STAC GIRLS' BASKETBALL: ELMIRA RUNS PAST CORNING IN BATTLE OF STATE-RANKED TEAMS (24 PHOTOS)
(2022-01-12)By Brian FeesSouthern Tier Sports Report
ELMIRA — The last time the Elmira girls took the court they fell behind early and never were able to recover in a loss to Horseheads.
On Tuesday the Express faced another tough test in a battle of state-ranked teams against Corning. This time there was no slow start and the Express picked up a 75-49 win.
Both teams are now 7-2 on the year. Corning entered the game ranked 22nd in the state, while Elmira was 28th in the state. Elmira was 11th the previous week, but the loss to Horseheads dropped them down.
For the Elmira players they knew that they had to bounce back from last week’s game.
“It feels good,” Jalea Abrams said of the win. “We worked on little things we didn’t (do) against Horseheads and that’s what helped us get the win.”
For the players there was a lot of thought about what happened the last time they played.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I just took my anger out against Corning,” Abrams said.
The players fed off what happened last week and tried to use that to fire them up this week.
“It was great, it felt amazing to just have all of our energy from that loss and bring it into this game,” Megan Fedor said.
“It felt great to be up and not have to fight back the whole game.”
Along with getting off to a fast start, the Express also were able to get out and run more this game then they did last game.
“That as the number one priority we talked about in practice after the game, what we do as a program is we run and we lost a lot of opportunities to run against Horseheads,” Elmira coach A’Don Allen said. “We wanted to make a concerted effort to do that today. We also wanted to make sure we needed to bounce back today against Corning and we got it.
“I’m pretty excited, we’ve got a week off. We are going to get healthy, we are going to get some players back, the important thing for us is we still haven’t played our best basketball yet.”
The Express should have Ellie Clearwater returning soon. The shooting guard will help the Express have their full roster for the first time this season.
Corning started strong against Elmira, leading 13-7, but Elmira went on an 11-0 run to lead 18-13 and that’s the last time Corning would have the lead.
Corning did come back to tie the game in the second quarter. After Elmira led 21-17 after one quarter the Hawks scored four straight to start the second quarter.
Amarionah Dixon responded with a basket for Elmira and Amiah Driscoll hit a three and Elmira led 26-21 and the Express never trailed again.
Both Dixon and Driscoll joined Fedor and Abrams in double figures and Allen knows that’s a big key for the team.
“You look at Amiah Driscoll, she played easily her best game of the year today,” Allen said. “She scored, she played really well on defense. Amarionah, she just got over being sick, so I think she was in a little bit of a funk last game, but today she looked like what Amarionah is, she’s long, she’s athletic, she gets rebounds, she does so many things and when you get those contributions. Last time Gia (Jalea Abrams) had 16, Megan had 15 and then the next scorer was six. Tonight Megan’s got 24, Gia’s got 14, Amarionah has got 11, Amiah has got 10, Lauren Miller has seven, Mia (Khamiah Inman) has six. When we do that and we have that balance it’s so much more effective.”
Abrams and Fedor know how important it was for Dixon to step up with a double-double, 11 points and 11 boards.
“It helped a lot, especially since she (Dixon) was coming back, she has really stepped up,” Abrams said.
“It was a great effort for her coming off the bench and giving us great energy,” Fedor said.
Fedor put the Express up 10 points in the second quarter with a basket inside and Elmira led 37-24 at the half.
Abrams started the second half with a three and Elmira went up 40-26.
Corning got four quick points to get within 40-30 but that’s as close as they’d get the rest of the game.
Right after the Hawks got within 10, Dixon scored and Fedor hit two free throws and Elmira was up 14. Driscoll then scored again as the Express went up 16 and they never looked back.
Fedor had a dominant game inside with 24 points and 12 boards, along with four steals, four blocked shots and four assists.
Against Horseheads the Elmira star was in foul trouble for much of the first half with three fouls in the opening half, but this game she was a force throughout.
“It’s hard being in foul trouble, you always have to be careful and play as hard as you can,” Fedor said.
Allen knows that Fedor is a tough matchup and she was nearly unstoppable on Tuesday.
“She’s a walking mismatch,” Allen said. “There are not a lot of six-foot girls who can do what she can do. She can shoot, she can handle, she can finish with both hands. She’s athletic, she’s just scratching the surface about how good she is. Tonight, she really stepped up to the challenge. She really, really played well.
“Going forward if she continues to play like that we get Gia (Jalea) doing what Gia does and then the happier thing for me tonight is players like Amarionah Dixon and Amiah Driscoll, coming off the bench and giving us a big boost tonight and that is when we are good. When we have four girls in double figures we are a very difficult team to beat.”
Abrams had 14 points, five assists and four steals in the game and Dixon had 11 points and 11 boards, while Driscoll finished with 10 points.
Miller had seven points and fInman had six points, while Ja’Nyah Harris finished with three points.
Abrams, Dixon and Driscoll all had three-pointers for Elmira in the game.
Alyssa Dobson had 17 points for Corning and Lexi Lapierre finished with 11 points.
Jenna DiNardo and Kelli Zoerb had seven points each for the Hawks and Kelsey Booker had four points, while Jayda Felker finished with three points.
Dobson had eight points in the opening quarter to help Corning get out to the early lead and she added nine points in the third quarter.
IN TOP PHOTO: Elmira’s Megan Fedor. . . PHOTOS BY BRIAN FEES
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