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Up in the Air

Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

VANESSA KLINE OF Sullivan West puts up a shot between Manor’s Mary Mills (33) and Jen Taggart in Wednesday’s championship game of the Billy Moran Tip-Off Tournament. Watching at left is SW’s Nadine McCarthy.

Game Surprises
Veteran Coach

By Rob Potter
LAKE HUNTINGTON — December 5, 2003 – Sullivan West Coach Ron Bernhardt just shook his head in disbelief Wednesday night after the Lady Bulldogs defeated Livingston Manor in the championship game of the Billy Moran Tip-Off Tournament.
The veteran coach noted that a great aspect of sports is that one never really knows how a particular game is going to unfold.
SW (2-0) outscored Manor (1-1) 11-0 in the first quarter of the title game and went on to post a 31-9 victory.
“In all the years I’ve coached varsity basketball, I don’t think we’ve ever held an opponent under 10 points for the game,” Bernhardt said. “And I don’t think I’ve had a team that won a game with 31 points.”
The Lady Bulldogs used their press defense to keep the Lady Wildcats out of rhythm throughout the contest.
Even when the Manor players broke through the press, they had trouble shooting the ball. The Lady Wildcats had several good looks at the basket, but just could not get their shots to fall through the net.
Manor did not score until senior forward Mary Mills gained possession of the ball in the lane with 5:15 left in the second quarter. Mills was fouled as she put up a shot from close range. The ball fell through the hoop and she converted the subsequent free throw.
“Sullivan West is an aggressive, pressing team and they played well,” Manor Coach Kevin Clifford said.
Leading SW to the win were sophomore Kate Fanning, who scored a game-high eight points, and senior center Nadine McCarthy, who netted seven points. Senior Madeline Argueta added six points for the Lady Bulldogs.
Mills paced Manor with five points.
Despite the loss, Clifford is optimistic about the rest of the season.
“It’s early yet,” he said. “We can only go up from here.”
The Lady Bulldogs are also looking to improve as the season moves along.
“We played great defense tonight,” Bernhardt commented. “Offensively, we didn’t look very comfortable at times. We still have a lot of work to do. But to win this tournament and be 2-0 is a great way to start the season.”
Bernhardt added that no matter what the season holds in terms of wins and losses, the 11 players on the Lady Bulldog roster will be competitive.
“You can’t fault their effort,” he said. “They are doing everything we ask of them.”

Chapel Field Finishes Third
In Wednesday night’s consolation game, Chapel Field raced out to an 18-4 lead in the first half and posted a 46-21 victory to earn the tournament’s third place trophy.
Leading the Lady Lions to the win were Laura Bast, who scored a game-high 22 points, and Lara Kuperus, who netted 10 points.
Liberty (0-2) attempted to rally in the third quarter. At the 5:35 mark, Marla Egan hit a three-point shot to pull the Lady Indians to within 14 points, 23-9. One minute later, teammate Keely Hamlin scored inside the lane to make a 23-11 game.
But Chapel Field (1-1) outscored Liberty by a 7-3 margin the rest of the third period and 16-7 in the fourth.
“Once we got over the rush of adrenaline and jitters in the first few minutes of the game, we played well,” Chapel Field Coach Rebecca Sharkey said.
Hamlin, a junior forward, led the Lady Indians with six points, while senior guard Lisa DeStefano finished with five points.
“We have a few girls that played last year, but a lot of the girls didn’t have a lot of time out on the floor,” Liberty Coach Tom LaGattuta said. “Right now it’s difficult to get a consistent offensive flow going. But it will come, I don’t have any doubts about it.”
Notes: SW senior forward Jessica Lederman was named the tournament MVP. Chosen for the all-tournament team were: Madeline Argueta (SW), Laura Bast (Chapel Field), Jessica Klein (Liberty), Mary Mills (Manor) and Charlene Vail (Manor).

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