January 26, 2016

Trojans come home happy

PHOENIX — Once the lead was secured with a 19-point second quarter offensive outburst, the Homer Central boys’ basketball team didn’t let it slip away Monday night.
James Denkenberger made four consecutive free throws in the final minute to wrap up the Trojans’ 50-42 road win over Phoenix, putting the Trojans a mere victory away from reaching .500 on the season.
“Overall, we really didn’t play the best of games but we may have been looking forward to our remaining schedule,” said Coach Sean Malone after his Trojans improved to 4-6 in the OHSL Freedom Division and 7-8 overall.
Jacob Rivers scored a game-high 17 points including a pair of 3-pointers, while Jerrad Reiner finished with 13 points and seven rebounds before fouling out in the late going.
“We have a big game against a tough Fowler team at home,” added Malone, that taking place this evening at SUNY Cortland’s Corey Gymnasium — Homer’s third game over a five-day stretch. “A win would put us at 8-8 on the season.”
Homer’s bid for a seventh victory got off to a good start, grabbing an 8-2 lead on Phoenix’s home court. But the last place Firebirds (0-8 OHSL Freedom, 1-12 overall), came back to move ahead 10-8 when the first quarter concluded.
Rivers scored nine of his 17 points in the second quarter when the Trojans surged ahead, building a 27-19 advantage by halftime.
“He was in attack mode and finished well,” said Coach Malone of the junior guard’s work in that stanza, Rivers also with four rebounds, three assists and three steals on the night.
The two sides pretty much traded baskets from there, Denkenberger’s 4-for-4 free throw success in the late going making this a three-possession game 20 ticks from the finish and sending the Trojans home happy. Senior team captain Denkenberger finished with seven points, adding a 3-pointer to his offensive success.
Taylor Ashley was the lone Phoenix player in double digits with 10 points including a trio of treys, while Alex Sisera finished with seven points.
HOMER JVs were 71-61 winners over Phoenix in the prelim, out-scoring the hosts 47-24 in the middle two quarters. The Trojans (11-3) took a 63-35 lead into the final stanza when Phoenix scored 26 points to narrow the final deficit.
Justin Wainwright had 18 points to lead the Trojans, while Tucker O’Donnell finished with 13 and Casey Hayes 11. O’Donnell and Hayes had three 3-pointers apiece, all of their points arriving in the opening half.
Wainwright came up with 12 of his 18 points during Homer’s third quarter pull-away.
Homer JVs will get tonight’s hosting of the Fowler Falcons at Corey Gymnasium underway at 6:30 p.m., with the varsity game to start around
8 p.m.
— Cortland High boys, coming off a 49-41 home court win over Homer last Friday, is back at Shafer Gym this evening as Ithaca High pays a visit. The non-league match-up starts with the JV game at 5:30 p.m.

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