In a week that is filled with many sporting events, both collegiate and at the high school level, Tompkins County sports fans had a variety of games to follow as the Section IV boys and girls basketball tournaments were underway and the Ithaca Little Red competed in the regional playoffs in boy’s hockey. While postseason games provide grueling tasks for teams, a number of local teams finished off their season with strong performances.
Newfield Girl’s BasketballEarly into last week, the Newfield Trojans looked as though the season would be one for the trophy case. The Trojans earned a spot in the Section IV semifinal game after exacting revenge on a Moravia squad that had topped the Trojans in the IAC Small School Championship game.
During the regular season, the Trojans lost just one contest, and it came by the hands of the same Watkins Glen Senecas that were Newfield’s opponents. The Senecas, who won the Class C state title in 2017, provided a veteran presence that could not be matched by the young Trojans squad that fielded just one senior.
After a night of missed opportunities, Newfield would see their tremendous season come to a close, finishing the year at 19-3. With many of the top players returning for at least one more season, the promise of better finishes looks bright for Newfield.
Newfield Boy’s BasketballThe Trojans powered through a season that saw considerable questioning of their ability to perform in Class C and without their leading contributors from the past two seasons. Those questions would be answered in a big way when the Trojans advanced to the sectional semifinal after topping Spencer Van-Etten for a third time in the season. While things looked positive for the Trojans, they found themselves taking on a much more veteran squad, and defending sectional champion, in Unadilla Valley.
In the semifinal, Newfield continued to push for a big play that would spark a run of good fortune, but it never came. Every big play the Trojans made was answered by Unadilla Valley.
While the season came to an end for the Trojans with a 16-9 record, the abundance of talented youth will return with hopes of finding sectional glory once again.
Lansing Boy’s BasketballThe Bobcats went through the regular season and turned a few heads with the play of the senior leaders on the team. With home-court advantage, Lansing topped Watkins Glen in a close game, holding off the Senecas late push. With the team’s advancement to the semifinals, the Bobcats face the challenging task of slowing down a Moravia team that had the ability to shoot three-pointers like no other team in the section. Backed by a tenacious defense that broke up a number of promising Moravia possessions, the Bobcats flipped the script and used perimeter shooting to lead the way to a chance in the sectional final.
Taking on the same Unadilla Valley squad that had downed fellow county team Newfield, the Bobcats showed a willingness to take shots from anywhere on the court, but it seemed as though luck was not on their side. Lansing saw a large number of chances go by the wayside because of an unlucky bounce or by missing by a fraction of an inch.
Despite a heartbreaking end to the season for Lansing, the Bobcats put together a 16-6 season. While promising underclassmen made big impacts throughout the season, it will be a challenge for the Bobcats to replace an impactful senior class.
Ithaca Boy’s HockeyWhile the early afternoon action took place on the basketball court at SUNY Cortland, across town at the JM McDonald Complex, the Ithaca Little Red were gearing up for the regional playoff against the Orchard Park Quakers of Section VI. Ithaca, a team that had come up short against a number of state-ranked opponents throughout the season, looked as though it belonged with the top teams, playing one of its best games of the season.
After tying the game early in the third period, the Little Red forced overtime and had generated multiple chances to win the game. The Quakers threw a low angled shot on net that took a number of deflections before it slipped over the line to win it for Orchard Park.
A challenging season came to a close with the Little Red putting together a 5-11-2 record. The senior class will be one that is hard to replace, but a pool of talented underclassmen shows a promise of a return to the top ranks in high school hockey.
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