By Rob Potter
LIVINGSTON MANOR December 25, 2007 The Livingston Manor Wildcats got off to a quick start last Wednesday night.
The Wildcats outscored the visiting Family School Falcons, 22-9, in the first quarter of their Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division VI basketball game.
Manor (2-2, 1-0 Division VI) then withstood a fourth-quarter comeback by the Falcons to register a 54-41 victory.
Justin Miranda and Justin Maggio led the Wildcats’ first-quarter scoring surge. Miranda swished a 3-point shot midway through the period to give Manor a 13-7 lead.
Just over a minute later, with 2:11 remaining in the stanza, Miranda stole the ball near midcourt and then passed it to teammate James Baker, who soared to the hoop and dunked the ball. Baker’s slam dunk had the home crowd roaring in appreciation and gave the Wildcats a 17-9 advantage.
In the final 1:25, Maggio hit a 3-pointer and scored on a layup as Manor pushed its lead to 13 points (22-9).
Manor enjoyed a 37-14 lead at halftime and a 45-24 lead at the conclusion of the third period.
In the fourth quarter, however, The Family School (1-6, 1-1 Division VI) stormed back. The Falcons outscored the Wildcats 17 to 9 in those final eight minutes.
Chris Fegan and John O’Rielly each scored four points for the Falcons in the period.
Three Wildcats scored in double figures to lead the team to victory. Shane Lewis swished a pair of 3-point shots and finished with a team-high 15 points. Baker had 12 points and Mike Hendrickson netted 10 points.
Maggio added seven points for the Wildcats.
Manor held a slight edge at the free-throw line. The Wildcats made 6-of-11 foul shots and the Falcons went 4-of-12 at the line.
Manor Coach Charlie Hicks was happy with his team’s performance to open the game.
“The quick start definitely helped us,” he said. “I was very pleased with the way we played in the first half.”
Hicks also noted that defense played a role in his team’s victory.
“We played solid defense and were able to get some turnovers,” he said. “Once we got those turnovers, we were able to use our transition game to get some easy baskets.”
The Wildcats’ leader praised the Falcons for their performance as well.
“The Family School outplayed us in the second half,” Hicks said.
Family School Coach Ted Towsley noted that the game’s first few minutes contributed greatly to the outcome.
“My players started very slow,” he said. “It seemed like we didn’t come out focused and ready to play basketball.”
Towsley felt that his team gained focus and kept improving as the game continued.
“I’m very happy with our effort in the second half,” he commented. “We played well in the third and fourth quarters.
“My guys kept playing hard and didn’t quit,” Towsley added.
Chris Robinson had a game-high 16 points to pace the Falcons’ offensive attack.
Cook scored 10 points for The Family School, while Fegan, Christian Homsey and Martin Manzanares had four points apiece.