ACS, MCS girls split games; mixed results for boys' hoop teams

By Julia Green
The Andes Lady Mountaineers split a pair of games last week, falling to South Kortright, 59-42, on Tuesday before posting a 57-45 win over the host Hunter-Tannersville Wildcats on Thursday.
“We couldn’t have asked much more from the girls in terms of how hard they played,” said Coach Glenn Reynolds of Tuesday’s loss to South Kortright. “Obviously we were playing the No. 3 team in the state, but our girls played really hard. They did a really nice job. Overall, we felt good about the game.”
The Mountaineers were led Tuesday night by Rachel Andrews, who tallied a season-high 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
“She had an outstanding game,” Reynolds said. “She just worked really hard on the boards, and we were able to get the ball in to her on the low post.”
The South Kortright defense was playing a box-and-one, following Andes’ leading scorer Mariah Ruff, which Reynolds said forced the Andes offense to generate scoring opportunities elsewhere.
“You always have to find somebody else to score when you face that,” he said. “And Rachel and Karli Tait got the ball quite a bit.”
Ruff added 17 points for the Mountaineers.
A first-quarter battle had the Rams just four points ahead of the Mountaineers, but South Kortright stretched its lead in the second quarter, tallying 16 points to Andes’ five to take a 30-15 lead into halftime. The Mountaineers came out renewed in the second half, scoring 10 points and holding South Kortright to 12, and the teams tallied 17 points apiece in the final quarter, but the Mountaineers were unable to mount enough of a scoring run to neutralize the Rams’ lead.
“Of the 17-point deficit, 11 points came in the second period,” said Reynolds, whose team was only outscored by two points in the third and held even in scoring with the Rams in the fourth. “We pressed early in the fourth quarter and cut it to 10 and they adjusted and that was the game. But we just always ask the girls to just keep playing hard and doing what you’re doing and good things will happen.”
Part of the struggle Andes faced in the second quarter was the fact that two of their five starters – and two of the top three scorers – were on the bench due to injury and foul trouble.
“That took two of our three leading scorers out of the game, and it’s harder to get the ball to Rachel when they’re not in the game.”
The Mountaineers rebounded to post a 57-45 win over the host Hunter-Tannersville Lady Wildcats on Thursday.
“Even though we give up seemingly more points than some other teams in the league, we think our defense makes a lot of difference,” Reynolds said. “One reason is that we try to press a lot, so they’re going to score also.”
Ruff led Andes with 21 points, 10 steals and nine rebounds, and Tait added 12 points for the Mountaineers, who went 14-for17 from the foul line.
Andes held a 33-16 lead at halftime.
“Defense was a key in that game,” Reynolds said. “It allowed us to get our hands on the ball and advance it up the floor, which led to baskets for us.”
With the win, Andes moves to 6-5 overall and 4-4 in league play. They will face the visiting Charlotte Valley Lady Wildcats at home on Wednesday and will travel to face the host Margaretville Lady Blue Devils on Friday night.
“Last year we were 3-5 coming out of the Christmas break and we didn’t win another game and ended up 3-14,” Reynolds said. “We have been really focusing on maintaining our intensity and our focus and this year at the break we were 2-4 and we’re 4-1 since then, so that has been a big focus for us.
“Another big focus has been to play as well as we can and as hard as we can, in particular against the powers in the league,” he added. “It’s clear that South Kortright and Davenport are the powers in the league, so we ask our kids to play as hard as they can and learn from playing against the better teams and who knows… some night we’re going to beat one of those teams.”

Margaretville Lady Blue Devils
The Margaretville Lady Blue Devils also split a pair of games last week in two road games, falling to Davenport Tuesday and edging Gilboa on Thursday.
The Blue Devil girls found themselves in the hole early in Tuesday’s match-up at Charlotte Valley, as the host Wildcats scored 22 points in the first quarter and limited Margaretville to six. Charlotte Valley kept the heat on in the second quarter, adding 17 points and holding the Blue Devils to four to take a 39-10 lead into the half.
“They’re just such a fast defense,” said Coach Kyle Holden. “They’re aggressive, they run you down from behind… we just didn’t play with the speed and tempo that we needed to get into any sort of half-court defense. They’re very good at keeping you a little bit off-edge.”
Holden added that the Blue Devils used the opportunity in the second half to change defenses a few times, saying that despite the result, the game was an ideal time to work on communication on the floor.
The Wildcats continued to press in the second half, outscoring the Blue Devils 36-14 to post a 75-24 win. Amy Filupeit led the Blue Devils with 10 points, including two 3-pointers, and Erica Faulkner added six points. Most of Filupeit’s points came in the fourth quarter.
“I was very proud of the way they finished the game,” Holden said. “They never let up, they continued to support each other, and they kept working, which is tough to do when you’re getting beat like that.”
It was a very different story on Thursday, when the Margaretville girls traveled to face the Gilboa Lady Wildcats.
The Blue Devils jumped out to an early lead, posting an 11-4 opening quarter score, but the Wildcats battled back in the second quarter to bring themselves within a point at halftime.
“We jumped out in the first quarter, moving the ball well, attacking the basket, causing their man-to-man to have to switch off to defend a little bit, and I was really happy with the way we played in the first quarter,” Holden said.
Less pleasing was the second quarter, when he said the Blue Devils stopped moving the ball and setting screens and Gilboa took control of the backboards.
“I was less than enthused with our intensity,” he said of the second quarter, adding that his halftime message was that the intensity level needed to be picked up. “I stressed that it was a game we had to have for us to reach our goal of sectional play, and the girls responded.”
The Wildcats kept up the pressure in the third quarter, outscoring the Blue Devils 15-10. The majority of Gilboa’s points came from the outside, including three 3-pointers.
“In the fourth we picked it up, so that was good,” Holden said of the final period, in which his team outscored Gilboa 11-4 to take a 36-33 win. Senior leadership was key in the final quarter, as co-captains Erica Faulkner and Michelle O’Reilly combined for nine of the team’s 11 points, and Faulkner pulled in 19 rebounds as O’Reilly added nine.
With the victory, Margaretville moved to 6-7 overall and 3-6 in the league. They will face the visiting South Kortright Lady Rams at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday and will host the Andes Lady Mountaineers on Friday night.
“We have back-to-back and back-to-back games left,” Holden said. “We need to play solid every minute we’re on the court. We can’t afford to have bad quarters if we want to reach our goal – we just have to play consistent ball.”

Roxbury Lady Rockets
Last week was a tough one for the Roxbury Lady Rockets, who dropped decisions to Downsville and Davenport on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.
Rachel Meckes led the Rockets in Tuesday’s game at Downsville, tallying 10 points and going 2-for-3 from the foul line; Kennedy Faraci added nine points for Roxbury.
Downsville took an early lead after outscoring the visiting Rockets 8-2 in the first quarter, but Roxbury battled back in the second, equaling the nine points posted by the Eagles to make it 17-11 at halftime.
The third quarter brought more damage, however, as the Eagles outscored Roxbury 15-3; a 13-8 fourth quarter sealed the Rockets’ fate.
The Rockets played host to the visiting Charlotte Valley Lady Wildcats losing 56 – 20 on Thursday night. Jenna Johnston led Roxbury with seven points. Brittany Bell added five points and Faraci tallied four for the Rockets, who moved to 1-12 overall and 1-10 in league play.
Roxbury will host the visiting Gilboa Lady Wildcats on Tuesday.

You win some, you lose some: an adage that was all too true for the Roxbury Rockets’ basketball team last week. The Rockets handed the visiting Downsville Eagles a tough loss on Wednesday, posting a 63-31 win on their home court. The Rockets were led by junior Dylan Stock, who tallied 28 points, including six 3-pointers.
DaVaun Morgan added 20, points, 10 rebounds and 10 steals for the Rockets, who moved to 8-3 overall and 7-2 in the league.
The Rockets struck early, outscoring the Eagles 20-3 in the opening quarter. They kept the pressure on in the second, putting up 16 more points and limiting Downsville to nine to take a 36-12 lead into halftime. A 23-point third quarter widened the gap even more, taking the Rockets to a 59-21 lead.
They were unable to create a similar result on Friday, however, when they dropped a tough 56-29 road loss to the Davenport Wildcats.
Despite a 16-16 tie at halftime, the Rockets fell into a hole in the third quarter, when Davenport outscored them 21-6. They were unable to regain their footing in the fourth quarter and the Wildcats kept up the offensive pressure, putting up 19 more points and limiting the Rockets to seven.
The Rockets were led by DaVaun Morgan, who tallied 10 points; Ed Williams added six and Garrett Hall and Dylan Stock had five apiece.
Roxbury will host the Windham Warriors tomorrow night.

Andes Mountaineers
It was the reverse for the Andes Mountaineers, who last week rebounded from a 59-34 loss to the host South Kortright Rams on Wednesday to defeat the visiting Hunter-Tannersville Wildcats 58-48 on Friday.
James Litaker led the Mountaineers with 11 points, going 3-for-5 from the foul line, and Cody Ruff had eight points in Wednesday’s game, in which the Rams jumped out to a 13-6 lead in the first quarter.
The Rams kept the pressure up in the second, tallying 19 more points and holding Andes to eight to take a 32-14 lead into halftime.
The Mountaineers came out Friday night with all cylinders firing, however, as Eric Reed led Andes with 16 points and Cody Ruff added 12; in addition, every one of the remaining Mountaineers tallied at least five points in the win over visiting Hunter-Tannersville.
Andes took a 16-11 lead in the first quarter and held on to their lead going into halftime, despite getting outscored 13-11 in the second quarter. The third quarter proved to be key for the Mountaineers, as they outscored Hunter 13-6; an 18-18 fourth quarter allowed them to hang on for the win.
The Mountaineers played on the road in Jefferson on Tuesday; no score was available at press time. Andes will host Margaretville at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Margaretville Blue Devils
It was a tough week for the Margaretville Blue Devils, who fell to the visiting Davenport Wildcats 55-9 on Wednesday and then dropped a 70-40 decision to the visiting Gilboa Wildcats on Friday night.
“We played good defense when we were into it, but I think we just weren’t making any shots and we just lost our confidence,” said MCS Coach Dave Goodchild. “We were getting good shots, but they just weren’t going in and we lost our confidence. It was just a disappointing game because I know we can play better than we did.”
It only took Davenport four seconds to score its first basket Wednesday night, but it took them four more minutes to score their second bucket, as the Devils’ defense found its footing in the first half of the opening quarter. The Blue Devils’ defense was unable to hang on, however, as the Wildcats held a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and took a 29-2 lead into halftime.
Davenport kept the pressure on in the second half, as Davenport Coach Lee Fisher continued to rotate in his starters and the Margaretville offense was unable to sink shots. 
The Blue Devils offense had a much better evening on Friday, when they played host to the visiting Gilboa Wildcats in a 70 – 40 loss.
“I was happy with that game; I thought we played hard,” Goodchild said. “I thought we moved the ball around a lot better.”
It was a standout game for Margaretville senior Mitch Vankeuren, who led the Blue Devils with 17 points; David Hull added 10 points for Margaretville, including three 3-pointers.
“Mitch had a big game inside, driving to the basket, and Dave Hull helped us – he hit three 3-pointers,” Goodchild said. “I thought everybody played hard, even though we only had two guys on the bench. Gilboa was just too big for us.”
Goodchild added that his defense also gave a strong showing.
“I think we were breaking the press pretty good, and our defense – I just think we played hard,” he said. “Nobody gave up. And Cody Fronckowiak, Drew Sylvester and Duane Wilkens… the guys coming off the bench did a good job. I thought they played hard and did well. I was happy with the way they played.”
The Margaretville boys will travel to face the host Andes Mountaineers on Thursday night.