We Are The Champions

Reported By Gabriella Stalter

On Saturday February 2nd, the Girls Junior Varsity Basketball Team faced Union Endicott Girls Junior Varsity Basketball Team for the West STAC Championship. After four exhausting quarters, the Corning team defeated Union Endicott with a score of 68-35. Although very excited for their victory, this is not their final game together. Now that the girls are reining STAC West Champions, it is time for them to take on the STAC East Champions, for the STAC semi-finals.

The STAC East Championship game was held on Friday, February 8th as Norwich battled against Oneonta. Coming out with a victory, Norwich and Corning Junior Varsity teams prepared to face off on Tuesday February 12th. However, due to dangerous weather conditions, the semi-finals game was postponed to Wednesday, February 13th.

On February 13th, at 6:00 p.m., the tip off of the semi-finals game was initiated with Corning on the home bench and Norwich on the away. During most of the first half, Norwich held a small lead over Corning. However, as half time approached, Corning girls were able to come back and regain their lead. As the teams rested and regrouped in the locker rooms, the scoreboard read Home (Corning) 26, Away (Norwich)  20.

As the game progressed, so did the competitiveness and determination of these two teams. With players flying every which way for loose balls, layups and steals, the score at the end of the third quarter was 32-32.

Freshman Alexis Lapierre stated how she, along with the team, were “nervous going into the fourth quarter because their games are not usually this close and this important”. In addition she stated how the team was “hyped up, giving them motivation and energy to go into the fourth quarter” because they “wanted to win more than ever”.

With only eight minutes left to play, everything was on the line for both teams. Corning’s Freshman Alexis Lapierre was a game changer when she came out with the most points in the entire fourth quarter. In addition, Corning’s eighth grader Jenna Dinardo left everything on the court when she fouled out with 3 minutes and 55 seconds left to go in the game.

With only 18 seconds left on the clock, Norwich stole the ball from Corning during an inbound play. However, unable to finish, Corning snatches the ball back on a defensive rebound. As time is running out, Norwich decides to foul eighth grader Ashley Volpe. The score is now 50 to 48, Corning in the lead, with 10.2 seconds left on the clock and Ashley Volpe at the foul line.

Making the first shot, Volpe brings the game to a three point lead, but then missing the second shot, Norwich rebounds the ball. Just then, as Norwich tries to pass the ball up the court, Volpe swooshes in out of nowhere and steals the ball. She then finds herself back at the foul line. With just 6.7 seconds left on the clock, Ashley Volpe sinks both of her foul shots, finishing the game at 53-48.

Although Norwich battled until the final buzzer, they just came up short. The Corning Girls Junior Varsity Basketball Team will now take on the Maine Endwell Girls Junior Varsity team on Thursday, February 14th for the ultimate showdown. The game will be held on Maine Endwell’s home court at 5:30 p.m. for the complete Division Championship. Winner of this game will become the champions of the entire Junior Varsity level and take home the trophy.

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