SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Time waits for no one as it hurtles by.
A week ago this column was anticipating the looming Section IX basketball tournament and the state indoor track meet. Both are now history. Time figured strongly in both sports, albeit in different ways.
In the 3200 run by Eldred senior Alex Campanella at the state meet, the stalwart Yellow Jacket, the reigning Section IX champion in the event, finished sixth in New York State with a lifetime best of 9:25.60. Campanella, who is bound for DePaul University in the fall, finished behind five runners from larger schools, all of whom will be classified as Division I contenders this spring (600 students or more in grades 9-11). Indoor track has no such size demarcations. Campanella will vie only against Division II adversaries (schools with fewer than 600 students grades 9-11) when the state meet takes place at Middletown High School on June 7. Distance also figures in when it comes to track, not just in races but in events in which athletes, throw or jump. Linear measures are used in long jump, triple jump and shot put, while measures of height define the high jump and pole vault.
Sullivan West junior Mitch Paciga posted a high jump mark of 6-2 to take 11th. The winning jump was 6-10. Tri-Valley’s Aric Boyes and Mareena DiMilia vied in the shot put. Boyes, who is the Section IX champion in the event, took 10th with a mark of 48-10.75. The winning throw was 60-1; DiMilia threw 34-3.5 for 23rd place. The top girls’ throw was 44-0.25.
In girls basketball, the number-two seeded Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats (6-10) brought off a timely title victory over number-one seeded Eldred in the Section IX Class D finals as they held on to win 26-19. Manor, the defending Section IX champion, advances to the state Final Four for the second consecutive year, this time for a semifinal clash with the winner of the quarterfinal between Sections III and IV. Last year, Manor beat Roscoe, then vanquished Shelter Island 56-19 before losing to Argyle 53-26. The Lady Wildcats had their day in the sun with a state softball title in the spring, as did the baseball team in the high-water mark of Manor sports history. Eldred (6-10) was paced by Jessica Schips, who had nine points. Manor’s Imani Miranda led her team with eight.
In Class C girls action, Tri-Valley (14-6) edged Rhinebeck 44-37 at home before losing a heartbreaking semifinal to Chester 45-42 in overtime. After a rocky first half, the Lady Bears roared back in the second half to gain a two-point lead twice in the game’s waning minutes. With the overtime winding down, two crucial inbounds turnovers afforded Chester the win on a three-point shot with four seconds remaining. Tri-Valley had the ball with 10.5 seconds and the score tied, but failure to inbound the ball within five seconds gave the ball to Chester. Tuxedo narrowly defeated Chester 52-49 for its third title since 2009, its sixth since 2002. Monticello (9-10), greatly hampered by injuries, fell to Goshen 61-24 in a Class A quarterfinal. The Tri-Valley boys (12-7) defeated Chester 61-51 in a home quarterfinal using a trio of late treys from Rodney Jester to reverse an early 12-point Chester lead. Jester had 12 points in the final frame, a great showing of clutch play in the nick of time.
Time was not a factor in the semifinals as Pine Plains, the number-one seeded Class C team in the state, routed the Bears 74-37. The Bombers went on to decimate S.S. Seward 68-41 to claim their third consecutive Section IX title. Time also ran out on Sullivan West’s season, as the Bulldogs (12-7) were routed by Ellenville to the tune of 73-45. Fallsburg defeated Millbrook in a home quarterfinal by the score of 69-63 as senior Rakkir Watson posted 45 points. Watson would accrue his 1000th career point in the Comets’ 72-37 loss to S.S. Seward in the Class C semifinals. Eldred (5-15), the number-four seed among Class D boys, knocked off top-seeded Chapel Field 65-49 before being ousted by John A. Coleman Catholic 74-31. It was Coleman’s sixth Section IX Class D title in the past seven years.
For photos from many of the aforementioned games, visit albums at www.sportsinsights.smugmug.com .