SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — With its magnificent architecture that hearkens back to its 1938 WPA construction, the Livingston Manor Central School (LMCS) is a sight to behold and the centerpiece of a proud community. Manor pride has been reinforced by the town’s renaissance and its annual Trout Parade. But over the past year, the school’s athletic ascendancy has given denizens even more to be proud of. Last spring, the school’s softball and baseball teams won state championships and were extolled by a parade through the town’s version of the Canyon of Heroes. Now, with the boys basketball team winning its first-ever Section 9 basketball title via a dramatic 70-52 Class D championship win over five-time consecutive champion John A. Coleman Catholic, a new era of laudable maroon and gray has been ushered in. The Wildcats were led by seniors Troy Correa with 18 points, Mike Mills with 16 and Kenny Fisk with 14. They moved on to play Section 1 Greenburgh Academy at the Westchester County Center on March 6.
Manor pride soared again as the Lady Wildcats garnered their first title since 1999 with a 54-31 win over number-two seed Roscoe in the Section 9 Class D finals. Maggi Calo posted four three pointers in the first half en route to her grand total of 18. Samantha Scott added 14 and Monay Allen posted 10 for the 11-8 Lady Wildcats, who move on to face Section 11 Shelter Island at Farmingdale Community College on March 10. After being ousted by John A. Coleman Catholic six times in his eight years as coach, Kevin Clifford was glad to see the two-time defending state champion Lady Statesmen move up to Class C. Livingston Manor, a town often besieged by floods, endured the long girls hoops drought, which had existed since its three-year streak championship streak ended in 1999. In that era, Manor bested Jeff-Youngsville twice and S.S. Seward in between. As an English teacher and yearbook adviser at LMCS back then and with the entire team inhabiting my classes, I was privy to those games and those glory days. The Wildcats were the only Sullivan County teams to prevail in this year’s sectionals.
For other local hoops teams, there were uplifting moments in the tourney, but sadly no final plaques. The 18-2 Tri-Valley Lady Bears reveled in a come-from-behind 38-32 Class C semifinal win over rival Tuxedo, as sophomore Katlynn Greffrath scored nine of her 14 points in the fourth quarter. In that final stanza, the Lady Bears outscored Tuxedo 15-4 to erase the remains of an 11-point deficit that had stood with 4:31 remaining in the third quarter. Unfortunately, they were unable to defend their Class C championship as they fell to undefeated John A. Coleman Catholic 56-28 in the title game. The Lady Bears are 36-4 under the watch of coach John Tenbus, who has authored a pair of 18-2 seasons and two trips to the finals where his team is now 1-1. The Liberty boys fell to defending state champion John S. Burke Catholic 81-28 in the Class B semifinals. Burke went on to defeat Ellenville in the finals. The Monticello boys evinced a valiant 77-60 quarterfinal road win over Saugerties but fell to eventual champion Marlboro 73-49 in the semifinals and ending their season at 8-12. The Monticello girls bested Goshen 48-42 in a quarterfinal triumph before losing to Cornwall 69-16. Fallsburg’s boys ended their noble 14-6 season with a 79-60 loss to eventual champion Pine Plains.
At the indoor track state championships, held at Cornell University on March 3, Sullivan West’s Rachel Deppa finished 11th in the 1500 racewalk in her third and final trip to states. Her time of 7:41.45 bested her 10th-place time of 7:45.21 a year ago. Tri-Valley’s Jimmy Bernstein finished 13th in the state in the 1600 with a time of 4:29.38. It was his first trip to states in indoor track. Eldred’s Breanna Brucher was 15th in the pole vault with a leap of 9-6. She recently cleared 10-6 at Easterns. Liberty’s Amanda Bertholf was 19th in the event at 9-3. Tri-Valley’s Dominique Darby was 16th in the shot put with a heave of 34-6.25, two feet shy of her state qualifying mark.Eldred’s Alex Campanella was 15th in the 1600 with a time of 4:29.47, while teammate Hunter Proscia finished 26th in the 3200 with a time of 10:02.68.
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