By the time it was over, it was already over.
Waterville’s fine season in girls basketball ended Sunday afternoon with a 57-30 loss to Section Four’s Newark Valley, which took the lead midway through the first quarter and kept building to their 27-point win. The Indians end the season with 21 wins and 3 losses.
Newark Valley, ranked No. 1 in Class C in the state, not only controlled the court but the rest of the Waterville gym. The storm Saturday pushed the game to Sunday, with Waterville hosting as the Cicero-North Syracuse gym was not available.
But any homecourt advantage evaporated as NV fans turned the Indians gym Cardinal red with posters, a flag, a big cheerleading squad and supporters who took up at least half the seats despite a two-hour drive. The Southern Tier visitors made themselves right at home and provided loud support in rooting their team to a Final Four spot.
As the game began, dueling chants of ‘Let’s go, Valley’ and ‘Here we go, Indians’ made the gym noisy, and Waterville fans raised it a level when Natalee Collins scored the game’s first four points, one off a steal by Paige Cornish, in the first 90 seconds.
The teams exchanged misses before the Cardinals got on the board off a steal.
With 5:40 left in the first quarter they tied it after WCS turned over the ball. Their next basket, again off a turnover, brought to an end the only time the Indians didn’t trail in the game….