CORNING - Corning erased a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit and Justin Rodriguez netted a game-winning put back to lift Corning over Johnson City 60-58 Friday in a Southern Tier Athletic Conference boys basketball matchup.
"It's something that we've been trying to preach - never quitting - and our players have bought in to it," Corning head coach Bill Hopkins said. "We've been playing good defense, but tonight we scored and we were able to mount a comeback. I was proud of our kids and the way they played."
After a tightly contested first half that saw the Hawks and Wildcats tied at 23, Johnson City scored 21 points in the third quarter for a 44-36 lead.
The Wildcats upped their lead to as many as 13 points in the final frame, but Corning stormed back on the strength of 12 points from Jordan Haggard and four points from Aidan Chamberlin to cut in to the deficit to 58-56.
After a Johnson City miss Corning's Lucas Rossington came up down with a rebound, was fouled, and netted two clutch free-throws to tie the contest at 58.
Jordan Haggard pulled down the rebound after a Johnson City and fired the ball up court. Aidan Chamberlin was off on a layup with six second left, but Rodriguez had the putback timed perfectly as time expired.
Corning (2-6) earns its second win of the season and gives Johnson City (7-2) only its second loss in nine games.
Hopkins applauded the defense of Chamberlin as he held Johnson City's leading scorer Xavier Hill to just five points including only one made field goal in the second half.
"Aidan Chamberlin was unconsious defensively," said Hopkins. "He gets a lot of credit tonight on Hill. Adian is a tenacious defender."
Haggard had 27 points to lead Corning, Chamberlin added 13 points and Lucas Rossington chipped in 11 points.
Keith Harris led the Wildcats with 28 points.
The Hawks will be back in action as they host Horseheads Monday at 7:45 p.m