SECTION IV BOYS BASKETBALL: OWEGO TO FACE FORKS IN GRUDGE BATTLE
(2023-02-04)Tioga County Sports Report
BINGHAMTON — Don’t expect anyone to quit until the final buzzer sounds when the Owego and Chenango Forks boys basketball teams clash in the Section IV Class B championship game at Visions Veterans Memorial Arena here Sunday.
This one is for all the money, so to speak. The two teams split during the regular season with the Indians winning at home in December, 57-43, and Forks taking the rematch on its court 44 days later, 66-44. CF is one of four teams to score 60 or more points against the Indians this season.
Owego coach Chris Evans noted the Blue Devils were short a couple players in the first meeting and pointed toward poor shooting (15-20 percent) in the loss.
Forks held Owego’s top players, 6-foot-7 senior twins Joe and John Bangel, and point guard Drew Tavelli to single digits in the second game. That trio combined for 41 the first time with Tavelli pumping out 20 points.
The Devils’ Steven Samsel scored 24 and 20 points in the two contests.
Tavelli, a senior, is scoring 12 points per game and is shooting 32 percent from 3-point range. He’s also dishing out three assists per contest.
John Bangel is finding the inside of the net at a 46-percent accuracy rate and is scoring 15 points per contest and is pulling down 9.8 rebounds per contest.
Joe Bangel’s shooting percentage from the floor isn’t far behind, 42 percent. He’s averaging 10 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.
Evans has been pleased with his role players and the bench performance throughout the season.
Senior John Larter, junior Riley Loomis, sophomore Joe Palladino, senior Ryan Pryor and junior Ben Rollison have made key contributions.
The rest of the bench includes junior Owen Bronk, senior Lucas Harbol, senior Jackson Hoyt, senior Aaron Riegel, and juniors Talan Schumacher and Kam Wicklund.
Zack Bensley moved up from the JV for the postseason.
Evans knows the grudge battle with the Devils will be a big undertaking.
“Forks is big and physical,” he said. “They push the ball every chance they get, and they can all shoot it.
“Point guard (Trevor) Warpus has had a tremendous year. He shoots it exceptionally well, gets into the paint, gets to the line, and may be the best passer in our league.
“They start a front line of 6-6, 6-5 and 6-5. If we don’t do a better job on the glass it’ll be a long day.
Tip-off is 2 p.m.
IN PHOTO 1: Joe (L) and John Bangel. ... TCSR STOCK PHOTO. ... IN PHOTO 2: Owego seniors. ... SUBMITTED.
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