Local players among the top basketball scorers


By John Bernhardt
As the New Year rolls in, a chunk of the 2013-14 high school basketball season is already behind us. Enough games have been played for trends and patterns to emerge and divisional races to start taking shape. A review of the area’s basketball scoring board is a good indicator of what players have been making some noise on the offensive side of the hardwoods.
Through the 2013 portion of the boys’ Delaware League schedule, Windham’s tall left-handed forward David Saunders is the scoring pacesetter. Saunders, (17.8 ppg) who likes to hang out on offense from behind the arc, is not afraid to launch a long bomb and has slashing moves to the basket.
Gilboa’s Zack Perry trails Saunders by a whisker at 17.4 points per game. A lethal ouside shot, a quick first step, and the best hang time in the DL are assets of the Gilboa guard. The Wildcats have two of the DL’s top four scorers on the guys’ side, with center Christian Cooper scoring at a 16.0 clip, one-tenth of a percentage point behind Stamford’s Greg Mattice.
Junior Matt Faraci rounds out the top five Delaware League scorers at 14.6 points per game. Tall and lean, Faraci was schooled early as a guard, but can score from inside or out, a big advantage to his emerging offensive game. Faraci has canned 11 three-point goals in the early season. Will Rendler of Roxbury is also scoring in double figures averaging 10.9 each game.
Scoring at a 14.1 points per game pace, Justin Baxter leads the Downsville attack.
Strong guard play finds three Blue Devil playmakers bunched tightly together on the scoring leader board in Margaretville. Matt VanValkenburg has been a steadying force as Margaretville’s scoring leader at 13.6 points per game. Senior shooting guard Kyle Short (12.6) and point guard Cooper Reither (12.4) follow closely behind.
Jefferson’s James Quagliano leads the JayHawks netting 12.9 points per game, and South Kortight’s Griff Metzko paces the Rams at 12.4 an outing.

Girls’ leaders
Every Delaware League girls’ basketball team except Windham has at least one player averaging in double figures. South Kortright’s Tori Rockefeller sits atop the leader board scoring a sizzling 18.5 points a game for the undefeated Rams. Rockefeller gets more than enough help from teammates Brianna Laing (12.1) and Kayla Warycha (10.5).
Gilboa, too, has three girls averaging in double figures with Mikayla Foster setting the pace at 13.0. Shelby Oliver and Kendall Thorington are nipping at Oliver’s heels at 11.9 and 11.0 points per game.
Downsville’s Kaileen Townsend is the DL’s second leading score on the girls’ side, netting 17.2 points a contest. Davenport’s Sarah Haight’s 15.7 is good for third.
Ten three-point field goals have helped Margaretville’s Annette Hogan score at a 14.6 clip, fourth best in the DL. Roxbury’s sophomore center Stacey Sprague rounds out the DL’s top five at 14.3.
Team leaders Kim Freer (13.9) from Stamford, Jenna Lutz (13.8) of Davenport, Shiann Bellinger (10.7) of Jefferson, Shianne Coss (10.5) of Andes, and Sam Dibbell (10.0) of Hunter-Tannersville are also scoring in double digits. Stamford’s Nora Hager (10.9) is the only other Delaware League girls’ basketball player averaging more than 10.0.