Bulldogs de-claw Wildcats
LOCH SHELDRAKE, NY — Figuratively speaking, it seemed as if the game was possessed by a shapeshifter.
For the Sullivan West Bulldogs, the rim seemed to expand ever so slightly to reel in their shots, but for the Wildcats of Livingston Manor, if you watched ever so closely, in the blink of an eye, it shrank just enough so their shots didn’t fall through the rim no matter how hard they tried to put points on the board.
But that’s the nature of totemism and shamanism— you’ve got to really, really watch those shape-shifters and doppelgangers in the game of hoops.
On Friday, February 2, the two teams battled it out at SUNY Sullivan as part of the 10th annual Sullivan County Basketball Coaches Association of New York (BCANY) vs. Cancer Classic, billed as “Shoot for the Cure.”
This year’s event was dedicated in honor of Peter Rickard and in memory of Pete Devantier. Manor drew first blood in the game, but then Sullivan West’s Brandon Dailey replied with a “three” (the first of his four during the game) from outside the arch setting the tone for the Bulldogs 58-39 victory at the final buzzer. Sullivan West took a 32-12 halftime lead into the locker room, and in the third frame narrowly edged their opponents 15-13, while in the final period the Wildcats outgunned them by three points (14-11).
At one point the Dawgs led by double digits, but in the closing minutes Manor shaved their lead to 10. Sullivan West’s top guns: Dailey (14 total points), Collin Hauschild (10 points including a 3), and Alex Unser and Reis Gieger each contributed nine points. Kyle Reimer pitched in a pair of 3s.
Manor’s Jarrett Simpson was team leader with 11 points including a 3, and Juniper Brown and Allan Ward each posted a 3.
Stats from the FTL: SW 5/7 (71%), LM 2/8 (25%). Adam Larson, coach of the Wildcats (9-5 overall, 6-1 league) summed up the game.
“We didn’t make adjustments early enough… my guys showed a lot of life in not giving up… with a 20-point plus [Sullivan West] lead, they brought it to within 10.” Manor is led on the court by three captains: Joshua Evans, Allan Ward and Juniper Brown.
“Sullivan West played great defense, knocked a lot of shots down… we didn’t start getting hot until the fourth period,” said Evans. John Meyer, head hound of the Bulldogs boys’ varsity basketball squad (6-8 overall, 0-3 league), summed up the game on a positive note.
“Finally we put a whole game together, points on the board, moved the ball around and got everybody scoring… that’s the way we need to play.” What about making sectionals?
“We’ve got to get in by winning games… as long as we keep doing this, we’ll be all right,” said Meyer.
And now a word or two from a couple of Sullivan West bucketeers down in the trenches from “Down in the Bunker.”
“It was good team basketball… we needed this, we needed the push,” said Cody Powell, freshman point guard.
Brandon Dailey added, “This was the perfect game for us to get our confidence back… we’ve been on a losing streak… our goal is to bounce back and get to sectionals.”