Elmira clinched the Southern Tier Athletic Conference West Division boys basketball championship and ensured itself a berth in the Section 4 Class AA playoffs with a 66-40 victory over Ithaca on Friday night at Southside High.
On Senior Night in Elmira, the Express (7-8, 7-6 STAC) grabbed control from the opening tap, leading 15-1 with 27 seconds left in the first quarter.
All four of Elmira’s seniors — Tyler Ladd, Kaseem Lewis, Kevin Morgan and Alex Varkatzas — scored on Friday, and Morgan’s 3-pointer led to an early end to the contest when an angry Ithaca coach, Jobe Zulu, charged the Elmira bench with 9.3 seconds left. The officials restrained the first-year mentor, then called an end to the game.
Express coach John Miller cleared his bench with more than five minutes left to play, giving reserves Lewis, Varkatzas and Morgan a chance see action. Morgan’s late 3-pointer resulted in a loud celebration from the Express bench, which preceded Zulu’s outburst.
Four Elmirans hit double figures in scoring, led by Ladd and Alex Bellardini with 14 apiece. Zach Nierstedt added 11 points and Tyler Moffe 10.
Bruce Greene paced the Little Red with 11 points while Miles Herman added six.
The Little Red (2-11) wraps up the regular season at home Friday against Maine-Endwell, beginning with the JV game at 5:30 p.m.
* Lansing 64, Trumansburg 40: Ellington Hopkins scored 16 points as the 16th-ranked Bobcats (12-2, 11-2 IAC) eased past the winless Blue Raiders. Cameron Ludder had 11 points for T-burg (0-15).
* Whitney Point 64, Dryden 57: Adam Tillotson scored a game-high 22 points as the Eagles (13-2, 12-2 IAC) snapped the Purple Lions’ five-game win streak. Bryan Norman led four players in double-figures with 13 points for Dryden (10-5, 10-4).
* Moravia 67, Groton 20: The Blue Devils (12-2), ranked 19th in Class C, outscored the visiting Indians 25-3 in the first quarter and cruised to the Small North Division victory. Dylan Powers led the winners with 20 points; Tajz McKnight had nine for Groton (4-10).
* Newfield 67, Edison 37: Zach Mosher had 27 points for host Newfield (8-7 overall, 8-4 IAC), which eliminated Edison from Section 4 playoff contention with an IAC victory. Skyler Wilkens led the Spartans (4-11) with 10 points.
* O-M 82, Tioga 35: Morgan Shutter scored 21 points and Ryan Gardner added 20 as Odessa-Montour clinched at least a tie for the IAC South Small School title. The Indians (12-3, 10-2 IAC) have a two-game lead over Newfield with two games to play.
Dan Graves had 11 points for Tioga, which was outscored 28-7 in the third quarter after trailing 41-22 at the half.
* S-VE 52, Candor 46: Derek Carman scored 21 points to lead Spencer-Van Etten to the road win.
* Waverly 65, Newark Valley 56: Patrick Bronson scored 21 points and Dylan Perry added 16 as Waverly (11-4) won at home.
* Ithaca 70, Elmira 37: Senior Taylor DePalma scored 19 points, including three 3-pointers, to lead the Little Red (7-8) to a STAC home victory over the winless Express.
Maddie Palmer and Holly Mason added 13 points apiece for Ithaca, which led 27-4 after first quarter and outscored Elmira in the second half, 37-12.
McKenna Backer had 10 points for Elmira (0-14).
* Lansing 56, Trumansburg 26: Audrey Eastman scored 18 points to lead the Bobcats (14-1, 14-0 IAC) past the Blue Raiders.
Liz Goenyea and Maura McCartney chipped in eight points apiece for the Bobcats, who pulled away in the second half after leading by only six points at intermission. Anna Shelley had seven points for T-burg (4-10).
* So. Cayuga 46, Union Springs 33: Jessie Kopp led a balanced Chiefs attack with 10 points as Southern Cayuga (8-8) gradually pulled away from the Wolves (4-11) in a Cayuga County rivalry game.