Roxbury girls win; MCS boys' upset bid fails

Staff report
Roxbury girls win twice
The scores were almost mirror images when the Roxbury girls’ basketball team took to the hardwoods last week. The Lady Rockets downed Jefferson and Stamford by near identical scores in Delaware League play.

Roxbury bested Jefferson, 39-24, on Wednesday then toppled the Indians, 39-25, on Friday night. The two wins are part of a late-season Rockets’ scramble to qualify for postseason play, improving Roxbury’s record to 5-6.

Part of Roxbury’s recent winning formula is stingy defensive play. Rocket Coach Lisa Faraci has to be encouraged with her team’s assertive defensive effort as the Lady Rockets consistently limit their opponents’ scoring opportunities.

Second quarter surge
The Rockets shut out Stamford in the second period to blow apart Friday night’s contest. Leading 14-8 after one period, Roxbury outscored the Indians 10-0 in the second frame and never looked back.

A trio of Rockets did most of the scoring lead by Kennedy Faraci with 12 points. Brittany Keator added 10 and Allyce McIntosh eight for the victors.
Cassie Erhart led Stamford with eight points.

Faraci had a big night against Jefferson earlier in the week. Roxbury’s slick playing guard scored a game-high 17 points. The Rockets got a contribution from center Kendal Sprague. Sprague and Jefferson’s Elissa Starheim battled hard for control of the paint. The Roxbury center scored 10 points and limited the high-scoring Starheim to 14.
No other JayHawk player scored more than four points.

Margaretville boys
The road to success runs uphill. At the moment that upward path for the Margaretville boys’ basketball team feels like an arduous climb. Margaretville’s late season schedule follows a steep ascending slope pitting the Blue Devils night after night against the best teams in the Delaware League. Last week, Margaretville sought an upset in games with first place Hunter-Tannersville and Jefferson. Unfortunately, for the Blue Devils there was none to be found.

For 20 minutes on Tuesday in Margaretville, the Blue Devils had the Upper Division’s undefeated Wildcats from H-T reeling. Margaretville unleashed a man-to-man defense that limited H-T to only 11 first half points. With almost one-half of the third period gone, the Blue Devils were playing well and leading, 25-17. “Give credit to Margaretville’s man-to-man defense,” praised Hunter coach Chris Glennon after the game. “Their guys came ready to play.”

H-T goes on run
Then the wheels came off the bus for Margaretville and all four broke loose at the same time. A H-T full court press triggered the mechanical meltdown. Suddenly, Margaretville could no longer advance the ball, turning the ball back to Hunter 11 times by the end of the period. The end result was a Hunter offensive tsunami as the Wildcats scored 15 of the game’s next 17 points to squelch the upset challenge.

H-T’s center Laszlo Hajnoczi had a huge night scoring a game-high 22 points, pulling down 13 rebounds and pilfering five steals. Zack Mudge and Renoi Romito reached double figures with 13 and 10 points. Romito had eight steals during Margaretville’s meltdown.
Matt VanValkenburg and Mitch Hull scored 12 points apiece for Margaretville. Hull grabbed 11 rebounds.

Margaretville’s sluggish finish rolled into a lethargic start Thursday in Jefferson. The Blue Devils failed to convert a single first period field goal, missing all 13 attempts. Two VanValkenburg foul shots were all Margaretville would get in the opening frame as Jefferson shot ahead, 13-2.

The Jefferson lead would stretch to 17-2 early in the second frame before Margaretville found the range. The Blue Devils battled fiercely cutting deep into the JayHawk advantage. When the visitors whittled the Jefferson advantage to seven points late in the third period, JayHawk coach Rick Cammer had seen enough. Cammer called time out and his team responded with Bryan Case and John Cammer sinking back-to-back three-point goals to snuff out the rally. The Blue Devils would only narrow the lead to single digits one more time down the stretch as Jefferson rolled to a 49-35 victory.

Case earned game-scoring honors netting 17 points for Jefferson. Jacob Pasa scored 14 and John Cammer 10 for the JayHawks.

Hull and VanValkenburg both reached double figures for Margaretville with 11 and 10 points. Hull pulled down 15 rebounds. VanValkenburg reached double digits for the fourth time in the last five Blue Devil games.

The schedule doesn’t soften soon. Margaretville hosts South Kortright in their final home contest on Friday.

Wild week for RCS boys
They are not as rare as a sighting of Halley’s Comet, but triple overtime basketball games are not something you see every day. In fact, in the history of the National Basketball Association there have been only six triple overtime playoff games. The Los Angeles Lakers have had only five triple overtime contests, regular season and playoffs, since moving to LA in 1960.

That makes last week’s triple overtime high school thriller in Roxbury a rare high school sporting event. After three extra periods, Roxbury dropped a heart stopping 71-62 decision to Delaware League rival, Jefferson. Tuesday’s triple overtime marathon is a game participants from both schools won’t soon forget.

The superstitious among us believe bad things come in threes. Roxbury basketball fans may have become convinced after Jefferson tied the score at 50 to send the game into overtime, 55 at the end of the first added period, and 61 at the end of the second extra frame.

Jefferson’s Jimmy Reeves was the culprit in both of the overtimes, hitting three-point shots with under five seconds left on the clock to knot the score in both of the first two added periods. Reeves would finish the night with three, three-pointers and a team-high 15 points for the JayHawks. Reeves got lots of help from his friends as Bryan Case, Jacob Pasa and Dustin Cole all reached double figures.

Roxbury’s power forward, Dakota Corona continues to play inspired ball after returning from a foot injury. Corona matched Reeves with three field goals from beyond the arc. The junior scored a season-high 21 points.

Roxbury senior Kyle Ciaravino continues to score at a torrid pace. Ciaravino used an eight-of-12 performance from the foul line in netting a game-high 26 points for the home team. Eric Shultis added seven more for Roxbury.

The Rockets dropped a tough, 46-39, decision to Stamford later in the week. After three quarters the two teams had battled to a 28-28 stalemate, but Stamford outgunned their guests, 18-11 down the stretch to grab the victory. Mike Callaguy had a big night, burying three, three-point goals and scoring 11 points for the Indians, all in the second half. Fran Kelly Santiago led Stamford with 12 points. Steven Gula threw in seven more.

It was Ciaravino and Corona once again for Roxbury with Ciaravino netting 17 points and Corona 12 for the Rockets.

Surge lifts MCS girls
Annette Hogan’s five points propelled a third quarter surge as Margaretville pulled away from Jefferson Friday night on their home court. The Blue Devils outscored the JayHawks 12-5 in the period stretching their lead to nine points and then coasted to a 45-31 victory.

“Overall we played well as a unit,” emphasized Margaretville coach Kyle Holden. “That’s something we really needed. Lately, everybody’s been looking for someone else to get the job done, but against Jefferson we shared the load,” finished Holden.

The Margaretville coach was impressed with the play of his sophomore guard. Hogan led her team with 12 points, made five steals and was very active on defense. “Annette put the ball on the floor and drove the lane,” said Holden. “That was huge.”

Holden’s forays into the paint took courage with Jefferson’s six-foot, two-inch center Elissa Starheim patrolling the lane. As she has most of the season, Starheim had a big night offensively netting 19 points, 17 in the second and third periods.

“Starheim is a solid center,” noted Holden. She posts in low, receives the ball on top, and finishes well without using a dribble,” the Margaretville coach explained.

Amy Filupeit had an all-around game for the victors. Filupeit handled the ball well running Margaretville’s offense dishing out five assists and keeping the pace up tempo. The Margaretville point guard scored eight points. Both Filupeits, Amy and Erin grabbed eight rebounds for the Blue Devils. Tess Svoboda added seven points for the winners.

Margaretville travels to South Kortright tomorrow to take on New York State’s number one Class D girls’ team.