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Local Sports

March 4, 2013

Unatego girls no match for Hornets

BINGHAMTON _ Some days, nothing goes right.

In the case of Unatego’s girls basketball team, the best illustration of its struggles Saturday came during the opening moments of the second half of a 60-36 loss to Harpursville in the Section Four Class C final at the Broome County Arena.

The Spartans had little success in their man-to-man defense in the opening half against Midstate Athletic Conference rival Harpursville. So they switched to zone after halftime and Miranda Drummond and Shelby Medovich hit three-pointers 1 minute, 40 seconds apart early in the third quarter.

So much for the zone.

It became clear after those shots fell that Unatego’s highly successful season was about to become a memory.

“Harpursville has a lot of experience on this floor,” Spartans coach Greg Bonczkowski said of a Hornets his squad beat twice during the season by scores of 51-44 (Jan. 11) and 54-50 (Feb. 7). “This is the first time any of my girls had stepped foot on this floor. That’s huge in a game like this and they got off to a fast start.”

The sixth-seeded Hornets (18-3) earned their second sectional title in three years. They’ve also played in the Class C final for the third straight season. Conversely, the last time fifth-seeded Unatego (17-5) made it to a sectional final, Ronald Reagan was starting his second term in office. The year was 1985.

“I think it says a lot about this team that it was able to get to this game for the first time in 28 years,” Bonczkowski said. “For the core group, the five seniors (Casey Manzanero, Sarah Mannina, Robin Foster, Kayla Talbot and Michaela Reynolds), it was a tremendous season.”

Everything you needed to know about Saturday’s final happened in the first three minutes.

From the outset, every time Harpursville grabbed a defensive rebound coach Kurt Ehrensbeck repeatedly yelled, “Push it!”

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