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IAC BOYS BASKETBALL: SHORT-HANDED TIOGA RALLIES; FALLS TO ITHACA, 53-51, AT BUZZER (16 PHOTOS) (2024-02-12)

Valley Sports Report
TIOGA CENTER — Playing without three starters, Tioga erased a seven-point deficit in the final 2 1/2 minutes only to lose on a buzzer-beater, 53-51, to Ithaca here Monday evening in non-league boys basketball action.

The Little Red made two free throws, then registered a steal in the backcourt for an easy lay-up to take a 47-43 lead with 4:15 left in the game.

With 2:37 remaining, Noah Butler knocked down a 3-pointer to give Ithaca a 50-43, but senior Gavin Fisher knocked down consecutive 3-pointers 46 seconds apart to close the gap to 50-49 with 1:12 remaining.

With 1:12 left, Fisher was fouled in the low blocks, and made both free throws to give the Tigers a 51-50 lead.

Ithaca’s Kaleb Kerfoot was fouled going to the bucket, and made 1 of 2 free throws with 50.7 seconds remaining to tie the game at 51-51.

After a Tioga miss with 32 seconds remaining, Ithaca ran the clock down for the final shot, but Kerfoot was fouled in the lane with 3.5 seconds remaining. It was only TIoga’s fourth team foul, so the Little Red in-bounded from underneath its own bucket.

After a timeout, the in-bounds pass was off-the-mark, but Mikko Greene scooped up the loose ball in the lane, and hit a twisting one-hander at the buzzer to lift Ithaca to the win.

Fisher and freshman Jackson Bombard each knocked down 3-pointers, and scored five points apiece in the first quarter, and junior Shea Bailey added a 3-pointer, but Ithaca led 15-13 after the first eight minutes.

Fisher scored five more points, including another 3-pointer, while Shea Bailey added a rare-four-point play, and senior Ethan Landmesser scored four points to fuel a 16-8 run that gave the Tigers a 29-23 lead at the half.

Ithaca answered with a 15-8 run in the third quarter to take a 39-38 lead into the final eight minutes.

Fisher canned the first of his three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and Ethan Landmesser added a bucket as Tioga tied the game at 43-43 with 5:15 remaining.

Fisher led Tioga with 21 points, including five 3-pointers, while Bailey scored 12 points, including two 3-pointers, Landmesser added eight points, and Bombard chipped in with seven points.

Greene led a balanced Ithaca attack with 11 points.

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IN PHOTO 1: Tioga senior Gavin Fisher. … PHOTOS BY CRISTINA ROSSI.

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