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Lady Cardinals hold on versus Central Valley
What started out looking like a laugher turned into anything but funny for the Lady Cardinals on Friday.
After setting the tempo and running their offense for a 17-2 lead after the first quarter, Corning High's girls basketball team squandered the 15-point lead and allowed Central Valley to tie the game briefly in the fourth, before pulling away for a 48-36 victory at home.
Despite the 12-point win showing on the scoreboard, Corning coach Curt Eller knew his team had gotten away with one, and was bewildered when trying to figure out what had gone wrong.
"I just don't know," the coach repeated several times. "It was one of those games. We had no flow or rhythm. I just wish I knew because it would be a little easier."
There was no faulting the Lady Cardinals performance in the first eight minutes against the weak-shooting Falcons. Gates Fears put up six points in the first quarter, Bailey Jennings added four and the Cardinals spread the ball around enough for three other teammates to score.
Then came the second quarter, where Rachel Bentz's two points was all they could muster, while Central Valley came back with nine to make it 19-11 at the break.
"We didn't run good offensive sets in the second quarter," Eller said. We still took some decent shots but they weren't going in."
Jennings thought the Lady Cardinals just got complacent holding such a large lead.
"I think we got cold," said the junior who tied with Fears for Corning scoring honors with 11 points. "I think we got comfortable. We need to always go hard no matter what the score is."
The Falcons closed the gap to just four points in the third quarter, with Katana Martina doing most of the damage with eight points, including a three-point play.
Ashley Sandberg scored on a rebound and then hit a runner with 7:00 left to even it up at 28-28, but the cardinals later went on a seven-point run fueled by a pair of Jennings steals to grab a little breathing room at 38-32, and the Falcons were never able to get any closer then six points the rest of the way.
"We felt a little antsy," Jennings admitted when Central valley forced the fourth-quarter tie, "but we knew we had the skills to come back. We just have to play our game, not theirs."
Eller added, "We got completely out of sync in everything we did. I chewed on them at halftime, but they seemed to go backward. I give Central Valley credit - they played hard - but we have to answer that."
Rachel Silva added eight points for Corning, and led the team in rebounding with 11.
Sandberg and Martina scored 12 apiece for Central Valley.
Corning (14-8, 5-2 Northern Athletic League) played in Anderson on Tuesday, and returns home Friday to take on West Valley.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or email@example.com.