January 25, 2007


Purple Tigers shooting slump continues


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Deanna Bishop (left) of Cortland High and Angie Josbena of Mexico wrestle for the ball during Wednesday’s OHSL Freedom Division game at Shafer Gym. Visiting Mexico won 44-40, Bishop with 14 points in the loss.

Poor shooting continued to plague the Cortland High girls’ basketball team against visiting Mexico Wednesday night, but was not the only factor working against the Purple Tigers in a 44-40 OHSL Freedom Division loss.
“The kids played hard, but missed a lot of easy shots they should make,” CHS coach Dick Penoyer said. “We’ve been in a shooting slump the last three or four games, and they haven’t been hard shots. We also made some bad decisions at the end of the game.”
In addition, Cortland has lost sophomore forward Fawn Lolar for the rest of the season due to a non-basketball related injury. That left 6-foot junior forward Amanda Lawler as the hosts’ only true force underneath, in turn making it easier for Mexico to counteract her.
“They took Amanda out of the game, boxed her out and wouldn’t let her get the ball,” said Penoyer, his second-leading scorer held to only six points but still managing to haul down a team-high 11 of the 37 rebounds CHS had in the game. “Kim Hall did a really nice job starting in place of Fawn — the other kids are going to have to pick up the slack with her gone —  while Alena Turturro and Emily VanGorder played fairly well.”
In spite of everything, the Purple Tigers still led 32-30 at Shafer Gymnasium heading into the fourth quarter and only fell behind (41-40) after the visitors canned a pair of 3-pointers. From that point on, CHS missed a pair of shots, lost a rebound after a pair of missed free throws by the Tigers and were finally done in by three converted Mexico foul shots down the stretch.
Senior guard Shannon Finucane led Cortland, now 8-4 in league play and 11-5 overall, with 15 points and also had five rebounds and two steals, while Deanna Bishop added 14 points plus seven rebounds and a pair of steals. Evie Josbena had 14 points and her twin sister Angie nine for Mexico (6-4 league, 8-4 overall).
CORTLAND JVs lost 40-37 as Mexico’s Meg Raymond intercepted an inbounds pass and sank a 3-point shot at the buzzer. Aubrey and Morgan VanGorder had 10 points apiece for the Purple Tigers (1-13), while Raymond took game honors with 11 for Mexico.
Both Cortland teams host Chittenango Friday, the JVs getting things started at 5:30 p.m.


Trojans lower times

SYRACUSE — Homer Central boys indoor track competed in the George Constantino Memorial Invitational Wednesday night inside Syracuse University’s Manley Field House. 
Andrew Gregg ran a personal best of 2:53.35 in the 1,000-meter run to finish 25th out of 57 competitors. Josh Bergmark competed in the 1000m for the first time and he posted a time of 3:30.69.
In the 1,600m run, season-best performances were turned in by both Jackson Randolph and Ross Pouliott. Randolph (31st place) was clocked in 5:14.23 while Pouliot (37th) ran 5:30.83.
In the last event of the evening, the 3,200m relay, the Trojans fell a little short of their goal of breaking 10 minutes. Andrew Cortese, Randolph, Bergmark and Pouliott finished with a time of 10:11.06.
 Jon Allen competed in both the 55m high hurdles and the 55m dash. Allen had a little bit of difficulty with the fourth hurdle, which caused him to run a time of 10.41 seconds. In the 55m dash, Allen posted a time of 7.83 seconds.
Gregg overcame some illness issue to run 600 meters in 1:33.71.  His time was good enough for 17th-place out of 37 runners.
Cortese competed in the only field event of the night for the Trojans. His best long jump effort of 14-feet-11.5 inches put him in 23rd-place out of 36 jumpers. It was his season best by over a foot and a half. 
Homer will return to action Jan. 31 in the OHSL Championships to be held back at Manley Field House.


Defense steps up in McGraw victory

FREEVILLE — The McGraw Central boys’ basketball team had a choice to make Wednesday night.
The Eagles had seen what was a comfortable lead against non-league host William George Agency shrink to just seven points, 56-49, with one quarter still remaining.
“I told the guys that if they didn’t want to play defense, (WGA) would keep hanging around,” Eagles coach Ben Albright said. “We went to a 1-3-1 zone and got quite a few steals. Evan Emery had a ton of them (eight for the game) and we got fast breaks off that. Josh Shepard was up top in the 1-3-1, and brought us alive on defense, upping the tempo in the fourth quarter.”
The end result was a 24-9 scoring advantage for the visitors, who scored an 80-58 victory to improve to 7-6 overall. All nine players who saw action for McGraw scored at least two points, led by Ryan Russell with 23 points, including five 3-pointers, and Emery with 19 with a pair of treys.
“Ryan did a great job outside and Evan was strong inside,” Albright said. “We out-rebounded them 47-26. Tim Grant had 13 rebounds and played a great game underneath, while Brad MacLean had nine rebounds and Evan and Ryan eight apiece.”
The winners led 16-10 after one quarter and 41-27 at halftime before the Hawks, who got 23 points from Tajh Anderson and 17 points from Thomas Boyce, made their third-quarter run.
McGRAW JVs fell 56-45 despite a 14-point performance from David Tobias.
Both Eagle squads host Brookfield Friday night, the Beavers leading the Central Counties with a 6-1 record.