Valley Sports Report
SPENCER — S-VE use an 18-3 first-half run to open up a 16-point lead en route to a 56-37 win over Tioga here Monday night in IAC South Small School Division boys basketball action.
With the win, the Panthers improve to 8-9 and qualify for the upcoming Section IV, Class C playoffs.
Tioga took an early 6-2 lead, but S-VE rallied with a 7-0 spurt to take a 9-6 lead late in the first quarter.
Eighth-Grader Ethan Perry connected on a driving lay-up in the closing seconds for the Tigers to cut the S-VE lead to 9-8 after the first eight minutes.
James Sutherlin scored six points, and Matthew Merrick added four points in an 11-1 spurt to open the second quarter and extend the Panther lead to 25-9 with 4:25 remaining in the first half.
A 3-pointer by Perry with 4:10 trimmed the lead to 25-12, then both teams went ice cold, with Matthew Byrne’s free throw the only point the remainder of the first half giving S-VE a 26-12 lead.
After a bucket by Merrick gave S-VE a 28-12 lead, senior Thomas Cook ended a 7-plus minute drought for the Tigers with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 28-15 with 5:17 remaining in the third quarter.
Senior Noah Mack, in his first action of the season, scored seven points in a two-minute span to give the Panthers a 38-22 lead with 3:15 left in the third quarter.
Perry knocked down a 3-pointer with 2:10 remaining to make it 38-25, but Mack made a pair of free throws with 1 second left in the third quarter to give the Panthers a 15-point lead heading into the final eight minutes.
Marcus Brock scored a conventional three-point play, and knocked down a 3-pointer, sandwiched around a free throw by Sutherlin, in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter to give the Panthers a 47-25 lead.
Sutherlin and Brock led S-VE with 12 points apiece, while Mack scored 11 points, Merrick added eight points, and Byrne chipped in with five points.
Perry led Tioga with 16 points, while senior Sam Taylor added 10 points, and Cook chipped in with seven.
S-VE, now 8-9, hosts Candor Tuesday night, while Tioga, now 5-14, closes out its 2019-20 campaign at Marathon.
IN PHOTO 1: Tioga's Sam Taylor. … PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.
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