Blue Devils maul bears in regular season finale
“Play Hard. Play Smart. Play Together,” is the inspiration logo printed on the back of the Tri-Valley Bears warm-up jerseys.
That sentiment rang true for both the home team Blue Devils of Roscoe and the Tri-Valley Bears in the boys varsity league match-up on Tuesday, February 19.
The game certainly featured some nifty ball-handling, plenty of action, more than a few steals, tons of hustle and lots of hard contact—no quarters asked, none given—on both ends of the “Coach” Fred Ahart Gymnasium.
Don’t think your hardwood court is shiny enough? Let the dogs out and polish it with bodies.
The game was the curtain call for both squads, as it was their final game of the season in regulation play. The Blue Devils (13-7) advance to the first round of sectionals while Tri-Valley (8-13) must wait another year to try to grab the coveted brass ring of basketball.
At the final buzzer, the Blue Devils won by a 23-pont margin (59-36).
Although the visitors jumped out to a slim lead in the first period, Roscoe rallied to outscore the Bears in all four frames: 18-11, 14-8, 15-9 and 12-8.
Big guns: Parker Rosencranse (15 points including a 3-pointer), Alex Rosario (12points including a 3-pointer) and Erik Hill (9 points including two 3-pointers and 7 assists).
Leading scorers for Tri-Valley: Jonathan Wilhelm (7 points including a 3-pointer), Ethan Shaver (7 points), Austin Delaney (5 points including a 3-pointer) and Johnny Spear contributed a 3-pointer.
Stats from the free throw line: Roscoe 8/15 (53%), Tri-Valley (3/5 (60%).
Before the battle commenced, the Blue Devils underwent the annual high school rite of passage, known as “Senior Night,” for the Roscoe boys varsity basketball team of 2018-2019. You can read about and see photos from the ceremony at www.riverreporter.com/sports.
Members of the girls varsity hoopsters kicked things off by affixing colorful signs honoring each of the six-pack of seniors on the wall above their bench, while the gym was aflame with blue and silver balloons.
The senior bucket-masters: Nikolas “Nik” Breihof, Ty Engle, Erick “B” Hill, Connor Gartland, Alex Rosario and Parker Rosencranse.
Rosario, a 17-year old senior co-captain and power forward for the Blue Devils, said of the regular season, “I took us a while to find ourselves, but I think it took a couple of wins to get the ball rolling in the right direction."
Rosencranse takes to the home court as a 17-year old senior wing player. His take of the season and things to come? “It’s definitely been a good season, and I look forward to getting to the playoffs, and a win,” he replied.
Fred Ahart, the much-celebrated coach of Roscoe basketball, said he considers all six seniors to be the team’s captains. “We were able to score, and had some good defense stops to keep the momentum going. Credit to Tri-Valley, it’s their final game of the year, [but] they played hard and [were] well coached by Kevin [Delaney]."
Dusting off his coach’s crystal ball, Ahart looked into the future. “Now we’re forward to going into sectionals, so that’s the next step,” he said.
Kevin Delaney is at the helm of the Tri-Valley boys varsity squad, and he said of season, “It’s had its ups and downs. We’re very young and will be coming back next year.”
Aiden Mentnech takes to the floor as one of the Bears’ co-captains, playing in the number ‘five’ position as center. “We started off a little rough. Our chemistry has definitely improved as the season progressed, I’m really impressed,” said the 17-year old senior
Tri-Valley’s other co-captain is shooting guard, 17-year old upperclassman Brock Hunt.
Reflecting on the now ended season for the Bears, he said, “It started off okay, we had a couple of good ones. We pulled off a really good win against [the Spartans of] S.S. Seward.”