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February 3, 2016

Purple Tigers roar

CHSJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland High’s Shea Swarwout, 11, takes a shot in the third quarter guarded by Homer Central’s Dakota Kleefeld, right, Tuesday at SUNY Cortland. Swartwout scored 31 points in the 51-36 CHS win.

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

There was no stopping Shea Swartwout Tuesday night.
The Cortland High senior guard scored 31 points as the Purple Tigers rolled over Homer Central 51-36 in an OHSL Freedom Division girls’ basketball match-up at SUNY Cortland’s Corey Gymnasium.
When she wasn’t driving the lane or baseline, Swartwout was hitting from the outside with seven 3-pointers and she was a near perfect 8-for-9 at the free throw stripe as CHS improved to 7-2 in the divison and 11-7 overall while sweeping the season series over its neighbor.
Hosting Homer falls to 3-5 in the Freedom Division, 10-8 overall.
Swartwout also led the Purple Tigers with nine rebounds, dished out two assists and recorded one steal. The senior now has 961 career points with her senior season winding down.
“We work a lot on our offense in practice. We had a game Monday, so we really just flowed right into tonight’s game,” Swartwout said, CHS coming off a 53-42 home court win over Mexico.
“I haven’t shot the ball well in a while so it felt good,” she added. “It was nice to go out like this against Homer. We’ll focus on Senior Night Thursday and then sectionals.”
“We have three of four offensive sets that we have perfected over the course of the season,” Cortland coach Nolan Sinclair said. “Instead of 10 or 11 half-court sets, we have four or five that the girls have worked on really hard. When they are patient and run it, we can get lay-ups and wide open jump shots. They are a very cerebral team and we had a lot of success with it tonight.
“Our girls were focused,” he continued. “Both the Homer boys and girls teams are up and coming teams. Both varsity teams are going to sectionals. We didn’t want to let this one slip.”
SWARTWOUT SCORED the final five points of the first quarter to help Cortland take an 11-5 lead. The Purple Tigers attacked offensively and forced Homer’s leading scorer Caley Cornwell to the bench with three fouls just two minutes into the second quarter.
The Trojans could muster just six points in the quarter.
Swartwout hit from the top of the key and again with a drive down the lane while Paige Potter scored twice to build a 20-8 cushion. Jackie Phillips hit four free throws in the final 30 seconds of the half as the Purple Tigers led 24-11. Swartwout finished with 13 points in the half.
Swartwout scored 12 points in the third quarter, including two 3-pointers and Phillips collected the other five and Cortland pulled away to a 41-22 advantage. Phillips scored 12 points, pulled down eight rebounds and added three assists for the game.
When Emily Edwards scored on a driving lay-up with 4:30 left in the game, Cortland had its biggest lead of the night at 49-25.
Homer closed out the contest with an 11-2 run Shawnessy Earle tallied six of those points while Macy Boice capped her team-leading 11-point effort with a driving lay-up. Earle scored nine points for the Trojans. Boice added five rebounds, two assists, one steal and one blocked shot to her efforts. Cornwell pulled down six rebounds and netted five points in limited action before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Dakota Kleefeld also pulled down six rebounds.
“WE DIDN’T FOLLOW the game plan,” Homer coach Chris DiFulvio said, having hoped to avenge a closer 51-47 loss at CHS last month. “The girls did not play smart basketball. We haven’t played like this since Fulton in the Christmas Tournament. My hope is that we played pretty intensely after that game so I hope we go into Central Square and ES-M with that same intensity.
“Give Cortland credit,” he continued. “They had a game plan to send Jackie and Shea to the blocks early to get our girls in foul trouble. They got Caley in foul trouble and that hurt us.”
DiFulvio also said he team needs to communicate better defensively and that showed tonight as Cortland was able to drive the lane easily.
Cortland High will host Chittenango Thursday in an OHSL Freedom National Division contest at 7 p.m. The JVs have a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.
Homer will travel to Central Square Thursday for OHSL Freedom National Division action at 7 p.m. The JV contest begins at 5:30 p.m.
HOMER JVs took command in the third quarter to post a 32-21 victory over Cortland Tuesday.
Brenna Johnson scored a game-high 13 points to pace the Trojans (14-3 overall).
“We struggled offensively in the first half, but the defense continued to do well so we kept the game close,” Homer coach Cris Colasurdo said. “We seemed to lack the movement offensively, but after talking about it during half time, the girls came out and did a much better job moving the ball and running through their offense.
“They also decided to stick with one press at halftime, rather then switch up defenses,” she added. “The press helped create some turnovers and cause Cortland to struggle offensively, which helped create the cushion at end of third quarter.”
Homer and Cortland (8-10) were tied at 6-6 after the first quarter. The Trojans began to pull away in the second quarter they took a 13-9 halftime led. Homer pulled away in the third quarter to hold a 23-11 advantage. The Purple Tigers won the fourth quarter by a one point margin.
Deanna Partigianoni added six points to the Homer offense while Allison Kristof netted five points.
Ashley Shortsleeve and Lyndsie Babcock led the way for Cortland with nine and eight points respectively.
“Both girls played an exceptional game all around,” Cortland coach John Protheroe said. “Morgan Tabel also showed her leadership on the court with her hustle and all around team attitude.”.

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