WATKINS GLEN — The Homer Central girls’ varsity basketball team opened the season with a tough 55-54 loss to Newfield at Homer High School back on Nov. 29.
The two teams met again Thursday in the first round of the Melissa B. Watson Holiday Tournament in Watkins Glen, it wasn’t as close. Newfield raced to a 20-3 lead in the first quarter on its way to a 63-44 victory and a trip to tonight’s 7 p.m. championship game against Watkins Glen. Newfield is 7-0 on the season.
Homer falls to 2-5. The Trojans will meet Clyde-Savannah from Section 5 in today’s consolation game at 5 p.m.
Katie Moravec matched her 20 point effort against Homer in November with 20 points for game high honors Thursday. Her sister, Kelly, added 19 points and Jenna Goodwin delivered 15 points for the Trojans from the Interscholastic Athletic Conference in Section 4. Goodwin scored 10 of Newfield’s 20 points in the first quarter.
Annika Roos paced the Homer offense with 15 points. Gracie Patriarco netted 10 points and Catherine Apker had eight points.
What has been haunting Homer the last few games was evident Thursday. The Trojans were just 18 for 65 from the field, including a 6 for 22 effort from 3-pt. range. Roos shot 6 for 13 on the night, including 3 for 6 from 3-pt. territory. Patriarco was 5 for 12 from the field. The rest of the team went 7 for 40.
“We have been in a serious shooting slump during our previous two games and it carried over into tonight’s first quarter,” Homer coach C.J. Kudla said. “The biggest struggle with a shooting slump, especially for a team as young as ours, isn’t really the shooting part, it’s the mental part of getting kids to realize ‘hey, just because a couple shots didn’t go in doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. Just keep shooting.’ When you have young kids they tend to overthink shooting and that mental part really hinders them from making, or even taking, the next open look.”
Homer played much better over the last three quarters. The Trojans scored 41 points while Newfield scored 43 points. In fact, Homer took the second half scoring advantage 29-27.
Katie Moravec scored 10 of Newfield’s 16 points in the second quarter while Kelly Moravec netted 10 of the 19 points scored by Newfield in the third quarter.
Patriarco, Apker and Katlyn Sovocool each pulled down seven rebounds for Homer. Sarah Sovocool had five steals with Apker recording three steals.
“After the first quarter we settled down,” Kudla said. “We got out of our own heads and hit a lot more open looks, but a poor shooting first quarter against a team like Newfield just isn’t going to cut it. Very proud of the effort tonight, I am very proud to say that I can never fault my team for that. They are warriors. The shots just didn’t fall when they needed to.”
Homer JV girls advanced to the championship game at Watkins Glen after a 41-28 victory over Newfield. Homer (4-2 overall) will meet Elmira Heights Edison in the 3 p.m.championship game. Newfield and host Watkins Glen meet in the JV consolation game at 1 p.m.
Like the Trojan varsity team, Homer got off to a slow start in the first quarter and trailed 12-4. That all changed with 17 points in the second quarter as Homer took a 21-17 halftime lead. The Junior Trojans used a 20-11 advantage in the second half to pull away.
“I was proud of how the girls were able to turn around their performance after our slow start in the first quarter,” Homer coach Cris Colasurdo said. “We struggled in the beginning by turning the ball over and not seeing the open players. The girls turned it around in the second quarter and took care of the ball, saw the open players and made better passes. They played with the intensity they are capable of and made it difficult for Newfield to get good shots off.”
Keira Miller led Homer with 13 points. Isabelle Fitzpatrick netted eight points while Lacey Francis and LeeAnna Peck each scored six points.
Jakrisha Payne scored 12 points to pace Newfield. Amanda Hathaway added nine points.