SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — While winter seeks to hold on tenaciously, even forcing postponements of sports awards nights at Sullivan West and Tri-Valley, the lengthening days and the sounds of athletes already engaged in spring sports practice (albeit indoors) augur the last rites of the year’s longest season. With the conclusion of the state Final Four boys and girls basketball championships in Troy and Glens Falls respectively, one can for all intents and purposes declare winter over. For the Eldred Lady Yellow Jackets (8-11) that closure came with a 63-31 loss to Section V’s Romulus, which went on to win the state title with a 47-40 win over Section II’s Fort Edward. For Eldred, a team whose last trip to the Final Four in 1988 resulted in a state crown behind the stellar play of Tammi Reiss, the journey was exciting and hopefully a harbinger of things to come, as the young Lady Yellow Jackets hope to marshal the lessons learned from playing such a dominant team toward gearing themselves up for title runs over the next couple of years.
Senior Jessica Schips led the team with 10 points, while sophomore Kelsey Collins and freshman Jordan Lepes each posted six against a team that had a distinct height advantage. Eldred turned the ball over 27 times and was out-rebounded 44-36. This past fall, the Eldred girls soccer team made it to the Final Four in the state tourney. Clearly, the future looks bright for Eldred. In boys hoops Class D, John A. Coleman Catholic fell to Section III’s NY Mills 57-50 in overtime. This was Coleman’s third trip to Glens Falls, thus far without a title. NY Mills ousted the Statesmen last year as well. In Class A, Red Hook lost in the semifinals to Section V’s East High School 57-45. In an interesting example of how bigger fish consume big fish, the Tri-Valley girls, who were ousted by Haldane in the regional semifinals, must have been intrigued to see the Lady Blue Devils succumb to Section VI’s Chautaugua Lake 61-39. Chautauqua Lake went on to defeat Hoosic Valley 47-36 in the finals. The oft-repeated lesson was evinced in the state basketball tournament. There are very good teams that fall to those who are even better, who in turn succumb to the best of all. As John Wooden noted, “Success comes from knowing you did your best to become all you are capable of becoming.” Tri-Valley held its winter awards night one day late due to yet another of winter’s last gasps. Winners were as follows: Varsity Wrestling: Joshua Borizny, Most Valuable Wrestler; Michael Glinski, Most Improved Wrestler. Cheerleading: Schulyer Kraus MVP; Dorothy Monforte, Coach’s Award. Boys Varsity Basketball: Sam Tingley, Offensive MVP; Alex Brown, Defensive MVP; Stephen Carleton, Most Improved Player. Girls Varsity Basketball: Katlynn Geffrath, Offensive Player of the Year; Sabrena Smith, Defensive Player of the Year; Caroline Martin and Sara Dertinger, “Beast Awards.” Girls Varsity Indoor Track: Alex Brooks and Claire Tierney, MVPs; Mary Conway, Most Improved Player; Brooke Gillette, Coach’s Award. Boys Varsity Indoor Track: Ian Kurzrock and Mohib Khan, MVP’s; Nick Rios, Most Improved Player; and Hauk Boyes, Coach’s Award. Alpine Skiing: Taylor Pavese and Sam Goldstein, Most Improved Players; Megan Porter, Coach’s Award. See next week’s issue of the Sullivan West Winter Awards winners. For details on the Tri-Valley sports award visit www.sportsinsightsny.com. For albums of photos visit www.sportsinsights.smugmug.com.