January 19, 2012


Purple Tigers romp at home

Coming off a pair of impressive wins over Class AA teams in Oneida’s Alliance Bank Tournament over the weekend, there was some concern on Coach Mick Lowie’s part that his Cortland High boys’ basketball team might not be at its best Wednesday night.
The Purple Tigers had other ideas, though, scoring the first 20 points of the game and romping to an 83-28 win over winless Phoenix at Shafer Gym.
“I was happy to see us continue to play well coming off the weekend, when we did just that against two very good teams,” Lowie said, his squad now 7-1 in the OHSL Freedom American Division and 13-1 overall including those tournament wins over Corcoran and Rome Free Academy. “The tendency against teams that are struggling is to not to go out and play like you have been, to let down a little. It was good to see we didn’t.
“We played very unselfishly; kids who probably could have gone to the basket themselves didn’t and continued to look for each other. We had 27 assists on our 37 baskets, and passed the ball beautifully.”
CHS beat the host Firebirds (now 0-7 league, 0-10 overall) by a final score of 71-50 just before the holiday break. Lowie noted that his team led by 32 at the half before Phoenix came out strong in the second half playing man-to-man defense. “They started out in a man-to-man this time and we executed our sets well,” he said. “Our shooting percentage was high (37-for-61, 61 percent), with a lot of shots from close range. Our main concern defensively was taking the high post away from them and we did that, forcing them to take some difficult shots.
“Our reserves continued to extend the lead — 12 of the 14 played in the first half, and everyone had been in by the end of the third, with all of the starters out with a couple of minutes left in the third. Everyone played pretty well.”
The winners got double-figure scoring from four players, led by senior forward J.P. Reagan with 13 points. Senior guard Qwuhail Barlow and senior center Brandon Babcock both added 11, while junior forward Brian Hughes added 10. Reagan, Babcock, Hughes and junior forward Josh Gutchess each had five rebounds to lead he Purple Tigers to a well-balanced 38-24 advantage in that category.Reagan also had six assists and Babcock five, while Hughes had a team-high four steals to go with three assists.
Kyle Himes had eight points to lead Phoenix.
CORTLAND JVs won 51-35 to improve to 5-3, 9-5 as Qadir Artis had 17 points and Dante Sweat 12. Dylan Doupe had a game-high 21 points and Brian Sawyer 10 for the Firebirds.
Both Cortland teams are now off until a week from Friday, when they host Fowler. The JV game gets things started at 5:30 p.m.


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