February 8, 2010


Cortland breezes into big week

Now comes the serious stuff for Cortland High girls.
After the Purple Tigers cruised past visiting Mexico on Saturday, a 27-point opening quarter the springboard towards an 80-50 basketball blowout at Shafer Gymnasium, Coach Dick Penoyer’s squad really gets down to business.
Cortland has road trips to Syracuse CBA Tuesday and Jamesville-DeWitt Thursday, crucial games that will help determine an OHSL Freedom Division champion and settle the Purple Tigers’ seeding spot for the upcoming Section 3 Class A tournament.
“We’re down to crunch time now, which is what we’ve worked for,” said Penoyer after his contending team improved to 12-2 in the Freedom Division and 13-2 overall. J-D and Syracuse CBA are division co-leaders at the moment, both with 12-1 records.
Mexico never put much of a fright into CHS, the visitors falling to 3-10 in the Freedom Division and 3-11 overall.
Sophomore guard Maggie Brown had 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists while playing half the contest to lead a balanced attack that saw four Purple Tigers score in double figures.
Courtney Tennant added 15 points and eight rebounds, Morgan VanGorder finished with a dozen points and Aubrey VanGorder added 11 in Cortland’s second highest point total of this season. The Purple Tigers scored 81 points in a victory at Mexico back in December.
“That’s the thing we’re looking for, a little more balanced scoring,” said Penoyer. “We talked about it earlier and that’s the thing that stood out after this game.”
A half-court trapping defense also stymied Mexico, responsible for a bunch of turnovers that enabled CHS to secure 27-11 control at the end of the first quarter. By halftime, the lead had swelled to 46-21.
“It took Mexico out of the game,” said Penoyer of Cortland’s harassing defensive pressure in the early going. “We knew their guards were weak so we wanted to take them right out of their game early and that’s what happened.”
The CHS defense came up with 15 steals for the game, Brown and Morgan VanGorder with three apiece. Hali Peter led Mexico with 11 points, while Markie Mannise, Mikki Mowry and Jamie Wallace finished with nine apiece.
In pre-game ceremonies, Penoyer’s team presented him with a plaque from the Cortland High athletic department in honor of his 100th win as coach of the Purple Tigers. He reached that milestone this past Tuesday when CHS beat visiting Fowler 69-34.
The win over Mexico gives Penoyer a 101-81 record in his nine seasons on the CHS bench.
CORTLAND JVs were 36-26 winners over Mexico in the prelim, never trailing after getting off to a 12-4 first quarter lead when five different Purple Tigers contributed baskets to the cause. Cortland improved to 6-9 with the victory.
Paige Rogers was the top CHS scorer with seven points, while teammate Tara Parker-Sabin finished with six points. Scoring five points apiece in this balanced team effort were Shai Ann Jones, Kayla Evans and Ashley Behrenfeld.