The Ithaca High girls basketball team will hope the third time’s a charm next Friday when it travels to Horseheads for a 7 p.m. Section 4 Class AA semifinal clash with the Blue Raiders.
Ithaca (7-11), the No. 4 seed in the four-team Class AA tournament, has faced top-seeded Horseheads twice this season and suffered lopsided losses both times — 69-38 on Dec. 17 in Ithaca, and 68-25 on Jan. 25 in Horseheads. The Blue Raiders (14-2) were unbeaten in Southern Tier Athletic Conference West Division play.
The other Class AA semi pits third-seeded Union-Endicott (8-7) at No. 2 seed Binghamton (10-6). The winners will meet for the AA title on Feb. 28 at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton.
In Class C girls action, first-round games slated for Tuesday include No. 9 Greene (11-5) at No. 8 Newfield (12-5), with the winner taking on top seed Lansing (16-2) in the quarterfinals next Friday. Other first-round games include No. 12 Moravia at No. 5 Unatego, No. 13 Edison at No. 4 Tioga, No. 11 Watkins Glen at No. 6 Harpursville, and No. 10 Bainbridge-Guilford at No. 7 Groton, with that winner traveling to defending champion Elmira Notre Dame next Friday in the quarterfinals.
Groton and Tioga met in the IAC Small School championship game on Friday at Tompkins Cortland Community College.
In Class D girls first-round games Tuesday involving IAC teams, fourth-seed Southern Cayuga hosts No. 13 Worcester, and sixth-seeded Candor hosts No. 11 Hunter-Tannersville.
On the boys side, sixth-seeded Dryden (12-5) opens Class B play on Wednesday with a first-round game at Chenango Valley (12-6), which is coming off a 64-40 defeat of Ithaca High on Thursday. The Dryden-CV winner will take on either No. 7 Windsor or second-seeded Norwich next Saturday in the quarterfinals.
In Class C, No. 9 seed Spencer-Van Etten travels to Odessa on Wednesday to face eighth-seeded O-M, No. 12 Newfield is at No. 5 Greene, fourth-seeded Moravia hosts No. 13 Oxford, 14th-seeded Delhi travels to No. 3 Elmira Notre Dame, and No. 11 Bainbridge-Guilford is at No. 6 Lansing. Top-seeded Sidney (16-1) and No. 2 seed Watkins Glen (15-2) — which captured the IAC Large School title Thursday night with a 68-66 defeat of Whitney Point — earned first-round byes.
In Class D, eighth-seeded Southern Cayuga hosts No. 9 Deposit at 7 p.m. Wednesday, with the winner traveling to top-seeded Morris (15-1) next Friday in the quarterfinal round. And 10th-seeded Marathon travels to No. 7 South Kortright, with the winner earning a trip to second-seeded Margaretville for the quarterfinals.
* Chenango Valley 44, Ithaca 39: On Thursday, Maddie Staiger scored all 10 of her points in the second half as host Chenango Valley outlasted Ithaca.
Hannah Elliot added 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors, who will play at Waverly at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a Section 4 Class B semifinal.
Senior Taylor DePalma scored 18 points to lead the Little Red.
* Chenango Valley 64, Ithaca 40: Chris Ruffo scored 26 points to lead host Chenango Valley over Ithaca.
The Warriors led by 10 at halftime and pulled away in the second half. Chenango Valley will host Waverly on February 20 at 7 p.m. in a Class B semifinal game.
Eric Lovett and Bruce Greene each scored 10 points for Ithaca, which finishes its season 3-14.