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December 06, 2016
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The rock rolls

Monticello junior Devin Williams goes aloft to block a shot against Pocono Mountain East in the Panthers’ opening round 68-65 win in the Lake Region Tip-Off Classic. Williams led the Monties with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Photos by Richard A. Ross,

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY—Winter, though not yet officially here, has already asserted itself with storms, icy roads and school closings. Those come with the territory, but so too does the pre-eminence of basketball, the flagship sport of the winter season. Week one was a whirlwind for this rock maven. (The rock is a reference to a basketball, for all of you unfamiliar with the term).

Following the 79-32 Monticello boys win over Sullivan West reported in last week’s paper, this writer/photographer journeyed to four more games that included a trio of girls basketball games and a riveting down-to-the wire 68-65 boys basketball win by Monticello in the opening round of the Lake Region Tip-Off Tournament. Monticello staved off a furious comeback by Pocono Mountain East, a team that beat them in the opening round a year ago by two points. Junior Devin Williams led the charge with 16 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Donavan Williams had 15 points including a trio of treys for the Panthers (2-0). Sha-Shawn Drayton posted 13 points in the win. Pocono Mountain East rode seven three pointers to pull within three of tying it up and missed a three-point shot at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime. The championship game against Wallenpaupack was postponed due to weather and played on December 11. In girls action, Sullivan West fell to Deposit in its opener on December 2 by the score of 35-29. That same night Tri-Valley defeated Ellenville 76-50 and Roscoe/Downsville fell to Delhi in the opening round of the Walton Tournament. Tri-Valley bested Livingston Manor 61-18 on December 4 as Katlynn Greffrath led the Lady Bears with 20 points on the night as T-V ran out to a 25-1 lead by the end of the first quarter. Caroline Martin and Sabrena Smith each contributed 12 for the 2-0 Lady Bears. In other girls action, Monticello defeated Eldred 60-52 and improved to 2-0 with a 43-13 win over Sullivan West (0-2). Roscoe//Downsville improved to 1-1 with a 45-38 consolation tourney win over Walton. In boys action Eldred (1-0) defeated Tuxedo 58-43 while Fallsburg (1-1) fell to Goshen 73-49 but then defeated Family School 74-20 in the opening round of the Hambletonian Tournament. They will play Chester for the tourney title on December 13. Tri-Valley (1-0) defeated Oxford in the opening round of the Walton Tournament while Sullivan West fell to Walton. (Sullivan West won the tournament last year.) T-V will face Walton for the tournament title while Sullivan West battles Oxford in the consolation round. The Section Nine Football Coaches announced their All-Star Selections. In Class C/D Sullivan West’s Andrew Stabbert and Zach O’Connor were named to the first team, as were Liberty’s Quinn Jackson, Tri-Valley’s Justin Swarthout and Roscoe/Downsville/Livingston Manor’s Brad Dreher and Liam Fogarty. Sullivan West’s Cody Franskevicz, Brian Stauch, and Sean Hart were awarded Honorable Mention. Stabbert, Jackson and Swarthout were the three Sullivan County players named to the All-Section All-Star team and will attend a dinner later this month in Middletown along with the rest of the section’s elites chosen for that special honor. For albums of photos from this week’s compelling basketball action, visit For more detailed game stories visit