HANCOCK — Livingston Manor and Roscoe have a merged Varsity boys program for the first time, and this weekend provided a good first look at the team as they took on Section IV opponents in the …
HANCOCK — Livingston Manor and Roscoe have a merged Varsity boys program for the first time, and this weekend provided a good first look at the team as they took on Section IV opponents in the Deposit/Hancock Tip Off Tournament.
Both teams found success last season, with Roscoe making it to Sectionals and winning a playoff game over Eldred before losing to Chapel Field, who would go on to finish as the runner up in the State Championship.
This season, the combined squad will look to carve out a name for themselves as they contend with the same Class D opponents with their new look.
On Friday night, the LM/R squad took on Harpursville in the Deposit gym, and wasted no time getting ahead and keeping their lead to the final.
Behind Aiden Johnston and Anthony Zamenick, who each scored 14 points in the contest, the Wildcats built up a 15-4 lead after the first quarter. Aided by a 19-0 run that started in the middle of the first quarter, LM/R took a 30-5 lead into the break.
In the second half, the Wildcats were able to use their lead to get valuable minutes to the role players, and despite being outscored 31-23 in the second half, were able to hold on for a 53-36 win in the first round.
“We’ve got a brand new team,” Wildcats Coach Charlie Hicks said. “With players from Roscoe and JV guys moving up, we’re figuring out our identity. There were both pretty and ugly moments tonight, but it was nice to see another team and figure out some of our strengths and weaknesses.”
The win punched their ticket to the tournament championship on Saturday afternoon, where LM/R would have to take on the tournament hosts, Deposit/Hancock.
The Eagles were a much tougher task, with an evident size advantage that set the tone early.
From the tip, D/H was able to secure a seemingly-endless amount of offensive rebounds, scoring second chance opportunities and capping off long possessions with points.
Early foul trouble and injuries took LM/R out of their game plan early, and D/H was able to capitalize as they took a 24-7 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was much better for the Wildcats, who were able to slow down the Eagles’ offense and win the quarter 9-7, but still trailed 31-16 at halftime.
The D/H offense went back to what worked in the third quarter, outscoring LM/R 17-11 for a 48-27 lead. The Wildcats capped off the game with a 15-point fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the early deficit as they fell 60-42 in the championship round.
“Their size and speed was too much for us,” Hicks said. “They had multiple offensive opportunities and their defensive length kept us out of what we wanted to do. They jumped on us early, but we did a good job of sticking with them in the second half.”
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