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Valley Sports Report
TIOGA CENTER — Tioga got off to a fast start, thanks in large part to junior Olivia Ayres, and notched its first win of the season here Friday night, topping Candor, 52-39, in IAC South Small School girls basketball action.

"Liv (Ayres) came right out and hit her first three 3-pointers, and they were all net," said Tioga coach Joe Robinson. "She got off to a hot start, and it didn't end there, she shot the ball very well tonight.

"We also got a lot of rebounds, got out on the break and got some easy baskets for ourselves," noted Robinson.

"And, Julia Bellis played a hell of a game defensively, trying to keep the ball out of (Braelyn) Hornick's hands," added Robinson.

Ayres pumped in 10 points, including trio of 3-pointers, in the first quarter, to help the Lady Tigers to an 18-9 lead after the first eight minutes.

Tioga cooled off in the second quarter, and Candor trimmed the deficit to 25-19 at the halftime intermission.

Ayres canned two more 3-pointers, and senior Giovanna Rossi added a pair of buckets in a 17-9 Tioga run that extended the lead to 42-28 entering the final eight minutes.

Junior Eve Wood scored five points in the fourth quarter, including a conventional three-point play, as the Lady Tigers preserved their lead.

"Eve (Wood) was out of school sick (Thursday), so she wasn't herself, but she got a couple of key buckets in the fourth quarter to keep our lead up," said Robinson.

Tioga won in spite of a woeful 4-for-16 effort from the free-throw line.

"Our free-throw shooting

Candor was without Jennah Kareem in the loss.

"Not having (Kareem) definitely hurt them quite a bit," said Robinson.

Ayres led Tioga with 20 points, including five 3-pointers — on 5 of 6 shooting from behind the arc, while Rossi had 10 points, 14 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass, and three steals. and Wood added nine points, four assists, and three rebounds.

Senior Chloe Bellis contributed seven points, 12 rebounds, four steals, three assists, and one blocked shot in the win, while sophomore Julia Bellis chipped in with four points and three rebounds, and junior Ari Manwaring grabbed seven rebounds.

Braelyn Hornick and Brooke Wilcox scored 10 points apiece to lead Candor, and Pearl Ricardo added nine.

Tioga, now 1-1, travels to Newfield Tuesday.



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