February 8, 2012

Marathon girls wrap up top spot

HoopsBob Ellis/staff photographer
Sam Courtney went over 1,000 career points in Tuesday’s win at Moravia.

Staff Writer

MORAVIA — It was a historic night for Marathon Central girls on the road Tuesday.
Senior center Samantha Courtney poured in 27 points to lead the visiting Olympians to a 45-34 basketball victory over second-place Moravia. The win gave Marathon its first Interscholastic Athletic Conference divisional title since the 2001-02 campaign.
The North Small School Division champions improve to 12-3 and 13-3 overall. Moravia falls to 10-5, 11-5.
It was a milestone night for Courtney as well.
Her final points of the night came on a lay-up after she stole the ball just beyond the midcourt line and went the distance. Those two points made her just the fifth Olympian girl to top the 1,000 career point mark and gave her team a 42-34 lead with 2:07 left in the contest.
Courtney now stands at 1,001 points.
“I’ve had tremendous support from Coach (Jim) Povero, Coach (Mike) Reilly, my AAU coaches and my teammates over the years to get this far,” Courtney said of her 1,000 point milestone. “I don’t worry so much about scoring points, it’s more about the team winning. I’m just as comfortable dishing the ball off to someone else to score. It’s really a win-win situation.
“It really all comes down to teamwork,” she added on the team’s divisional crown. “Everyone really contributed in this win tonight. I’ve always gone to watch the IAC championship game and have been wanting to play in one. I’m glad I am going to finally play in one, but I am more proud that we have done so well as a team to get there and we all have worked hard for this.”
The overall IAC title game is Feb. 16 at Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden.
“There was a lot of the line,” Marathon coach Mike Reilly said. “Moravia came to play, None of their players had more than six points when we beat them a month ago. We had some turnovers and missed shots that kept things close.
“I thought Emilee Reynolds and Drew Barber did a nice job guarding Meghan Ideman,” he added. “Obviously, we needed to control her to win the game and win the division. We also knew Sam was close to getting her 1,000 points. Both were goals and we knew we could accomplish both.”
As for Courtney’s feat, Reilly said: “It’s a nice accomplishment. She’s so easy going and easy to coach. Sam has a lot of talent and she does give up a lot of shots to get her teammates involved in the scoring.”
MARATHON GOT OFF to a good start as the Olympians built a 10-2 lead in the first six minutes of play. After an Amanda Horton bucket, Moravia tied the game at 2-2 before the Olympians used the an 8-0 run to build the cushion. Courtney began and ended the run with Ellena Holl adding a free throw and Drew Barber (7 points) a deuce.
A 3-pointer by Ideman (9 points) pulled the Blue Devils to within 10-5 before the quarter added. Emilee Reynolds made a free throw for Marathon for the 11-5 advantage at the end of the quarter.
This would be the trend throughout the game. Marathon built leads, Moravia cut them back down to four or five points. The Olympians biggest second-quarter lead was 20-9 with 1:53 left in the half as Courtney made two free throws. A lay by Adrienne Murray (11 points), a bucket from Emily Nemec and a trey from Ideman pulled the Blue Devils to within 20-26 with 25 seconds left in the quarter. One of Courtney’s 20 rebounds led to an easy putback by the Olympian center for a 22-16 halftime advantage.
Marathon was able to open a nine-point led by the end of three quarters. Another Courtney put back and then her foul-line jumper off an assist from Danielle Peebles made the score 34-25 entering fourth quarter play.
Courtney Crossgrove (8 points) nailed a 3-pointer with 3:56 to go as the Blue Devils trailed 38-34, It would be the final points for the home team. One final jumper by Courtney and her historic steal made the score 42-34 with 2:07 to play.
As play approached the final minute, Moravia was forced to foul. Holl finally got a one-and-one with 27 seconds to play and made both free throws for Marathon for the 44-34 cushion. With 13.7 seconds left, Holl made one of two free throws for the final 45-34 count.
MARATHON JVs had a chacne to wrap-up a division title of their own, but Moravia halted that with a 39-33 win. Both teams have identical records and are tied for the division lead.
The game tied 16-16 at halftime, Moravia outscored Marathon 14-5 in the third quarter and took control of the game.
Megan Contri led Marathon with 13 points. Allison O’Shea chipped in with six points. Ciara Hingston scored 15 points and Madison Gensen added 11 points to top the Moravia scoring list.
Marathon will host Southern Cayuga Friday at 6 p.m. while Moravia travels to Dryden. If both teams win or both teams lose, a tie-breaker game will be played to determine who plays Newfield in the Small School Championship Game.


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