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The steepest ascent

Eldred coach Ryan Jasper confers with his team during a timeout versus Tri-Valley. Eldred is this year’s Section IX Class D champion by default and has a pair of byes which catapults them to the state final four in Troy on March 15. Eldred played T-V tough the first half before succumbing to the Lady Bear’s greater depth, speed and experience.

By Richard A Ross
February 26, 2014

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Far below this high plateau of the winter basketball season lie the foothills where it all began. And along the steady rise of the trail that began with the start of the season are teams that fell by the wayside lacking what was needed to climb higher. But for those few teams who made it to the sectionals, from which only one boys and girls team can emerge as champion in each class, this final local ascent, namely the Section IX tournament, is the steepest and most arduous to date.