Roxbury boys win on the road; ACS, MCS fall at home
By Julia Green
Roxbury 64, Margaretville 35
It was as if two different teams were alternating quarters for the Margaretville Central School Blue Devils last Wednesday night, when the visiting Roxbury Rockets defeated MCS on its home court, 64-35.
The Blue Devils, who opened the scoring with five points including a three-pointer from junior guard Mitch VanKeuren, led the Rockets until less than two minutes remained in the first quarter, when they relinquished the lead and never regained it.
The Rockets, defending Section IV Class D champions, outscored the host Blue Devils 19-2 in the second quarter of Wednesday night’s game, when senior Ryan Skipper and junior DaVaun Morgan combined for 15. Morgan led the Rockets with 21 points and 12 boards, followed by Skipper with 17 points and four steals.
A bucket three minutes into the quarter by senior Tim Douglas extended Roxbury’s lead to 10, and the Blue Devils never got any closer.
“I thought we came out a little slow, but I think after the first quarter we kind of picked things up a little bit and started getting a little more active on our press and a little more active defensively,” said Roxbury Head Coach Tom Faraci.
The Blue Devils struggled to find the hoop in the second quarter, and by halftime the Rockets had widened their lead considerably, thanks to a 19-2 scoring run that included eight unanswered points.
“I thought our guys came out with a purpose to start the game,” said MCS Head Coach Jeremey Marks. “The first quarter was 17-13 Roxbury, and with them being the defending Section IV, Class D champs, I thought that put us in a position to be competitive throughout the game. Roxbury, to their credit, came out much more determined and aggressive in the second quarter. They scored some more points, which got them in their press and created some more turnovers that took us out of our rhythm.”
Faraci credited the scoring run in part to his team’s ability to shut down Margaretville center Brian Faulkner, who tallied eight points for the Blue Devils in the first quarter but only two in the second.
“We didn’t change anything,” Faraci said. “We still played the same defense, we just paid a lot more attention to where he was going and prevented the interior pass.”
The Blue Devils battled back in the third quarter, outscoring the Rockets 18-14.
“To sum up our game, quarter by quarter, we were inconsistent,” Marks said. “We had two pretty good quarters and two not-so-good quarters.”
Faulkner led the Blue Devils with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Roxbury’s next home game comes on Thursday when they face the visiting Rams of South Kortright, who handed the Rockets a hearty 64-22 loss in SK’s Thanksgiving Tournament.
“They’ve got so many weapons that we folded a little bit in the third quarter against the pressure,” Faraci said. “The way they played us defensively; we’ve got to clean some things up in order to try to climb into a ball game with them.”
Game time is 7 p.m. at Roxbury.
The Margaretville Central School Booster Club will hold its annual Booster Club Tournament this weekend, when the host Blue Devils will face Gilboa at 7 p.m. on Friday in the first round.
Jefferson 56, Margaretville 29
Faulkner was again the Blue Devils’ statistical leader on Friday night, when Margaretville (1-2, 0-2) hosted Jefferson. Faulker tallied 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Marcus Moore added six rebounds and Tyler Smith tallied four steals.
“It was another poor second quarter,” Marks said, referring to a period in which his team was outscored 25-7. “We didn’t execute; we allowed them to dictate the tempo of the game and they converted and shot well that quarter.”
Marks added that his team needs to inject a sense of urgency into their second-quarter play.
“In basketball, you have to have a sense of urgency. You have to keep it close and competitive every quarter, and execute the game plan every quarter,” he said. “With the inexperience of our team, I like that we’re coming out and competing; it’s not a lack of effort, it’s more like a lack of execution right now. Our kids are playing hard, but it’s like we won’t put things together one or two quarters in a game.”
The Blue Devils also struggled at the free throw line, sinking only six of 18, including missing the front end of four one-and-ones that could have upped their free throw total to 22.
Jefferson point guard Tyler Dibble led the JayHawks with 29 points, 19 of which were tallied in the second quarter, when he hit a three just before halftime to give Jefferson a 33-14 halftime lead.
Stamford 54, Andes 49
The scoring was neck and neck when the Andes Mountaineers traveled to Stamford to face the Indians last Tuesday. Andes led the scoring in the first quarter, with 16 points to Stamford’s 12, but the Indians fought back in the second quarter to carry the game into a 30-apiece halftime tie. It was a 16-10 run in the third quarter that gave the Indians a lead they never surrendered.
“I was very pleased with our performance,” said Head Coach John Bernhardt. “It was a very competitive game from start to finish, and I don’t think that at any point n the game anybody led by more than six points. It was a good old-fashioned barn-burner.
“I do think that in the second half, Stamford hurt us on the boards,” he added. “They went to the glass aggressively and we didn’t check and block people out. That was the difference in the game, in my opinion.”
The Mountaineers (1-1, 0-1) were led by senior Ethan Berghammer, who went two for three from the line and tallied eight buckets for a total of 18 points. Berghammer has been in double digits in both of Andes’ games.
Corey Barrett added to Andes’ scoring, coming off the bench to tally 12 points and 11 rebounds while Josh Bonifacic was double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
“Josh is continuing to play a complete game for us in every facet,” Bernhardt said, adding that Berghammer is “doing a nice job penetrating and going to the basket.”
Bernhardt cited the lack of defensive rebounds from the three-position as a weakness for his young team, adding that a number of the Indians’ buckets came from second-chance offensive rebound scoring. In addition to rebounding, Bernhardt said that play execution will also be a focus of training in the near future, alluding to the top teams’ timing and execution as a key to their success.
The Mountaineers traveled to Downsville on Tuesdsay; at press time, no game result was available. Andes will compete in the Margaretville Booster Club Holiday Tournament this Thursday and Saturday, where they will face Franklin Central School in the first round at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.