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SECTION IV GIRLS BASKETBALL: NEWARK VALLEY LOOKS TO REPEAT (2023-03-04)

Tioga County Sports Report
BINGHAMTON — Newark Valley looks to repeat as a Section IV champion Sunday when it faces Chenango Forks for the Class B title at Visions Veterans Memorial Arena here.

NV, the No. 1 seed, will square off against third-seeded Chenango Forks (16-5), which upset Chenango Valley in the semifinals.

This marks the Cardinals’ third consecutive trip to the final round. NV won the Class C championship last year with a 59-19 blowout against Delhi and was the Class B runner-up to Norwich in 2020, falling to the defending champs, 58-46. There were no playoffs in 2021 due to COVID-19.

Despite key graduation losses last year’s state runner-up squad, NV has proven itself worthy of being here this year.

Newark Valley boasts one of the most dangerous weapons in Section IV in forward Cha Gardner. The junior standout has recorded 15 double-doubles and two triple-doubles in leading the Cardinals to a 21-0 record and a No. 2 state ranking.

The 6-foot-3 Gardner averages 15.6 points and 13.6 rebounds per game. She also averages 3.5 blocks, 3.3 assists and 2.2 steals.

Another key to NV’s success is point guard Hayley Beebe. She guides the offense with authority and is a menace on defense.

The senior averages 14.3 points per game, draining 52 3-pointers in the process. She is also the team’s leading free throw shooter, finding the inside of the rim with 76-percent accuracy (51-for-67). She is also averaging 3.9 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, 3.4 assists and 3.4 steals.

Jasmine Graham was the “sixth man” last season but has stepped up to play a big role in her senior campaign. A guard, her numbers include 9.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 2.0 assists per outing.

Her cousin, Kalyna Graham, has been a solid contributor to the starting line-up. A senior guard, she averages 4.6 points and 3.3 rebounds per outing.

Adrianna Finta moved from the JV last season to a starting varsity role this season. The sophomore guard is averaging 6.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.2 assists.

Six-foot sophomore Liv Short is averaging 3.4 boards off the bench.

Rounding out the regular season roster are seniors Katie Berghorn, Kylee Carrier and Faith Payne, and freshmen Aubrey Kwiatkowski and Adriana Rich.

Joining the squad for the postseason are JV call-ups Anaya Aylesworth, Kimberleigh Beebe, Kamryn Short and Rebecca Thompson.

Here is NV coach Greg Schweiger’s scouting report on the Blue Devils:
21 Helena Willis (senior guard): pushes tempo, gets to the basket, capable 3-point shooter

5 Maggie Warpus (six-foot freshman): runs the point, can drive and shoot, leads their full court press

23 Alyssa Specchio (senior guard): good defender, 3-point threat

12 Trinity Parks (senior guard): 3-point threat

20 Aubrey Bough: best defender

11 Lex Scott and 15 Lauren Paske: subs

“Their MO is full court zone and man press, lots of chaos, generate turnovers and layups,” Schweiger said. “Plays man in the half court. Very physical.

“In the half court they look for No. 5 and No. 21 to create and generate points. They crash the offensive boards and generate lots of second chance points.

“Keys to the game for us is handling the press, limiting turnovers that lead to points and securing defensive rebounds.”

Tip-off is noon.

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