Fresh off the first victory of his varsity coaching career on Wednesday, Jobe Zulu will look to notch his second when his Ithaca boys basketball team welcomes Union-Endicott to Bliss Gymnasium on Friday. The junior varsity game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and will be followed by the varsity contest.
The Little Red rode a spirited effort from its bench to a 49-44 win over Corning (0-2) in its home opener Wednesday, with eight different players scoring. Ithaca led 18-16 at halftime and 36-31 going into the fourth quarter, and got a team-high eight points apiece from Eric Lovett, Clifford Jordan Hackworth and Solomon Magee, all of whom came off the bench for the Little Red (1-1).
“It was really just about our resilience,” said Zulu. “I thought our defense was very, very good and I was definitely happy with the way that my bench stepped up. We’ve had a different scorer in each one of our games so far and that makes it very difficult for teams to key in on one guy.”
Lovett and Magee each knocked in a pair of 3-pointers — including the go-ahead trey by Magee with just over a minute to play — and starting point guard Bruce Green hit three free throws in the final 50 seconds to seal the win.
Nine players recorded at least a point in Ithaca’s 60-59 season-opening loss at Vestal last Friday.
“My gameplan involves an eight-to-10 man rotation, so you’ll see me go to my bench just about every game,” Zulu said.
Union-Endicott is coming off a 76-57 home victory over Horseheads on Wednesday.
* Girls: Faye Young Miller’s Little Red will play its second road game in four days when it travels to Union-Endicott at 5:30 p.m. on Friday looking for a 4-1 start.
Ithaca (3-1) is coming off a 56-35 victory at Corning on Tuesday that saw four Little Red players score at least eight points and the Hawks held to four first-quarter points.
Back after missing all of last season to a torn ACL, senior point guard Taylor DePalma is averaging 17.6 in her last three games while classmate Holly Mason has scored 10 and 21 points in her previous two outings.
Union-Endicott (1-1) is coming off a 66-42 loss at Horseheads on Tuesday.
Division leaders Notre Dame, Moravia and Odessa-Montour will each put 4-0 records on the line when the IAC boys basketball schedule hits its one-third mark with nine contests on Friday.
The Crusaders play host to Waverly (1-3), while the Blue Devils travel to Trumansburg (0-5) and the Indians visit Newfield (2-2).
In the Large North division, Whitney Point (3-1) will look to keep pace with Lansing when it hosts Marathon (1-2), while Spencer-Van Etten (3-1) will attempt to stay within striking distance of O-M in the Small South division when it takes the court at Edison (1-2).
Other games include Southern Cayuga (1-4) at Dryden (1-2), Newark Valley (1-2) at Watkins Glen (2-1) and Candor (1-3) at Tioga (0-4). Groton has a bye.
* Girls: Lansing (4-0) will look to keep a four-game winning streak alive when it travels to struggling Union Springs (1-3), while Newfield (4-0) will attempt to add to its lead in the South Small division when it visits Odessa-Montour (0-4).
Watkins Glen (1-2) plays host to Newark Valley (0-4) in a meeting of teams looking to turn their fortunes around, while Candor hosts Tioga in a clash of 2-2 clubs.
Dryden will look to make it two in a row after starting the season 0-3 when it travels to Southern Cayuga (2-3), while Marathon (1-4) welcomes Whitney Point (1-2). Groton has a bye.