Story by Jon Dinan
Daniel Redmond has been the Fallsburg girls’ basketball coach for five years. In that time, his teams have played Tri-Valley nine times and lost all nine games. “I think this could be the year we finally get them,” said Redmond prior to Thursday’s game between the close rivals.
Make that 10 defeats in a row for Redmond as Tri-Valley was simply too fast and too much for his Comets in a decisive 52-25 OCIAA Division 4 victory at Fallsburg.
Tri-Valley shooting guard Sabrena Smith had the hot hand to start the game, outscoring the entire Comets team 7-6 in the first quarter. Smith was also pesky on defense, making steals and forcing several Fallsburg turnovers.
Smith was forced to leave the game due to a thumb injury at the start of the fourth quarter.
“The thumb is an old injury,” said Smith. “I got it X-rayed before and the results came back negative. It’s sore right now but I don’t expect to miss any playing time.”
Tri-Valley point guard Katlynn Greffrath was equally tenacious on both sides of the court. She tallied her fair share of steals and fast-break buckets. The Greffrath/Smith combination provided a threat in transition and from the perimeter, as each picked up a pair of three-pointers. Caroline Martin was a valuable presence in the post contributing a team-high 19 points.
Fallsburg didn’t score their first point until late in the first quarter. Kelsey Moody made a free throw to make the score 16-1 at that juncture.
The Comet’s offense revolved mainly around Nyasia Blakney who scored 20 of the team’s 25 total points. When Smith left the ballgame, the Comets exploited their size advantage and outscored the Bears 12-7 in the fourth.
It would be too little, too late as the Comets would could not come back from what was a 46-13 defecit heading into the final quarter.
“This win feels great,” said coach John Tenbus. “The league is so competitve this year so predictions are difficult. We’re just trying to take it game by game. If we keep working hard on things like defense and blocking out in practice, we can use that in combination with our speed to have a lot of success this season.”
Tri-Valley improved to 3-2, 1-1 OCIAA Division 4. Fallsburg fell to 6-2, 1-2 OCIAA Division 4.
Tri-Valley will face Minisink Valley at a tournament hosted by James I. O’Neill on December 27 at 5:30 p.m.
Fallsburg will visit Tuxedo for their next league match-up on January 11 at 7 p.m.
Sabrena Smith 9, Katlynn Greffrath 13, Mareena DiMilia 2, Caroline Martin 19, Maria TerBush 2, Keira McHugh 8
Kassie Foertsch 2, Kelsey Moody 3, Nyasia Blakney 20