By Lori Brown
GRAHAMSVILLE On Thursday night, the Tri-Valley Lady Bears played their first Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V game of the 2009-2010 basketball season.
T-V’s starting five players were seniors Amanda Martin, Kelly McNamara, Skylar Musa, Jakki Pugh and Kathryn Schneyer. They controlled the first quarter of the game and led the Lady Bears to a 64-28 victory over the visiting Fallsburg Lady Comets.
T-V put pressure on Fallsburg by playing aggressive man-to-man defense. The Lady Bears used their quickness to create several turnovers and generate many steals during the opening quarter. As a result, T-V held a 30-3 lead after those eight minutes of play.
The Lady Comets’ only basket of the quarter was a 3-pointer by Sheryl Pinder.
T-V (3-1, 1-0 Div. V) changed its defensive tactics during the second quarter, but continued to pressure the Lady Comets.
Pinder scored four points for Fallsburg (2-3, 0-2 Div. V) in the second period.
Pugh had a great first half as she scored 21 points to help the Lady Bears take a 46-10 advantage at halftime.
T-V outscored Fallsburg by an 8-7 margin in the third quarter. But the Lady Comets continued playing hard and outscored the Lady Bears 11-10 in the fourth quarter.
“We played very unselfishly tonight, everyone got playing time, everyone did well and everyone scored points,” T-V Coach Andy Taggart said. “Fortunately, we had a big start early on. We put Fallsburg out of any game they had. We pressured them into a lot of mistakes.”
Pugh finished with a game-high 24 points, which Taggart noted was her personal best in the last two seasons. Allyson Bowers and McNamara each scored 12 points for the the Lady Bears.
“This was a tough one, but we already knew that,” Fallsburg Coach Daniel Redmond said. “Tri-Valley is a very well-coached team.
“My girls made progress in the second half as we went 18 to 18 in the second half,” he said. “We are trying to improve little by little, it’s a work in progress.
“We are going to build off the positives,” Redmond added.
Pinder paced the Lady Comets’ offense with 14 points and teammate Shaina Swerdling recorded eight points.
Notes: Last night, the Lady Comets were scheduled to visit the Livingston Manor Lady Wildcats for a non-league game.
The Lady Bears’ next game is a non-league contest tonight at Sullivan West High School in Lake Huntington.
This game, which is slated to begin at 7 p.m., is a fundraiser game. All proceeds from the game will be donated to the Oncology Unit at Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris.
The game, which has a theme of “Pink Out,” was organized by Sullivan West Coach Pat Donovan and the Lady Bulldogs.