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LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY – For the home team Sullivan West Bulldogs, it was a night they would like to forget. But for the Wildcats of Livingston Manor, it was a night to remember.
On Monday, February 11, the two teams squared off in the varsity boys game of hoops, a game the Dawgs needed to win, while the Wildcats were in search of redemption; in a previous game, Sullivan West handed them their first loss of the season.
The contest got off to a rather slow start, but both teams started to put points on the scoreboard by the end of the first frame, as Manor netted 12 to Sullivan West’s 11.
In the second period, things began to unravel for the home team as they were out-gunned 12-4, allowing the Wildcats to take a 25-15 lead into the locker room at halftime.
In the third frame, Sullivan West ‘got rode hard and put up wet,’ as Manor racked up 21 points compared to the home team’s net gain of five checks in the book, posting a 26-point lead (46-20) at the close of the period.
In the third period, nothing seemed to go right for Sullivan West. It looked like a malevolently minded apparition had nailed a lid on their basket; Wildcats purloined their passes and things fell apart both on offense and defense.
In the final frame, Manor (11-3) showed a mercy streak, as the Bulldogs (6-9) outscored them 12-10.
At the final buzzer, it was all she wrote—Manor defeated Sullivan West 56-32 in the non-league contest.
Even the ever-boisterous “Dawg Pound” couldn’t turn the tide against the fired-up Wildcats.
The halftime show at both ends of the court featured young hoopsters from the Town of Callicoon Youth Basketball program spiritedly demonstrating their prowess in the game of buckets.
Sullivan West’s top gun was Kyle Reimer with a total of 17 points including a first frame 3-pointer.
Livingston Manor: Juniper Brown (18 points including a pair of second period 3-pointers), Jarret Simpson (12 points) and Dylan Hefele
(11 points). Patrick Dibartolo and Garrett Shaver each posted a 3-pointer.
Stats from the free throw line: Sullivan West 5/7 (71%), Manor (4/14 (28%).
“Last time we were here we got one of our losses, and I think the guys wanted to atone for that,” said Wildcats coach Adam Larsen, adding, “Sullivan West is a tough team to beat.”
The Wildcats are led by two captains: Patrick Dibartolo and Juniper Brown.
“I couldn’t be happier with my team…we played our hearts out, we just had to get back at ‘em,” said Dibartolo, a senior shooting guard/small forward.
Asked about the Wildcats’ goals for the season, he replied, “To go all the way, and make it to the state championships in Binghamton.”
Juniper, a junior point guard for Manor, said “I think we’re having a great season…Sullivan West was our first loss of the season, and it was pretty heart breaking…we’re digging our way back.”
A sports scribbler is sometimes like a fly on the wall.
In the wake of the dog and cat fight between the two rivals, they might overhear a few paint-blistering comments through the closed door of the home team locker room.
Bulldogs coach John Meyer didn’t pull any punches in the aftermath of the defeat. He took full responsibility, citing, among other things best left unsaid, a self-described “lack of preparation.”
Meyer, a helmsman of hoops, “calls em’ like he sees em’”.
“We got out-coached, out-played and out-hustled…we’re going to start from ground zero,” he said.