February 14, 2013
Groton girls among those chasing titles at TC3
For the next two nights, high school basketball takes over the Tompkins Cortland Community College gymnasium as the Interscholastic Athletic Conference holds its overall championship games.
Tonight the North and South Division Large School championship games will be held on the TC3 court in Dryden.
Tipping off the action will be a pair of perennial leagues powers tipping off at 6 p.m. as Lansing (17-1 overall) carries its North Division title back into action against South powerhouse Waverly (17-0).
The Bobcats lost the overall title the past two seasons to Watkins Glen after defeating the Senecas in the 2009 overall title contest. Waverly needed an overtime victory over Elmira Notre Dame on the final night of the regular season to capture its first division crown since 2003.
The 8 p.m. contest will feature North Division champion Whitney Point (15-2) clashing with South Division champion Watkins Glen (14-2). Whitney Point needed a final night win over Lansing to claim its division title.
Friday, the IAC Small School Division champions collide with Groton Central girls (12-4) meeting Tioga (15-4) at 6 p.m.
The Indians claimed their first division title since 1998 with a 47-32 victory over Whitney Point on Feb. 4. The four Indian losses have come to the same two teams, Lansing and division rival Moravia have each won the two encounters this season, but Groton has handled all other challengers, including 2012 division champion Marathon.
The Tigers are heading into their fourth straight IAC overall title clash after a 60-35 tiebreaker win over Newfield Tuesday.
“We know Tioga is a very tough, athletic team,” Groton coach Jen Case said. “They really hustle. We knew that they use a full court press and we are prepping for their 2-3 zone defense. We are also sure that they could be tailoring something special just because it’s our team.”
Groton has been building to this moment since Case began coaching the team. Her four seasons as head coach also carry her memories of a 1992 title when she was a player at Groton. With 10 seniors, the Indians have plenty of experience, just not in the title game.
Ruthanne Forehand is the leading scorer for the Indians, averaging 12.1 points per game. Classmates Kylene Hall and Steffanie Preston have been the other two primary scorers. Hall averages 9.7 points per game while Preston is netting 8.5 points per contest.
Tiffany James and Alex Quarella have been the two main starters, but Case has been using a solid rotation with Jenna Zimmer and Kaylene Conklin, depending on the opponent and situation. Emilie Holmes, Jenna Dorsey, Charlie Crispell and Mikayla Perkins have all provided many minutes of support on a roster loaded with team-oriented players. They are all seniors, who have played together for years, except for Perkins, who is a junior, but has been around her teammates forever.
In many aspects, Tioga is the same way, but with all that IAC overall title game experience.
The Tigers are led by the one-two scoring punch of Hannah Manwaring and Callie Patsellis. Manwaring averages 13 points per game and is the team’s leading rebounder. Patsellis carries a 12.3 scoring average into Friday night’s contest. Emily Sweiger (8.6) and Sierra Beebe (7.1) are also capable of big scoring efforts.
Rounding out the two days of basketball action at TC3 will be the IAC Boys’ Small School Championship game at 8 p.m. Moravia (14-2) makes its return to the title tilt as the North Division champion with Odessa-Montour (14-3) representing the South Division.
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