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Top ‘Cats and other nobility

Photo by Nick Piatek, sportsinsightsny.com The Lady Wildcats and coach Kevin Clifford smile as they celebrate the school’s first girls basketball title since 1999.

March 8, 2012

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — With its magnificent architecture that hearkens back to its 1938 WPA construction, the Livingston Manor Central School (LMCS) is a sight to behold and the centerpiece of a proud community. Manor pride has been reinforced by the town’s renaissance and its annual Trout Parade. But over the past year, the school’s athletic ascendancy has given denizens even more to be proud of. Last spring, the school’s softball and baseball teams won state championships and were extolled by a parade through the town’s version of the Canyon of Heroes. Now, with the boys basketball team winning its first-ever Section 9 basketball title via a dramatic 70-52 Class D championship win over five-time consecutive champion John A. Coleman Catholic, a new era of laudable maroon and gray has been ushered in. The Wildcats were led by seniors Troy Correa with 18 points, Mike Mills with 16 and Kenny Fisk with 14. They moved on to play Section 1 Greenburgh Academy at the Westchester County Center on March 6.

Manor pride soared again as the Lady Wildcats garnered their first title since 1999 with a 54-31 win over number-two seed Roscoe in the Section 9 Class D finals. Maggi Calo posted four three pointers in the first half en route to her grand total of 18. Samantha Scott added 14 and Monay Allen posted 10 for the 11-8 Lady Wildcats, who move on to face Section 11 Shelter Island at Farmingdale Community College on March 10. After being ousted by John A. Coleman Catholic six times in his eight years as coach, Kevin Clifford was glad to see the two-time defending state champion Lady Statesmen move up to Class C. Livingston Manor, a town often besieged by floods, endured the long girls hoops drought, which had existed since its three-year streak championship streak ended in 1999. In that era, Manor bested Jeff-Youngsville twice and S.S. Seward in between. As an English teacher and yearbook adviser at LMCS back then and with the entire team inhabiting my classes, I was privy to those games and those glory days. The Wildcats were the only Sullivan County teams to prevail in this year’s sectionals.