SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY—Against the backdrop of bone-chilling temperatures and a blizzard of historic proportions, one that wiped out this year’s Section IX Indoor track championships for the second straight year, there were still stories of high school athletic success. Those were marshaled even in the midst of adversity, thereby warming the cockles of our nearly-frozen hearts.
As the quote from 19th century Hungarian freedom-fighter Lajos Kossuth aptly states, it is the crucible of challenges that forges heroism and inspiring victories. Playing without standout senior leader Katlynn Greffrath, the Tri-Valley Lady Bears defeated nemesis Chester 64-44 in girls basketball to remain undefeated at 15-0 and to complete a perfect league record of 6-0. A 59-35 win over S.S. Seward on February 11 had already given the Lady Bears their first league title since 2010. Against Chester, senior Sabrena Smith and junior Caroline Martin led the way with 23 and 16 points as well as seven steals and nine rebounds respectively. Greffath, who was nursing a sore hamstring, will return to the fray this week looking to surpass the 1,000-point career milestone. The Eldred boys basketball team 12-4 (7-0 OCIAA) led by senior Bray Currei’s 37 points, downed Chapel Field 58-53 to claim their first league title in 22 years. The Yellow Jackets’ last crown came as Western Sullivan League champions back in 1992. Sullivan West fell to O’Neill 69-55. The loss eliminated the Bulldogs from sectional contention this year. Boys teams bound for sectionals this year include Tri-Valley, Monticello, Fallsburg and Roscoe. Girls sectional contenders will include Tri-Valley, Monticello, Fallsburg and Eldred. Battling against the best skiers in Section IX, Monticello’s girls took first in the Alpine Skiing championships at Hunter Mountain on February 11. Monticello’s Haley Ripa (70.75) was second. She will joined at the state championships to be held at Bristol Mountain in Canandaigua, NY on February 24-25 by Liberty eighth-grader Olivia Racette (74.77), who finished fifth, and Monticello’s Riley Lindholm (75.38) and Mackenzie Mitchell (77.31), who finished seventh and eighth respectively. Warwick won the boys team title. The Liberty boys took third. State qualifiers include Liberty’s Patrick Doyle (72.64). He was third. Monticello’s Alec Wood (73.82) was fourth. Fallsburg/Tri-Valley’s Zak Steingart (74.83) was fifth. Monticello’s D.J. Oldfield (75.51) was eighth, and Liberty’s Carl McGuire (75.67) was ninth. In the Section IX Division II Wrestling Championships, Liberty’s top-seeded Kevin Morgans (182) defeated Tuxedo’s Zach Williams 10-0. Morgans won his semifinal by a technical fall over Onteora’s Austin Becker. In the consolation round, Eldred’s Noah Curreri (132) won a 4-1 decision over Ellenville’s Terrance Santiago. For detailed stories of local sports visit www.sportsinsightsny.com and for albums of photos from these events visit www.sportsinsights.smugmug.com.