January 11, 2008


Trojans get ‘must-win’ over CHS

Bordwell faces rival Homer for last time


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Homer Central’s RachelPerry and Jessica Brown leap to block a shot by Lisa Frare of Cortland High inThursday’s OHS volleyball match at Shafer Gym. Visiting Homer won in four games.

Staff Writer

For Mary Lou Bordwell, it was a more a time for looking back. For Brian Fox, a time to prepare for what lies ahead.
Bordwell, who is retiring at the end of the school year, coached the Cortland High volleyball team against rival Homer Central for the final time Thursday night in Shafer Gym. The visiting Fox-led Trojans came away with a hard-fought 25-22, 28-26, 21-25, 25-18 OHSL Freedom Division victory.
“Over the years there have been a lot of good matches with Homer,” Bordwell said afterwards, her team now 1-10 in the league and overall in her 26th and final season at the helm. “I don’t know Brian as well as (former Homer coaches) Evelyn Sammons and Lynn Renner. Our last home game will be against Chittenango, coached by Cheri Drake, one of my former players and the junior high coach for this group of varsity kids. That will be nice.”
CHS hosts Chittenango on Jan. 24.
“I was definitely disappointed in how we played defensively,” added Bordwell. “We’ve worked hard on that, and also worked to change our attack, to be a little more aggressive, but I guess old habits die hard. I _was glad to see us win that (third) game; by then I was getting a little _frustrated.”
Fox, whose team improved to 7-5 in the league and 7-6 overall with the win, was admittedly disappointed with his team’s play Tuesday in a loss to Chittenango in which the Trojans won the first two games.
“This is the time of year that we should be peaking, and Tuesday’s loss hurt. Coming in here and winning was big, and (tonight) will be our real test, at Oneida, the defending sectional A champion. We played pretty well tonight, and this is a hard part of the season, going into the last two weeks,” said Fox.
“This one matched two different styles,” he added. “We’re not used to the style Cortland plays, with more of an emphasis on trying to keep the ball in play. Our serving was tough, and we played consistent defense. This win is a big boost. We had to have it, especially going into the Oneida match. It would have been tough playing them coming off two straight losses.”
As is usually the case with the Trojans, junior outside hitter Katie Wick was the main weapon, with 14 kills to go along with 11 digs. Fox noted: “We’re actually already developing players for post-Katie in the two freshman twins, Alysha and Katie Camp, and sophomore Ashley Cavellier.”
Outside hitter Cavellier had seven kills, an ace and a block, while junior setter McKenna Riley had 33 assists and 17 digs, junior outside hitter-libero Alexis Johnson 14 digs and senior right-side hitter Jessica Brown, senior middle hitter Shannan Keefe and sophomore middle hitter Rachel Perry five kills each. Keefe also had three blocks and Perry two.
CORTLAND LED 10-6 in the first game before Homer came back to go ahead 13-12. The rivals alternated points until the visitors were able to get up by 20-17, Cortland promptly running off three straight points to tie it. Homer then went on a 5-2 run to close out the game, which ended on a forceful kill by Keefe.
Cortland scored five of the first seven points in the second game before Homer, led by kills from Wick and Keefe, surged ahead to its biggest lead, 12-8. The Purple Tigers rallied to tie the score at 18-18 and came back from a 23-20 deficit to tie it again. The teams were deadlocked at 24, 25 and 26 before a kill by Wick and a Cortland miss-hit on a service return gave the Trojans the winning margin.
With junior setter-outside hitter Chelsea Tollner serving, Cortland scored the first six points of the third game, Homer battling back for ties at 7-7 and 9-9 before CHS took the lead for good with two straight points. The Purple Tigers led 21-14 before Homer rallied to pull within one at 22-21. Senior setter Alissa Claiser then tipped the ball over the net on a service return for the 23rd Cortland point, and two serves by junior middle hitter Casey Marks closed out the game.
The final game was somewhat anticlimactic, Homer scoring eight of the first 11 points to take charge for good. The winners scored the final three points of the game, the match-winner, fittingly, a kill by Wick.
“This is what we’ve done so many times,” Bordwell said of her team’s keeping the match close, only to fall short. “I think it’s a lack of experience, with no year-round players — Homer has one or two — and it’s also mental toughness.
“Casey Marks kept us in it. She wasn’t with us the first time we played Homer,” she added, CHS suffering a five-game road loss in early December. “I also thought that (senior setter) Amanda Cheetham, (senior outside hitter) Lisa Frare defensively and (junior outside hitter) Nicole Wageck also played well.”
Marks went 34-for-40 hitting on the night with 10 kills, had a point block, was 9-for-10 serving and 11-for-12 setting with three assists. Cheetham was 49-for-57 setting with 12 assists and 11-for-11 hitting with two kills, while Frare was 23-for-37 hitting with five kills, 11-for-12 serving, had an assist and was 22-for-29 passing. Wageck came off the bench and was 3-for-4 hitting with two kills, only playing half of the last game.
CORTLAND JVs won 12-25, 25-22, 25-13 over Homer to improve to 5-6 as Danielle Payne had three kills and four aces, Keri Brownrigg was cited by coach Stacy Steingrabe for her setting and leadership and Carina Clayton was praised for her defense.
For Homer, now 5-8, Katelyn Buchanan had three kills, Deanne Stafford two kills and a block, Nichole Sanford eight assists, Karley Brown two kills, Brianna Lewis a kill and four aces and Skylar Diamond three aces.
Both Cortland teams visit Nottingham Monday.




Red Dragon tandem comes up big

Sports Editor

As this season has progressed, SUNY Cortland men have provided a double dose of basketball trouble to opponents with the development of sophomores Mike Lewis and Paul Oliver.
Those 6-foot-6 big men certainly loomed large in this latest success, as the Red Dragons pulled away in the second half on their Corey Gymnasium home floor and knocked off Utica College 64-47 in a Thursday evening non-conference contest.
Lewis finished with 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting against the Pioneers. The former Central Square standout previewed what was to come on the game’s opening possession, converting a determined drive to the basket.
Oliver tossed in a career-high 14 points, and also shared team rebounding honors grabbing six caroms. Oliver, familiar to local Cortland High fans from his all-star scholastic days at Phoenix, also passed out a career-high four assists.
The Red Dragons shot 52 percent from the floor while improving to 8-2, posting a second consecutive lopsided victory to begin the second semester. The Red Dragons resume SUNY Athletic Conference play Saturday afternoon in Utica. The Eastern Division co-leaders with a 2-0 league record will take on SUNYIT at 4 p.m.
Lewis was coming off a 15-point performance in a 67-44 win at St. Lawrence last Friday, Oliver with eight points in that victory.
“We’re working pretty well together, and when he’s inside with me it opens up a lot of things,” said Lewis of working alongside Oliver in Coach Tom Spanbauer’s starting line-up.
Having an inside scoring presence is a departure from a year ago when 3-point shooting was a vital part of the Red Dragon attack. Or as Oliver said: “The 3-point shot is helpful, but trying to live or die with it doesn’t always work. I like this better.”
Cortland attempted only eight 3-pointers in this outing and landed three. The Red Dragons made a lone trey in the second half surge, freshman sniper Ron Evans hitting that long-range connection during a 17-1 run that did in the Pioneers.
Visiting Utica (7-4) was looking for its third straight victory over a SUNYAC squad in as many tries, having knocked off Oneonta on a last second basket Tuesday and beating SUNYIT earlier this season. Junior guard Doug Herring was the lone Pioneer player in double figures with 13 points, but was held to four in the second half.




Complete ice effort boosts CHS-Homer

FULTON — The Cortland-Homer hockey team got off to a strong start against host Fulton Thursday night and carried it through the entire game en route to a 6-1 CNYSHL Division II West victory.
The Golden Eagles improved to 6-4 in league play and are now in second place two points behind Skaneateles (7-1 league) and one point ahead of third-place Corcoran (5-2-1). The Red Raiders fell to sixth in the loop at 3-7-1 and are now 4-10-1 overall.
“Overall, the team played well in almost every facet of the game from start to finish,” C-H coach Don Armstrong said. “We started strong with three goals in the first, and rather than letting down in the second with a three-goal lead the kids continued to push the pace, scoring two more goals to put the game out of reach.
“All of our defensemen played very well, keeping the play in front of them and making some great breakout passes. The forwards played great team defense and were really looking for each other when they were on the attack. This was a must win for us to remain in the thick of the league standings, and the kids went after it right from the start. They continue to work very hard, and every player showed good leadership.”
Junior right wing Paul Zimmerman’s leadership was most evident on the score sheet, as the first-liner led the winners with three goals and an assist. Classmate Matt Porter, the left wing on that first line, had a goal and two assists, while freshman center Connor Ferrito and junior center Sam Ferro scored once each. Senior center Steve Stowell, the team’s scoring leader and the third member of the first line, picked up two assists in the contest.
Zimmerman opened the scoring with a power-play tally 8:30 in off assists by Stowell and Porter. The latter made it 2-0 at 11:20 off assists from Zimmerman and junior defenseman Nate West. Ferrito made it 3-0 just 25 seconds later, assisted by junior right wing Matt Grimes and sophomore center Carl Zimmerman.
Ferro stripped a Fulton player of the puck and beat Red Raider senior goalie Tyler Whalen one-on-one at 6:29 of the second, and Paul Zimmerman made it 5-0 with another power-play goal at 7:46, again assisted by Stowell and Porter.
Paul Zimmerman completed his hat trick, and the visitors’ scoring, at 7:59 of the third, one-timing a feed by senior right wing Andre Coen from the net.