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Ed Townsend | Democrat

Tri-Valley Central School varsity and junior varsity basketball players and coaches pose for a photo while standing on the interior steps of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown last Tuesday prior to taking a tour through the facility.

Tri-Valley Bears play in basketball tourney, visit Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

By Ed Townsend
COOPERSTOWN — January 4, 2011 — Basketball met baseball on Dec. 28 when the Tri-Valley Central School varsity and junior varsity boys’ basketball teams became guests of The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown.
The visit to the independent, non-profit educational institution dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of baseball and its impact on our culture was part of the two teams’ two-day competition in the 2010 Dick White Holiday Basketball Tournament at the Red Bursey Gymnasium at Cooperstown Central School.
Another highlight of the trip was visiting with Sullivan County native David Bertram, who is the Head Coach of the Cooperstown Central School Redskins varsity basketball team, which hosted the tournament. Bertram grew up in Eldred and is a 1990 graduate of Eldred Central School. He is in his 11th year of coaching at Cooperstown Central School.
Following a successful basketball career at Eldred, Bertram attended and played basketball at National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Niagara University in Lewiston, which is near Buffalo. In 1998, he played semi-professional basketball out of New York City for the Hudson Kings.
Prior to accepting a teaching-coaching position at Cooperstown Central School, Bertram coached two years at Edmeston and was part of the faculty at Tri-Valley Central School for two years. His most successful year at Cooperstown was in 2003 when the team went 26-1, with the lone loss coming in the state Class C final.
Bertram’s mother, stepfather, three sisters and three brothers still live in the Eldred area.
Prior to the second day of tournament competition, the T-V basketball teams visited the Baseball Hall of Fame at 10 a.m. The Bears commented about a number of former baseball stars in the Hall of Fame and noted that their tour gave them more understanding and appreciation of the game.
The T-V basketball teams were found to be comprised of a number of New York Yankees, New York Mets and Boston Red Sox fans and those great players of the past got a lot of their attention.  Coaching staff members accompanying the team included JV Coach Jason Closs, Varsity Coach Brian Tingley and official scorekeeper Kevin Giroux.
Brad Horn, Baseball Hall of Fame Senior Director of Communications and Education, officially welcomed the T-V teams and coaching staff and everyone enjoyed their brief two-hour visit before having lunch and returning to hoop competition at 2 p.m. 
Tournament play on Dec. 27 found the Fort Plain JV defeating the T-V JV, 62-47, and the Fort Plain varsity defeating Tri-Valley varsity 54-23.
On Dec. 28, T-V defeated Cooperstown, 76-49, in the JV consolation game. Point guard Shatik Smith scored 28 points to lead T-V to the victory.
In the varsity consolation game, Bertram’s Cooperstown team defeated T-V, 77-40.
Note: Photos of some of the basketball tournament action and the T-V teams’ tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame is available at If asked for a privacy code, put in the word “photome.”

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