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We hereby resolve…

Sullivan West sophomore Ronj Padu sinks a timely three as part of his team-high 14-point output in the Bulldogs’ 54-50 win over Monticello. Padu returned to action after recouping from a concussion suffered in December at Livingston Manor.
Photo by Richard A. Ross,

By Richard Ross
January 9, 2013

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — As it turns out, the shelf life of many New Year’s Resolutions is far shorter than their authors’ pronouncements might have anticipated. Though 2013 is only in its nascent stage, by now many of those uttered promises of change are already consigned to the “Oh well” bin. But when it comes to the resolve of several local athletes and teams, words truly serve as a preamble to deeds that transform wispy hopes for change into definitive accomplishments. Not even two weeks into the New Year, stories already illustrate how actions can speak louder than words across the spectrum of the winter sports milieu.

In boys basketball, Sullivan West (4-1) held on for a 54-50 gritty non-league win over Class A Monticello (4-5). Though the Bulldogs never trailed and enjoyed a lead that burgeoned to 10, the game was decided in the final seconds as the Monties closed within two points with 17 seconds remaining. A key bucket by Matt Cardona and two made free throws in the game’s climatic closing minutes helped ice the victory, as did the Westies’ stellar 9 for 11 (90.9%) free-throw shooting, as compared to the Panthers’ lackluster nine for 22 (40.9%) from the stripe. Dawg sophomore Ronj Padu, returning from a concussion he suffered against Livingston Manor before the holidays, led his team with 14 points that included a pair of timely treys. Patrick Pierce posted 11 points and Kyle Manzi had 10 in the uplifting victory that also featured two of his patented downtowners. The Bulldogs hoped this game would provide a positive foreshadowing for their road rematch against Division IV rival James I. O’Neill on January 10, the only team to beat them this year. Monticello turns its attention to league rival Goshen as it looks to live up to its stated goal of making it back to sectionals and creating a stir in the Class A hunt. Montie senior Rob Reilly and junior Daeshawn Thompson led the Panthers’ attack with 17 points apiece in the loss. It was the second straight year that the Bulldogs bested their eastern county foes, penning another chapter in the rivalry that has featured some incredible hardwood drama over the years.

Strong resolve fueled a fine week of wrestling by Tri-Valley junior Kevin Palko (152), who won both of his matches in a meet against Division II-B rivals Chester and Liberty and was named as one of the outstanding wrestlers following his success at the Monticello Wrestling Tournament. Eldred/Fallsburg’s Adam Hurwitz (138) received similar recognition at the tourney.