By Rob Potter
FALLSBURG February 7, 2006 The Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V girls basketball game played on Thursday night at Fallsburg Central School was almost even after the first eight minutes of play.
After six lead changes, the visiting Tri-Valley Lady Bears held a slim 12-11 lead over the Fallsburg Lady Comets at the end of the opening quarter.
In the second period, T-V (4-13, 2-3 Division V) gradually extended its lead and held a 20-13 advantage at halftime.
The Lady Bears outscored Fallsburg (1-11, 0-5 Div. V) 22 to 8 in the third quarter and went on to record a 53-26 victory.
Miranda Benevides and Cynthia Seibert paced the T-V offense. Benevides, a junior, scored a career-best 15 points and Seibert, a senior, netted a career-high 12 points.
Senior forward Heather McArthur added seven points for the Lady Bears.
The Lady Comets were led by forward Crystal Pettway, who recorded nine points.
T-V used tough defense to create steals and cause Fallsburg turnovers during the key third quarter.
With 6:41 remaining in the stanza, Pettway made a 3-point shot to bring Fallsburg to within five points at 22-17.
But with 5:58 remaining in the quarter, Benevides scored a layup on a fast break and was fouled in the process. She then swished her free throw to give the Lady Bears a 25-17 advantage.
Ten seconds later, Benevides scored again to give T-V its first double-digit lead at 27-17.
T-V extended its advantage to 24 points late in the period.
We had a tough game against Livingston Manor on Monday night and we talked about it at practice on Tuesday, said T-V Coach Karen Furman, referring to her teams lopsided loss to the host Lady Wildcats in a non-league contest three nights earlier. The past two days, these girls have been working very hard.
Our passes have been a lot better and our defense has improved, Furman added.
Furman noted that Benevides had her best game of the season. In addition to her game-high 15 points, Benevides made five steals.
They played really well tonight, Fallsburg Coach Les Hyde said of the Lady Bears. It was their night.