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December 29, 2014
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A December to remember

Tri-Valley girls and their coach John Tenbus celebrate their Section 9 championship win over Millbrook last March. Senior standout Jakki Pugh graduated, but the rest of the team is intact.


SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — ‘Tis the season to be jolly especially if you’re a rabid winter sports fan. While fall was fantastic, winter figures to be wild and enticing with its, as yet, unwrapped gifts of basketball, skiing, wrestling, indoor track and cheerleading. Winter sports go into high gear after the New Year, but December is the month to whet your appetite.

In boys basketball: Class C Fallsburg begins its quest at the Walton Tournament on 11/30 and 12/2 before heading to the Chester Tournament on December 3. The Comets were 10-9 in 2010 and lost to S.S. Seward in the semifinals. They return their entire team to this year’s quest. OCIAA Division V rivals include Eldred, Tuxedo, Chester, Tri-Valley and S.S. Seward. Class B Sullivan West will also open up at the Walton and Chester tournaments. The Bulldogs open with Unatego at Walton and will face Chapel Field in the Chester tourney opener. The Bulldogs look to reverse their 2010 struggles. OCIAA Division IV rivals include Burke, O’Neill and Liberty. Class A Monticello will look to claim its third consecutive Hawley Tip Off Classic Tourney title at Wallenpaupack on December 1-2. The Panthers lost a heartbreaker in the Class A Semifinals in 2011 to Cornwall. On December 12, they host Liberty in a non-league game. The two schools enjoy a rich and historic rivalry. Monticello vies against Goshen, Port Jervis and Cornwall in OCIAA Division III. Liberty will open its 2011 campaign at the S.S. Seward Tournament, which will also feature O’Neill and Millbrook. A recent decision by Livingston Manor and Roscoe to unhook their two teams will send both schools down to Class D. As of this writing, their schedules are still in flux. Class C Eldred opens at home on December 6 with a non-league game against Port Jervis before hosting Tuxedo for their first league tilt on December 8. The Yellow Jackets did not make sectionals in 2010 and are hoping to do so this year. Tri-Valley was scheduled to open on the road against Livingston Manor/Roscoe in what would have been a league game. That game, if played against either of the two, would be non-league. The Bears will host Deposit in a non-league home opener on December 10. The Bears will open their league season at home versus Chester on December 14. They did not make sectionals last year and are hoping a good start advances their cause to making it this time out.

In girls basketball: Section 9 Class C champion Tri-Valley travels to Chester for a league opener on December 13. The Lady Bears lost standout Jakki Pugh to graduation but return the entire rest of the team. Fallsburg made it to sectionals a year ago before losing to Eldred. The Lady Comets will travel to the Walton tournament on November 30 and December 1. They host Chester in their first league game on December 9. Eldred will play Sullivan West at the Chester Tournament opener on December 3. The Lady Bulldogs will host Walton on December 6 for their home opener, while the Lady Yellow Jackets will host Fallsburg on December 13 to open up their league season. Monticello hosts Family School in a non-league game on December 2 and then travels to Family School on December 6. The Lady Panthers will host Liberty in a non-league game on December 13. The Lady Indians open their season at the S.S. Seward tournament on December 2.

Wrestling begins locally at Monticello in a league match vs. Saugerties on December 14. Fallsburg/Eldred as well as Tri-Valley and Liberty are all on the road for dual meets in December. Indoor track for all county teams begins at Sullivan County Community College on December 12. Teams will travel to West Point on December 16. Tri-Valley girls are the defending Class C champions. Alpine skiing begins on January 5 at Holiday Mountain. Sullivan West’s Drew Billard and Monticello’s Hayley Heins made it to states this past winter and they hope to do so again and to be joined by other alpine standouts from the county.

More to come.

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