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Tip it up!

Eldred junior Jessica Schips, 14, passes the ball to teammate Samantha Banghart, 12, against Sullivan West. Schips led all scorers with 17 points in the Lady Yellow Jackets’ 48-34 win.

By Richard Ross
December 6, 2012

LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — Forget the cold of winter—because from now until the Ides of March it’s all about the heat in high school gyms, as basketball fires up countless zealots of the rock. While it’s true that every sport has its own unique allure, none surpasses basketball for its concentrated indoor intensity.

Tournament play and non-league games are first on the docket.

On November 30, the season got underway as the Eldred Lady Yellow Jackets visited the Sullivan West Lady Bulldogs for the opening round of the Chester Hambletonian Classic Tournament. For Sullivan West coach Pat Donovan and Eldred coach Teresa Colvin, who has stepped up from her prior junior varsity mentorship, this was to be a good first barometer of where their teams were, following just a couple of weeks of practice. The Lady Westies looked to build on their 2011-12 season of early learning that netted just three wins against 15 losses. Eldred’s mark of 5-13 wasn’t much better, but this year both teams return a number of veterans. Sullivan West returns juniors Sydney Sipple, Krysten Herbert, Marianne Durkin, Hayley Puerschner and sophomore Carly Grishaber. Filling out the small seven-member squad are newcomers junior Kelsey Brockner and freshman Elaine Durkin. Eldred, which has dropped down to Class D, returns seniors Kayla Kelly (out for a few weeks following surgery), Erin Angus and Abigail Ellert. This year, the Lady Yellowjackets also feature junior Jessica Schips, who led all scorers with 17 points in Eldred’s 48-34 season-opening win over Sullivan West, Also on board are juniors Samantha Banghart, Nicole Elvin, Hannah Bisland, Rebecca Morgan and sophomore Julia Wilk. Stephanie Lee is a senior, who is new to the squad as well.

Eldred used an 8-0 run at the end of the first quarter to take a 16-9 lead after one period. And they’d never trail again. Sydney Sipple led the Lady Bulldogs with 13 points. Wilk added 10 points for Eldred and Angus had nine in the win. Eldred will play Chester at 3 p.m. on December 8 in the title game of the Hambletonian Classic Tourney. Sullivan West will play Fallsburg in the consolation game at 10 a.m. Defending Division V champion Tri-Valley will host Chapel Field on December 6.