Friday, February 28, 2014


The Tri-Valley Lady Bears were clinging to a two-point 54-52 lead with 1:21 left on the clock and hung on to win the Section IX Class C championship thanks to clutch foul shooting in the final seconds of the game by Katlynn Greffrath, Sabrina Smith and Sara Dertinger. 
  The tough 59-54 win over the Pine Plains Bombers propels the third-ranked Class C team in the state into the opening round of the state playoffs scheduled for tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Westchester County Center against the winner of the Haldane/Keio game that was scheduled to be played Friday. 
  In the final eight minutes of play Tri-Valley was outscored by the Bombers 21-18 but the saving factor is the Bears sank 50 percent of their foul shots going  8 for 16 from the free-throw line. 
  Tri-Valley's scoring of 18-points in the final eight minutes of play was led by Sabrena Smith with nine points and four by Greffrath. 
  It started out looking like another walk in the park for the Bears as they took a 10 point 19-9 lead at the end of the first quarter but Pine Plains outscored Tri-Valley in the second quarter 11-9 to reduce the Bears 28-20 half-time lead down to eight points.  
  Tri-Valley edged Pine Plains in  third quarter play 14-13 to cling to a 9-point lead entering the final quarter. 
  Three point scores in the fourth quarter by the Bombers Brooke Hapeman and Frances Snyder and clutch foul shooting by Hapeman, Haleigh Funk and Tia Fumasoli kept the pressure on Tri-Valley.
  The height advantage for Pine Plains definitely helped the Bombers throughout the game with 6-foot 1 freshman center Ashley Starzyk scoring nine points, grabbing 11 rebounds and blocking 11 shots.
  Being undersized in almost every game they played this year did not deter the scrappy Lady Bears from doing their thing as players like Greffrath, Smith, Colleen Jones and Caroline Martin have the skills to get into their opponents and get to the foul line for what should be easy points. 
  Strong defensive pressure by the Bombers against Greffrath was definitely a part of their game plan but Tri-Valley's 1,000 plus career point scorer stepped up her game when needed by producing 3 three-pointers, four two-pointers and key foul shots for a game-high 22 points. She also grabbed down seven rebounds.
  Smith's strong contribution for the night included 17 points, seven rebounds and seven steals. 
  Martin added eight points for the Bears while Jones and Danielle Shafarsky each had four points. 
  The Bombers had four players in double figures with Brooke Hapeman leading with 13, Tia Fumasoli with 12 and Frances Snyder and Haleigh Funk each with 10 points.
  Pine Plains had 30  turnovers to Tri-Valley's 20.
  This win pushing their season record to 18-0 is Tri-Valley's first girls' basketball Section IX championship since 2011 when  they lost a regional semi-final game to Haldane.
  Present players on the teams 2011 loss included freshmen Greffrath and Smith along with eighth grader Martin.  
  The last time Pine Plains was in a section championship game was 1984 while playing in a Section 1 final. 
  "We responded to a strong defense with a scrappy hard fought offense," Tri-Valley coach Jason Closs noted following the final buzzer. 
  Closs credited bench player Sara Dertinger "for a lot of hustle, grabbing key rebounds and being a big part of our success this year."
  Commenting of the teams staying power when the score got down to a two-point lead, Closs pointed out, "they were going after it and sometimes it looked like we  may be working too hard for what we were trying to get but we held our ground and scored some big free throws at the end."
  Closs' thoughts on this win were "we put four months of hard work and efforts and ask the girls to give so much  and I'm happy for them to get back here and win a section and move on."
  Pine Plains coach Les Funk pointed out that his team, "made some mental mistakes and turnovers in a game that was determined by just a couple of baskets."
  "The ball just didn't go our way and they played a tough game, hung in there with their experience and we need to know that they are a quicker team and the quickest team we've played defensively," Funk added. 



Wednesday, February 26, 2014



  Semifinal sectional basketball Tuesday night saw the top-seeded Tri-Valley Lady Bears defeating S.S. Seward 62-38, Katelynn Greffrath scoring her 1,000th career point and the Chester boys eliminating second-seeded Tri-Valley 75-67.
  Greffrath entered the game needing 19 points for 1,000. 
  The win for the Lady Bears advances them into the Section 9 Class C girls basketball championship against Pine Plains which was played last night at SUNY New Paltz. 
  The Lady Bears controlled the opening tip and scored on a quick two-point layup by Colleen Jones but a three pointer by Seward's Ann Marie Chiappone and two points by Emi Knecht gave Seward a quick 5-2 lead at the 5:47 mark.
  A gritty Seward team looked like they wanted to make this a close game as they upped their lead to 7-4 but a three-pointer by Greffrath at the 3:24 mark gave Tri-Valley a 9-7 lead that they never relinquished.
  Tri-Valley outscored Seward 16-12 in the first quarter and then proceeded to put the game on ice with 20 points in the second quarter while holding Seward to six points on two field goals and two foul shots.
  Sabrena Smith with 10 points and Greffrath with two three pointers for six points led Ti-Valley second quarter scoring. 
  Taking a halftime lead of 36-18 and with Greffrath already scoring four three-pointers and two two-point scores for 16 points the Tri-Valley gym capacity crowd knew that their ace point guard needed only three more points to reach that 1,000 career point mark.
  Those important three-points came at the 7:27 mark of the third quarter as Greffrath drained a three-pointer to push the Tri-Valley lead  to 39-18. The large Tri-Valley crowd rose from their seats with loud cheering and hand raising showing strong admiration for Katelynn's scoring efforts. 
  A confident Greffrath in commenting about her 1,000 point achievement said, "I wasn't really worrying how long it was going to take to get my 1,000 points and I knew I would get it at some point of the season and I wasn't going to rush it."  She added that "I was just focusing  on the next team and what we needed to win.
  According to the school's record book the only other girl basketball player to score 1,000 or more points was Jacquelynne (Jackie) Pugh in 2011 with a total of 1,182 points. 
  When asked if she had chosen a college to continue her basketball career  she noted, "I like Lock Haven University and I've talked with the coach." Lock Haven is located at Loch Haven, Pa. and is a division 2 school that plays in the PSAC conference.
  The young Seward team comprised of an eighth grader, one freshman, one sophomore and three juniors hung tight again in the third quarter only being outscored by the Bears 12-10 which pushed Tri-Valley's 20-point lead to 48-28.
  Tri-Valley outscored Seward in the fourth quarter 14-10 with Bears coach Jason Closs subbing freely throughout the final eight minutes of play.
  Second seed Pine Plains got to the championship game by defeating third seed Tuxedo 49-41.
  At the conclusion of the Tri-Valley-Seward game a center-court 1000 point ceremony was held with coach Closs presenting the game ball to Greffrath who finished the night leading both teams with 21 points off of five three-pointers. She also added three steals for the night.
  Another outstanding scoring effort was produced by Sabrena Smith who popped the nets for 19 points and three steals. Caroline Martin had eight points, eight steals and nine rebounds and Colleen Jones added five steals for Tri-Valley. 
  The Lady Bears win pushes their record to 17-0.
  Freshman Emi Knecht and Junior Inga Squillace each had eight points for Seward  who finished the season at 11-7.
  Seward has 28 turnovers to Tri-Valley's 18.
  Seward coach Joe DiMattina felt his team did what they wanted to do in the first quarter "but Tri-Valley came out really strong in the second quarter scoring 20 points and we just could not match their points like we did the first quarter." 
  DiMattina noted, "we have a young team and we over achieved from what I though would happen at the beginning of the season."
  Coach Closs in commenting on his teams effort said, "our girls mindset is that they come out with a business-like approach and do what their suppose to do even if the chips are down a little bit and sooner or later their going to come out of it." His remarks were as a result of a question about Chester's first quarter efforts.
  Closs noted that in preparation for the Pine Plains game that "we have Pine Plains on film and I'll go home tonight and break that down."
  What a difference a week makes in analyzing the Tri-Valley boys 75-66 win February 20 over Chester and Chester's 75-67 win Tuesday night.
  On February 20 Senior Tri-Valley boys Jesus Lozada, Alex Brown and Sam Tingley scored a combined 55 points with Lozada leading all scorers with 26 points coming from six three-pointers.
  At Grahamsville Tuesday Chester's ace Senior point guard Lawrence Young, Junior Brandon Sadlier and Sophomore Justin Feldman combined for 65 of Chester's 75 total points.
  Young had 27 points off of four three-pointers, Sadlier had one tray and five two-pointers for 19 points and Feldman had 19 points off of three trays.
  Chester took early control of the game by outscoring the Bears 26-13 in the first quarter with Young leading the way with three trays and Sadlier swishing the nets for 10 points off of five two-point shots.
  Chester outscored Tri-Valley 11-10 in the second quarter to take a 37-29 half time lead. Tingley led the Bears with four points while Feldman had 5 points for Chester. 
  Almost even scoring for both teams in the third quarter gave Chester the edge 13-12 and a 50-41 lead entering the final eight minutes of play.
  The trays finally started to fall for Tri-Valley in the final eight minutes of play with Jared James getting one, another by Donntae Brock and two by Tingley giving the Bears a 26-25  fourth quarter scoring advantage.
  Tingley led the Bears scoring with 14 points. Dion Lynch, Lozada and Brock each had nine points for Tri-Valley who finishes the season with at 13-5.
  Chester with a 14-5 record  moved on to last night's championship game against S. S. Seward at SUNY New Paltz.
  In discussing the difference between the two games Bears coach Brian Tingley said, "it's
 kind of the opposite of what happened last time and we were kind of impatient offensively making one pass and looking to score quickly."
  "If we had been more patient with it and moved the ball around we would have gotten better open looks then what we were getting," Tingley said. 
   In discussing the three-point play of the Bears in the first game Tingley said the team "sort of fell in love with the three-point game and I sort of warned our team about that in pre-game discussions."
  Chester coach Jon Marsilio felt that the main difference between the two games was "our opening run in the first quarter where we put a lot of energy into it.
  On defense Marsilio was quick to point out his teams efforts in limiting Tri-Valley's three point scoring and the addition of his team's three-point scoring ability as important factors in Chester's win.  


Sunday, February 23, 2014



  GRAHAMSVILLE--Game times and locations for Tri-Valley Central School  boys and girls varsity sectional games are as follows.
  Both the boys and girls games will be played Tuesday, Feb. 25 at Tri-Valley Central School. 
  Because the capacity of the gym is set at 500 people the doors will open at 4:30 p.m. There will be an admission charge.
  The first game between the Tri-Valley Lady Bears and S. S. Seward will start at 5 p.m.
  The second game between the Tri-Valley boys and Chester will start at 7 p.m.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


  A three fold story-line in the Tri-Valley Lady Bears 72-33 victory over Eldred Friday night brings with it an undefeated 16-0 (6-0 conference)  OCIAA Division V championship, two perfect back to back 16-0 undefeated seasons for Tri-Valley coach Jason Closs and closes the gap down to 19 points needed by Katlynn Greffrath to reach 1,000 points for her high school career.  
  Friday's non-league game saw a fast start by Tri-Valley with scores by Greffrath, Caroline Martin and Sara Dertinger and it wasn't until the clock reached 5:58 when Eldred's Kelsey Collins scored a two-pointer to make the score 10-2. 
  Eldred kept fighting back with a three-pointer by Jordan Lepes but the Bears closed the first quarter leading 19-13.
  Tri-Valley upped its half time lead to 33-23  outscoring Eldred 14-11 in the second quarter led by Greffrath's six points and Colleen Jones with five points.
  It was lights out for Eldred in the third quarter as the Bears totally  dominated play by outscoring the visitors 24-0 off individual scoring by Sabrena Smith with five, Greffrath with nine which included her first and only three-pointer, two points each by Danielle Shaforski, Dertinger and Jones and four points by Martin. 
  The fourth quarter pushed the Bears lead again as Tri-Valley outscored Eldred15-9.
  Eldred posted 38 turnovers to Tri-Valley's 25. 
  Senior night saw honors go to Ashley Exner, Smith, Jones and Greffrath. 
  Eldred coach Ryan Jasper called the Tri-Valley team, "so deep and well conditioned it's hard to keep up with them."
  "I tried to slow the tempo in the first half and it worked but they thrive off of turnovers," Jasper noted.
  He credited Tri-Valley with good coaching "by John the last few years and Jason this year."
  Eldred will represent Division D next week in the final four in Albany.
  Coach Closs discussed what was described by media members as a very physical game played by Eldred saying, "they are aggressive girls as that's their mentality...they work hard and they are going to give it their all and you just hope that you don't get caught in the crossfire and lose somebody because of injury."
 Regarding the first  half and the third quarter Closs indicated that " in the first  half at times we could have applied more pressure  since we haven't played in a litdtle bit and we kind of were pacing outselves." 
  Closs noted some first half foul trouble also contributed to the slower first half but "in the third quarter we came out with great defensive energy and when we play with that type of defense it just feeds out offense."
  Greffrath led with 22 points and seven steals, Smith had 12 points and five steals while Martin scored 12 points. Exner had eight rebounds.
  For Eldred (7-10) Collins  had 11 points.
  The Tri-Valley win along with an undefeated regular league season also shouts accolades for Coach Closs who now has  coached Tri-Valley teams through two consecutive 16-0 seasons for a combined 32-0 record. 
  Last year Closs coached the Junior Varsity boys team to their 16-0 undefeated season stating at that time that "this season we were a team in every aspect, we focused on being unselfish, doing the right things and putting the team above ourselves."
  When asked Friday night about this years undefeated record and the overall 32 straight wins Coach Closs noted, "I had  some pretty good players on both teams and I think this is a pretty special opportunity I had that I don't think happens very often with any coach."
  Closs added ," I appreciate this special opportunity and I realize that I may coach another 30 years and not get another one of these..... it was an honor to take on a varsity girls basketball team like this."
  His overall opinion of this years girls team was, "great personalities, great girls who all had great work ethics and values and they do the same in practice as they do at game time."
  Winning has indeed been a major part of coaching for Closs and at Chester, from 2003-2007 his boys varsity teams won two division championships, "and truthfully my last year at Chester boys varsity I thought that was going to be my last year coaching... period," Closs said.
  "I want to thank Coach Brian Tingley for bringing me on early when I first got here and he embraced me and I learned a lot under him and I look forward to both of us having a nice little run in sectionals, Closs added.






Tri-Valley's Colleen Jones (23) goes up for two points in the Bears  72-33 victory over Eldred. Attempting to block the shot is Eldred (33) Kelsey Collins.

Tri-Valley's Katlynn Greffrath (11) scores two of her game high 22 points in the Bears 72-33
win over Eldred. Attemping to blot the shot are Eldred's Rebecca Morgan (24) and Jess Schips (14).

Tri-Valley's Sara Dertinger ((22) goes up for two points in the Bears 72-33 victory over Eldred. The Bears Ashley Exner blocks out Eldred's Jess Schips.

Tri-Valley varsity girls coach Jason Closs has now coached two consecutive basketball programs to perfect 16-0 seasons for a combined 32 wins over the past two years.

Tri-Valley Boys Varsity Win Big Game


  Senior Tri-Valley boys basketball players Jesus Lozada, Alex Brown and Sam Tingley celebrated Senior Night by scoring a combined 55 points which propelled the Bears into a big 75-66 OCIAA Division V win over Chester last Thursday night.
  The Bears win evened the league series as Chester won at home January 9 by two-points in overtime play and also gives Tri-Valley home court advantage against Chester in the first game of sectional play tonight. 
  Lozasa led  all scorers with 26 points with 18 of those points coming from six three-pointers. 
  Brown, who was celebrating his 18th birthday Thursday was a dominant factor both on the boards with rebounding, scoring 16 points and provided key blocks throughout the game.
  Tingley, usually noted for his patented three-pointer, pumped in five two-point scores and one tray. 
  Senior night honorees included Lozada, Tingley, Brown, Donte Brock, Devin Donnelly,  Mike Post and cheerleader Schuyler Kraus.
  Lozada started his three-point scoring spree at 7:45 of the first quarter and the Bears took a quick 5-0 lead on a two-pointer by Donnelly at the 6:53 mark but the Hambletonians got right back in the game when Chester's ace Lawrence Young popped a three-pointer and Daniel Wittekind added two more to close the lead to 7-6 at the 5:33 mark. 
  Tri-Valley went on to outscore Chester 20-16 in the first quarter with another Lozada tray, six points by Brown and four points by Brock. 
  Chester's Young also added a second three-pointer in the first eight minutes of play. 
  A determined Chester team led by Young with eight points and Brandon Sadlier with eight points outscored Tri-Valley 21-20 in the second quarter with the Bears Lozada scoring eight off two threes and a deuce and Tingley adding three two pointers. The Bears half time lead was 40-37. 
  Sadlier kept Chester in the game in the third quarter scoring nine points but Tri-Valley's Lozada added two more three-pointers and Brown had six points to outscore Chester 20-18 and a third quarter lead of 60-55.
  The Bears outscored Chester 15-11 in the fourth quarter  with Lazada adding five more points and Tingley scoring his only three pointer for the night. Young with five and Whittekind with four led the Hambletonians fourth quarter scoring.
  In the turnover category Tri-Valley had 15 to Chester's 13. 
  Chester coach John Marsilio credited Tri-Valley's Lozada saying, "you can't let a guy put up six threes and make all of them."
  Marsilio added, "they hit their shots and they got up on us and when they go on runs you've got to try and go on one of your own.
  Tri-Valley's defense played a role in this game with Marsilio noting, "they did a good job of switching up man and zone and we can't give up 75 points when we've been averaging in the 40's against us."
  Bears coach Brian Tingley pointed out that "we like to speed it up so we have a lot of possessions and on defense our first priority was to stop their fast break."
  Tingley added, "anytime we get them to have to set up in the half court that's to our advantage."
  When asked about Brown's defense and shot blocking Tingley said, "Alex is very intimidating as long as he doesn't get into foul trouble.
  Lozada led all scorers with 26, Brown had 16 and Tingley had 13 for Tri-Valley (13-4 and 3-3 in OCIAA league play.
  For Chester Young had 25 points and Sadlier added 19. Chester finished regular season play at 13-5 and 3-3 in league play. 


Tri-Valley's Jesus Lozada carried the smile and enthusiasm he had with his mom Angelica Lopez during Senior Night ceremonies into the Bears-Chester game by scoring six three pointers to lead his team with 26 points and a 75-66 win.                                                                    

Control of the boards, scoring and shot blocking could very well have been on the mind of Tri-Valley's Alex Brown, center, during Senior Night ceremonies celebrated with dad Thomas and mom Donna as the big center went on to score 16 points in Tri-Valley's 75-66 win over Chester last Thursday night.                                                                       

Tri-Valley's Jesus Lozada (15) scores two of his 26 points in the Bears 75-66 win over Chester. Attemping to guard him is Chester's Justin Feldman (11).