LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — The spirit of good sportsmanship ruled at Sullivan West on January 19 as the home team Bulldogs (4-3) took on the Eldred Yellowjackets (0-6) in a non-league varsity …
LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — The spirit of good sportsmanship ruled at Sullivan West on January 19 as the home team Bulldogs (4-3) took on the Eldred Yellowjackets (0-6) in a non-league varsity boys’ game of hoops.
In a matchup of two local rivals, it wasn’t the game itself that caught this sport scribbler’s attention and eye of the lens, but a demonstration of high school sportsmanship.
Unlike the recent antics of a few stars of the majors—fibbing about their vaccination status, telling folks it’s just peachy to throw trash at the refs if things didn’t go your way, “Hey, it’s somebody else’s fault that I screwed up!”—the game showcased what high school sports is all about.
That day, the so-far winless Yellowjackets took to the court with a total of six bucketeers, while the Bulldogs’ bench was packed with a baker’s dozen of hoopsters.
As the game evolved, Sullivan West’s coach, John Meyer, was able to rotate his starting five with guys from the bench, players who normally don’t get a lot of minutes, a classy move that got the final 42-20 score within a respectable and face-saving margin.
During the game, Chris Campanelli, arguably the Bulldogs’ starting “big,” signaled to a couple of fans in the Dawg Pound to cool it when they started to raise a ruckus in the stands while a Yellowjacket stepped up to the free-throw line, curtailing an effort to distract the Yellowjacket from the task at hand.
A whole lot different from some local high schools, where making noise is the rule of law, or in the majors, where braying your head off and waving silly towels is considered fair play.
At the end of the game, Meyer called the opposing players—all six of them—into an impromptu huddle, during which he offered words of praise and encouragement for their efforts and the future.
Sullivan West led in the first three frames (14-2, 12-6, 12-7) until, in the final period, Eldred edged the home team 5-4.
Bulldogs leading scorers: Justin Grund (9 points), Chris Campanelli (8) and Dani Shami (6). Posting 3-pointers: Jaymes Buddenhagen, Justin Grund and Dylan Sager.
Yellowjackets: Sean Furler (9 points), Xavier Gonzalez (8) and Josh Warming (a 3-pointer).
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