Jan 31, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Results on the court, though not advantageous to Vernon Verona Sherrill’s basketball teams, were only part of the story on Friday night.
The Red Devils used the girls/boys doubleheader against Utica-Notre Dame to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society’s Coaches vs. Cancer program, the girls team going so far as to wear pink socks with their white uniforms. Spectators were encouraged to wear pink, too.
This was a personal story for both coaches. VVS girls coach Randy Thomas lost his mother to cancer nearly two years ago, and breast cancer took the life of boys coach Al Knapp’s wife, Mary, back in 2000.
In that context, the results were just games with scores — but still, they counted, and the VVS girls went first, falling to Utica-Notre Dame 51-31.
All the Red Devils could manage was four points in the first quarter, giving the Jugglers time to establish its own attack. By halftime, the margin was 26-11, and though VVS played better in the second half, it could not put a dent into that deficit.
Erin Curtis led both sides with 13 points, while Nikki Scheibel put in nine points. UND had a well-balanced attack where eighth-grader Emily Durr had 11 points and three others — Shelby Quinn, Kristina Bushey and Kaitlyn Owens — had eight points apiece.
When the two boys teams took the court next, the show belonged to UND senior Pat Moore as the Jugglers beat the Red Devils 77-51.
UND arrived with a four-game losing streak and, at first, VVS did not make it too easy on them, only trailing 15-13 after one period.
From that point, though, it was all Jugglers, as it outscored the Red Devils a combined 49-28 in the second and third periods. And Moore, bound for Colgate University, was responsible for most of it as UND’s all-time leading scorer poured in 36 points — 12 field goals and 12 successful free throws.
Next to that, no one on the Red Devils could compare, though Andrew Kane tried, hitting on four 3-pointers to get most of his 17 points. Joe Spinella had seven points, while Jason Dalton got six points.
A rough season for both VVS teams will conclude this week with, among other things, a pair of Tuesday games against archrival Oneida and Friday clashes with Clinton.
Al Knapp will get a high personal honor, though, when he goes to the Empire Room at the New York State Fairgrounds next Monday to receive the John Arcaro Award for achievement at the annual Blind Man and Crier’s Dinner. Knapp has won more games (520) than any other Section III boys basketball coach.