Margaretville, Andes girls fall in tournament hoop action

By Julia Green
Margaretville 26, Jefferson 38
It looked as though they hadn’t seen the court in days – and in fact, they hadn’t. When the Margaretville Blue Devil girls traveled to Stamford Saturday to face the Jefferson JayHawks in the opening round of the Section IV Class D basketball tournament, it was the first time either team had picked up a basketball since meeting in the last game of the regular season on Tuesday – before upwards of three feet of snow was dumped on Delaware County.
“It hurt us offensively,” said MCS Head Coach Kyle Holden of the layoff. “But we knew Jefferson was going to be in the same situation. It’s unfortunate because we had some really good practices and the girls were ready to play on Wednesday. They were ready to go; our confidence was high.”
In the first half, the Blue Devils outrebounded the JayHawks overall, which Holden said allowed them to stay in the game.
“Size-wise they’re a bigger team than us,” he said. “But we made a point to play them man-to-man because they move the ball so well, so switching off screens was our key.”
The Blue Devils held a one-point lead with less than a minute to go in the first half, but the JayHawks netted a 3-pointer and another bucket in the remaining seconds to take a 15-11 lead into halftime that they would never relinquish. The second quarter would prove to be one of the stronger ones for Margaretville, which was able to string together some good passing and move the ball up the court, despite seniors Erica Faulkner and Michelle O’Reilly being relegated to the bench due to foul trouble.
“They stayed calm,” Holden said. “That’s the biggest thing with a young team; the girls stayed composed and moved the ball well. Unfortunately, it was one of our worst shooting nights of the year.”
The Blue Devils were unable to find their footing in the third quarter, as the JayHawks went on a 15-2 scoring run to put Margaretville into a 30-13 hole heading into the final quarter.
“We came out flat, which we had avoided most of the year,” Holden said of his team’s second-half showing. We didn’t change anything up defensively. We were just beat to the ball, basically.”
Despite the frustration of not being able to find the basket, Holden said he was pleased with the way his team continued to play good defense. Faulkner led the Blue Devils with 13 points, 11 rebounds and five steals.
“They didn’t give up,” he said. “They continued to play hard to the final horn; it was just too little, too late. They were disappointed, but when they look back I think they’ll be proud of this season. I’m proud of them.”
The Margaretville Blue Devils finish the season with an overall record of 9-10. They will lose two seniors to graduation: Faulkner, a first team Delaware League All-Star, and honorable mention selection O’Reilly.

Andes 28, Davenport 73
The season also came to an end on Saturday for the Andes Mountaineers, who entered the sectional tournament seeded 12th to face the second-seeded Wildcats of Davenport.
The Wildcats brought the pressure early, outscoring the Mountaineers 19-8 in the opening quarter. Andes battled back in the second, scoring 11 points and holding Davenport to 13 points, but they were outscored 39-9 in the second half as Davenport’s Sam Meyerhoff tallied her 2,000th career point in the opening seconds of the half. She led the Wildcats with 33 points.
Senior Rachel Andrews led Andes with eight points and Mariah Ruff added six and Karli Tait had five for the Mountaineers, who finish the season 8-10. Andes will lose seniors Andrews and Karli Tait to graduation.