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FROM PRESS ROW: ABRAMS, BURCH NAMED ATHLETES OF THE WEEK, UNSUNG HEROES, BREAKOUT STARS AND NEW 6 TO WATCH NAMED (2021-12-27)

Last week saw some of the biggest performances of the year, despite the shortened week because of Christmas.

Let’s look at this week’s athletes of the week, unsung heroes of the week and breakout stars of the week. And, new this week we will start including a half dozen players to watch. These are players who haven’t won any of the awards yet this season, but you should definitely keep an eye on as we go into the coming weeks of the season.

As a reminder, an athlete is only eligible to win an award once during the regular season. They are then eligible again once the postseason begins. This is important to note as Ryan McNutt of Corning had a day at Union-Endicott in which he broke four pool records. However, he’s already been athlete of the week this winter.

ATHLETES OF WEEK
JALEA ABRAMS, ELMIRA GIRLS’ BASKETBALL:

In one of the best games you will see this year, Abrams had a career-game to lead Elmira past Norwich in overtime in a battle of state ranked teams.

Abrams had a game for the ages, netting 40 points and seven three pointers in the victory.

The 40 points was one off the school record. The seven threes were two off the school record.

Both school records are held by Abrams’ sister Zaria Thomas.

LANDEN BURCH, CORNING BOYS’ BASKETBALL:
The Corning senior was absolutely dominant in a comeback win over Johnson City.

Burch had 22 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter to help the Hawks rally for the win. He also added eight boards and two assists on the day.

In a win over Bath earlier in the week Burch had 11 points and seven boards for the Hawks.

UNSUNG HEROES OF THE WEEK
MADDY GILL, CORNING, T&F:

Gill is getting familiar with this unsung hero role.

She earned this honor in soccer season as she was a steady influence on the STAC Champion Hawks.

Now, she is getting this honor again after putting up a big day for the Hawks track and field team.

It’s hard to gain a ton of recognition when your team has so many athletes, and they dominated the meet, but Gill was dominant for Corning.

The senior won the 55 hurdles in 10.34, the high jump at 4-feet, 8-inches and the triple jump at 32-feet, 8-inches.

STEVEN GOUGH ND, BOYS’ BASKETBALL:

It can be easy to fly under the radar when your team doesn’t get a win.

But, Gough has done everything he can to help lead the Crusaders this season.

Gough has been one of the best players in the region this year, and he had one of his most dominant games in a loss to Dryden.

Against Dryden he netted 25 points and had four threes. He scored nine points in the fourth quarter to give the Crusaders a chance to try and come back.

BREAKOUT STARS
JACKSON CASEY, CORNING, BOYS’ BASKETBALL:

There hasn’t been a bigger moment this year than the shot Casey hit against Johnson City.

Down by three as the clock ticked to zero the junior hit a game-tying three to force overtime, and then Corning went on to win in overtime.

Casey flirted with a triple double in the win, with nine points, eight boars and seven assists. That’s after he had six assists and three steals in a win over Bath earlier in the week.

SOPHIA BONNELL, HORSEHEADS, GIRLS’ BASKETBALL:
The sophomore had the game of her life to help Horseheads pick up a win over Waverly.

Bonnell had a career-high 24 points for the Blue Raiders, hitting a career-high eight threes in the game.

Behind Bonnell the Blue Raiders hit 15 three pointers in the game.

SIX TO WATCH
LAWSON BIGELOW, NOTRE DAME, GIRLS’ BASKETBALL:

Early in the season it was Shannon Maloney taking most of the scoring role for the Notre Dame girls.

In a win over Dryden, Maloney often played the role of playmaker, and that led to Bigelow having a career day for the Crusaders.

Bigelow had 25 a career-high 25 points in the Notre Dame victory.

LAILA BURCHARD, ELMIRA, GIRLS’ BASKETBALL:
She started the year on JV, but with some injuries she got called up for the game against Norwich.

Her first varsity points couldn’t have been bigger, as she hit two huge free throws in the second overtime period to help Elmira beat Norwich.

She has been one of the stars of the JV team and don’t be shocked to see her make a big impact for the Express this year, and into the future.

ALEX DAUGHERTY, HORSEHEADS, BOYS’ BASKETBALL:

Had 12 points, with two threes in a win over Maine-Endwell. He had nine points in the second quarter as the Blue Raiders stayed unbeaten.

Earlier this year he had 19 points, with some big free throws late, as Horseheads beat Eugenio at the Bishop Kearney Holiday Tournament.

With Amauri and Jeremy Truax leading the team in scoring this year he hasn’t gotten all the headlines, but Daugherty has been a steady force all year for the Blue Raiders.

LIAM LEVANTOVICH, HORSEHEADS, WRESTLING
He had a pair of big wins for the Blue Raiders last week.

In a Horseheads win over Binghamton he picked up an 11-6 win. It was the closest win by any Horseheads wrestler in the match.

Against Maine-Endwell he had a pin for the Blue Raiders.

HANNAH NICHOLS, CORNING, GIRLS’ BASKETBALL:
She had a season-high 15 points in the Hawks win over Prattsburg.

The Hawks have had balanced scoring all season long and Nichols is emerging as another big scoring threat for Corning.

LEXI MOORE, EDISON, GIRLS’ BASKETBALL:
With the team dealing with some injuries, the Spartans got a double-digit scoring performance from Moore in a win over Tioga.

Moore had 13 points to help Edison pick up their third straight victory.

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