DELHI _ Bookend contributions by a pair of 10th-graders helped Margaretville’s boys end a drought that started before a majority of the current roster was born.
Sophomore Cooper Reither hit three three-pointers in the first quarter to get the Blue Devils off to a solid start. Classmate Matt VanValkenburg made a big defensive play and assisted on a key basket with about a minute left.
The result was a 48-41 Margaretville victory over South Kortright before a big crowd at SUNY Delhi that gave the Blue Devils their first Delaware League crossover basketball title since 1995.
“I’m happy for the school and I’m happy for the kids,” Margaretville coach Jeremey Marks said of the program’s first DL title since a 67-64 over SK in 1995. “They’re basketball junkies. They want to play and they play a lot. I’m happy that their hard work was rewarded because they’ve put in a lot of work over the past 4-5 years. They started when they were youngsters.”
Reither had three threes before the game was five minutes old. He hit two threes from the baseline and when he swished one from the left wing with 3:03 left in the first quarter, he gave Margaretville a 13-10 lead.
“I was able to hit some shots in the first quarter and I think that settled us down,” said Reither, who finished with four three-pointers and a game-high 14 points.
The back-and-forth opening quarter ended with the Blue Devils ahead, 17-15.
Offensive production slowed considerably over the final three quarters.
For a spell early in the third quarter, it appeared Margaretville (16-2) might run away this one.
VanValkenburg hit a three from the key with 5:43 left in the quarter to give the Blue Devils a 33-24 lead.
When VanValkenburg scored on a layup in transition off a pass from backcourt mate Kyle Short, Margaretville led, 35-26.