By Julia Batista
One of the great rivalries in Sullivan County sports has always been that between the Fallsburg Comets and the nearby Monticello Panthers, especially in basketball.
Arguably the most celebrated sport at both schools, locals long-await Comet-Panther basketball matchups. Recently, on December 22, the Fallsburg Comets boys basketball team faced off against the Panthers at Monticello’s home court in the most heated game of the season up until now. Spectators from both communities crowded into the Monticello gym to see an intense game. As the stands became more filled with people, the game slowly began to unfold and the energy in the gymnasium built up higher and higher.
“I was nervous and a little excited because I knew that it would be a close game,” Jose Fuentes, a spectator, commented about the matchup. “It was highly anticipated for a while because everyone talks about the game a few days leading up to it. The rivalry is intense and you never really know the final outcome.”
The crowd was more than amped up, chanting for their own team whenever it scored. People screamed, clapped, and leaped up and down in the stands at every successful shot. Spectators on both sides gave off great positive energy that made the atmosphere so much more charged and excited, while also putting more pressure on each team.
By the time the final whistle signaled the end of play, most in attendance agreed that it was one of the biggest basketball games of the season, but it was particularly significant for the Fallsburg Comets. Coming away with a 57-42 win set a new tone and vibe for the team, giving them “more confidence throughout the season” and proving to everyone that they were “a good team that works hard,” according to Shamiq Williams, a Fallsburg team member.
“I didn’t want to think about it as a rivalry game,” explained Rashaad Nurse, power forward for Fallsburg. “I just wanted to go into this game wanting to get off of our three game losing streak by getting a victory.”
And that is exactly what the Comets did. They brought home their second win of the season with the fifteen-point victory. Nurse himself scored a whopping 24 points, stating that he knew he “had to win this game for Fallsburg, not just for the team, but for the community and the school, as well.”
Both teams fought hard and fair, but it is with excitement that we extend congratulations to our hometown high school basketball team, the Fallsburg Comets. We wish them an even more successful 2017 season!