The Ithaca High boys’ basketball team rallied from an 11-point first-quarter deficit to take the lead at halftime, but Vestal converted a three-point play in the final 10 seconds for a 60-59 Southern Tier Athletic Conference victory Friday night in the season-opener for both teams.
Frank D’Esti scored a game-high 26 points for the Golden Bears, who led 26-15 in the first quarter but were outscored in the second 20-5. The game was close throughout the second half, with both teams making eight 3-pointers for the game. D’Esti had four of Vestal’s 3-pointers.
“We played good, solid defense in the first quarter, but they were making everything,” Ithaca first-year coach Jobe Zulu said.
Ithaca turned the ball over in the waning seconds, and Vestal got a lay-up and converted the free throw to take the lead for good. Ithaca had time for one final play, but could not get the game-winner.
Jordan Hackworth had 13 points to lead the Little Red, which plays its home opener Wednesday at Bliss Gym against Corning, beginning with the JV game at 5:30 p.m.
IAC Boys Basketball
* Lansing 67, Southern Cayuga 45: Ellington Hopkins scored 15 points and Ben Rourke added 13 as the Bobcats (3-0) pulled away from the Chiefs for a comfortable 22-point victory.
The ‘Cats led after one quarter, 18-11, and had a 13-point lead at the break. The lead grew to 21 after three quarters as the Bobcats hit eight 3-pointers, three by Hopkins.
Southern Cayuga (1-3) got 16 points from Vince Stebbins.
* Whitney Point 73, Trumansburg 44: Adam Tillotson a game-high 25 points to lead the host Eagles (3-0) past the Blue Raiders (0-3).
Whitney Point raced to a 26-5 lead after one quarter. Zachary Kenney paced Trumansburg with 14 points, including all four of his team’s 3-pointers.
* Odessa-Montour 60, Candor 50: Tom Peckham scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to help Odessa-Montour pull away from Candor.
Peckham finished with 21 points. Wyatt Whitmore had 17 to lead Candor.
* Spencer-Van Etten 68, Newfield 54: Elijah Weaver had 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Panthers.
Derek Carmen also had a double-double for the Panthers with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jorden Tyson chipped in seven steals for S-VE.
Alex Fuller had 15 to lead Newfield, and Kyle Bacorn-Royce chipped in 14 for the Trojans.
* Groton 62, Union Springs 43: Groton’s Tajz McKnight led all scorers with 17 points as Groton topped Union Springs.
Austin Thomas had 10 rebounds and six assists for Union Springs.
* Watkins Glen 54, Waverly 48: Josh Teeter and Jesse Teeter each scored 17 points as the Senecas (2-1) beat the Wolverines on the road.
Patrick Bronson scored 12 points to lead Waverly (1-2).
* Notre Dame 70, Newark Valley 40: Tom Agan had 16 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals as Notre Dame took control early in an Interscholastic Athletic Conference road victory against Newark Valley.
Darius Garvin added 10 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocked shots for the Crusaders (2-0). Derek Marshall contributed five assists and two steals.
* Edison 54, Tioga 29: Thomas A. Edison built a 19-point halftime lead and downed IAC foe Tioga at home.
Paulie Forte led the Spartans with 10 points. Eight players scored in the first half, helping Edison (1-2) to a 29-10 halftime advantage.
STAC Girls Basketball
* Ithaca 55, Vestal 50: Holly Mason had 21 points — including three of Ithaca’s five 3-pointers — and six rebounds as Ithaca took a 28-17 halftime lead and held on for the season-opening win.
Taylor DePalma had 15 points for the Little Red, which trailed by two after the first quarter but outscored the Golden Bears in the second, 21-9.
Jen Shelp scored 21 points for Vestal (0-1).
IAC Girls Basketball
* Newfield 58, Spencer-Van Etten 29: Eric Carney and Kiersten Sinn scored 12 points apiece as the Trojans improved to 4-0 on Friday by defeating the Panthers (2-2).
Newfield used strong first and fourth quarters to grab the South Small Division win. The host Trojans outscored S-VE in the first, 20-4, then pulled away with a 17-7 fourth quarter.
Brittany Blakeman had 12 points to lead the Panthers.
* Lansing 59, So. Cayuga 41: Brittany Mikula scored 14 points as the Bobcats (3-0) raced out to a 23-7 lead after one quarter and cruised to victory to remain undefeated.
Rachel Ponti added 10 points for the winners. Adrianne Torea led the Chiefs (1-3) with 11 points, including three 3-pointers.
* Trumansburg 37, Whitney Point 34: Anna Shelley had 18 points and 21 rebounds and Trumansburg rallied to beat Whitney Point in an IAC game.
Julia Zuckerman and Casey Rapp each scored six points in the fourth quarter, as Trumansburg overcame a six-point deficit to win.
Julia White led the Eagles with 10 points.
* Candor 42, Odessa-Montour 34: Morgan Stermer had 15 points and eight rebounds as Candor held off Odessa-Montour.
O-M held Candor’s top scorer Sierra Szwec to nine points, half her average entering the game.
* Notre Dame 63, Newark Valley 21: Sheridan Heine had 16 points and six steals as Notre Dame improved to 3-0 with an IAC road victory.
Olivia May added 11 points and nine rebounds for the Crusaders. Megan O’Dell and Jennifer Smithers had eight rebounds each, and Mara Skordynski had seven rebounds. Smithers dished out three assists.
* Tioga 54, Edison 27: Callie Patsellis scored 16 points to lead the Tigers past the Spartans.
* Waverly 59, Watkins Glen 14: Sabrina Bowman scored 14 points as Waverly improved to 3-0 by topping the Senecas.
* Syracuse 2, Ithaca 1: Collin Thompson scored on a breakaway with 6:49 to play Saturday to lift the Cougars past the previously undefeated Little Red in the championship game of the Bobby Conklin Memorial Tournament at the Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena.
Wilson Gearhart scored the lone goal, on the power play, for Ithaca (4-1), which outshot Syracuse 28-25. Syracuse (2-0-1) tied the game at 1 on Matt Thompson’s man-up goal with 51 seconds left in the second period.
Brandon Kasel made 23 saves for the Little Red, which advanced to the title game by swamping Fulton, 8-1, Friday. Michael Abdulky scored two goals and Jacob Grippin and Charlie Estill had two assists apiece to lead Ithaca, which got five saves from Kasel, five from Aaron Goldberg and nine from Dylan Riker in one period of play each.
Ithaca travels to Auburn on Thursday to take on the Maroons. Faceoff is slated for 6 p.m.
* Albany 1, Ithaca 0, OT: Maura Mulligan scored with 1:31 to play in overtime to lift Albany past the Little Red in Ithaca’s opener on Saturday at Cass Park.
Martha Crowley assisted on the game-winning goal, which came during a 4-on-3 power play. The winners outshot Ithaca, 19-9, with Little Red goalie Alex Stagliano making 18 saves.
“We were pretty even, talent-wise, although we spent a lot of time our defensive zone,” first-year coach Jessica Link said. “We’re pretty small numbers-wise, so we weren’t able to run that many players out there. Alex (Stagliano) played pretty well in net, we could have easily been down by a couple of goals early.”
Ithaca hosts Oswego at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Cass Park.
* Finger Lakes Invitational: Vestal scored 68 points to take top honors at the meet at Ithaca College’s Athletics & Events Center.
Lansing finished fifth with 30 points to top the local teams competing. Dryden was ninth, Trumansburg tied for 10th and Groton was 23rd.
Lansing’s Ben Eisenhut won the 1,000-meter run in a time of 2 minutes, 43.54 seconds, edging Vestal’s Brian Jennings by 0.65 seconds. Dryden had a pair of winners in Rachel Hutchinson (1,000 meters, 3:01.47) and Abbey Yatsko (300 meters, 43.99).