Either Maine-Endwell or Norwich will absorb its first loss of 2013 when the two meet Sunday to decide the Southern Tier Athletic Conference’s boys basketball championship.
That contest is scheduled for a 2 p.m. tip-off at Binghamton University’s Events Center, following a noon game pitting Horseheads against Oneonta for the girls title.
M-E fought past Susquehanna Valley for a 52-48 semifinal victory, extending the Spartans’ streak to 10 wins. Norwich made it nine in a row with a 69-52 cruise past Elmira. Midway through that one, the Purple Tornado held a 23-point lead.
When the two met Dec. 28 in the STOP-DWI Holiday Classic, M-E was a 57-45 winner. However, the Tornado was without starting guard Michael Sutton. In fact, all three Norwich losses came with Sutton sidelined with an ankle ailment. Over the last four games, he has scored 16.8 points per game.
M-E’s most recent STAC championship came in 2004. Norwich hasn’t topped the conference since 1994.
“We played them in the STOP-DWI, in AAU, over the summer — our kids know their kids very well and we have a lot of respect for them,” said Purple Tornado coach Tom Collier. “We’re similar teams in terms of work ethic as well as the way we play.
“I’m expecting a hard-fought, physical game and a close game.”
Norwich guard Kyle Edwards is good to go after sustaining a laceration near his eye that required a visit to the ER following the semifinal. “They glued it and he’s fine,” Collier said.
Kyle Gallagher and Alec Wisniewski lead M-E scorers with 13.0 and 12.7 points per game, respectively.
Girls: Horseheads vs. Oneonta
To capture the program’s first championship since joining the conference for the 1999-2000 season, Horseheads will have to get past New York’s second-ranked Class B team. Oneonta was a STAC finalist each of the last two seasons, each time slipping past Horseheads in the semifinal.
Horseheads was a 62-41 winner over Owego in Wednesday’s semi, with sophomore Amanda Schiefen contributing a season-high 24 points. Oneonta got 18 points and five 3-point goals from Hayley Dower in a 50-34 win over Maine-Endwell. Yellowjackets guard Mariah Ruff added 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
Oneonta last claimed the STAC title in 2009.
Each squad will begin Section 4 tournament play next week as the No. 1 seed in its class — the Blue Raiders in AA and the ‘Jackets in B.