Tioga girls capture IAC small-school title
DRYDEN - Callie Patsellis and Hannah Manwaring fueled a 22-0 run, leading Tioga to its third IAC Small School championship in four years with a 50-20 win here Friday night in girls basketball action at Tompkins-Cortland Community College.
A year after connecting on just 13 of 75 (17 percent) shots from the field, the Lady Tigers, especially Patsellis and Manwaring, came out of the locker room on fire and put the game away early.
Trailing 4-3 with 5:03 left in the first quarter, Manwaring drained consecutive 3-pointers, then Patsellis knocked down her second trey of the quarter to give Tioga a 12-3 lead.
Emily Schweiger's putback on the offensive boards with 2:34 closed out the first-quarter scoring to give Tioga a 14-3 lead.
Tioga coach Joe Robinson said the early 3-pointers were a big confidence boost for his team.
"For those girls who didn't shoot well here last year, it was really big," he said. "They knocked down a couple of those early shots and it got us going.
"The girls are feeling it right now. You saw what happened at Newfield (Monday) night and how well they played.
"I think they found something within themselves," added Robinson.
Manwaring agreed with her coach.
"It started us off on a good note and allowed us to get an early lead, which definitely helped.
"We were just on fire - threes are always good, better than twos," said Manwaring.
The Lady Tigers didn't slow down one bit in the second quarter.
Schweiger started off the quarter with a bucket off a nice move in the low post, then Patsellis knocked down her third trey of the game to make it 19-4.
After back-to-back buckets by Manwaring, Patsellis capped Tioga's 22-0 run with a short jumper to make it 25-4.
A free throw by Jenna Zimmer snapped Groton's scoreless streak at eight minutes and five seconds and Steff Preston added another free throw just one second later, after rebounding Zimmer's miss on her second free throw.
Any thoughts of a Groton rally were foiled by Patsellis' fourth 3-pointer of the half.
After a Sierra Beebe jumper gave Tioga a 30-6 lead with 3:08 left in the first half, Zimmer knocked down Groton's first field goal in 10 minutes and two seconds.
Groton cut the deficit to 30-12 at the half and 32-14 early in the second half, but never got any closer.
Patsellis led Tioga with 16 points, including four 3-pointers in five attempts, and three steals, while Manwaring scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and Schweiger added eight points, five rebounds and blocked two shots.
Beebe chipped in with six points and six rebounds for Tioga and Natalie Burns and Sarah Whitney had four rebounds apiece.
For the game, Tioga shot 34.5 percent (19 of 55) from the field, but shot 60 percent (6 of 10) from behind the 3-point arc.
Robinson said his team is playing its best basketball of the season.
"We've become more of a team and we're sharing the ball a bit more.
"And, we're shooting the ball better," said Robinson.
"It's really nice to see how we've grown as a team," said Manwaring. "We've gotten a lot closer and started playing better as a team â¦ rebounding-wise, shooting and passing."
"There's no doubt we're playing our best ball of the year right now," said Robinson.
Tioga, now 15-4, returns to action Tuesday night when it hosts Edison in the opening round of the Section IV, Class C playoffs.