MCS boys split hoop contests; Roxbury boys best Jefferson

in

By John Bernhardt
Like most things in life, basketball seasons have stages.  For the Margaretville Blue Devils boys’ basketball team, the 2014 season began with the preseason stage where they prepared for the upcoming campaign. 
That was followed by a highly successful tournament stage when the Blue Devils won championships in their local Booster Club Tournament and the Downsville Tournament. 
Stage three on the hardwoods was the Delaware League phase, where the Devils attempted to stake a claim on a second-straight title. That effort was denied in Stamford last week when Margaretville fell, 61-45, beginning the season’s final stage as the Blue Devils begin preparing for post season, play-off basketball.

Tough underneath
Aggressive Stamford rebounding in the fourth quarter helped erase Margaretville’s DL title hopes last Wednesday.  Down by only five, 40-35, the Blue Devils were hammered 17-9 off the glass down the stretch, eliminating any chances of a comeback victory or of capturing the DL crown.  Stamford enjoyed a 46-27 rebounding advantage during the game.
Both teams were sluggish at the start with Stamford taking an early 8-5 lead.  The Indians added a single point to their lead in the second and third period before dominating in the paint down the homestretch. 
Sneaking Around?: Majd Ismail of Windham (10), gets some leverage as he tries to get past Margaretville’s Kyle Short during January 28 action at MCS. — Photos by Dick SanfordSneaking Around?: Majd Ismail of Windham (10), gets some leverage as he tries to get past Margaretville’s Kyle Short during January 28 action at MCS. — Photos by Dick Sanford
Greg Cioccari led all scorers with 17 points for Stamford.  The Mattice brothers, Greg and Geoff, both reached double figures scoring 13 and 10 for the Indians.
   Matt VanValkenburg had 13 and Kyle Short 10 for Margaretville.

Back on track
The Blue Devils bounced back Friday night besting Hunter Tannersville, 54-42.  With Kyle Short leading the way and scoring seven points in the period, Margaretville roared from the gates to grab an 18-8 first period lead.  H-T made some noise in the second frame shaving four points off the Blue Devils lead to trail, 27-21, at the half.
Cooper Reither’s eight points in the third period helped restore order for the Blue Devils who outscored their guests 19-14 on their way to their 11th win of the season.
Reither led all scorers with 17 points.  Short added 12 and VanValkenburg added eight.
Hands Up: Margaretville’s Matt VanValkenburg (0) tries to take a shot despite the defensive efforts of Windham’s Rob Carl (left) and Luke Rasmussen (44).Hands Up: Margaretville’s Matt VanValkenburg (0) tries to take a shot despite the defensive efforts of Windham’s Rob Carl (left) and Luke Rasmussen (44).
Jordan Radcliffe took team-scoring honors for H-T with 12.  Dylan Legg netted 10 for the Wildcats.
Margaretville gets a sectional play-off like preview when they host Upper Division champions Davenport tomorrow night.    
Roxbury boys
There was a shootout at the OK Corral in Roxbury on Friday. Two Delaware League hardwood gunslingers squared off in an epic-shooting duel when the Rockets outlasted the JayHawks, 68-65. Roxbury’s Matt Faraci and Jefferson’s Michael Greiner both brought their big guns to the high-scoring duel.
Faraci had a career-high night, scoring 32 points that included five shots from deep outside the three-point arch. Greiner trailed by only two, smoking the horizon with 30 points of his own, seven that came from the outer limits of the firing range. “He hit some deep ones,” marveled Roxbury coach Tom Faraci when describing Greiner’s shooting performance to the Daily Star. 

It looked as if the Rockets might bulldoze the JayHawks in the early going. Roxbury took an 18-14 lead in the first quarter that they extended to 37-26 by the half.  But, Greiner came out with both guns blazing in the second half, leading his team to a 24-point third quarter with the JayHawks still trailing, 54-50, heading into the home stretch. The Jay Hawk explosion was merely a hitch as the Rockets steadied to win by three.
Faraci and Greiner weren’t the only two gunslingers on the range.  Roxbury’s Will Rendler scored 17 points and Patrick Hanrahan added seven more.
Nathan Jonker netted nine points and Caleb Lapinel seven for the JayHawks.