January 12, 2011


Cortland tripped by Spartans


Bill Sinsabaugh/contributing photographer
Cortland High guard Maggie Brown flips in two of her 12 points in a crowd of East Syracuse-Minoa defenders Tuesday night at Shafer Gymnasium. Visiting ES-M escaped with a 54-52 victory.

The Cortland High girls’ basketball team came back strong in the third quarter against visiting East Syracuse-Minoa Tuesday night, only to have the Spartans turn the tables in the fourth en route to a 54-52 victory.
ES-M led 28-16 at halftime before the Purple Tigers, led by eight points each from senior forward Nacirema Mann and senior guard Mel Phillips and six from junior guard Maggie Brown, used a 27-9 third-quarter advantage to assume a 43-37 lead into the fourth.
It took the visitors just 1:06 to tie the game at 43-43, and from there the lead changed hands five times, the last when Julie Maselli knocked down a 3-pointer with 55 seconds left to give the Spartans a 53-52 lead. Cortland came up empty with the missed front end of a one-and-one and a turnover, Olivia Luciani hitting a free throw with 10 seconds left to close out a 21-point night and account for the final margin.
The hosts missed a last-second shot from the lane and fell for the first time in five OHSL Freedom American Division games this season.
“We had a really poor shooting night, for the third game in a row,” CHS coach Dick Penoyer said, his team now 4-3 overall. “We had a half-court press on in the third and got a few steals and easy baskets, but in the fourth we didn’t convert on steals. We had some easy looks and missed them; you have to credit ES-M somewhat, with their 1-2-2 zone.
“We made some poor choices at the end of the game. Three times we threw the ball to them for easy layups. It came down to a matter of who was going to make the best decisions and make shots. They did, and we didn’t.We had our chances. We dug ourselves too big a hole and spend so much time and energy getting out that we didn’t do what we needed to do to finish.”
Penoyer added that his team has a problem running a half-court offense against opponents’ zones, and added that “We need to improve on that, plus our free throws (4-for-13 on Tuesday) and defense.”
Mann led the way for Cortland with 22 points and 16 of the hosts’ 44 rebounds (to 28 for ES-M) as well as four steals, while Brown added 12 points, seven boards and three steals. Phillips added four rebounds, three assists and three steals to her eight-point night, while sophomore forward Devon Tennant also had seven rebounds. Gabrielle Eure added 13 points for the winners, now 2-2 in the Freedom national and 5-3 overall.
CORTLAND JVs improved to 4-1 league and 4-3 overall by beating ES-M 39-28 behind 18 points from Jackie Phillips.
Next up for Cortland’s squads are road games against Fulton on Friday, the JV game tipping off at 5:30 p.m.


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