Hoop teams grapple with weather-affected schedules

By Julia Green
Charlotte Valley 55, Roxbury 46 (Jan. 8)
Despite a competitive first quarter in which the Roxbury Rockets outscored Charlotte Valley 15-14, they found themselves in a hole after the second quarter out of which they couldn’t quite dig themselves.
Charlotte Valley posted 17 points to just two by the Rockets in the second quarter, giving them a 31-17 lead going into halftime.
“I thought we were playing well,” said Head Coach Tom Faraci of the first quarter. “We hit one at the buzzer to push it 15-14, and I thought we had a little momentum, but then we gave up 17 and scored two.”
Senior Ryan Skipper led the Rockets with 18 points and DaVaun Morgan added 13 for Roxbury, who moved to 4-4 overall and 2-2 in the league. Skipper was also four for seven from the line, and senior Tim Douglas added nine points for the Rockets.
“They have two really good shooters, and we kind of lost track of people,” Faraci said. Nine of Charlotte Valley’s 17 points in the second quarter came from three-pointers.
“I thought, going in, that it was going to be one of those nights where we were going to have to come out and play well and not make a lot of mistakes,” Faraci said. “We didn’t do a good job taking care of the basketball, and that changed the game for us. In spite of that bad second quarter, there are a lot of things that could have changed the ball game: little things. That’s kind of the way we’ve been playing: the play’s there to be made, and we’re just not making the play.”
The Rockets drew to within eight or nine points, but were unable to close the gap.
“We’ve got a tough road,” Faraci said, looking toward the upcoming schedule. “We had a lot of games canceled in December, so things are kind of piling up.”
Roxbury will host the visiting Mountaineers of Andes Central School at 5:30 p.m. tonight.

Margaretville 33, Gilboa 45 (Jan. 8)
Brian Faulkner led Margaretville with 16 points and 12 rebounds and Marcus Moore added eight points and five rebounds when the Blue Devils traveled to Gilboa on Thursday to face the host Wildcats in the teams’ second match-up of the season.
“Overall I thought we played pretty well, considering that I had just moved up two kids from JV,” said Head Coach Jeremey Marks. “It was their second game and because of the snow day we didn’t get a practice in, so it kind of took us a half to get going.”
The Blue Devils were down by 14 points at halftime, but battled back to outscore the Wildcats 23-21 in the second half, narrowing Gilboa’s lead to six points with less than two minutes left in the game.
“They hit some free throws down the stretch to make the final score, but it was a closer game than the score showed,” Marks said. “But with our team and our inexperience, we’re trying to put four full quarters together. We have that one bad quarter, or a bad half, and it hurts us.”
Twelve of Faulkner’s 16 points came in the second half, when he went four of four from the line and tallied 10 of his 12 total rebounds.
“In the second half we rebounded better and cut down our turnovers,” Marks said. “We forced 11 turnovers and only had 11 turnovers ourselves, and we rebounded better and Brian really stepped up his game.”
The two teams met each other in the first round of the MCS Booster Club Tournament, when Gilboa’s Scott Haskin hit a three at the buzzer of each half to sink the Blue Devils.
“We pretty much knew what they were going to do,” Marks said. “They play good man-to-man defense, and we were ready for that aspect. Our guys remembered that from the last game, and frankly, they were up to the challenge. But again, you get down 14 points at halftime, it’s tough to fight back.”
Referring to the two players pulled up from JV, Marks said he was pleased with their efforts.
“Jon Fairbairn had three points, two assists, three rebounds and only one turnover, and Patrick O’Connell contributed with three rebounds, a steal, and two assists with two points. I was pleased with those guys. They stepped up their level of play and did a nice job defensively, as well.”
The Blue Devils face visiting Windham at 6 p.m. Wednesday at MCS.

Andes 43, Hunter 61 (Thursday, Jan. 8)
Ethan Berghammer and Cody Ruff scored eight points apiece for the Mountaineers when Andes traveled to Hunter on Jan. 8, but it wasn’t enough to lead them to victory.
Andes fell into an early hole after a tough first quarter in which Hunter posted 23 points to a mere three from the Mountaineers.
“I was very disappointed in the Hunter game,” said Andes Head Coach John Bernhardt. “I think Hunter has a very accomplished team, but we were not there to play basketball that night. We have hustled hard and played hard in all of our games up to that point, and that didn’t happen.”
Hunter widened the lead to as much as 24 points early in the game.
“Not taking anything away from Hunter, but it was pretty much a very passive approach on defense,” Bernhardt said. “Our concentration and our focus were very poor. I think we went in there making an assumption that we were going to lose, and you can’t go in that way.”
Andes battled back, however, outscoring Hunter 15-10 in the second quarter, and they managed to cut Hunter’s lead to 11 points. They were faced with the opportunity to bring themselves within ten, but missed both ends of a 1-and-1.
“We’re young, and we get into pressure situations and we get into watching a little bit,” Bernhardt said. “If you’re not too sure of yourself, if you’re not real confident in yourself, you tend to do that. We’ve been working that out all year. But we weren’t there to play ball that night.”

Jefferson 44, Andes 34 (Monday, Jan. 12)
Bernhardt was much more pleased by his team’s showing against Jefferson on Monday night in a game of scoring streaks that was hotly contested from start to finish.
“We definitely played hard ball tonight,” Bernhardt said after the game. “I was really pleased with my team’s defensive effort after the first quarter. It was a good ball game.
“They came out in a 2-2-1 press and we handled it beautifully, scoring behind the press,” Bernhardt said. “We went ahead 12-2 and they moved their pressure up the court and we didn’t handle the adjustment.”
Jefferson scored the last 14 points of the first quarter on seven consecutive possessions, a number of them steals, to take a 16-12 lead at the end of the quarter.
Andes switched from a zone defense to man-to-man defense after the first quarter, limiting the JayHawks to just 28 points in the remainder of the game and a scant two points in the second quarter. The Mountaineers scored the last two buckets in the second quarter to take a 19-18 halftime lead, but Jefferson drew first blood at the start of the second half to make it 20-19. The two teams traded buckets before Jefferson once again went on a scoring streak, scoring the next 13 points and considerably widening their lead to 33-21.
Andes scored the last two baskets of the third quarter to bring them within eight points and followed that with six of the first eight points in the fourth quarter to make it 35-31 Jefferson.
“We were handling ourselves pretty well and then both teams went through a series of four or five possessions each where nobody scored,” Bernhardt said. “Then they went on a streak and scored their next nine points, most of them in the last two minutes and five of them from the foul line in the last two minutes.”
Andes’ Eric Reed, the team’s high scorer of the night with nine points, hit a three at the buzzer to keep the Mountaineers within ten. Ethan Berghammer added four assists and Josh Bonifacic had 12 rebounds for Andes.
“We had trouble rebounding,” Bernhardt said. “Josh was our only person who had more than four rebounds, and that was a telling part of the game.”
Andes travels to Roxbury on Wednesday night and will host South Kortright at home on Friday.
“It’s a big week for us,” Bernhardt said. “I think we’re playing three of the better teams in the league.”