Devils earn DCS Tourney crown
By John Bernhardt
The Margaretville Blue Devils knew Roscoe guards Rob Taurino and Marc Rosario could wheel and deal in the open court. Taurino and Rosario had teamed with the five Blue Devil starters as part of a Margaretville AAU team last spring.
The Blue Devils reveled then when Taurino went on a “crazy” scoring run or Rosario pulled a rebound off the defensive boards and went coast to coast for a lay-up. But, Saturday in Downsville, the Blue Devils found themselves plotting to find a way to slow down Roscoe’s offensive duo.
Roscoe in front
At halftime in the weather-delayed championship game of the Downsville Tournament, the “Margaretville 8” found themselves in an unfamiliar position, trailing Roscoe, 26-22. Their old buddies, Taurino and Rosario, had scored all but four of Roscoe’s first-half points.
Taurino started the onslaught burying a three-point shot seconds after the opening tipoff, igniting a personal seven-point scoring spree. Kyle Short nailed a three-pointer of his own, one of five in the contest, to restore order and start an 11-point Margaretville run. But, the Delaware County Blue Devils couldn’t shake the Sullivan County Blue Devils, with Margaretville ahead, 16-13 at the quarter break.
A 15-foot Rosario jump shot from the left wing midway through the second frame put Roscoe out in front again, 19-18. Strong inside play by Mitch Hull kept the Blue Devils close with Hull netting 10 points in the half.
Big third period
The third quarter was the difference maker. After Roscoe scored the first two points in the final half, MCS went on a 20-4 tear to take control. Four three-point goals, three by Short, anchored the attack.
Short and Hull finished with 15 points each for Margaretville. Short was selected to the all-tournament team with Hull chosen as the MVP. Ryan Sanford, a tourney all-star, added nine.
Taurino, an all-star pick, took game-scoring honors netting 19 points that included four goals from behind the arc. Rosario finished with 15. Bradley Dreher joined the all-star team from Roscoe.
Margaretville and Roxbury put on a dizzying three-point clinic in the early going of Thursday’s annual meeting between the two local rivals. With just one minute gone in the second quarter, the teams had combined to score seven three-pointers, including one of the old-fashioned variety. Short dumped in three from behind the arc, teammate Cooper Reither and Roxbury’s Dakota Caronia two each. Nick Hamil buried one long-range trey, and Eric Shultis finished a still relevant “basket and one.”
Strong Shultis inside play kept Roxbury in the game early with the Rocket center scoring nine first half points. On the opposite end of the court, Short was popping from afar, his 11-point effort helping Margaretville to a 27-20 halftime lead.
Five Blue Devils found the net in a low scoring third quarter when Margaretville stretched their advantage to 37-27.
Great ball movement around perimeter gave Reither a good look at the basket and the sophomore responded with a three-point goal to give the Blue Devils their biggest lead of the game at 40-27.
The Rockets refused to quit. Roxbury scrambled to get back in the game by scoring seven of the next eight points, two baskets on Spencer Hinkley drives. When Matt Faraci downed a three-point bomb at 3:52 of the final quarter, the Blue Devils’ lead had shrunk to 41-34.
He had only two field goals in the game, but Matt VanValkenburg’s three-point basket 13 seconds later was a big one. Ryan Sanford cut through the lane to score on the next Blue Devils’ possession and the lead was back to 12.
Shultis used an inside feed from Will Rendler to score, followed by a three-point goal from Hinkley at the top of the key with 1:40 to go. Margaretville led 46-39. VanValkenburg hit the front end of a one and one, but Shultis banked home a spinning layup making it a two possession game, 47-41, with 1:05 to play.
A Mitch Hull put back basket seconds later sealed the deal, as the Blue Devils hung on for the 49-41 victory. The win keeps Margaretville locked in a first place tie with Hunter-Tannersville in the Delaware League’s Upper Division.
Firing from long, Short took game-high scoring honors with 17 points. Shultis paced Roxbury with 16 from around the basket. Hull and Reither netted eight for Margaretville with Caronia matching that total for the Rockets. Hinkley scored seven points for Roxbury, all in the final quarter.
Margaretville continues its quest for the Upper Division crown hosting Jefferson on Friday.