CORNING - Union-Endicott spoiled Corning’s chance at its first Section IV Class AA playoff berth with a 53-51 victory Wednesday in a game that included 14 lead changes.
Tied at 45 with 2:45 to go, Union-Endicott went on a 8-0 run powered by five points from Dezla Becker and a left wing triple from LJ Shabazz that gave the Tigers a 53-48 advantage in the minute stretch.
Corning fought back, stealing two inbound passes in a row followed up by 3-pointers from Alyssa Dobson and Ashlee Volpe, respectively to cut the lead to 53-51 with eight seconds left.
The Hawks stole another inbound pass and had possession with 1.2 seconds left with a chance to win, but a 3-pointer from Dobson sailed off the top of the backboard.
Despite the rally falling short, Corning head coach Matt Burch was proud of the sense of urgency from his young team.
“I think that one of the things that we’ve been asking the kids to do this year is show that sense of urgency,” said Burch. “It doesn’t have to be in desperate times all the time. They had some of those moments. I hope we can just keep it in prospective that it is one year of many for these kids.”
The freshman trio of Dobson (19 points), Volpe (17 points) and Jenna DiNardo (6 points) combined for 42 points while sophomore Smantha Lee had nine points.
Corning will have one more shot to clinch a playoff spot Monday.
“We still have a chance to do what we set out to do. We have a game against [Elmira] Notre Dame on Monday that we’re looking forward to. It’s important we keep that in prospective.”
Ashley Scott led Union-Endicott with 16 points and Jaiden Williams had 10 points. Scott and Williams combined for 20 first-half points to give the Tigers a 32-24 halftime lead.