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Rob Potter | Democrat

T-V’s Nicole Bradley takes a shot between Manor defenders Kiera Browne, left, and Paige Clancy, right, in the second quarter of Saturday’s championship game.

T-V edges Manor, 47-44, in Mid-Winter Tourney

By Rob Potter
ROSCOE — January 25, 2011 — As one might have expected, the outcome of Saturday afternoon’s game between two of the best girls’ basketball teams in the area was not determined until the final seconds.
With just 3.4 seconds remaining in the championship game of the Livingston Manor/Roscoe Mid-Winter Girls’ Basketball Tournament, Tri-Valley’s Jakki Pugh calmly swished a pair of free throws to seal a 47-44 victory for her team over Livingston Manor.
T-V, which was ranked 10th among Class C girls’ basketball teams in the New York State Sportswriters Association Poll released on Jan. 16, improved its season record to 9-0.
But to remain undefeated, the Lady Bears had to withstand a second half comeback by the home team.
In the first two quarters of play, Pugh netted 13 points and teammates Mareena DiMilia and Sabrena Smith each added five points apiece to help the Lady Bears take a 27-15 lead at the intermission.
In the third period, Manor (8-3) began to cut into the T-V advantage. Within the first three minutes of the quarter, Manor’s Marissa Diescher netted a pair of baskets and teammate Kiera Browne scored inside the lane to make the score 27-21 in favor of the Lady Bears.
T-V held a 31-26 lead going into the fourth quarter.
However, like in the previous stanza, Manor wasted little time in closing the gap. With 7:38 on the clock, Diescher knocked down a 15-foot jump shot. Less than a minute later, Browne made two free throws after being fouled while attempting a shot down under the basket. Those foul shots brought Manor to within one at 31-30.
DiMilia scored on the next Lady Bears’ possession to make it a 33-30 game. Then with 2:57 to go, she banked in a shot off the backboard to push her team’s lead to six at 39-33.
Angela Zayas responded for Manor with a successful jump shot at 2:38. Just 18 seconds later, she made another jumper to bring Manor to within two at 39-37.
Pugh swished a 3-pointer from the top of the key with a minute left to put T-V up by five at 42-37.
With just five seconds to go, Manor’s Maggi Calo hit a baseline jumper to again bring her team with a point at 45-44.
But then Pugh made her two free throws to ensure the victory.
Pugh finished the afternoon with a game-high 25 points, which brought her to within 60 points of reaching the 1,000-point milestone.
DiMilia also finished in double figures with 14 points.
“It’s a good win for us,” T-V Coach John Tenbus said. “They are a great team.”
Tenbus noted how well Pugh played, especially her shooting at the foul line down the stretch. Pugh made 5-of-6 free throws in the fourth quarter and was 9-of-13 at the line for the game.
“We look to Jakki to be our leader out there in clutch situations,” Tenbus said. “She’s our best free throw shooter.”
Tenbus also noted the similarities between Pugh and Diescher.
“She’s a great player,” he said of Diescher. “They want the basketball in her hands at the end of the game, just like we want Jakki to have the basketball for us down the stretch.”
Diescher led Manor with 20 points and Browne finished with 14 points.
“She’s a heck of a basketball player,” Manor Coach Kevin Clifford said of Pugh.
Clifford pointed to the second quarter, when T-V outscored Manor 13-4 to stretch a three-point lead into the aforementioned double-digit lead at the half, as the key to the game.
“Both teams played well today,” Clifford said. “They just played better defense than we did in that second quarter.”
Notes: In the tourney’s consolation game, Margaretville defeated Chapel Field, 35-32.
The tournament raised a total of $2,300 to benefit 13-year-old Heather Mustavs and her family. Mustavs, who is an eighth-grade student at Roscoe Central School, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in October.
As was the case during the tournament’s opening round the previous Saturday afternoon, the Roscoe PTA held a 50/50 raffle and a second raffle which featured prizes donated by several Livingston Manor and Roscoe businesses.
In addition, members of the RCS Class of 2015, which is Mustavs’ class, sold orange T-shirts to raise money. The color orange is used to symbolize the Leukemia Research Foundation and its efforts to battle the disease.
T-V and Manor were scheduled to play again last night at Livingston Manor Central School. The non-league game will mark the third time the teams have faced each other this month. The Lady Bears also prevailed when the teams met in the opening round of the 2011 Liberty High School New Year’s Basketball Tournament.

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