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Lori Brown | Democrat

Tri-Valley’s Jakki Pugh, left, gets ready to pass the ball to a teammate as S.S. Seward’s Julie Allen jumps up to block it during the first quarter of Monday night’s game in Grahamsville..

T-V Lady Bears defeat
S.S. Seward, 44-37

By Lori Brown
GRAHAMSVILLE — February 4, 2011 — Prior to a winter storm that forced Sullivan County school districts to close for two days, the Tri-Valley Lady Bears were able to host the S.S. Seward Lady Spartans on Monday night in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division V basketball game.
T-V took the lead for good late in the first quarter and proceeded to record a 44-37 victory.
Seward’s Gladys Loyas started the game with two successful foul shots to give her team a quick lead.
T-V (11-1, 3-0 Div. V) got on the board as Kaitlynn Greffrath landed a basket. The Lady Bears then took a 4-2 advantage as Sabrena Smith swished a shot.
Brittany Sieczek made a 3-point shot to put the Lady Spartans back in front at 5-4.
Smith answered with a basket, giving T-V a 6-5 advantage.
A basket by Lindsey Dunn put Seward ahead, 7-6. But that would be the last time the visitors held the advantage for the rest of the game.
T-V’s Jakki Pugh came alive with 3:13 left in the opening period as she hit a 3-pointer, recorded a free throw and swished two other shots to help the home team grab a 14-11 advantage going into the second quarter.
The Lady Bears started the second quarter off by dominating the play on the court. They went on a six-point run to increase their lead to 20-11 before Seward scored a basket with 3:17 remaining in the half.
The two teams exchanged shots for the rest of those minutes and T-V enjoyed a 24-17 lead at halftime.
The Lady Bears extended their advantage into double digits by outscoring the Lady Spartans 11 to 7 in the third period. Pugh started the stanza off with a foul shot and swished a jump shot. With 3:02 remaining, T-V went on a 6-0 run, helped by Pugh’s two steals.
But Seward (5-9, 0-4 Div. V) never gave up and Loyas swished a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
During the fourth quarter, Seward executed a successful full-court press resulting in some turnovers by the Lady Bears.
Greffrath scored six points in the quarter to help secure the Lady Bears’ victory. She netted four of those points on consecutive baskets after grabbing an offensive rebound.
The Lady Spartans converted 5 of 8 free throws in the final period in an effort to reduce T-V’s advantage. But Pugh ended the game with a successful foul shot as the Lady Bears registered the seven-point win.
“We played a really good game, last time we played them they beat us by 20 or more points,” Seward Coach Joe DiMattina said. “Today it was a much closer game and they only beat us by seven.
“Our defense was good and we were putting points on the board,” he added. “Gladys [Loyas] did a tremendous job driving to the basket and caused turnovers. Lindsey Dunn and Gladys Loyas hit some foul shot at the end of the game.”
Loyas led Seward with 15 points, while Dunn had eight points.
Upcoming Div. V games for Seward include hosting Eldred tonight and the Lady Bears on Monday, Feb. 14.
Pugh and Greffrath scored 14 points apiece to pace the T-V offense.
Several Lady Bears did a good job of rebounding the basketball. Erin Smith led the team with 14 rebounds, Hope Costa had nine rebounds and Mareena DiMilia and Greffrath each recorded eight boards.
Pugh, who had a team-high five assists, was only 21 points away from reaching the milestone of 1,000 career points heading into last night’s game versus Chester.
“As a young team we lost our composure at the end,” T-V Coach John Tenbus said. “It would have been better to slow it down. Seward had good pressure on us.
“We would have liked to shut down Gladys Loyas, but she played very well,” Tenbus continued. “Gladys Loyas is a leader just like Jakki Pugh.
“Seward is up and on the rise as they are improving. Joe [DiMattina] is a good coach.”
In addition to Pugh, Tenbus praised many of the other Lady Bears.
“Kaitlynn Greffrath played good tonight,” he said. “Mareena [DiMilia] hurt her ankle during [last] Friday’s game, but she played and I gave her more minutes than I was going to.”
In addition to hosting the Chester Lady Hambletonians last night, the Lady Bears are slated to play the Eldred Lady Yellowjackets twice next week, on Monday, Feb. 7 and Thursday, Feb. 10. T-V will also meet Fallsburg next Tuesday, Feb. 8.
“We have a long stretch of division games where we have to play well,” Tenbus said. “We are going to take one game at a time; that is really all we concentrate on.”

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