January 30, 2008


Unbeaten CHS thumps Trojans

CHS Trojans

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland High’s Kim Hall (3) strips the ball from Homer Cenral’s Courtney Rainbow (12)in the second quarter of Tuesday’s OHSL game at Shafer Gym.UnbeatenCHS rolled to 63-36 victory.

Staff Writer

The outcome was pretty much predetermined, but both coaches had things to be happy about after the Cortland High girls’ basketball team’s 63-36 win over visiting Homer Central Tuesday night at Shafer Gym.
“I’ve told the girls all year long not to play against the other team but against themselves,” said Purple Tigers coach Dick Penoyer, whose senior-laden squad, ranked fifth in the state in Class A this week, improved to 10-0 in the OHSL Freedom American Division and 16-0 overall. “I want them to play within themselves, up to their ability. If they do that, the outcome is usually going to be pretty good.
“Of course, we have to worry about matching up with other teams, their shooters, etc., but we try to do the best we can and not worry about the other team. We tried playing a 3-2 zone we’ve been working on in practice, that may come in handy against good perimeter teams, and a 2-1-2 press. I was happy with the way things went.”
Despite never really being in the game after CHS scored the first nine points and went on to lead 20-4 after one quarter, the younger Trojans squad refused to quit and hustled until the final buzzer. That fact wasn’t lost on their coach, Bruce Tytler.
“That’s why this has been an enjoyable season,” he said with a smile, his team now 2-9 in the league and 5-12 overall. “These girls don’t quit. Our skill level isn’t the same as some other teams, but they don’t give up.
“Cortland is a very talented team. They probably play the best half-court defense I’ve seen in quite some time. In fact, I haven’t seen a boys’ team play it as well. They’re tall and quick, and to our girls it looked like there were five players coming at them if they had the ball. You can talk about their scoring, which is potent, but that (half-court defense) is outstanding, too.”
As noted, Cortland took control early and extended its 16-point advantage after one quarter to a 21-point halftime edge at 33-12. It was 55-17 heading into the fourth quarter, and the Trojans scored two more points in the fourth than they had in the first three combined as everyone got a chance to play in the contest.
Senior guard Amanda Lawlor led the winners with 19 points (11 in the third quarter) and 10 rebounds as well as three steals, while senior point guard Shannon Finucane added 15 points (nine in the third), six assists and five steals. Senior forward Fawn Lolar had seven rebounds and classmate Deanna Bishop, also a forward, pulled down five rebounds and had four steals. Each girl played the equivalent of about two and a half quarters as Penoyer substituted early and often.
Senior guard Ashley Brown led Homer with 13 points (10 in the fourth, when she sank three of her four 3-pointers), while fellow senior Stephanie Hartquist, a guard-forward, had 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals. Junior forward Heidi Van Valkenburg had five rebounds and senior forward Haylee Riley four boards.
“EVERYONE DID something well tonight,” Tytler said. “We knew we were going against the fifth-best Class A team in the state; I just to the girls that we’ve gotten better, and just to play as hard as they could and we’d see what happened.”
“We didn’t want to take them lightly,” Lawlor said. “They had nothing to lose coming in, and we knew that Steph and Ashley were their two biggest scorers. We played our zone well, I was able to get inside and the other girls were able to get me the ball quick enough. Homer is tough inside, and they challenged us, which is good because of the stretch we have coming up.”
The Purple Tigers visit Phoenix Thursday night and host Class AA West Genesee Monday before Jamesville-DeWitt comes to town on Wednesday. “We’re coming down to crunch time now,” said Penoyer, whose squad hasn’t been challenged in winning its last six games by at least 19 points. “Our starters are going to see more playing time now. Phoenix is always tough up there, and West Genesee and Jamesville-DeWitt are both good, too.
“Those are three critical games (followed by a trip to Chittenango Feb. 8 to close out the regular season). It will be good to have games like that going into sectionals.”
The Purple Tigers have already beaten all three teams, including a one-point win at J-D on Dec. 19.
“I don’t think we’ve been overconfident at all this season, but we’ve been confident enough,” Finucane said. “We want to play our game no matter who we’re going against, and so far we’ve been able to. Hopefully, that will continue.”
Homer visits J-D tonight before hosting Solvay Friday in a non-_leaguer.
CORTLAND JVs beat Homer 49-27, with the middle two quarters the difference in the contest. The hosts led by 13-10 after the first eight minutes, then outscored Homer 17-7 in the second and 13-6 in the third to take control.
Christine Gutchess led the way with 13 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block, while Maggie Brown added 13 points, seven rebounds and three steals.
“Christine had a big night, with her best game of the season,” CHS coach Jamie Brown said, her team now 12-2. “She’s applied nice defensive pressure all season, and her offense has been coming around. As a team, having strong second and third quarters has been our M.O. all season. Our reserves are doing a nice job, and we’re becoming a well-rounded team.”
Sarah DiGiovanna and Ashley Crossway scored six points each to lead Homer, now 5-10 on the season.





Red Dragon men survive road test

GENESEO — Any conference basketball victory on the road is something to savor.
The fact the SUNY Cortland men kept their composure after letting a 15-point second half lead slip away Tuesday night made this 64-60 escape at Geneseo taste even that much sweeter.
Sophomore Will Coston made two free throws to break a 59-59 tie with 1:19 left and Cortland held on to improve to 7-1 in SUNY Athletic Conference play and 14-3 overall.
Cortland has won nine of its last 10 games and sits in second place in the East Division standings.
Freshman Ron Evans came off the bench to lead Cortland with 17 points, the southpaw from New Hartford shooting 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Paul Oliver added 11 points and five rebounds, Juan Miolan scored 10 points and Coston and Mike Lewis tallied nine points each.
Senior point guard Derrick Fish tied his career high with six assists.
Three players scored in double figures for Geneseo (4-4 SUNYAC, 11-6 overall), led by Scott Morton with 15 points and seven assists. Joe Kling added 14 points and seven rebounds and Tarik Kitson finished with 12 points.
Cortland led 52-37 after two Oliver free throws with 11:05 left and still held a 57-44 lead with 7:12 left following an Evans’ lay-up.
The Knights, however, went on a 15-2 run and tied the game at 59-59 on a 3-pointer by Kling with 1:44 remaining.
On the ensuing possession, Coston was fouled attempting a trey and made the last two of his three foul shots. Lewis hit the front end of a 1-and-1 with 58 seconds left to give Cortland a three-point lead.
Cortland led by two when Coston missed two foul shots with 24 seconds left. Coston redeemed himself, however, when he knocked away a pass and forced a jump ball that gave the Red Dragons possession with just over seven seconds remaining.
Guard Mark Schaller made two free throws with 6.8 seconds left to seal the win.
Cortland is back home Friday, hosting Morrisville at 8 p.m. at Corey Gymnasium. Oswego visits Saturday, another 8 p.m. start.





Rockets roar back to upset OV

The DeRuyter Central basketball team was up to the task against a formidable opponent Tuesday night.
The host Rockets trailed Otselic Valley, the undefeated seventh-ranked Class D team in the state and Central Counties League leader, 40-26 entering the fourth quarter.
Coach Kim Brown’s team, supported by the majority of a standing-room only home crowd, roared back in the final eight minutes. The Rockets piled up 30 points to 12 to the Vikings to come away with a 56-52 victory.
In another league game, McGraw rolled to a 66-40 victory over visiting Madison.
DeRuyter 56, Otselic Valley 52: Brandon Meacham scored 12 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter for the Rockets, now 9-2 in the CCL and 10-7 overall, while Dustin McClure had all seven of his points in the stanza and added a total of 12 rebounds in the contest. Meacham also grabbed 10 rebounds.
“It was evident in the fourth quarter that we finally played relaxed basketball,” said DeRuyter coach Kim Brown. “I was really concerned about how we would handle the magnitude of the game and the atmosphere surrounding it.
“We made it a point to get Dustin the ball at the block and he finished, Dave Revette had some huge offensive put-backs,” he added. “Brandon did a great job of getting to the rim and knocking down the open three and Brett Vosburg hit three key free throws down the stretch.
“Brandon hit a pair of 3-pointers in the quarter, and got those looks thanks to two things: good ball movement and OV collapsing in the post.”
DeRuyter took the lead for the first time, 53-52, with less than a minute left. After OV misfired on its next possession, Vosburg was fouled and hit two free throws, making it 55-52.
The Vikings then missed a 3-pointer and Vosburg got fouled again with three seconds left, hitting one of two free throws for the final margin after a final half-court heave by the visitors’ Dave Cerasani missed the mark.
“I can’t say enough about our effort in the fourth quarter,” Brown said. “We were the aggressors, and it showed. This was by far one of the best wins that this program has had in a while. I’d also like to commend Erik Skeele for his fourth-quarter defense on Cerasani. He was a little more physical, which caused Cerasani to be a little less offensive-minded.”