January 11, 2010


Olympians shot down by Tigers

MARATHON — Jeff Brown poured in a game-high 25 points as Cortland High boys posted a relatively easy 89-62 non-league basketball win over host Marathon Central Saturday inside McDonald Gymnasium.
The Purple Tigers improve to 8-2 on the season while the Olympians dip to 5-5 overall.
“Cortland shot lights out for the game,” Marathon coach Jim Holland, the visitors making 57 percent of their shots. “They jumped on us in the first quarter, but we started shooting the ball well in the second quarter. We cut the lead before Coach (Mick) Lowie went to the full-court press.
“That’s when they took control for good,” he added. “Cortland got a lot of steals and lay-ups off the press. We didn’t handle that well. Overall, though, it was a good experience for us to play a quality team like Cortland. That can only help us for sectionals.”
“Marathon was competitive,” Lowie said. “They played hard and they rebounded well. Those kids kept playing right to the end.
“I’m just happy we got to play another game,” he added. “I’m glad Jim offered to play us. It’s another game that helps us get ready for the second half of the season.”
Brown made 9-of-12 shots from inside the arc and was 1-for-4 from 3-point range. He also had five assists, three steals and three rebounds.
“Jeff was all over the place,” Lowie said. “We did have the size advantage and our guys took up a lot of space on a smaller court like Marathon has. That does lead to a lot of steals and we did cause some problems with our half-court trap and press.”
The Purple Tigers had 19 steals in the game while holding a 41-34 edge on the boards.
Cortland built a 29-12 lead in the first quarter and appeared to be in control. The Purple Tigers hit 11-for-18 shots in the quarter. Justin Hogan scored all 10 of his points in the quarter while Brown netted nine points.
Marathon responded with some hot-shooting of its own, cutting the Purple Tiger advantage to eight points before Lowie ordered the full-court press. Cortland closed out the quarter strong and enjoyed a 53-31 halftime advantage.
In the second half, Cortland left little to chance with a 23-point third quarter to pad its big lead to 36 points.
While Brown was lighting up the Olympians, the Purple Tigers also got 12 points from Brandon Babcock. He and Hogan had five steals each with Babcock pulling down a team-high eight rebounds.
Another player who drew praise was Jordan Prior. The CHS guard scored just nine points, but did all the things needed to help his team put points on the board. Prior had three assists and two steals,
“Jordan Prior did a very good job distributing the ball,” Holland said. “He found the open guys and he knew when the take the shot himself.”
“Jordan advances the ball up the court for us well,” Lowie added. “He can get up the floor quickly as does Brown and Caleb Wright. Couple that with the size advantage inside with Babcock and we did a good job.”
While Cortland was busy rolling along, Jordan Harden was having another strong game for Marathon. The Olympian junior netted 20 points with Tyler Knickerbocker adding 14 points in a losing effort.
“I thought the juniors did a good job today,” Holland said. “Jordan and Tyler both had solid games for us. Tyler Barry played well coming bench. Tyler Marsh got the start and did well as did Teddy Morrison.”
Cortland returns to OHSL Freedom Division action Tuesday. The Purple Tigers travel to East Syracuse-Minoa with a 5:30 p.m. junior varsity start. Marathon returns to Interscholastic Athletic Conference North Division play Tuesday. The Olympians head to Lansing with a JV tip-off at 5:30 p.m.
MARATHON JVs stayed undefeated with a 65-58 victory over Cortland in the prelim. Eric Barry scored 17 points as the Olympians (10-0) had three players in double figures. Kody Barry chipped in with 15 points and Austin Fox netted 12 points.
Marathon and Cortland were deadlocked at 18-18 after one quarter. The Olympians used four 3-pointers, three by Kody Barry, to score 20 points in the second quarter and built a 38-26 lead. The home team maintained that advantage during second-half play.
Brian Hughes led Cortland with 16 points. Evan Jackson and Josh Gutchess tallied 13 points each for the Purple Tigers (5-4).