RCS basketball tops Davenport and SK

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By John Bernhardt
In one short week the Roxbury boys’ basketball team managed to turn the Delaware League upside down. 

For what seems like forever, the Delaware League has been dominated by two teams, Davenport and South Kortright, with Hunter-Tannersville joining the party in recent basketball campaigns.  It wasn’t difficult showing off your basketball ESP each preseason.  Everybody could do it.  Just make sure the Wildcats and Rams were at the top of your DL prediction list.  Not so fast now!

Beating the best
Last week the Roxbury Rockets served notice that its possible that “the times they are a changing” this winter on the hardwoods of the Catskills.  The Rockets downed Davenport on Tuesday, 39-33, then upended SK in the Ram’s den, 45-43, on Thursday.

“After our first two games, we had to redefine the way we’re going to approach ball games,” explained coach Tom Faraci. 

The transformation started with defense.  “We played some pretty tough defense,” Faraci said in describing his team’s effort against Davenport.  Roxbury limited Davenport to just 33 points and used defensive pressure to generate a few points of their own.  Derek Cowan was the only player on either team to reach double figures, scoring 10 points. with teammate Dakota Caronia a whisker behind with nine.  Cowan also pulled down seven rebounds.

Next on Faraci’s business plan was a rebounding explosion.  “In both games we did a great job on the boards,” noted Faraci.  Eric Shultis was a rebounding machine, pulling down 16 missed shots in SK in spite of missing valuable minutes in the second half with a bloody lip.  “Eric might have put up some crazy rebounding numbers if he hadn’t been injured,” added the Roxbury coach.
The Rockets jumped all over SK in the first quarter, taking a 17-8 lead, then played almost even in the second period, carrying a seven-point lead into halftime.  But, trouble loomed on the horizon.  Dakota Caronia went down with a hip pointer towards the end of the opening half and would see limited time in the second half.  Caronia’s injury and an inspired SK full-court press erased the entire Rocket advantage in the opening minutes of the second half. 

Close down the stretch
With the score deadlocked at 43-43 and under 30 seconds to play in the game, Roxbury squandered an opportunity to break the tie. 

The Rockets got the ball back as the clock wound down, when Roxbury’s Nick Hamil spotted teammate Spencer Hinkley making a backdoor cut to the basket.  Hamil threaded the pass, Hinkley banked the shot through the net, and the Rockets went home with a momentous victory.
Shultis scored a team-high 13 points to go with his 16 rebounds.  Cowan tossed in 11 more with Caronia helping out with eight and Hinkley six.

Trevor Holdridge continues to put up impressive offensive numbers netting 23 points for SK.  Anthony Salcido had 8 and Dylan Cole 7.