Big 3rd lifts Hornell

Shawn Vargo
Bath Haverling’s Mackenzie Smith goes over Hornell’s Jocelyn Acor for a basket during Tuesday’s game.

Sparked by eight unanswered points from Jackie Lieb to close the third quarter, Hornell surged past Bath Haverling and downed the Rams 53-46 Tuesday.

Leading up to Lieb’s offensive burst, the two squads battled evenly throughout the contest, with the lead changing hands nine times through the opening 23 minutes. In the fourth quarter, Lieb and Colleen Smith hit 3-pointers for the Red Raiders, while Jallese Knighton tallied six points from the paint to close out the Rams.

“(Lieb) did a tremendous job. That’s how deep we are. We can go to the bench and get different people,” Hornell head coach Steve Sleight said. “It’s a tough matchup for (Bath) because we have two big people in the game.”

“If you look at a Hornell team, you worry more about their guards and their press and their getting turnovers and running on you,” Bath head coach Randy Abrams said. “As the game went on, they just kept pushing it inside. and they did a great job shooting.”

Early on in the game, however, both teams struggled to find any kind of offense.

Bath took a 4-0 lead in the opening three minutes, but was just 1 for 14 from the floor shooting. Through that span, Hornell was 0 for 5 shooting and committed a trio of turnovers.

A field goal and a 3-pointer by Colleen Smith sparked a 9-4 run by Hornell, with Allison Roberts netting the final four points.

Bath 8th-grader Mackenzie Smith banked in a pair of baskets to close the quarter, giving the Rams a 12-9 edge, despite going 4 for 18 shooting as a team.

Hornell opened the second quarter with back-to-back baskets by Knighton as the Red Raiders regained the lead 13-12.

Bath surged to its largest lead of the game following a 10-0 run, which was highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from Toni Townsend and two fast break layups by Jordan Yastremski – as the Rams took advantage of four Hornell turnovers.

Hornell hung tough with its post play, as Roberts and Lieb hit two baskets each to close the score to 25-22 at halftime.

“That was the turning point for me,” Abrams said. “That’s when we needed to break things open – and we didn’t. We let them come right back in it.”

The third quarter featured three lead changes. Hornell took the lead for good when Lieb nailed a hook shot with 1:26 remaining in the period. Following a steal and layup from Jocelyn Acor to open the fourth quarter, Lieb closed her scoring day with a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Lieb and Knighton had 15 points each. Colleen Smith finished with 10 points.

“In the first half, we got the shots we were looking for, they just weren’t falling. That’s just about all you can ask for, really,” Sleight said. “Yes, the first half was that way, but I think we turned it around in the second half.”

Yastremski led Bath with a 21-point, 15-rebound double-double. Mackenzie Smith finished with 12 points.

Hornell (8-2) will travel to Wayland-Cohocton on Thursday, while Bath (9-2) visits Livonia.

Bath Haverling’s Courtney Coots shoots a jumper against Hornell.