January 22, 2016

CHS second half surge tops ES-M

EAST SYRACUSE — The Cortland High girls’ basketball team used a strong third quarter to take charge Thursday night en route to a 50-38 non-league win over host East Syracuse-Minoa.
The Purple Tigers led 27-24 at halftime, then outscored the Spartans 13-3 in the third quarter and never looked back in improving to 9-4 overall. ES-M is now 1-14.
The winners led 15-9 after one quarter, with senior guard Shea Swartwout scoring 11 of her game-high 21 points in those first eight minutes. ES-M rallied to take the lead in the second quarter, but after coach Nolan Sinclair called a timeout CHS settled down and took control.
“We took a timeout down 22-19 and we talked about how we had to pick up our effort and our desire on the defensive end of the floor,” Sinclair said. “The girls responded brilliantly. We were fortunate that after a bit of a slow start the girls picked up their defensive intensity and never looked back. We didn’t give up a basket in the third quarter as we extended our lead to double figures.
“We were a little worried about a letdown game after the big rivalry win on Tuesday against Homer, but the girls didn’t disappoint,” he added, referring to a 51-47 home court win over Homer. “Shea shot the ball extremely well and had a confidence shooting the ball that we haven’t seen in a few games. She hit one early and played very well from that point on. Jackie Phillips had a great all-around game. She didn’t score like she did on Tuesday (the senior guard with 30 points against Homer) but she led us in assists and rebounds. She played like a pure point guard controlling all phases of our offense.”
Phillips had a team-high eight of the 33 CHS rebounds plus four assists, four steals and two blocked shots. Swartwout added four steals and two rebounds to her point total. Two players, junior forward/guard Margaret Reagan and junior forward Logan Chase, scored six points each, Chase and senior forward/guard Molly Doubet with five rebounds each.
“I was very pleased with our team effort,” Sinclair said.
“We had seven girls score at least four points. Margaret and Emily Edwards had outstanding games, both offensively and defensively,” he noted, senior guard Edwards with four points and three rebounds. “If we get that type of all-around team effort we are a tough team to beat. Our goal a few weeks ago was to get to 9-4, and we have now reached that goal. We have six games over the next 11 days and I have a strong feeling that the girls will respond well to the challenge.”
ES-M was led by Athena Thomason with eight points and Brigid McGinley with seven.
CORTLAND JVs beat ES-M 34-18 to improve to 7-6 on the season as freshman guard Ashley Shortsleeve led the way with 11 points and eighth-grade forward Lyndsie Babcock added 11. Cara Miller led the Spartans with five points.
“We played a better team game and our energy was improved,” Purple Tigers coach John Protheroe said. “In addition to Ashley and Lyndsie’s scoring, (freshman guards) Elyssa Yonta and Morgan Tabel both played incredible defense. We are finally getting our team healthy again, which is a huge help.”
Both Purple Tiger squads visit Cazenovia Monday in non-league play, starting with the JV game at 5:30 p.m.

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