Tioga County Sports Report
OWEGO - With only 12 points to its credit through the first half of play, things were not looking too rosy for Owego during Thursday’s STAC clash with Corning.
However, the Indians would regroup at the break and double that dozen - and then some - to rally for an exciting 44-42 victory.
Mason Rieg got hot in the fourth quarter, scoring the Indians’ final 14 points. And that included a driving layup down the middle of the lane with two seconds remaining in the game, splitting two defenders in the process, to give Owego the win.
With the Indians trailing, 32-24, Jayden Ripic drained a 3-pointer with 6:32 left in the game for the first points of the fourth quarter. Corning responded with a basket and a free throw, then Tyler Hurlburt knocked down a three at 5:16 to cut the Hawks’ lead to 35-30. Ripic would block an underhand layup and Rieg would pop a trey at 3:52, making it 35-33. Baskets by Corning’s Landen Burch and Nesu Maphosa pushed the advantage to 39-33 with 2:15 to go.
After a Rieg layup, Jalen Henderson hit a three to give the Hawks a 42-35 lead with 1:41 remaining and things looked grim for the Indians. Instead Rieg retaliated with a basket at 1:25, a trey at :56 and another bucket at ;28 and the score was knotted at 42.
Then, the unthinkable - or maybe unbelievable - happened. Corning was inbounding the ball underneath the basket and Nick Wasyln came up with the steal, and Owego worked the ball to Rieg, who took it to the other end for the game-winner.
Rieg only had three points in the first half as Corning took command, 24-12.
Maphosa scored six of his team-high 13 points to push the Hawks to a 10-7 first-quarter lead while Wasyln kept the Indians in the game with five points.
In the second quarter, Wasyln and Matt Gatto had two points each for Owego, but five different Hawks scored to make it 24-12 at the half.
Hurlburt, Rieg and Ripic connected for two field goals apiece in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 32-24 heading into the fourth quarter.
Ring finished with a game-high 21 points. Hurlburt, Wasyln and Ripic contributed seven points each, and Gatto had the other bucket.
Burch added 10 points to the Corning effort.
Owego (2-6) visits Binghamton Monday.
IN PHOTO 1: Owego's Mason Rieg takes it to the hoop for the game-winning basket. ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.
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