Gilboa nips Blue Devils in hoops opener

It was addition by subtraction last Thursday as the Gilboa and Margaretville boys’ basketball teams squared off in its season opener in Margaretville.

Foul troubles plagued the top scorers of both teams throughout the contest with Gilboa’s Tyler Latta and Margaretville’s Mitch Hull spending large chunks of time on the bench with fouls. With each departure came an offensive surge for the opposing team giving the game a see-saw like personality. Latta outlasted Hull, and the Wildcats outlasted the Blue Devils, 44-41, by scoring the final nine points of the game.

Fouls would chase Hull to the bench early in the first quarter. The Margaretville center tried a restart during the second period with a similar outcome. Hull picked up his third foul the first time Gilboa had the ball and returned to the pine for the remainder of the half.

Gilboa capitalized during Hull’s absence. With Christian Perry scoring 11 points and Zach Perry eight, the Wildcats surged. Gilboa outscored Margaretville 24-11 as Hull watched, building a 31-18 advantage by halftime.

Latta’s foul issues emerged during the last minute of the first half when the junior forward was whistled for his third foul. With a thirteen point lead, Gilboa coach Andy Dumas elected to start the second half with his scoring star on the bench. With a trapping defense as a catalyst, Margaretville picked up some steals and ripped off the first six points of the second half to cut the deficit to seven.

Latta returned to hit a field goal, but the Wildcats failed to slow the Margaretville surge. With Hull and senior guard John Fairbairn doing all of the scoring, the Blue Devils scored the final 7 points of the period. The 13-point Gilboa lead was whittled to a single basket, 33-31, heading into the final eight minutes of play.

Fourth quarter foul shooting would have as much to do with the outcome of the game as personal fouls. Despite making only two of six foul shots, the Margaretville run continued. The Blue Devils electrified a large home crowd running off the first 10 points of the final frame building a 41-35 lead of their own.

The roof caved in for Margaretville when Hull fouled out with just over two minutes to play. Five missed Blue Devil foul shots as the home team struggled to maintain their lead was devastating. On the opposite end of the floor the Wildcats would sink five of eight charity shots down the stretch.

A driving shot by Hunter Grace tied the score at 41-41 with less than 30 seconds to play. Margaretville turned over the ball with an errant inbounds pass before Darren Blain put back a missed Wildcat shot for the game-winner.

Zack Perry (12 points), Christian Cooper (11 points) and Hunter Grace (10 points) reached double figures for Gilboa. Hull took game scoring honors netting 16 for Margaretville. The Margaretville center pulled down 13 rebounds.

Hunter-Tannersville outscored Margaretville, 19-7 during the second period to pull away from the Blue Devils Monday night in Tannersville.

After the two teams battled to a 10-10 opening period standoff, H-T was off and running. Laszlo Hajnoczi netted 14 of his game high 19 points during the opening half.

The Wildcats added three more points to their lead in the third frame before both teams cleared their benches during the final eight minutes with H-T rolling to a 62-38 victory. Zack Mudge added 18 points for H-T. Hull paced the Blue Devils with 17.

RCS hangs tough
Although in the end they would come up short, the Roxbury boys’ basketball team made a statement last week. The Rockets served notice that they can play with the big guys when they battled one of the Delaware League’s preseason favorites in a competitive contest. Only a shaky third quarter prevented Roxbury from pulling off a major upset in Davenport where the Rockets fell to the Wildcats, 47-38.

A solid defensive effort kept Roxbury close. Roxbury limited Davenport’s inside outside scoring duo of Robert Meyerhoff and Garrett Reynolds to just 19 points. But, the Wildcats found some offense in other places getting 10 points from Troy Palmer, 9 from Michael Libby, and 6 from Kyle Womsley. Five three-point goals aided the Wildcat cause.

The Rockets pieced together an impressive first half effort nursing a one point, 20-19, lead at the half. Davenport outgunned Roxbury 17-9 to take control in the decisive third frame.

Roxbury’s slick shooting senior forward Kyle Ciaravino had another big offensive night. Ciaravino, who netted 19 points in the Rockets consolation game victory over Afton during the SK Thanksgiving Tournament, knocked down 23 points Thursday night. The Rockets were deadly from the foul line netting 8 of 11 charity stripes.