February 02, 2007


Dryden wins for outgoing coach


Photos by Bob Ellis/staff photographer
As her current team warms up prior to a game against Watkins Glen, Dryden girls’ varsity basketball coach Joanne Holland chats with several of her former players, including Whitney Point’s Ellen Tambascio (left) and Sara Willis (right) from Dryden.

Staff Writer

DRYDEN — There was enough pressure before the Dryden High girls tipped off against visiting Watkins Glen in Interscholastic Athletic Conference Division I basketball Thursday night as the season wound down for two teams struggling through tough seasons, but the pressure was even higher on the Purple Lions to win. It was a night where Dryden High said goodbye to head coach Joanne Holland, who will wrap up 25 years of coaching at the end of the season.
Appropriately enough, it was another Holland who sank four free throws in the final 33 seconds that secured the third win for Dryden this season. Purple Lion senior Mary Holland, the coach’s daughter, made both ends of two clutch one-and-one chances to help make the final score Dryden 39, Watkins Glen 33, capping off an emotional evening for her mother.
Prior to the game, Dryden athletic director Ralph Boettger led a tribute to Coach Holland that included the appearance of several former Whitney Point players that Holland coached. Those players were Amber Croft, Christy Croft, Karen (Gritman) Williams, Kristie Vandeburg, Jennifer (Taylor) Angelo, Ellen Tambascio, Katie Green and Mary (Halloran) Shea. Most of the group was from her 1991 Golden Eagles team that reached the state finals played at Queensbury High School in Glens Falls. 2000 Dryden graduate Sara Willis was also_in attendance.
The 2006-07 Purple Lion team presented flowers and a loose-leaf notebook filled with e-mail well wishes from many other former players and coaches that Holland has come in contact with over her career. The entire evening was set in motion by her husband, Michael, who began this surprise celebration weeks ago.
“It was very humbling to see those kids, they really are young women now, walk into the gym,” said Coach Holland. “I did not recognize them at first because I did not expect this was for me. I think it was the sweetest thing that has ever been done for me.”
Once the game began, it was Watkins Glen who tried to ruin the party by building a five-point lead in the first quarter behind the sharpshooting of Jaclyn Conklin and Sophie Peters. Conklin scored seven points, Peters four and Sheena Riley added two as the Senecas led 13-8.
After the lead grew to 15-8, Dryden roared back to knot the score at 15-15. Beth Guernsey came off the bench and hit two 3-pointers while Megan Alo sank one of two free throw attempts in the first three minutes of the quarter.
Peters and Riley answered for the visitors and Watkins Glen was able to hold a 21-17 advantage heading into the locker room.
The third quarter was very low-scoring as both teams used hustle and solid defense to keep the other team from scoring. Dryden scratched out five points to take the lead. Amber Guernsey made one foul shot, Mary Holland scored one basket and Jessica Bush netted the go-ahead deuce with 20 seconds left in the quarter for a 22-21 Purple Lion advantage.
The fourth quarter was exciting as Watkins Glen took the lead on a three-point play by Conklin, Alo tied the game at 24-24 seconds later off a nice pass from Bush.
Beth Guernsey put Dryden on top 26-24 with 6:28 left, but Conklin tied the game with two free throws 17 seconds later.
With 5:31 remaining, Jackie Thornton made the second of two foul shots, after missing the first, as the Purple Lions took the lead for good at 27-26. That free throw sparked a 9-0 run for Dryden.
Holland hit two straight shots, Thronton scored on an offensive_rebound and Bush made steal near mid-court and scored on a driving lay-up as Dryden now led 35-26 with 2:10 remaining.
With 1:16 on the clock, Peters made two foul shots for Watkins Glen and, after a steal, Peters sank two more charity tosses and the Dryden lead shrank to 35-30. Coach Holland immediately called timeout and settled her girls down.
Watkins Glen was forced to foul and Mary Holland came through with her four clutch free throws in a nine-second span as the Purple Lions led 39-30 with 24 seconds left,
Conklin capped her game-high scoring night (15 points) with a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the Senecas.
 “The whole team played a good game tonight,” said Coach Holland. “We worked the kids in a different times. There were a lot of key rebounds. There was great hustle. Megan Alo was having a stellar night until she twisted her ankle. I hoped she will be able to come back for Parent/Senior Night Tuesday. All the girls have roles and they all contributed tonight.”
Mary Holland finished with 12 points to lead Dryden with Beth Guernsey netting eight points.
“We all worked together tonight,” said Mary Holland. “It all came together for us. It will be funny that she is not coaching next year, but, hopefully, she will come back from my younger sister. Maybe she will coach some of the youth teams because I know she wants to see my brother play. He is on the JV team now.”
Dryden will host Trumansburg Tuesday in the Division I finale before a non-league game against Corning East and Section 4 Tournament play.
WATKINS GLEN JVs posted the 49-32 victory over Dryden earlier in the evening.


Purple Tigers edged in Freedom finale

EAST SYRACUSE — It was an opportunity lost.
That’s how Cortland High wrestling coach Dave Darrow viewed his team’s narrow 32-30 loss at East Syracuse-Minoa Thursday night in its OHSL Freedom Division finale. The Purple Tigers wound up 2-4 in the rugged league.
“We had a chance to win and didn’t get it done,” Darrow said. “We got pinned too many times; guys got pinned who shouldn’t have and our youth showed. We won seven of the 13 bouts but lost the match; that’s the third time that’s happened to us this season.
“Brandon Fitzgerald had the best match of the wins we had; he beat a good wrestler pretty easily.” Fitzgerald, now 28-11 on the season, beat the Spartans’ Dustin Moss 7-3 at 152 pounds.
Darrow also cited A.J. Meldrim (a 20-6 major decision winner over Marcus Morris at 140) and Montana Sanders (8-0 major decision over Mike Dee at 130) for their performances.
Cortland’s Dan Foster improved to 36-3 at 160 pounds by pinning Jeff Kimber in 2:36, while Garret Morse is now 17-6 after taking just nine seconds to flatten Matt Revette at 103. Josh Morehouse (30-5) won a 14-3 major decision over Lawrence Piper at 171, and Mike Gates beat Aaron Williamson 2-0 at 112 pounds to improve to 32-4.
Thursday’s match was the last dual meet in the 24-year career of ES-M coach Doug Hartman, who compiled a 307-137-1 record over that span.
Cortland is now 24-10 overall and can still tie or pass the program record of 25 wins in a season. The Purple Tigers visit Lansing at 1 p.m. Saturday and close out their dual-meet season by hosting Baldwinsville Wednesday, with a JV starting time of 5:30 p.m.
Winning JV matches for CHS Thursday were Eric Reisweber by pin at 112 and, with decisions, Jason DeGouff at 125 and Kyle Cute at 130.



New York Mills tops DeRuyter once again

An old foe got the best of the host DeRuyter volleyball team Thursday night.
Two-time defending Section 3 Class D champion New York Mills, which beat the Rockets for those two titles, did it again with a 25-12, 21-25, 25-22, 25-10 win. The Marauders (17-4) made it four victories in three seasons against Gary Burdick’s club, having also stopped the visiting Rockets in four games back in December.
In another non-league match Thursday, visiting Tully downed Cincinnatus 25-17, 25-18, 21-25, 25-17.
New York Mills 3, DeRuyter 1: “The girls weren’t on at all in the first game, letting balls drop and not going after them like we could, but in the second game they were going after everything, keeping balls of the floor,” DeRuyter coach Gary Burdick said, his team now 13-6 overall. “They played a real good third game, and played well in the fourth game. New York Mills put the ball in open spots.
“We’ll have to change our positioning to cover the spots where they were putting the balls. I’d rather lose to them now than in sectionals. We didn’t feel that they’re a hard-hitting team; they placed the ball where we weren’t. The changes will make us a stronger team, and we’ll bounce back.”
DeRuyter visits Clinton Monday for a non-leaguer that will close out the regular season, with the sectional seeding meeting set for Tuesday. The first round of sectionals begins Wednesday, pending byes for highly-seeded squads.