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Rob Potter | Democrat

Liberty’s Katie Giarratano (30) reaches out to take possession of the basketball while being guarded by Tuxedo’s Stephanie Purdy (5) during Tuesday night’s OCIAA Division IV game.

Defense carries Tuxedo to a hoops win against the Liberty Lady Indians

By Rob Potter
LIBERTY — January 7, 2011 — In the first two minutes of Tuesday night’s Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV basketball game, the host Liberty Lady Indians grabbed a 4-0 lead over the Tuxedo Lady Tornadoes.
Unfortunately for the Lady Indians, their lead only lasted for another minute. Tuxedo (5-2, 2-0 Div. IV) responded with a 10-0 scoring run to take a 10-4 advantage with 4:30 remaining in the first quarter.
The Lady Tornadoes then steadily increased their lead by using an aggressive press defense to create scoring opportunities on the other end of the court.
When the game ended, Tuxedo had earned a 63-26 win.
Liberty (0-5, 0-3 Div. IV) got off to a good start as Olivia Baum made a layup following a Tuxedo turnover just 16 seconds into the contest. Then at the 6:50 mark, Angie Ramos made a jump shot to give the Lady Indians their 4-0 advantage.
With 5:48 on the clock, Stephanie Purdy banked a shot off the backboard for the Lady Tornadoes’ first basket of the game. About 40 seconds later, Mae Comerford scored to tie the game at 4-4.
On the Lady Indians’ ensuing inbounds pass, Tuxedo’s Alex Nouri stole the ball and scored a basket to give her team a 6-4 lead with exactly 5 minutes left in the opening quarter.
Less than a minute into the second period, Katie-Leigh Sovak swished a 3-point shot to give the Lady Tornadoes a double-digit advantage at 17-6.
The swarming Tuxedo defense allowed the Lady Indians to score only one point in the quarter. Junior guard Selena Vargas scored that point for Liberty when she made a free throw with 1:09 remaining until halftime.
In the third period, the Lady Indians were able to get their their offense going and nearly outscored their opponent. The Lady Tornadoes scored 15 points in those eight minutes, while the Lady Indians netted 14 points.
But in the fourth quarter, Tuxedo outscored the home team by a 15-5 margin.
Three Lady Tornadoes scored in double figures to lead their team to victory. Sovak netted a game-high 17 points, Purdy had 16 points and Comerford finished with 13 points.
“We came out a little flat,” Tuxedo Coach Dave Powers said. “But once we made that run to take the lead, we were fine.
“Our passing was great tonight, we were able to find the open player for good shots,” he added. “They gave us a little trouble with a 1-3-1 zone defense, but we were able to get scoring chances. We also moved the ball around well against their half-court defense.”
Nikole Snyder paced the Liberty offense with eight points. Paige LaPolt and Vargas added six points and five points, respectively, for the Lady Indians.
“We need to learn how to break the press while staying under control,” Liberty Coach Beth Quatrale said. “Once we can do that, positive things will happen.”
Quatrale praised her players for their effort throughout the game.
“Once we were able to run our plays, we were OK,” she said. “My players hustled and they played with heart. They did everything I asked them to do.”

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