Yellowjackets stung in Section IX Class D championship
NEWBURGH, NY — Lindsey Rau, a gently-spoken senior guard for the Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats, ruled the day in her team’s win over the Lady Yellowjackets of Eldred.
“We were very motivated. We worked on our defense in the second half,”— Lindsey Rau
On Thursday, February 28, the two squads took to the court at Mount Saint Mary College to decide the NYSPHSAA Section IX Championship Class D Girls Basketball title. At the final buzzer, Manor staged a 38-32 come-from-behind victory over their opponents.
Rau scored a game-leading total of 19 points, posting 14 of them just in the second half when Manor needed it most. They headed off to the locker room at the half trailing the Lady Yellowjackets 20-14.
Manor’s saving grace netted two points in the first frame, went three-for-six at the free throw line in the second frame, added four points in the third period (two buckets and two-for-two at the line), and, in the final frame, iced the game as she netted two baskets, aced a 3-pointer and was two-for-two at the free throw line.
After a lackluster start by both squads in the scoring department, the Lady Yellowjackets edged Manor 6-5 at the close of the first period, and then went on to outscore the Lady Wildcats 14-9 in the second frame.
In the third period, Manor ramped up their defense, limiting Eldred to a single bucket by Jissela Labuda, as they posted a total of nine points in the scorebook. Eldred was up 22-20, but with less than a minute left on the game clock, Manor tied it up 22-22.
A last-second shot from the free throw line gave the Lady Wildcats a razor’s edge, one-point lead at the end of the third (23-22).
And that was all she wrote for Eldred, as Manor derailed the Lady Yellowjackets in the fourth period. Bolstered by a fierce defensive effort right up until the end, the Lady Wildcats racked up points, largely helped by 3-pointers from Rau and Samantha Severing.
The Lady Wildcats out gunned Eldred 15-10, thus taking the Section IX Class D brass ring on the basketball merry-go-round.
Manor’s leading scorers: Lindsey Rau (19 points including a 3-pointer) and Samantha Severing (7 points including a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth period).
Eldred: Jissela Labuda (12 points), Morgan Kopf (8 points), Lenae Kelty (5 points including a 3-pointer) and Hailee Kolvenbach (5 points including a 3-pointer).
Stats from the free throw line: Manor 8/23 (34%), Eldred (28%).
Coach Kevin Clifford is at the helm of Manor’s girls varsity hoopsters, taking over a program that, for the last two seasons, hasn’t had the numbers to field a varsity squad. Noting that the Lady Wildcats are made up of former modified and jayvee players moved up to a higher rung, he said, “We proved to people that we are able to get to that level with such a young group of kids.”
“We stepped it up in the fourth period, and started making baskets… We did what needed to be done,” he added.
According to Rau, the Lady Wildcats went into the game knowing they wouldn’t lose. “We were very motivated. We worked on our defense in the second half,” she said.