Lady Rockets rock Gilboa for a key Delaware League win

By John Bernhardt
It’s forward progress for the Roxbury girls’ basketball team. The Lady Rockets held Gilboa to a single point in the fourth quarter last week Tuesday, coming from behind to edge the Wildcats 41-39. The victory was significant for the young Roxbury team, propelling the Rockets past the Wildcats into second place in the Delaware League’s Mountain Division.
It was a defensive alignment adjustment by Roxbury coach Lisa Faraci and passionate execution by her Rockets that made the difference. Trailing 38-33 after three periods, Faraci called for a defensive change from a man-to-man defense to a zone during the between quarter break. The strategy adjustment confused and baffled Gilboa with the Wildcats limited to a single foul shot over the final eight minutes of play.

Winning hoop
With the score deadlocked at 39-39, Roxbury sophomore Devin Fox hit a jumper inside the lane to nail the game winner. Fox’s offensive game continues to evolve, a key factor in Roxbury’s improvement. Fox was a perfect six for six from the foul line and scored a season-high 17 points.

FOX GETS HOUNDED: RCS' Devin Fox may be cornered by Gilboa defense here, but she would later land the game-winning shot for Roxbury's Lady Rockets. Photo by Dick SanfordFOX GETS HOUNDED: RCS' Devin Fox may be cornered by Gilboa defense here, but she would later land the game-winning shot for Roxbury's Lady Rockets. Photo by Dick Sanford
Gilboa grabbed a 13-8 lead in the opening period, then maintained that advantage when the two teams battled evenly during the middle quarters. Faraci’s defensive change and eight fourth-quarter Rocket points were just enough to thrust Roxbury past the Wildcats into second place.
Adding to Roxbury’s challenge was the fact the Rockets played the contest without their leading scorer, Stacey Sprague. Sophomore Jade Meehan helped make up the difference with 11 points. With every point having a huge role in the outcome, Shannon Sprague added six, Lisa Boyke five, and Lizzy Davis two for the Rockets.
But, when all was said and done, Roxbury’s tough team defense stood up to the test. No one from Gilboa reached double figures, but Skylie Roberts, Kendal Thorington and Jana Travel each scored eight points.
The win improves the Rockets’ Delaware League record to 6-2 and 6-4 overall. The Rockets host New York State’s number one ranked Class D team, South Kortright on Wednesday then play on the road in Margaretville on Friday.

Margaretville girls
They continue to enjoy impressive single-game elements from individual players, but the Margaretville girls’ basketball team has struggled to discover the team synergy demanded of competing in the top tier of the Delaware League. Last week the Blue Devils received a career best effort from Sami Hunt in Stamford and a scorching shooting performance from Annette Hogan in Downsville but dropped both contests.
Hunt was a force in and around the basket on both sides of the floor in Stamford. The Margaretville center banked in 16 points and pulled down 24 rebounds. That effort was not enough as the Blue Devils fell, 49-34, to the Indians.

In the game
Kim Freer scored six of her team-high 16 points in the opening quarter as the home team doubled the output of the visitors with Stamford grabbing a 16-8 lead. The Blue Devils shaved one point off the Indian lead by half time, but Stamford doubled Margaretville’s score again in the third period, building a 42-28 lead heading into the home stretch. Both teams had problems finding the basket with each team scoring only six points in the final frame.
A four-of-14 effort at the foul line didn’t help the Margaretville cause. Stamford hit half of their 22 charity tries.
Heather Dunning scored 12 points and Hailey Jutrzenka netted 11 for the Indians. Freer had 16 rebounds for Stamford.
Annette Hogan reached double figures for Margaretville, scoring 11 points.
Later in the week, Hogan was on fire from the foul line, knocking down a perfect nine of nine and scored a team-high 18 points in a 46-37 loss in Downsville.
Margaretville came out firing on all offensive cylinders, netting 19 first-period points to grab a five-point lead after eight minutes. But the offense cooled and never reheated as the Blue Devils could on score 18 more points over the final three periods of play.

Scoring drought
The Blue Devils survived a four-point second quarter, clinging to a 23-22 lead at the half. A second four-point frame in the third period was the Blue Devils undoing with the host team outscoring their guests 15-4 in the quarter.
Kaileen Townsend was a one-girl scoring machine for Downsville, netting 28 points, all from inside the arc, and eight during the decisive third quarter. No other Eagle player scored more than five points in the contest.
Cora Bruno and Sami Hunt both scored seven points for Margaretville. The losses lower Margaretville’s record to 3-6 on the season. Downsville stands 6-4 on the year.

Andes girls
Steady offensive outputs led Downville over Andes, 64-37, last week in a contest played in Roscoe. The Eagles scored 14 or more points in every quarter in nailing down the win.
Virginia Gilkenson scored 10 of her 20 points in the first period as the Eagles pushed ahead, 18-7. The Rockets built a 33-15 advantage by the half.
Kaileen Townsend equaled Gilkenson’s 20-point total for Downsville. Gilkenson pulled down 17 rebounds and Townsend 12 for the victors.
Andes senior Shianne Coss netted a game-high 22 points.
Andes got season-high offensive production from Adriel Grapes and Jordan Day later in the week, but it was not enough as the Mountaineers fell, 63-38, to Davenport. Grapes scored 11 points and Day 10 for Andes.

Roxbury boys
Roxbury’s boys’ basketball team took on two stiff challenges last week, going on the road to battle both of the Delaware League’s division leaders. Battling for consistency, a struggle for any young basketball team, the Rockets struggled to piece together four quarters of steady play against the DL leaders, Gilboa and Davenport.
The Rockets showed flashes of competitive play against both of the DL powerhouses but struggled to maintain that level over four quarters of play. Roxbury leveled a stiff first-half challenge at Mountain Division leader Gilboa on Wednesday. The Rockets were outscored by a single three-point field goal in each of the first two periods, trailing only 30-24 at the half. Gilboa’s Christian Cooper scored 13 of his team best 19 points to keep the Wildcats on top during the half.
Overall, Gilboa’s depth and Roxbury’s struggles to find the hoop, took its toll on the Rockets during the second half. Balanced scoring and a defense that forced Rocket mistakes helped Gilboa outscored the Rockets, 17-5, during a decisive third quarter, then the Wildcats rolled to a 63-36 victory.
Zack Perry, Hunter Grace, and Ben Standhart all scored 10 points for the Wildcats. Torrid foul shooting helped Gilboa’s cause. Perry went seven of eight from the line with Grace hitting eight-of-10 charity shot attempts.
Will Rendler had a strong offensive game for Roxbury, netting a team-high 23 points.
Roxbury started strong again in Davenport on Friday against Lee Fischer’s undefeated Wildcats. Corey Hartman downed nine of his 13 points in the opening frame as Davenport outscored their guests 18-12 during the quarter.
The second period would be the Rockets undoing when their offense abandoned them on Friday. The Rockets were held to six points with Davenport tallying 12 more, taking a 36-18 lead by the half.
The Rockets settled in during the second half, outscoring the undefeated Wildcats, 23-19, but it was not enough to make up the first half deficit as the Rockets fell 55-41.
Rendler led the Rockets once again with 15 points. Matt Faraci chipped in with 14.
Kyle Wamsley paced Davenport with 14 points. Hartman scored 13 and Josh Davi 11 for the Wildcats.
Roxbury hosts Margaretville on Thursday night.