Quest to be the best
Meanwhile, the number-five seeded Liberty boys bested number-four O’Neill 62-53, as Eddie Byrd posted 27 to go along with 16 from Ryan Henry. Liberty advanced to play number-one Burke on February 29. Top-seeded Livingston Manor advanced to the Class D finals to face number-two John A. Coleman Catholic behind the Wildcats’ 84-47 win over Roscoe. In a rare Class C home and away two-game sequence, Tri-Valley and Fallsburg vied in quarterfinal clashes. In the day game, number four-seeded Fallsburg boys (14-5) defeated number-five seeded Tri-Valley 58-41 in the Comets’ gym. Braiden DeGraw led the way with 16 points as the Comets withstood early Tri-Valley fervor. The Comets held a slim 15-14 lead at the end of the first quarter but eventually their speed, unselfish play and deft shooting enabled them to garner the convincing win. Fallsburg travelled to number-one seeded Pine Plains on February 28, hoping to pull off what would amount to a huge upset over the defending Class C Champions. In the nightcap, Tri-Valley girls improved to 17-1 behind a 68-54 win over Fallsburg, which ended its season at 10-9. Caroline Martin and Erin Smith led the Lady Bears with 15 points apiece and despite the heroic efforts of Fallsburg senior Sheryl Pinder, who posted a game-high 29, the Lady Comets allowed a close game to get away from them in the third quarter as Tri-Valley outscored Fallsburg 22-14 to create a 13-point lead. Katlynn Greffrath’s three pointer with 3.1 seconds remaining in the third stanza would prove to be the dagger that sundered the proud Lady Comets. It was the swan song for Pinder and fellow seniors Shanice Mack, Celia Garcia, Samantha Rivera and Savonne Gillard. Tri-Valley advanced to a home semifinal versus number-three Tuxedo on February 28. The winner advanced to the finals to face John A. Coleman Catholic, which was Class D state champion a year ago. Tri-Valley is the defending Class C champion. In Class B girls play, number-five Liberty fell to number-four Onteora 61-34. Olivia Baum had 24 for the Lady Indians who ended their season at 8-11.