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Presidents Pound Rondout As They Prep For Postseason


By Sean McGee
Special to HVSR

HYDE PARK – And down the stretch they come.

The Franklin D. Roosevelt High School girls basketball team had plenty of fun on Tuesday night, and plenty of smiles, in a 78-24 victory over Rondout Valley in a Mid-Hudson Athletic League game.

But they know what looms – the MHAL Tournament in two weeks and then a chance to defend their Section 9 championship en route to a possible berth in the state Final Four.

“We only have one goal from day one, which is to be better today than we were yesterday and prepare ourselves today to be better tomorrow,” said Roosevelt coach Cliff Sauer. “We want to go back to back, but as long as we just keep working hard every day to get better I think the end result will be satisfying.”

The Presidents made quick work on Tuesday night with a swarming press defense that gave Rondout Valley problems bringing the ball up the court. Before you could blink, the Ganders would be held scoreless in the first quarter and down 22-0.

To their credit, however, the Ganders never threw in the towel and followed the lead of their coach.

“I just tell them they have to keep going out there and fighting, you don’t ever give up no matter what the score is,” said Rondout Valley mentor Sherry Cafiero. “I tell them they need to play possession by possession and try to win that possession.”

The press by Roosevelt would be pulled back in the second quarter, but the fast-closing defense ensued throughout the game.

“It’s something we work on almost every single day is close outs and knowing personnel,” Sauer said. “We seem to be getting better at the right time.”

The seniors again led the way. Jae’len Daubon paced FDR with 17 points, Kelsea Demelis had 10 and Deliah Smith had six. It was an unselfish performance, as per the Presidents’ mantra of moving the ball.

“I’m always taught to look for the person who’s open no matter if I have a shot or not. If the person is wide open you have to pass them the ball,” said Smith. “I’m seen as an unselfish point guard, so I always look to pass first then take mine. I try to make sure every person on my team scores.”

Roosevelt had 11 out of 12 players score, a true testament of how the team shares the basketball with one another.

“We are incredibly deep, and there is hardly any drop-off between a starter and the girl who backs her up,” said Sauer. “A lot of other teams have one really solid point guard; I have four or five girls that can all handle the ball.”



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