Story by Jon Dinan
ROSCOE January 11 As Roscoe’s and Section IX’s leading scorer Rob Taurino finally heated up, his Blue Devils started to pull away from rival Livingston Manor Tuesday night before a lively crowd at Roscoe.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Taurino early in the third quarter quickly built a three-point lead to nine. That opened up a close game and helped lift Roscoe to a 55-43 OCIAA, Division VI victory.
Though Roscoe was solid defensively throughout, it wasn’t until Taurino and the offense started to click that they drew separation from a formidable Manor team.
With Taurino starting out fcold, making just two of his first nine shots from the field, Manor jumped out to an early eight-point lead in the first quarter. Six of the Wildcats first 12 points came from forward Josh Janik, who finished with 19.
Roscoe tied the game midway through the second quarter when junior forward Brad Dreher grabbed a big offensive rebound and converted the ensuing layup, completing an 8-0 Roscoe run. Dreher finished with a game high 20 points. Roscoe held a tenuous one-point lead at half.
With Taurino’s threes, Roscoe’s offense got rolling in the third quarter as the Blue Devils outscored Manor 21-10.
“In the locker room at halftime our coach [Fred Ahart] gave us a few tips on how to win the game,” said Taurino. “He told us to collapse on Janik, and that’s what we did.
“Tonight we performed at our top level and players who came off the bench were really pumped to play so that helped. My teammates really stepped up tonight and I’m proud of them.”
Said Ahart of the victory: “I thought defense was the key and we played great defense tonight. Josh Janik is a great player but I thought our guys did a good job of containing him.”
Roscoe improved to 4-3, 2-1 Division VI while Manor suffered its first league loss and fell to 2-4 overall, 2-1 Division IV.