|IAC BOYS BASKETBALL: NEWFIELD TOPS TIOGA, 53-47, IN SMALL SCHOOL DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF (17 PHOTOS) (2018-02-12)
By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
TIOGA CENTER — Tioga erased all of a 13-point second-quarter deficit, and took its only lead early in the fourth quarter, but Newfield closed the game with a 9-2 run in a 53-47 win here Monday night in a playoff for the IAC South Small School Division boys basketball title.
“(Newfield) started out hot, and we were flat on defense,” said Tioga coach Brian Card. “We played on our heels, and they kept attacking.
“Whenever you score 22 points in the first quarter, it really deflates the other team.
“We worked hard to get back into the game, and I think it took a lot out of us, especially at the end of the game,” added Card. “We didn’t have enough left in the tank at the end.”
The two teams split a pair of regular-season game, each winning at home — including Tioga’s 63-57 win on Jan. 26.
In that win, Tioga drained nine 3-pointers, and had a distinct advantage on the board. On Monday, Tioga had four 3-pointers, but just one in the second half, and Newfield kept the Tigers off the offensive boards, limiting them to just one offensive rebound in the first half.
“Last time we came in here, (Tioga) beat us up on the board,” said Newfield standout Quintel Clements. “We tried to win that tonight, and close every defensive possession out with a rebound.
“And, (Tioga) killed us with the 3-pointer last time, so we tried to eliminate that this time,” he added.
State-ranked Newfield improves to 16-2 on the season with the win, and will face Union Springs Thursday in the overall IAC Small School Championship game at TCCC.
“This win means a lot, especially against a team that gave us our first loss,” said Clements. “It means a lot getting our revenge, especially on their home court.”
Greg Morevac hit a pair of 3-pointers, and freshman Jacob Humble canned another to lead the Trojans to a quick 15-3 lead midway through the first quarter.
Junior Pierce Hendershot drained back-to-back 3-pointers to close the gap to 15-9, but following a time out, Newfield’s Nolan Rocco scored on a short jumper, and Morevac canned his third 3-pointer of the quarter to make it 20-9 with 2:03 remaining.
Senior Connor Hutchinson scored in the final minute of the first quarter to make it 22-13, but Clements and LaRon Boykin scored back-to-back buckets in the paint to give the Trojans their biggest lead of the game, at 26-13, just one minute into the second quarter.
Newfield maintained a 10-point lead through the majority of the second quarter, until Hendershot hauled in a full-court in-bound pass from Lucas Klossner with an over-the-shoulder catch, and laid the ball in off the glass at the buzzer to close the gap to 32-24 at the half.
Hutchinson scored the first bucket of the second half off a nice high-low entry pass from senior Scott Siberski, but Humble and Boykin answered with buckets to give the Trojans a 36-26 lead with 6:45 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers scored consecutive buckets on a short jumper by Hutchinson, and a 10-foot jumper by Siberski to make it 36-30, but Newfield quickly push the lead back to 42-32.
After a pair of free throws by Hutchinson, Hendershot canned his fourth 3-pointer of the game to trim the deficit to 42-37 with 2:19 left in the third quarter.
After a bucket by Morevac pushed the lead back to seven, senior Nick Klossner made a pair of free throws, then came up with a steal, and penetrated into traffic on the break. Clements got a piece of Klossner’s shot, but Hendershot came up with the rebound and hit a short jumper over a pair of defenders with 8 seconds left in the third quarter to trim the deficit to 44-41 entering the fourth quarter.
A minute into the fourth quarter, Hutchinson grabbed an offensive rebound, then found Siberski in the low blocks for an easy lay-up to cut the Newfield lead to 44-43. With 5:23 left in the game, Siberski found Hutchinson open in the low blocks to give the Tigers their first — and only — lead of the game at 45-44.
A minute later, Josh Wood drove baseline and went off the glass to put Newfield ahead 46-45. Wood scored again a minute later on a putback on the offensive glass to make it 48-45.
With 2:20 left in the game, Moravec came up with a steal at the top of the Tioga offense, and scored on a break-away lay-up to extend the lead to 50-45.
After a Siberski jumper, and a free throw by Morevac left Newfield up 51-47 with 1:30 remaining, the Tigers’ last gasp was a long 3-pointer by Lucas Klossner at the shot-clock buzzer that drew back iron, caromed high into the air, back down off the front of the rim, and into the hands of Clements for his 18th rebound of the night.
Newfield made 2 of 4 free throws in the final 27 seconds, sandwiched around another Tioga miss from 3-point range to provide the final margin.
“Basketball is a game of runs,” said Card. “They had (the momentum) early, then we had it in the second half, and, unfortunately, they had it last few minutes of the game.”
Hendershot led Tioga with 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and six boards, while Hutchinson scored 14 points, hauled down 15 rebounds, Siberski had 11 points and five rebounds, and Nick Klossner added four points, four rebounds, and three assists.
Morevac led Newfield with 17 points,while Humble and Wood scored 10 points apiece, Boykin added eight points, and Clements chipped in with six points.
The Tigers fall to 15-4 on the season, and now await their opening-round match-up in the upcoming Section IV, Class C playoffs.
Card is confident his team will re-group.
“We had a nine-game win streak, so these kids haven’t felt a loss in a long time,” he said. “Honestly, I think it’s good for them to feel that again.
“Now, it’s win or go home.
“Our entire starting line-up from last year’s Sectional loss at Groton is back,” added Card. “They have that experience, and they know it’s win or go home.”
IN PHOTO: Tioga’s Scott Siberski. … PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.