Frank Speziale photo
NEW BERLIN – Already leading by 10 at the intermission, the Unadilla Valley Storm boys basketball team came out of the locker room after halftime and went on a 14-0 run to push the deficit to 24. UV then cruised to a 72-42 Section IV Class C opening round win over No. 13 and conference foe Sidney Thursday night.
Matt Osborne – head coach of the Storm – stated that Caleb Parker’s presence on Sidney’s point guard forced several turnovers, which led to easy baskets on the offensive end of the floor.
“We played outstanding defense coming out of the break,” said Osborne. “Caleb’s defense was especially outstanding and we just played great team defense in the third.”
Unadilla Valley opened the game with a 10 point lead after the first eight minutes of play with Levi Rifanburg’s inside presence pacing the Storm offense. Rifanburg, who finished the game with a double-double, scored nine of his 13 point in the quarter.
In the same stanza, he had help from teammate’s Wyatt Grey and Andrew Jackson as the two combined for the other 11 points scored in the first.
Grey was dialed in from long-distance in the first-round sectional contest, hitting a total of four 3-point field goals. He started the game on fire, draining two in the first quarter. In both the second and third quarters, he added another one.
The second quarter saw the two teams match point for point, both putting up 13 before the half. Jon Palmatier of the Warriors led the offense in the second with nine of his team-high 16 points, helping keep the lead at 10 points at the break.
However, the Storm put the game away in the third with their before mentioned defensive efforts. After opening with 14-0 run, Unadilla Valley finished the quarter with 25 points while holding their opponent to just six to extend the lead to 19 entering the final eight minutes of play.
Also aiding in the big third quarter was Jackson’s offensive charge. The UV senior had been somewhat quiet leading up to this point but he's attack was well known in the third as he tallied 12 points. Osborne commented that is was because Jackson slowed down to find his rhythm...