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Tioga County Sports Report
NEWARK VALLEY — Capitalizing on a 13-point burst in the the third quarter, Owego pulled away from Newark Valley to post a 54-35 IAC victory here Monday evening.

The Indians were clinging to a five-point lead when Nick Wasyln got things rolling with a pair of baskets. Tyler Hurlburt followed with a coast-to-coast bucket, then Brad Palmer sandwiched a free throw between field goals from John and Joe Bangel. Palmer added a basket off a turnover before Connor Spoonhower stopped the run with a bucket with 1:07 left in the period.

Joe Bangel hit a pair of foul shots with 44.9 seconds to go to give Owego a 40-22 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

"We were right in there," NV coach Scott Stratton said. "At half, we went into the locker room, we felt good about our effort. We talked about more purposeful boxing out and taking care of the glass better. I thought we did a nice job against their pressure, had some opportunities to even score against the pressure. The boys pulled it out. They were smart with it.

"We played well enough to win. We just have to figure out how to solve one or two little things every game and just be better at those things."

Owego coach Chris Evans didn't feel it was his team's best effort, despite the win.

"We created a few turnovers," he said. "It was a hard game to watch. I think we made one outside shot the whole game, Drew Tavelli toward the end there. We couldn't throw the ball in the ocean, in the middle of it, in a boat. There was just no way.

"We wanted to play starters fewer minutes and we played them a few more minutes than I really wanted to because of the turnovers and the sloppy play," Evans said.

The Bangels were key to getting the Indians back into the game and getting them ahead in the first half as they eliminated an early 7-2 deficit. John Bangel had five points in the opening frame while Joe Bangel made his presence felt in Q2, pumping in 10 of his game-high 16 points to make it a 25-18 game at the break.

The duo also played a key role in the rebounding department.

"They're both getting a little bit more aggressive," Evans said. "They're long and they're hard to stop inside, and they're hard to score against inside. They're getting better every game. It's growing pains though. They're sophomores. They make one great play and you think, wow, they are really coming, and they'll make a sophomore mistake right after that. It's growing pains."

"They were big on the boards tonight," Stratton said. "The Bangel twins were just really tough."

Palmer and Mason Rieg added a bucket apiece for to make it an 11-9 contest in the Indians' favor after one quarter. NV countered with four points from Raidyn Ford, three from Donavin Beebe and a basket by Jake Armstrong to keep it close.

Palmer and Rieg again contributed a basket apiece in the second period, and John Bangel had the other bucket. Beebe sandwiched a three between a pair of baskets for seven of his team-high 14 points while Ethan Skeide accounted for the Cardinals' other bucket.

Brenton Roseburg would get NV off on the right foot to start the final stanza, sinking a trey 21 seconds into the period.

John Bangel hit two free throw attempts to make it 42-25, but the Cardinals countered with a five-point burst. Beebe tapped in a bounce off the rim, Ford sank a free throw and Armstrong finished it off with a basket.

Drew Tavelli scored six of Owego's final 12 points to help offset two baskets by Armstrong and a trey from Spoonhower.

He finished with six points while Palmer scored seven. Hurlburt, Rieg and Wasyln contributed four points each and Ryan Pryor tacked on two.

Armstrong helped the NV effort with six points, Spoonhower chipped in with five, Rosenburg had three and Skeide added two.

The final week of the short season does not get any easier for Owego, now 7-0.

"We're playing five games in six days, so I don't know how up they were for this game," Evans said. "Maybe I didn't do a good job pregame. We didn't practice yesterday, of course, on Sunday, but we played Saturday and I thought we actually played pretty well. I thought we were coming along bit better. We certainly took a step backward today. Who knows. It's kids. We could take another step forward tomorrow. It's going to be the Waverlys, and the Horseheads and the Cornings. This four-game stretch is going to be the toughest, obviously, we have this year."

Owego hosts Waverly (5-4) and NV (0-6) hosts Candor (2-6) Tuesday.


IN PHOTO: NV's Noah Martin (34), and Owego's Hunter Ellis (12) and John Bangel (4). ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.

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