Frank Speziale Photo
CORTLAND – Repeating their performance from Tuesday night, the Unadilla Valley Storm jumped out to an early first quarter lead. That lead was tested a few times throughout the contest but the Storm grinded out the win, crowning themselves the Section IV Class C champions for the first time the Unadilla Valley program history by taking down the four-seed Tioga, 58-48.
Striking first was Dante Dye, draining a deep three from the right side wing. Andrew Jackson followed up with a tip in off an offensive rebound, making the score 5-0
On the next offensive possession, Jackson hit a three of his own. A block by Levi Rifanburg led to another Jackson basket.
With Tioga scoring on only two trips up the floor, Dye hit another three and the Storm led 13-4.
Both teams played without a foul called until 2:10 left in the first quarter.
Rifanburg and Jackson finished out the first quarter scoring for Unadilla Valley as they took a 10 point lead after the first stanza.
Jackson tallied nine in the quarter, outscoring the Tigers on his own.
The run for the Storm didn’t stop at the end of the quarter. Rifanburg added a baseline jumper and Jackson finished with strong between two defenders. At that point, the game was 21-7.
But Tioga wasn’t going down without a fight. The Tigers answered with a 10-0 run, led by their big man Connor Hutchinson getting to the rim on three straight possession.
To end the run, Jackson hit a deep three right before the half.
Unadilla Valley took a 24-27 lead into the intermission.