Story by Ed Townsend
GRAHAMSVILLE February 1, 2013 Keeping pace with S.S. Seward in OCIAA’s Division V, Tri-Valley improved their league record to 4-1 Wednesday night with a 74-59 victory over Chester.
If both teams continue to win within the division, first place (or at least a tie) could be decided between Seward and Tri-Valley February 19 at Seward. Seward also won on Wednesday night defeating Fallsburg 54-46 and is the only team to defeat Tri-Valley in the league.
Before facing Seward, a key game for Tri-Valley will be at Fallsburg on February 7. The Bears edged Fallsburg by one point at home on December 21.
The varsity game Wednesday night was delayed when the Chester-Tri-Valley JV game went into three overtime periods before the Bears finally won 74-66 to extend their overall record this season to 10-0.
The varsity game was halted at 6:34 into the first quarter when Chester’s ace scorer (averaging 18 points per game) Brandon Sadler crashed into the wall under Tri-Valley’s basket and lay motionless for several minutes before regaining consciousness. The Grahamsville Volunteer Ambulance Corps was immediately called while coaches and volunteers kept Sadler laying flat on his back giving what comfort they could to the injured player. The Ambulance Corps arrived, kept Sadler flat and secured his head to limit any motion before lifting him onto a stretcher for transportation to Catskill Regional Hospital in Harris.
Sadler was seen moving his arms and legs and received a standing ovation as he left the building on the stretcher. When contacted on Thursday morning, Chester athletic director Chris Trieste said Sadler is okay, “but will be out for awhile due to his injuries.”
The game resumed after a 35-minute delay with both teams allowed a short warm-up session.
The Bears’ Cody Exner hit two three pointers and Alex Brown added another to help Tri-Valley erase an early 6-0 deficit and gain an 18-8 first quarter lead, one they would not relinquish.
Tri-Valley’s Shatik Smith opened the second quarter with a steal and a driving layup for a 20-8 Bears’ lead. Second quarter scoring for Tri-Valley was led by three pointers by Jester, Exner and Sam Tingley. Each team scored 11 points in the second quarter to continue the Bears’ 10-point lead at 29-19.
Chester’s Lawrence Young scored all 17 of his team’s points in the third quarter, but a balanced attack by Tri-Valley overcame Young’s stellar play and their lead grew to 53-36 going into the fourth quarter.
With Tri-Valley scheduled to play the next night at Sullivan West in the make-up game of the Walton Invitational tournament postponed from December, coach Brian Tingley freely used his bench in the fourth quarter.
Rodney Jester led Tri-Valley with 16 points while James Pugh added 14 and Alex Brown 10.
Lawrence Young had 29 points for Chester who fell to 5-6 overall and 1-4 in the league.