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IAC GIRLS BASKETBALL: NEWARK VALLEY HOLDS OFF WAVERLY (2021-02-17)

By LARRY JACKSON
Tioga County Sports Report
NEWARK VALLEY — Almost a full year ago, the Newark Valley Cardinals and the Waverly Wolverines faced each other in the Section IV Class B playoffs.

This time around was very different to say the least. However, the outcome was similar as the Cardinals pulled out a tight one late in a game that ended up being an offensive shootout for both teams, equating to a 75-70 final score.

“It was really nice to get out and have a really competitive game again,” said Newark Valley head coach Greg Schweiger. “Once we got comfortable playing our game in transition, things started to open up for us.”

The Wolverines struck first, knocking down shots from beyond the arc, which would remain the same throughout the entirety of the game for both teams. Three three-pointers paced Waverly to a 17-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Cardinals fell into a deeper hole in the beginning of the second quarter, falling behind by eight points from Waverly's 6-0 run to open the frame.

That was when the Cardinals figured things out offensively, using transition off steals to get back into the game. They would use a 12-2 run at the end of the half and senior Brianna Beebe's 3-pointer at the buzzer to take a 33-31 lead heading into the break.

The Cardinals used that momentum from the end of half one to continue scoring by extending the floor and getting the extra pass in transition. They put up an impressive 23 points in the third quarter, which was the most by either team all night. That made the lead 56-45 heading into the final period of play.

The Cardinals were able to hold off a short comeback by Waverly at the end of the contest. After leading by 14 in the fourth quarter, Waverly got within five with one minute remaining to make things interesting. Newark Valley was able to seal the game at the charity stripe to earn the victory.

Brianna Beebe once again led the way for the Cardinals with 18 points and four steals. Junior Hannah Ferguson and senior Mackenna Nechwedowich each had big nights in the paint as Ferguson tallied 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Nechwedowich finished the contest with nine points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Haley Beebe added 13 points for the Cardinals in the win.

Sophomore Kennedy Westbrook and senior Sidney Tomasso led all scorers in the game with 21 points each. Junior Lourden Benjamin scored 13 and senior Gabby Picco added 12. Picco’s 12 came from four 3-pointers.

“Waverly is a whale of a shooting team and they played well against us,” Schweiger noted. “Our size definitely helped us later on in the game when we needed it.”

Both teams will see a familiar opponent Thursday as the 2-0 Cardinals and 2-1 Wolverines will face each other again, this time at Waverly High School at 5:30 p.m.

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IN PHOTO 1: NV's Brianna Beebe. ... PHOTOS BY LARRY JACKSON.

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