Valley Sports Report
TIOGA CENTER — Tioga dug itself an early hole, and never escaped it in a season-opening, 59-42, loss to Odessa-Montour here Tuesday night in IAC South Small School girls basketball action.
“We didn’t take care of the ball in the first half, and allowed O-M to get some easy baskets,” said longtime Tioga coach Joe Robinson.
“Really though, the score looks worse than the game was,” noted Robinson.
“We had it cut under 10 points, and had a couple chances to knock it down to six points early in the fourth quarter,” he added.
Sara Gardner knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and scored eight points in the first quarter, and Kara Reese added five points, including a trey, to help O-M to a 15-11 lead after the first eight minutes.
Senior Giovanna Rossi scored six points, and junior Eve Wood drained a 3-pointer in the first quarter to keep Tioga within four points.
Five different O-M players put their name in the scorebook in the second quarter, led by four points apiece by Grace Vondracek and Jess Carnes as the Lady Indians stretched their lead to 33-21 at the half.
Junior Olivia Ayres pumped in eight points in the third quarter, then scored five more points early in the fourth quarter as the Lady Tigers cut the deficit to 46-38.
O-M re-grouped and outscored Tioga 6-4 over the next 4 1/2 minutes to lead 52-42 with 1:30 remaining.
The Lady Indians closed the game with a 7-0 spurt.
Robinson said his team showed positives it can build on.
“I thought we pushed the ball up the court like I wanted and were able to get our shots off before their defense had a chance to get set.
“We rebounded OK,” he said. “We had 12 offensive rebounds, but we missed a ton of lay-ups.
“There were a lot of good things, and a lot of bad things,” added Robinson. “Definitely saw some things we need to work on, but I saw a lot of positives out there, too.”
Rossi had 13 points, eight rebounds, two steals, and one blocked shot, and Ayres 13 points and three rebounds to lead Tioga, while Wood add 11 points, five rebounds, four assists, and two steals, and senior Chloe Bellis contributed five points, eight rebounds, five assists, four steals, and one blocked shot
Gardner led O-M with 16 points, including four 3-pointers, while Vondracek scored 12, and Carnes added 10.
Tioga returns to action Friday at Candor.
IN PHOTO 1: Tioga’s Olivia Ayres. … PHOTOS COURTESY OF MATT PATTON.
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