Liberty Edges Sullivan West To Capture Hoops For Hunger Title in Manor Girls Basketball Tournament; Liberty’s Karissa Yoli is Tournament MVP
Championship Game: Liberty 38, Sullivan West 30
Consolation Game: Livingston Manor 41, Roscoe 22
By RICHARD A. ROSS
Photos at: www.sportsinsights.smugmug.com
LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY—These days there are far too many people going hungry.
Given the condition of the economy and the rising prices of food, it seems more and more people are struggling just to put food on the table.
To that end, the Livingston Manor Girls Basketball tournament, dubbed “Hoops For Hunger,” sought to help that cause by having teams and onlookers donate non-perishable foods. Each team had to contribute 50 items and spectators donated three as their price of admission to the hoops tourney that featured the Lady Wildcats hosting Roscoe, Liberty and Sullivan West.
In total, more than 300 items were collected which will be donated to the Liberty Elks with the help of Manor Coach Kevin Clifford.
Like the Coaches vs. Cancer tournaments staged across the nation including the BCANY Coaches vs. Cancer Classic that takes place at Sullivan County Community College each year, the game of basketball oftentimes plays a role in fundraising for noble causes.
But hunger for the game they love and hope to be victorious in was also on the minds of the young women who took part in the two day tournament, the opening salvo of a dense and intense season that is now about to get underway in earnest.
Following the opening night drama of Sullivan West’s 42-37 double overtime win over Livingston Manor, coupled with Liberty’s 33-11 win over Roscoe, the die was cast for the championship and consolation match ups for November 25.
In that opening night fray between the Lady Wildcats and the Lady Bulldogs, Manor sophomore Devon Dutcher led all scorers with 19 points, 20 rebounds and six blocks. Her timely trey and a subsequent put back by Emily Gorr in the waning seconds of regulation propelled the game into overtime. Dutcher would eventually foul out but Manor’s biggest bugaboo of the night was its struggles from the free throw line canning a mere six out of 42 attempts.
In the consolation game, Manor (1-1) defeated Roscoe (0-2) 41-22. Dutcher would be named to the All-Tournament team behind of her 22 points and 20 rebound contribution.
In the championship game, a tightly-fought battle took place between eventual winner Liberty (2-0) and Sullivan West (1-1). In the early going it looked as if Sullivan West would prevail. They led 13-8 at the end of the first quarter and 19-16 at the half. Each team netted seven in the third stanza but it was all Liberty in crunch time as they outscored Sullivan West 15-4 in the fourth quarter to secure the 38-30 victory.
The Lady Bulldogs were led by Ali Hemmer who netted 13 points. Tournament MVP Karissa Yoli of Liberty had 18, abetted by nine points from Kelsey Morgans. Liberty shot 11-for-24 from the stripe (45.8 %) as compared to the Lady Westies 4-for-26 (15.3%). That included going just two-for11 in the final stanza.
Needless to say coaches from all four teams will be stressing free throw shooting in their practice sessions.
Named to the All-Tournament team, in addition to Sullivan West’s Ali Hemmer were teammate Carly Grishaber, Manor’s Devon Dutcher, and Liberty’s Zytoria Reynolds.
The Lady Indians and Lady Bulldogs will stage a rematch on December 4 in Lake Huntington for a non-league fray. Liberty is Class B and Sullivan West moved down to Class C this year.
Manor will host Tuxedo on December 2 in a non-league encounter. Roscoe (0-2) will travel to Tuxedo on December 4.
Liberty Coach Beth Quatrale was very pleased with the win and with starting the season at 2-0.
“It’s basically what we wanted to happen, “ she noted. “We’re a very young team with only two players with varsity experience and only one returning starter. I told the girls when we got in the tournament, let’s see what we’re made of,” she added. “It’s a good way to start the year,” she averred. Kelsey Morgans was missing for the opening round game but her presence in this clash made a difference. She came out on fire in the second half.”
Liberty made their free throws when they mattered netting eight from the stripe in the final stanza, which turned out to be the difference in the score.
“This is the first in recent years when my girls get to the free throw line that I’m not worried. I get excited. They’re athletes and competitors. They’re ready to hit shots and win,” she noted.
They’ll face a determined Lady Bulldogs team in Sullivan West’s home opener on December 4. Should be fun.
For an album of photos, visit www.sportsinsights.smugmug.com