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Wildcats finish third in Downsville Holiday Tourney

Anthony Morgano
Posted 1/2/24

DOWNSVILLE — The Livingston Manor Wildcats got some holiday hoop action over the break as they visited Downsville on Wednesday and Thursday to take on some tough Section IV opponents. After …

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Wildcats finish third in Downsville Holiday Tourney


DOWNSVILLE — The Livingston Manor Wildcats got some holiday hoop action over the break as they visited Downsville on Wednesday and Thursday to take on some tough Section IV opponents. After dropping the opening round to the Walton/Downsville War Eagles 52-44, Livingston Manor bounced back with a 40-36 consolation victory over Margaretville.

Despite a massive size disadvantage against W/D in the opening round, the Wildcats managed to hold them to just 16 first half points as they took a 23-16 advantage at the break, thanks in part to a half court buzzer beater by senior guard Anthony Zamenick.

In the third quarter, however, W/D was able to utilize their superior size for easy buckets under the rim, doubling their score and cutting the LM lead to just two points heading into the fourth quarter.

The Wildcats’ shooters were ice cold to start the final quarter, leading to a 14-1 run by the War Eagles, who never looked back as they went on to win 52-44. Free throws down the stretch were huge for W/D who were a near-perfect 9/10 from the charity stripe in the final frame.

Kaleb Maldonado led the Wildcats with 13 points, followed by Zamenick with 11.

“You can’t teach height,” LM Coach Charlie Hicks said after the game. “We pushed the tempo as fast as possible and for the first three quarters it was working well, but our shots didn’t fall in the fourth and theirs did.”

Consolation Prize

The Wildcats were back in action on Thursday afternoon after dropping the opening round as they took on Margaretville, who faced a similar fate against Deposit/Hancock on Wednesday afternoon. The Blue Devils led by two heading into the fourth quarter, but D/H was able to take the lead and pull away to earn a trip to the championship.

Offense came at a premium to start the consolation game, with the Wildcats managing to grab an 8-5 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Margaretville won the second quarter, outscoring Manor 9-7 in the second quarter but still trailed the Wildcats by one heading into the break at 15-14.

Margaretville started the third quarter on a 6-0 run after netting back-to-back 3s as they took a 20-15 lead, their first of the afternoon. Despite trailing by five, the Wildcats managed to close the quarter on a 10-4 run and take the lead with the final bucket of the quarter to go up 25-24 heading into the fourth.

Livingston Manor struck first in the fourth, extending their lead to three before the Blue Devils rattled off nine straight points to take a six point lead and turn the tide.

Just like Wednesday, the Wildcats seemed unable to get a shot to fall in the quarter. LM started slashing to the basket and drawing fouls to cut into the Margaretville lead. 

The Wildcats managed to score 11 straight points and take a five point lead before a quick transition three in the final minute made it 38-36. 

With nearly no time remaining, Margaretville fouled Maldonado, sending him to the line with a chance to ice the game. The sophomore netted both free throws, giving him a game-high 16 points and earning his team the consolation win with a 40-36 comeback victory.

Maldonado scored 11 of his 16 in the fourth quarter as the Wildcats were able to erase the early deficit and come away with the win.

“We needed the win,” Coach Charlie Hicks said. “We couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean in the first half, but Kaleb [Maldonado] gave us the spark we needed. He’s a sixth man off the bench but plays starter minutes. He did a good job of generating scoring and getting steals.”

Maldonado was named to the All-Tournament Team as the Wildcats managed to pull off the 1-1 split in the holiday break action.


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