January 22, 2011


No worries, CHS clips Falcons

Cortland High boys’ basketball coach Mick Lowie admitted to be a little concerned heading into Friday’s game with visiting Fowler High, which had been playing well as of late.
The Purple Tigers were coming off their first loss of the season, 51-46 to visiting Syracuse CBA on Wednesday, and had needed some last second heroics from sophomore forward Brian Hughes to edge the Falcons 50-49 in Syracuse back on Jan. 4.
As it turned out, Lowie didn’t need to worry, as CHS used a 21-10 second-quarter advantage to take control of the game en route to a 62-48 non-league win that improved its record to 11-1 overall.
A big reason for the difference this time around, according to Lowie, was senior forward Justin Hogan.
“It was the finest game I’ve seen Justin play in his three-year varsity career,” Lowie said, Hogan with 13 points, six rebounds, four blocks, three assists and five steals. “The stats don’t begin to tell the story. He was a man out there.
“Justin hustled and was aggressive, and got his hands on a half dozen other balls that resulted in either steals for us or loose balls. He had two dunks, and one of his blocks came on a dunk by Fowler that he swatted away. He played a monster game,” the coach added.
Junior forward J.P. Reagan led Cortland with 16 points, including seven in the second quarter, while junior center Brandon Babcock had 15 points, nine rebounds, six assists, four blocks and two steals. Purple Tigers starting guard Jonathan Prior contributed 11 points, nine in the second half.
Overall, Lowie noted: “It was a good, hard-fought game, with lots of intensity on both sides. We had a good practice Thursday, talking about things we weren’t doing. We were more physical and aggressive on offense, and attacked the basket much better. When in doubt we drove to the basket, and were also able to find open looks when we weren’t able to get inside.
“We got good looks in the first quarter but went only 4-for-13 shooting, but in the second things picked up and we shot 50 percent for the rest of the game,” he added. “We used full-court pressure almost the whole game, which got us going a little and helped get their big men, Larry Rivers (6-4 senior center, 22 points in the first game) and Floyd Hartford (6-3 junior forward, 10 in the first game) away from the basket. We also did a good job of keeping track of Dieudonne Pierre (5-8 senior guard, 13 in the first game). After what happened Wednesday (when Rob Cuomo led CBA with 29 points), we weren’t going to let one kid beat us.”
Lowie’s latter reference was to the fact the Rob Cuomo scored 29 points, almost all of them from the outside, to lead CBA to victory.
Cortland led Fowler 29-16 and then went on an 8-2 run in the first 2:10 of the third quarter to go up 37-18.
“Then they started attacking the basket,” Lowie said. “They’d been pretty passive in the first half, but they got it down to a 10-point game (44-34) at the end of the third. Pierre hit a 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter and suddenly we’re playing great but are only up by seven.”
The visitors, however, could get no closer and with some good foul shooting down the stretch the Purple Tigers were able to win going away.
The Purple Tigers had a total of 10 blocks, 16 assists and 14 steals in the game but were outrebounded 41-31, Lowie noting that Rivers was the Falcons’ leader in that category, no numbers available. Rivers did have 13 points to lead the visitors in scoring, complemented by sophomore guard Mike Givins with 11.
CORTLAND JVs beat Fowler 65-45 to improve to 8-4 overall, Isaiah Prior and Vadim Shevchuk with 12 points each and Logan Lang with 11. Mario Fratto had 13 points and Imere Simmons 12 for the Falcons.
Both Cortland squads host East Syracuse-Minoa on Tuesday night in non-league play and Jamesville-DeWitt on Friday in their returns to league action. The JV games are slated to get things started at 5:30 p.m. each night.

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