One streak continued, another ended and two new champions were crowned Monday as the 15th annual Josh Palmer Fund Elmira Holiday Inn Tournament came to a close at Southside High School.
In one of the more memorable girls finals in tournament history, Horseheads beat Penfield, 63-58, for its sixth straight Palmer title. Penfield is ranked fifth in the state in Class AA and crushed the Blue Raiders last season.
“It is very rewarding for us and I know it is for the girls,” Horseheads coach Andy Scott said. “It was sort of electric in here. It reminded me of a sectional or regional atmosphere. So it’s good. If the kids ever get the chance to go into that opportunity, they’ll be used to it.”
Elmira Notre Dame was denied in its bid for a fourth consecutive tournament title in the nightcap, losing to Section 5’s Newark, 60-39, in the Boys Regional Division 2 final.
Elsewhere, Don Bosco Prep, of Ramsey, N.J., won the title in the eight-team National Division in its first appearance at the tournament, beating 2005 champion Jamestown, 57-32.
Susquehanna Valley joined the ranks of the first-time champions when it beat Mansfield, 79-74, for the Boys Regional Division 1 championship after sending the game to overtime with a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.
In the National Division consolation games, Manhasset St. Mary’s beat Horseheads, 63-56, for third place; Glasgow (Del.) beat Bishop Kearney for fifth place, 41-37; and South Shore downed Elmira, 70-47, for seventh place.
David Holleran and Sabrina Brown received the Stephanie Schrock Courage Award on Monday night during halftime of the National Division final. Both are battling cancer.
Newark 60, Notre Dame 39: Newark’s full-court defensive pressure led to several turnovers and layups in a win over Notre Dame in the Regional Division 2 final.
Three straight turnovers keyed an 8-0 run for the Reds in the third quarter that gave them a 30-21 lead after Notre Dame had cut a five-point halftime deficit to one. A 15-0 run early in the fourth quarter gave the Reds a 57-33 lead.
Zeron Brutcher led Newark (6-2) with 14 points and spearheaded the Reds’ defensive effort.
Tom Agan topped Notre Dame (6-1) with 13 points. Darius Garvin, the Crusaders’ top scorer, was held to seven points.
Don Bosco 57, Jamestown 32: A stifling defensive effort carried the Ironmen to the National Division title against 2005 Josh Palmer tournament champion Jamestown.
Don Bosco held Jamestown to 15 points in the first half and led 30-15 at the break.
Jack Ely had 13 points, six rebounds and three steals for Don Bosco (6-0) and was named MVP for the division. Paul Jorgensen led Don Bosco with 15 points.
Stephen Carlson had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Jamestown (3-3).
Horseheads 63, Penfield 58: Senior guard Ellie Leszyk scored 13 of her 25 points in the fourth quarter as the 28th-ranked Blue Raiders overcame an eight-point deficit late in the third quarter to beat Penfield (5-2) in the girls final of the Josh Palmer Fund Elmira Holiday Inn Classic at Elmira Southside.
Leszyk was out with an injury last season when Penfield dominated Horseheads, 62-33, after building a 26-5 lead after the first quarter.
“It just feels great because last year they blew us out in the first quarter at Onondaga Community (College),” said Leszyk, who was named tournament MVP. “They’re just an all-around good team and they have good coaching. We just knew to compete and go past sectionals and on to regionals, on to states, we had to get a win.”
Junior forward Amanda Schiefen gave Horseheads (6-1) the lead for good when she made a move to her left in the paint and hit a short jumper as she was fouled. Her free throw gave Horseheads a 57-56 lead with 54 seconds remaining.
Leszyk added two free throws with 23 seconds remaining and Schiefen followed a missed Penfield 3-pointer with two more free throws with nine seconds left, making it a 61-56 game.
“They’re prime-time kids,” Scott said of Schiefen and Leszyk. “Amanda Schiefen is one of the best forwards I’ve ever coached, maybe the best probably. And Ellie today was heads above everybody. She just looked fantastic out there. I was really proud of her. It means a lot to her for a lot of different reasons. It means a lot to a lot of the girls because they have a little rivalry with Penfield because they play AAU with these girls.”
Leszyk hit nine of 15 shots from the field, including four of six from 3-point range. She also had five steals.
Jen LaViola added 15 points, with nine coming in the third quarter to help the Raiders remain within striking distance. Schiefen had 14 points and nine rebounds.
“Everybody was just on,” Leszyk said. “My shooting was on, Amanda was on in the post. We had two great defensive and offensive wings. And Erin Strollo, she just runs around on defense and she really helped in keeping Margot’s points down.”
Margot being senior forward Margot Hetzke, Penfield’s all-time scoring leader with more than 1,500 points and a future player at Division I Siena College. Hetzke had 25 points on 10-for-21 shooting and grabbed 15 rebounds.
Susquehanna Valley 79, Mansfield 74 (OT): David Matthews hit a 3-pointer just before time expired in regulation and the Sabers went on an 11-2 run to start overtime before holding on for a win in the Region 1 final.
Matthews’ shot came after Susquehanna Valley (5-1) grabbed two offensive rebounds following missed 3-point tries.
Jason Fiorentino led Susquehanna Valley with 22 points. Shaynne Rodriguez, named MVP for the division, had 21 points and 10 rebounds. Matthews added 20 points.
Bo Burleigh had 22 points and 15 rebounds for Mansfield (7-3).
St. Mary’s 63, Horseheads 56: The Blue Raiders were within three with less than three minutes remaining before falling to the Gaels in the National Division third-place game.
Patrick Jackson had 22 points for St. Mary’s (5-2), giving him 65 in three tournament games. Christopher Coalman added 20 points and six rebounds.
Foster Clark led Horseheads (4-3) with 16 points, going 10-for-11 at the foul line. Jacob Stermer nailed five 3-pointers and scored 15 points.
Glasgow 41, Bishop Kearney 37: Kyle Coleman capped his big tournament by scoring 23 points as Glasgow (2-5) downed Bishop Kearney (3-4) for fifth place in the National Division.
Coleman average 25 points in three tournament games.
Branden Kellam had 11 points for Bishop Kearney, which shot just 33 percent (15-for-45) from the field.
South Shore 70, Elmira 47: Cori Johnson scored 23 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked four shots as South Shore sent the Express to its third straight tournament loss with a win in the National Division seventh-place game.
South Shore (8-5) led 38-23 at halftime.
Tyler Moffe and Trevon Hamilton scored 10 points apiece for Elmira (4-3).