Blue Devils deliver a ‘W’ for Ahart’s 1000th
ROSCOE, NY — Return with us now to 1969, and Fred “coach” Ahart launches his varsity basketball career at Roscoe with a loss to the Fallsburg Comets.
Fast forward to Wednesday, December 5—almost half-a-century down the polished hardwood court—and he celebrates his landmark 1,000th game with a razor’s edge 54-52 league win over the Spartans of S.S. Seward, coached by his long-time rival and friend Rob Gravelle, who was coaching his 500th varsity game of hoops.
In the first frame, Seward edged the home team 10-8, while in the second period, the Blue Devils rallied to outpace the visitors 16-10, thus taking a 4-point lead (24-20) into the locker room at halftime.
The Spartans gained some traction in the third period, as they outgunned Roscoe 13-10, shaving the Blue Devils lead to a solitary point.
Then it was time for the final nail-biting frame, the last chapter in the home team’s 54-52 win during their inaugural home stand before a wildly cheering home crowd.
As the scoreboard clicked away to its last four minutes, the score was tied 41-41, and then it was tied up again towards the pins and needles conclusion, with the Spartans in the lead by a point.
With seconds remaining on the clock, and the Blue Devils fans dealing with a case of the heebie-jeebies, Nickolas “Nikki” Breihof nailed a ‘three’, to put Roscoe ahead, 53-52.
Then came a home team free throw, and Roscoe delivered the win for their legendary helmsman.
Roscoe’s top scorers: Breihof (17 points, including 3 ‘threes); Ty Engle (12, one ‘3’); Alex Rosario (11, three ‘3’s); Parker Rosencranse (10).
Seward: Brandon Serreno (a game leading 16 points); Daryll Walker (13); Matt Stam (12, two 3’s); Grant Gravelle posted a ‘three’.
Stats from the free throw line: Roscoe 5/10 (50%); Seward 9/38 (23%).
If you think that last stat for the Spartans was a misprint (38 free throw attempts versus 9 made), those numbers had the sports scribblers going back to the scorebook a couple of times.
And you know ‘the book’ never lies.
If Seward had sunk just three more of those free throws, the end of this story would have been a whole lot different.
“It was special to play against my friend Rob,” said Ahart. Moments later the final buzzer announced to the fans living in suspense during those final seconds of the millennial milestone basketball game that the home team had won by a razor’s edge.