RFA center Tiana Pugh had a big game for the Lady Knights
Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo
If you’re a Central New York hoop fan, you’ve got to be happy to see the new look Tri-Valley League. It’s like old home days for high school basketball, with Notre Dame, Proctor, RFA, New Hartford, Whitesboro and Oneida renewing some ages old rivalries on the hardwood.
Tonight at Rome Free Academy, the Proctor Lady Raiders came calling for a key early season TVL girls basketball game.
It was the second time in just eight days that these teams have met, with tonight representing the last time the two teams will see each other season, unless they meet in the playoffs.
The Black Knights won that first showdown 58-56 on the Raiders home court.
Trisha Loso, Morgan Murphy and Tiana Pugh each scored in double figures for RFA and the Lady Knights held off a late Proctor rally to win this one by a score of 49-40.
Neither team was too sharp in the early going, but Rome got the best of the Lady Raiders in the opening quarter, shutting out the visitors 12-0 in the first eight minutes.
Despite missing more than their fair share of shots in the opening quarter, the Lady Knights got two points each from Pugh, Loso, Teresa Anken, Montana Sochia, Morgan Murphy and Holly Hash to take the double digit lead into the second quarter.
Proctor Head Coach Vinny Perrotta settled his club down at the break, and the Lady Raiders played more to their potential in the second period.
The Raiders were so cold from the field that it took until 4:49 to go until the half for their first shot to drop from somewhere other than the free throw line.
RFA would go to the half with a 24-12 lead, again getting points from six different players in the quarter,
At the half, Coach Perrotta told ESPN 99.1 FM that he was confident that his team would ramp up their effort in the second half, something they had been doing in every game of the young season.
Perrotta also said that he would remind his team that if the intensity didn’t pick up considerably, then this game was going to be a very long one.
RFA head coach Alissa Tuthill also spent some time with My Hometown Sports / ESPN Radio just as the third quarter got underway and said that while she was not real happy with the shooting effort of her team in the first 16 minutes, she was pleased with the defensive effort and that hopefully the shots would start to fall in the second half.
Trisha Loso scored 10 of her team high 12 points in the third quarter, none bigger than a three point bomb with 3:15 to go in the quarter, increasing RFA’s lead to 34-18. Loso’s great all around game earned her Monster Energy Drink Player of the Game honors.
Proctor’s Emerald Pett heated up in the third as well, pouring in 7 of her game high 13 points and the Lady Raiders were right back in it at 38-29 after three quarters.
Coach Perrota’s read on his team at the half was spot on, as the Lady Raiders second half assault got even more vigorous in the fourth quarter.
Morgan Murphy and Tiana Pugh combined for 8 points in the final five minutes of the contest, spurring RFA to a 12-5 run to finish the game on top by a final score of 49-40.
With the win, Rome Free Academy improves to (4-1) in the TVL, just one game behind front runner Notre Dame and (5-2) overall.
The Knights will now have a full week off to prepare for a non-league matchup next Friday against West Genesee.
Proctor, meanwhile drops to (1-4) in the TVL and (2-5) overall.
RFA 49 Proctor 40
1 2 3 4 Total
Proctor 0 12 17 11 40
RFA 12 12 14 11 49