Host SK wins tourney; Lady Blue Devils place third

By John Bernhardt
Delaware County boys’ basketball dynasty, the South Kortright Rams, show no signs of slowing down. The Rams dominated their own Thanksgiving Tournament last weekend leaving little doubt about who is the team to catch in the upcoming Delaware League season.

It was a wave of blue and white as the Rams showcased the efficiency of performance that is a trademark of coach Bob VanValkenburgh’s teams. SK scored from inside and out early in the title game Saturday ripping the nets for 26 first-period points. As has become Rams’ standard operational procedure, a swarming pressing defense was the springboard for the offensive outbreak. SK outpaced Schenevus 26-12 in the opening frame and stretched their lead to 40-18 by the half.

SK advanced to the championship game with a smothering defensive performance against Afton. An iron blanket of defense limited Afton to only 12 points through the first three periods as SK rolled to a 61-23 win.

A Rams’ constant is the inside play of senior center, Brandon Tuttle. Back for his third season, Tuttle scored 21 points in both games of the tournament to earn MVP honors. An inside force of movement and power, Tuttle uses his body to establish position expertly in the lane. The senior also netted nine of 10 shots from the charity stripe.

Sage Beemer scored in double figures both nights and joined Tuttle on the all-tournament team. Trevor Holdridge, SK’s defensive catalyst, was also named an all-star.

Roxbury showed signs that they, too, could make some noise on the hardwoods this winter. Only a lackluster performance from the foul line prevented the Rockets from advancing to the championship round. The Rockets could find the mark only five of 14 times from the charity stripe as they dropped a heart wrenching, 34-33, overtime decision to Schenevus in the opening round Friday.

Even so, the Rockets’ performance was promising. Playing the opening round contest without their senior scoring leader Kyle Ciaravino, Roxbury turned in a gritty performance, a whisker short of victory. In fact, Schenevus dodged several bullets with Robert Burton’s three-point field goal with only nine seconds left in regulation time sending the game into overtime.

Roxbury had two chances to score in the last minute of the overtime; their last attempt rebounded by the Dragons with only six seconds left. Schenevus advanced the ball to half court in transition where Tyler Morris was fouled with six-tenths of one second still to play. Morris made the first of two shots to clinch the victory.

Ciaravino returned Saturday night to score a game-high19 points in the consolation game when the Rockets downed Afton, 35-20. A low scoring first half left the Rockets in front, 15-12. Roxbury surged down the stretch, entering the final quarter with a 26-18 lead and then outscoring Afton 9-2 in the final eight minutes.

Junior center Eric Schultis was named to the all-tournament team from Roxbury. The Rockets open their Delaware League Season playing at Davenport on Thursday night.

Margaretville girls
The points were few and far between for the Margaretville girls’ basketball team as they opened their season in the Hunter-Tannersville tournament last week. Even so, a stingy defense lifted the Blue Devils into the championship game.

Margaretville’s defense smothered Cairo-Durham in the first half of the opening round. The Blue Devils allowed only five Cairo-Durham first-half points, leading 15-5 at the intermission. Cairo- Durham’s offense awakened during the second half, but the Blue Devils held on advancing to the title game, 26-22.

Ami Filupeit scored eight points to pace the Blue Devils’ attack. Tess Svoboda and Annette Auchmoody added six points each.

Low offensive output continued to plague Margaretville in the championship game. Hunter-Tannersville held the Blue Devils to a single field goal in the opening quarter, as the Wildcats built an 8-2 lead. The Blue Devils could not get their scoring game untracked, never scoring double digits in a quarter and eventually falling, 38-15.

Margaretville opens their Delaware League schedule visiting Gilboa on Friday night.

Blue Devils Open Season At Home Thursday
Margaretville’s boys’ basketball team will get their first taste of the hardwoods hosting Gilboa on Thursday night. The game pits two Delaware League Mountain Division foes and is the opening game of the season for both schools. Junior varsity action begins at 5:30 p.m..