Andes boys, Margaretville girls win tourney titles

By Julia Green
The Andes boys claimed the 2009 Margaretville Booster Club Tournament title on Saturday night after soundly defeating the Gilboa Wildcats to take home the trophy. Andes’ Cody Ruff, who was named the tournament MVP, led the Mountaineers with 18 points, eight rebounds and eight steals, and Sage Beemer had seven points and 15 rebounds en route to Andes’ 43-27 victory.
“Cody played in this tournament as if he were a go-to offensive player, and in the championship game he had a remarkable game all-around,” said Andes Head Coach John Bernhardt. “He set a tone; he went to the basket hard right from the start and helped set a tone I thought was important.”
The Mountaineers held a 16-11 lead at halftime and kept up the pressure in the second half, outscoring the Wildcats 27-16 in the second half to seal the win.
The Mountaineers advanced to the championship match following a 62-32 win over Roscoe on Thursday night. Eric Reed led Andes with 16 points and Josh Bonifacic and Cody Ruff added 15 points apiece; Ruff also tallied five steals and five assists and James Litaker contributed 13 rebounds.
The game was tight throughout the first half, with Andes taking a 32-25 edge into halftime, but they blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring Roscoe 17-2 to take a 49-27 lead and put the Devils into a deficit from which they would not recover.
Bernhardt said a key deciding factor in the Mountaineers’ success was a switch in the second half of the first-round game to a man-to-man defense. After Roscoe scored 25 points against Andes’ zone defense, a switch to an aggressive man-to-man defense resulted in the Andes defense allowing only 30 points over the remaining six quarters of the tournament.
“I was also pleased with the minutes we got defensively off the bench from Corey Barrett and Russell Koronowski,” he said. “The two of them gave us a lot of support where we needed it.”
The Mountaineers’ next game will be played Friday, Jan. 8 at Windham.
“It was a good note to finish on,” Bernhardt said as his team heads into the winter break. “We’ve been inconsistent in our preparation, and our season is going to depend on if we can get better at that. I think we have the talent to compete. Basketball is about preparation, and I’m hopeful they’re going to see the possibilities of their potential and step up to that.”
 
Margaretville Blue Devils
It just wasn’t on for the Margaretville Blue Devils this past weekend, when they competed in their host tournament on Thursday and Saturday. The Blue Devils faced off with the Wildcats of Gilboa in the opening round Thursday night, falling 59-33 in the match-up.
“We were in it the first half,” said Margaretville Head Coach Dave Goodchild. “The first quarter was only 12-8, but then in the third quarter they outscored us 21-9 and it was over after that.”
Marcus Moore led the Blue devils with eight points, while Brian Faulkner added five, all in the fourth quarter. Danny Jenkins led in rebounds, with six, and Mitch Vankeuren pulled down five, but the Blue Devils also racked up 32 turnovers, 20 of which came in the first half.
“Our downfall was, we just weren’t playing our game,” Goodchild said. “We were letting too many little things bother us. I think we were worried more about what calls the refs were making more than playing the game.”
Goodchild said that his team was playing good defense early on, which was key in keeping them in the game.
“When you play good defense you can score points off it, and I think that’s what we did. But then I think our guys just worried too much about things that weren’t in their control.”
It was another tough one for the Margaretville boys when they played Roscoe in the consolation match on Saturday afternoon, falling 50-26. Senior guard Mitch Vankeuren sank back-to-back three-pointers near the end of the first half to bring the Blue Devils within a point; however, the Wildcats’ offense turned up the heat in the second to break away.
“When we first came out we missed the first five shots and they got a little lead on us, but then we came back and it was only 22-17 at half,” Goodchild said. “We started hitting our shots. And then after halftime we came back out and just never got it going. I was disappointed that we couldn’t get it going after that.”
Marcus Moore tallied six points in the second quarter and Vankeuren added five, but Roscoe tallied 20 points in the third to all but put the Blue Devils away.
“They came to play and we didn’t,” Goodchild said. “I think it was just a mental thing.”
The Blue Devils’ next game will be on Monday, Jan. 4 when they will face Roxbury in a match that was rescheduled due to weather.
“I think we’ve got some issues we need to take care of over the break,” Goodchild said. “We need guys to make practice and try to straighten it out. I’m still hopeful.”
 
Margaretville Booster Club Tournament
All-Tournament Team:
Cody Ruff, Andes (Tournament MVP)
Justin Kovacevich, Gilboa
Tyler Latta, Gilboa
Eric Reed, Andes
Mitch VanKeuren, Margaretville
 
Roxbury Rockets
The Roxbury Rockets dropped a tough 64-38 decision to the host South Kortright Rams on Thursday, as South Kortright’s Rashawn Herrington proved to be a thorn in the side of the Rockets’ defense, scoring 20 points to lead the Rams.
Roxbury’s Dylan Stock led the Rockets, tallying 12 points, and DaVaun Morgan added nine and Kyle Ciaravino added eight.
The Rockets battled in the first quarter and were only two points behind going into the second; however, the Rams’ offense turned up the heat and scored 23 points in the second quarter while limiting the Rockets to seven to take a 35-17 lead into halftime.
Roxbury continued to fight in the second half, tallying 21 points to Kortright’s 29, but the deficit was too great to overcome.
The Rockets’ next game will be played Monday, Jan. 4 against the Blue Devils of Margaretville Central School.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL
Margaretville Blue Devils
With one quarter remaining in Saturday’s championship game, the Margaretville Blue Devil girls were facing the loss of the tournament title that they won last year. Following a third quarter in which the Gilboa Wildcats outscored the Blue Devils 14-8 and during which the Margaretville offense seemed to have trouble finding its rhythm, it all came down to the fourth for the defending champs, who were down by eight going into the final period.
And it appeared that the Wildcats were going to keep the momentum, as, with seven minutes remaining in the game, they increased their lead to 10.
“Even though we were down 10, the girls still felt like they were in it,” said Margaretville Head Coach Kyle Holden. “They were still playing hard and competing. The only major change we made was we extended our pressure from half-court to three-quarter-court to try and generate some quick turnovers. Our biggest fear was Gilboa’s speed, that if we gave them too much space, they would have picked us apart.”
The Blue Devils found their fire with five minutes left in regulation, going on an 11-0 scoring run to take a 34-33 lead with just under three minutes to play.
“Things just started to click,” Holden said of the final minutes of Saturday’s game. “We got a couple interceptions, got to the basket, got some easy points and things just started to snowball from there.”
The Wildcats tied the game at 34 apiece at the one-minute mark, sinking one of two free throws. With eight and a half seconds remaining on the clock, the Blue Devils had the chance to all but clinch the win when senior Erica Faulkner was awarded two foul shots. The first one bounced off the rim, and as she set up to take the second, the official whistled a violation against a Blue Devil player to negate the second shot and effectively send the game into overtime.
“I thought we blew the game right there, honestly,” Holden said, adding that the violation was his fault. “I should have taken a timeout.”
The Blue Devils limited the Wildcats to three points in the overtime period as they tallied seven to seal the win and claim the title of their host tournament for the second consecutive year.
“That was the first overtime experience for a lot of these girls, and I thought they played really well,” Holden said. “They played composed basketball. It was nice.”
The Blue Devils advanced to the title match-up after defeating the Andes Mountaineers, 49-42, in a first-round squeaker.
“I knew that was going to be a tough game,” Holden said. “Andes has a good inside-outside game. It’s real hard to take away both against them, so we focused on making sure we knew where Mariah was the entire time, but she still lit us for 18.”
The next game for the Blue Devils will be played Tuesday, Jan. 5 when Margaretville hosts Jefferson; they will then travel to face the host Rams of South Kortright on Thursday, Jan. 7.

Andes Mountaineers
The Andes Mountaineers battled the Blue Devils to a tough 49-42 loss in the first-round match of the Margaretville tournament on Friday night.
The Andes girls held a fair share of the momentum in the first half, carrying a 23-19 lead into halftime, but the Blue Devils tallied 30 points to the Mountaineers’ 18 in the second half to steal the win and advance to the title game.
“We had been having some success, but they called a timeout late in the third quarter and adjusted their zone press and we did not adjust well to it in return and we had way too many turnovers,” said Andes Co-Head Coach Glenn Reynolds. “So that kind of turned the tide of the game.”
Mariah Ruff tallied 18 points for the Mountaineers and Rachel Andrews added 17 for Andes, who were up by eight points when Margaretville Head Coach Kyle Holden called the timeout.
“He called the timeout, stopped the momentum that we had and made adjustments in his press and they started either intercepting passes or causing us to make mistakes and we threw the ball away too many times,” Reynolds said. “And I felt that that was what turned that ball game around.”
Erica Faulkner went 8-for-12 from the free-throw line and led the Blue Devils with 18 points and 19 rebounds; Michelle O’Reilly added 15 points.
 The Mountaineers faced the Purple Devils of Franklin Central School in Saturday’s consolation game, posting a convincing 62-47 victory to claim the third-place trophy.
Ruff again led the Mountaineers, tallying 27 points and nine rebounds and going 4-for-5 from the free-throw line; Andrews added 22 points, 18 of which she scored in the second half. Karli Tait added eight points for Andes.
The Mountaineers held a three-point lead after three quarters and turned up the offensive pressure in the fourth, outscoring the Purple Devils 24-12 to seal the win.
“Rachel was slipping the screen against the man-to-man and Mariah Ruff did a wonderful job of finding her every time, and I believe every one of her baskets at the end was a layup,” Reynolds said.
“We were really pleased with Saturday,” he added. “It’s always disappointing to lose the first game in a tournament, especially when it’s a game that you’ve been ahead it and you kind of let it get away. It’s always difficult to come back less than 24 hours and play again, but the girls were just great: they came with a great attitude, they got over the disappointment of the night before and we just played so much better on Saturday than we did on Friday. That’s what you hope for the second day.”
The Mountaineers’ next game will be played Wednesday, Jan. 6 at home, where they will face Roscoe.

Roxbury Rockets
The Roxbury girls suffered a tough 41-11 loss to the visiting South Kortright Rams on Friday as they battled illnesses that left them with a skeleton roster of only five players.
The Rockets limited the Rams to just eight points in the first quarter and got on the board for four, but Kortright came back with a vengeance in the second to post 15 points and limit Roxbury to three to take a 23-7 lead into halftime. The third quarter was much of the same, with the Rams adding 11 points and limiting Roxbury to just two.
Kennedy Faraci, who was 1-for-2 from the foul line, led the Rockets with seven points and Raven Sprague and Paulina Cowan each added two.
The Rockets will compete in the Stamford Booster Club Tournament on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 28 and 29. They will host the visiting Indians of Stamford on Tuesday, Jan. 5.