Andes boys down Roxbury, Stamford
By Julia Green
The Andes Mountaineers went on a 10-0 scoring run at the end of their game against the visiting Roxbury Rockets last Wednesday, capped off by a three-pointer from Eric Reed, to give Andes what would turn out to be a game-deciding one-point edge.
“I thought it was a great basketball game both ways,” said Andes Head Coach John Bernhardt. “It certainly was a game for us that was a big boost, psychologically and emotionally, after losing to both Windham and Gilboa.”
The Mountaineers held a 20-12 lead by the second quarter, but the Rockets upped the offensive pressure, hitting their shots and claiming the last nine points of the half to take a 21-20 lead into halftime.
Roxbury’s Dylan Stock hit three three-pointers in the third quarter, during which the Rockets outscored the Mountaineers 17-9 to make it a 26-9 scoring run overall, but the Andes offense re-ignited in the fourth.
“I felt that we showed some real resilience to come back and make a run at them in the fourth quarter,” said Bernhardt, “I think one of the things we did very well in this game that we haven’t been doing is advancing the ball forward against defensive pressure. There have been times when we’ve been robotic and haven’t played natural basketball and there are times when you step up and play instinctively, and we have people who did that in this game, and it really happened in the fourth quarter.”
Bernhardt also said that a key strategy for his team was to slow down Roxbury’s DaVaun Morgan, who has been averaging 24 points per game for the Rockets.
“Peter Fabrykiewicz and Russell Koronowski were assigned to guard him, but we had a real helping defensive scenario, so when he turned corners, people were stepping out and trying to slow him down and double-teaming him,” Bernhardt said. “I know my guys came away from that game with an enormous amount of respect for DaVaun as a team player. He never got frustrated.”
Josh Bonifacic tallied 15 rebounds for Andes, while James Litaker added 11; Reed led the Mountaineers in scoring with 25 points.
“Both teams were playing fiercely with good sportsmanship, and it was a really good high school game to watch,” Bernhardt said.
The Mountaineers played again on Saturday, in a make-up game against Stamford that was rescheduled from before Christmas and which Andes won, 45-25.
“The whole team played fierce defense,” Bernhardt said, adding that Fabrykiewicz and Koronowski were once again charged with shutting down Stamford’s go-to player, David Gula. “Stamford has a nice team, and we knew that we’d be very competitive.”
Despite falling behind 8-1 in the opening quarter, the Mountaineers found their footing to post a 15-10 first quarter, followed by a 12-4 second quarter for a 27-14 halftime lead.
Reed once again led Andes, tallying 20 points; Litaker added nine points and 10 rebounds.
The Mountaineers (5-4, 3-4) will travel to South Kortright to face the host Rams on Friday.
“I talked to them about our similarities to the New York Jets, because they play such strong defense that they stay in every game,” Bernhardt said. “The games we’ve done well in, we have a strong defensive focus. The Jets play such ferocious defense, they put themselves in a position to win, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
The Margaretville Blue Devils posted a 39-33 win over the host Warriors of Windham on Thursday night. The Blue Devils were led by Mitch Vankeuren, who tallied 16 points including three three-pointers. Brian Faulkner and Marcus Moore added eight points apiece for Margaretville.
The Blue Devils held a three-point lead over the Warriors after the first quarter and widened it to a ten-point lead by halftime. Margaretville kept up its offensive pressure in the third quarter, tallying 11 points to Windham’s five, and despite a 17-7 Windham rally in the fourth quarter, the Blue Devils were able to hang on for the win.
The Margaretville Blue Devil girls extended their winning streak last week, posting a 54-32 win over the visiting Wildcats of Hunter-Tannersville on Wednesday.
“Overall, I thought that was one of our better games, passing-wise,” said Margaretville Head Coach Kyle Holden. “We had 22 field goals for the game and we had assists on 16 of those field goals, so I was happy with that, that the ball’s moving around and they’re finding the open teammate. Nobody feels like they have to put the shot up, they can look for a better one. That’s really a good thing.”
The Blue Devils’ one-point halftime lead was widened considerably in the third, thanks in part to a change in defensive strategy.
“In the second half we changed up our defensive look from a three-quarters press to a half-court trapping defense,” Holden said. “I think it just cut off some of the passing angles a little bit; they went through our full-court relatively easily. The half-court allowed us to ump into the passing lanes a little bit and take the ball in to the basket and get some easy buckets.”
And it worked, as the Blue Devils outscored the Wildcats 34-14 to seal the win. Erica Faulkner led Margaretville with 17 points, and 15 rebounds while Danielle Hull added 16 points and nine rebounds. Hull also tallied three steals.
With the win, the Blue Devils moved to 5-6 overall and 2-5 in league play, with seven games remaining in the regular season.
“Ball movement is key,” Holden said, looking forward to the remaining games. “Penetration to try to get to the foul line is something we focus on; that’s actually something we need to do a little better at this point. Communication is improving, so I’m happy with that, and just the overall effort right now – when they’re getting their time, they’re making the most of it.”
Holden added that he’d like to see his team continue to work on taking the ball to the basket, rather than settling for long jumpers, and team rebounding.
The Blue Devils faced the host Wildcats of Davenport on Tuesday; no score was available at press time.
The Andes Mountaineers posted a 57-30 win over the host Rockets of Roxbury on Friday night, led by Mariah Ruff, who tallied 17 points. Rachel Andrews added 12 and Karli Tait tallied 10 for Andes.
The Mountaineers held only a one-point edge over the host Rockets at the end of the first quarter, but upped the pressure in the second to widen their lead and take a 22-12 lead into halftime. Andes continued its assault in the third quarter, tallying 18 points to Roxbury’s 11 to increase its lead to 17 points.
The Rockets were led by Raven Sprague, who tallied eight points; Paulina Cowan, Kennedy Faraci and Jenna Johnston tallied six points apiece for Roxbury.