West did a good job of grabbing offensive rebounds and they were able to get some second shots from those rebounds,” Seward Coach Joe DiMattina said.
Notes: Houghtaling was named the tournament’s MVP.
The all-tournament team included Folkl, Greiser, Lexis Heal of Port Jervis, Pitz and Betty Weaver of The Family School.
Heal and Weaver were selected to the all-tournament team when The Family School defeated Port Jervis in the consolation game back on Feb. 9.
Sullivan West, which is ranked 12th among Class B girls’ basketball teams in the latest New York State Sportswriters Association poll, and Seward have completed the regular season. Both teams will be playing in next week’s sectionals.