February 07, 2008


Red Rams hand Cortland second straight court loss

Cortland Hoops

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland High’s Courtney Tennant (right) pulls rebound away from Molly Maroney of J-D Wednesday at Shafer Gym. Visiting J-D came away 62-48 winners.

The two halves of the Cortland high girls’ basketball team’s game with visiting Jamesville-DeWitt Wednesday night were vastly different.
Unfortunately for the Purple Tigers, that didn’t work in their favor.
CHS led 23-21 at halftime, but J-D took control by outscoring its host 21-14 in the third and added to its advantage in the fourth en route to a 62-48 victory.
It was the second straight Shafer Gymnasium setback for the Purple Tigers after opening up this season with 17 consecutive victories, a dozen league wins included in that success. CHS lost a non-league outing to Class AA West Genesee 61-59 on Monday.
“We gave up a lot of easy baskets inside and had to work hard for our points,” Cortland coach Dick Penoyer said after his team, which has already clinched the OHSL Freedom American Division regular season title and is currently ranked fifth in the state in Class A, lost to J-D.
“We didn’t think that their center would hurt us, but she scored 19 points,” he added, referring to senior Megan Maycumber of the Red Rams. “In the fourth quarter we were down by four or six points and had to foul them and they made their free throws. J-D, now 10-3 in the league and 15-5 overall, went 12-for-14 from the foul line in the final eight minutes.
Penoyer also noted that, despite the success of senior forward-center Amanda Lawlor, who scored a game-high 26 points, “Their defense was designed to take away our inside game, and they did that. J-D is a funny team. They play a four-guard offense, and we don’t match up well with them.
“We’re not getting scoring from enough different people, and we need to get easier baskets than we did,” he added. “I think the girls are trying too hard. We need to get back to the team concept and play more as a group, and need to do a better job defensively. We’ve given up too many easy baskets two games in a row.”
Lawlor also had nine rebounds (of CHS’s total of 32), while senior forward Fawn Lolar scored 12 points, senior point guard Shannon Finucane had eight points and six assists and junior forward Alena Turturro had seven rebounds.
Alyssa Gratien and Brittany Cohen had 13 points each for the Red Rams.
“There are a lot of good teams in the section, and it’s not good to lose twice in a row this time of year,” Penoyer said in advance of the sectional seeding meeting on Tuesday. “This was a big game. We’ll probably fall to the third or fourth seed now.”
Honored on CHS’s Senior Night were Lawlor, Finucane, Lolar, forward Deanna Bishop and guards Kim Hall and Lauren Shirley.
CORTLAND JVs improved to 14-3 with a 35-33 victory despite the absence of top scorer Maggie Brown, who has been called up to the varsity for the rest of the campaign. The hosts led 15-4 after the first quarter and hung on in the second half for the win.
“We had a lot of confidence going in, and jumped out the big lead by creating some transition baskets with our half-court trap defense,” Purple Tigers coach Jamie Brown said. “We knew Micha Williams would lead them and she did, with 19 points, a lot of them on offensive rebounds. Christine Gutchess, Kaitlyn Drach and Ashley Norton alternated playing her defensively.
“Aubrey VanGorder had 13 points and Kaitlyn Drach seven to lead us, and I was really pleased with the job Ashley did on the offensive boards. She played a real physical game, and Mel Phillips stepped up at guard.”
Both Cortland teams visit Chittenango Friday night.
CHS Soccer Champs Honored
The Section 3 Class A champion Cortland High girls’ soccer team was honored at halftime of the varsity game. The Cortland Sports Boosters presented each team member with a plaque, and a photo collage of the season, which will be placed in the trophy case, was presented by Bill and Debbie Sinsabaugh. A recap of the season was also given as part of the ceremonies.




Golden Eagles deliver special win

Staff Writer

NEDROW — It was a night of special deliveries for the Cortland-Homer hockey team Wednesday in its most important game of the year.
The Golden Eagles’ offense delivered all the goals that would be needed in the elapsed time of 51 seconds over the first two periods, goalie Brett Kash had his blocker delivered to him just before game time and the C-H defense delivered a solid effort in front of him in a key 2-1 win over Syracuse CBA-Jamesville-DeWitt at the Onondaga Nation Arena that moved coach Don Armstrong’s squad that much closer to clinching a berth in the Division II sectionals.
Cortland-Homer is now in fourth place in the CNYHSHL Division II West at 10-5, four points ahead of the Brothers, at 7-5-2. A win at first-place Skaneateles on Friday would give the Golden Eagles third place ahead of Solvay, which is already done with its league season at 10-5-1. At worst, the best CBA can hope for in winning its last two games is a chance to tie C-H for fourth. Should that happen, the two teams would meet in a play-in contest next week in Cortland due to the Golden Eagles winning both games between the two this season, including a 3-2 overtime win on Dec. 11.
Cortland-Homer came out flying, out-shooting CBA/J-D 15-5 in the first period, but it didn’t pay off until just 23.8 seconds were left in the stanza. The Brothers’ Gordie Gehring had been sent to the box for interference, and on the ensuing faceoff, in the right-wing circle in the Brothers’ end of the rink, junior right wing Paul Zimmerman controlled the faceoff and got the puck to senior center Steve Stowell, who ripped a shot high to the far side past goalie Griffin Ferrigan.
“We didn’t think the kids had a sense of urgency, but it worked out that way,” Armstrong said, his team now 11-12 overall. “We would have had a minute or so of power play left in the second. The first goal is so crucial, and then Paul gave us a huge lift early in the second, and when they started to press us the latter half of the second being up two goals helped us. Going into the third, a two-goal lead is a big margin.
“We tried to set the pace and not relax early, to make them skate at a fast pace, and I think it worked to our advantage as the game went on,” he added.
Zimmerman’s tally came 28 seconds into the middle period as he wrested control of the puck from a CBA player behind the hosts’ net, curled in and tucked the puck past Ferrigan from the right-wing doorstep.




Homer drops finale

Homer Central boys hung around for three quarters Wednesday, but visiting Westhill pulled away in the fourth quarter to hand the Trojans an OHSL Liberty Division 58-37 basketball loss.
The Trojans conclude the season with a 2-18 overall record while the Warriors improve to 14-5 with the victory.
“Kids worked hard,” said Homer coach Jim Luchsinger. “We trailed by eight point with four minutes to go, but turned the ball over and could not get any closer.
“The seniors gave a lot to this program,” Luchsinger added. “It was a pleasure to work with them for the last two years. They will certainly be missed next season.”
It was the final game for Homer seniors Mike Carboine, Derrick McCall, Talon Sprouse and Adam Darr.
Westhill led 13-6 after the first quarter and built a 36-14 advantage by halftime. In the third quarter, Homer cut the Westhill margin by one point to 38-27. The Trojans got closer during the final eight minutes, as Coach Luchsinger stated, but the visitors netted 20 points in the fourth quarter to increase the final differential.
McCall led the Trojans with eight points while Carboine netted seven points.
Mike Stirpe paced Westhill with 16 points with Matt Noonan reaching double figures with 10 points.
HOMER JVs  were missing three players due to injury and dropped a 75-30 decision to Westhill. The Trojans finish the season at 3-15 overall.
“We made strides this season and took the first steps in building our program up,” said Homer coach Doug Pasquerella. “The players are excited about the future.”
Luke Pedersen missed his third straight game while Zach Hatfield and J.D. Kiernan were also inactive after a collision in the Skaneateles game Tuesday sidelined both players.
Demitrius Nelson the high point producer with nine.