February 09, 2008


Trojans finish up with loss


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Gabby Luety (33) of Homer Central gets Tessa Pucello (10) of Solvay to leave her feet as she lines up a jumper. Leuty scored nine points in 42-29 Trojans loss.

Staff Writer

While the final outcome was not the desired result that Homer Central girls were looking for, it still could not diminish the feelings as Trojan seniors Ashley Brown, Stephanie Hartquist and Haylee Riley played their last basketball game together.
Solvay posted the 42-29 non-league victory while Homer wrapped up its first season under coach Bruce Tytler at 5-15.
Each senior was introduced in pre-game ceremonies and presented a single rose from the teammates. The seniors then turned the tables on Tytler, presenting him with a giant teddy bear with a Homer basketball t-shirt and shades. They also presented Tytler’s wife, Carol, with flowers.
“I have had so much fun playing basketball during my years at Homer,” said Riley. “I have so glad to end it with these girls and Mr. Tytler. He really did a wonderful job of helping us improve all season long. Our record may not show it, but we all worked very work and did improve throughout the season. I will remember this season forever.”
“Coach was awesome this year,” added Brown. “He had a big task on his shoulders after our season last year. He really did a great job this year.”
“We went into the game tonight knowing it would probably be the last time we would play basketball together,” Hartquist explained. “We put everything we had into it. It was fun this season and we worked hard together as a group.”
“I really did inherit some very nice girls,” said Tytler. “I cannot say enough about them. From the three seniors to the other seven players, they were all very coachable. They are fine young women and they all worked very hard. Most of the time they gave me their best effort. I wish we could have won more games, because we did get better from the start of the season through 20 games and 50 practices.
“I guess I am Poppa Bear,” Tytler continued with a chuckle. “That was a total surprise. That shows just how cool these girls are. I was not expecting that or that kind of reaction from the girls. I am very proud of them.”
IT WAS A TOUGH shooting night from both teams.
Solvay (14-6 overall) built a 6-0 lead through the first four minutes of the game, but Homer battled back. A jumper by Hartquist (seven points) and two buckets by Gabby Leuty (nine points) tied the game. A driving lay-up by Solvay’s Kelly Kaltenbach (13 points) was answered by an offensive putback by Brown (eight points) as the two teams were tied 8-8 at the end of the quarter.
The Trojans could not buy a basket until the midway point of the second quarter while the Bearcats used a 9-0 run to build a 17-8 cushion, which they maintained the rest of the night. Cheley Chavez-Egan (11 points) scored on a pair of driving lay-ups and a 3-pointer by Kaltenbach helped opening of the game for the visitors. Solvay enjoyed a 21-13 advantage by halftime.
The third quarter was another low-scoring quarter for each team and it also had the scariest moment when Luety and Chavez-Egan collided with their heads chasing a loose ball. Luety opened a big cut over her left eye and left the gym to her injury treated while Chavez-Egan laid face-first on the court for several minutes before being rolled over to have a cut by her right eye treated. Chavez-Egan would just go to the locker room and actually came back to play in the fourth quarter with a bandage over her wound. The visitors led 30-18 with one quarter left.
While Homer never got closer than 11 points in the fourth quarter, Brown did hit one 3-pointer, concluding her single-season best of 41 treys and finished her school-record career 3-point total at 109. Brown finishes her three-year varsity career with 520 points, 11th best in school history.
“I am surprised that I had this many 3-pointers,” said Brown. “The thing is that I never would be able to do this without the help of my teammates. You don’t get the ball if they don’t pass it to you. Teammates are everything in something like this.”
Hartquist wraps up her four-year varsity career with 538 points, seventh on the all-time scoring list.
“I did not even know that until you told me,” said a humbled Hartquist. “It is nice to go out in a position like that, but I also know that I am not the only person that did things to help the team. That is the thing that should really be remembered. I am just one part and there are so many other parts to a team.”
HOMER JVs closed out their season on a high note, the Trojans beating Solvay 41-26 in the opening game. Homer finishes with a 6-12 record.
“The girls really played a nice game tonight,” said Homer coach Marv Zimmerman. “We had balanced scoring and good ball movement. Everyone was involved and contributed to this win.”
Ashley Crossway led Homer with 13 points and 18 rebounds while Sarah DiGiovanna added seven points and seven rebounds. Kaylie Eastman netted nine points, Carissa Cornwell recorded four steals and Alyssa Smith scored her first three points of the season, meaning that every Homer player scored this season.
Denyel Bush led Solvay with 14 points.




Purple Tigers drop home finale

Staff Writer

The Cortland High boys’ basketball team celebrated Senior Night before Friday’s game against Phoenix at Shafer Gym, with the senior players’ parents and the wives of the coaching staff honored in pre-game ceremonies.
As it turned out, that was about all that the home crowd had to cheer about.
After spotting the Purple Tigers the first seven points of the game, the visitors from Oswego County scored the next 16 and led the rest of the way in scoring a 52-45 victory. CHS wound up the regular season at 3-10 in the OHSL Freedom American Division and 7-13 overall, heading into the Section 3 Class A tournament next week.
“We don’t score,” said Cortland coach Mick Lowie, whose team finished its regular campaign by losing seven of its last eight games. The only win during that stretch was a last-second 45-43 affair at Homer Monday.
“All the kids can score, but we don’t have consistent scorers,” added Lowie. “All season long we’ve done good things in practice and executed well, but in a game it’s different. It’s frustrating to me because I know it’s in them, but I’m not able to get it out. They have their own frustrations with bad passes and other mistakes.”
Still, Lowie has the respect of first-year Phoenix coach Rod Raper, the former head of the school’s powerful girls’ program.
“I half-expected us to come out a little flat. It’s a long ride down here,” he said, his squad finishing the regular season at 5-8 in league play and 10-10 overall. “Cortland came out like gang-busters, with a lot of emotion and energy, and took it to us. Mick always has his kids ready to play.
“We have a good core of seniors on this team, and they’ve been through adversity before. No Mick Lowie-coached team is ever going to quit; you can’t let down, because they’ll come right back at you,” added Raper.




First place Cortland runs away from Bears

CHITTENANGO — After a slow first half, the Cortland High girls’ basketball team turned it up in the second half against host Chittenango Friday night.
Way up.
The Purple Tigers led 24-16 at halftime and put the game away with a 17-5 third-quarter advantage, then outscored the Bears 17-0 in the fourth in what ended up a 57-21 OHSL Freedom American Division victory.
Coach Dick Penoyer’s squad finished 12-1 in league play to claim the division championship and is 18-2 heading into the Section 3 Class A tournament, with the seeding meeting set for Tuesday.
Senior point guard Shannon Finucane led the Purple Tigers with 22 points and also had seven assists, nine steals and seven assists.
Senior forward-center Amanda Lawlor had nine points and nine rebounds, senior forward Fawn Lolar nine points and four rebounds and eighth-grade guard Maggie Brown five rebounds. Cortland had 34 rebounds in the game.
“We didn’t play real well in the first half,” Penoyer said. “We were a little bit lethargic. In the second half the girls had more energy and picked up their effort and enthusiasm. We used different defenses, different presses, and started running a little.
“They used triangle-and-two and box-and-one defense against us in the first half, and it didn’t really hurt us,” he added. “We got good looks, but we needed to start running. Our kids are better in transition that in a set offense, and we’re trying to prepare ourselves a little for sectionals. We could have scored more. We did a good job on defense, but we need to sharpen up on offense a little bit.”
Chittenango, which finished the regular season at 5-8 in league play and 6-14 overall, was led by Ryann Putnam’s six points.
CORTLAND JVs finished up a 15-3 season by beating Chittenango 34-25. Rheanna Bates led the way with 11 points, while Kaitlyn Drach added eight.
The winners led 10-4 after the first quarter, 18-10 at halftime and 26-19 entering the fourth. Hayley Landers scored a game-high 12 points for Chittenango.




Eagles’ playoff fate still unsettled

SKANEATELES — The race for the final sectional berth in the CNYHSHL’s Division II West is coming down to the final night.
And maybe longer.
Cortland-Homer played host Skaneateles, the fifth-ranked Division II team in the state and the division champion, tough Friday night but dropped a 2-1 decision. Syracuse CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt, meanwhile trailed 2-0 after two periods at Ontario bay and rallied for a 4-2 victory.
The Golden Eagles wound up league play at 10-6 for 20 points and are currently in the fourth and final post-season slot, while CBA/J-D is 8-5-2 heading into Monday’s regular-season finale at second-place Corcoran. If the Brothers win that contest, they’ll also have 20 points and will come to Cortland Tuesday night for a play-in game. The site would be determined by the fact that C-H won both regular-season games between the two, including a 2-1 road win on Wednesday
The winner visits Division II East champion Whitesboro in the first round of the sectionals.
“Skaneateles is a very tough club, but we came to play,” Cortland-Homer coach Don Armstrong said. The kids played with heart and hustle right from the opening faceoff and went toe-to-toe with them for the entire game. These kids don’t give up. They show a great desire to win and are willing to pay the price to put themselves in a position to succeed.
“Our top four defensemen — Vic Marchetti, Corey Gibbons, Nate West and Jack Spallone — played very well again, and Garrett Ordway did a great job filling in for our fifth defenseman. Brett Kash had a standout game in goal (making 28 saves as the winners piled up a 30-15 shot advantage) and continues to show steady development. Andre Coen (right wing) had one of his better games at both ends of the ice. He put forth great effort in the offensive corners but also did a great job in our defensive end, blocking several shots, including during man-down sequences.”


Dragons have work to do following loss

FREDONIA — This quest for a playoff spot is hardly over for the SUNY Cortland men’s hockey team.
But the Red Dragons are now part of a three-way deadlock for fourth place in the standings after losing 8-2 at Fredonia on Friday night.
The Blue Devils scored four power play goals, including twice in the opening 4:08, and never trailed on their Steele Hall Arena home ice.
Cortland, Buffalo State and Potsdam all have 13 points with two games left in the regular season, those three schools battling over the final two playoff spots. The top six teams advance into post-season play.
Cortland (6-7-1 SUNYAC, 11-10-2 overall) will skate at Buffalo State (5-6-3, 10-10-3) this evening at 7 p.m. in a crucial clash of playoff contenders. That game can be heard on-line at Bobby Comstock will be providing the play-by-play.
Cortland closes the regular season hosting Oswego next Saturday.
Fredonia improved to 9-3-2 in the conference and 13-7-3 overall. The Blue Devils clinched at least third place in the SUNYAC standings with the win and stayed within three points of second-place Oswego.
Cortland had a slight 37-35 shot edge, getting goals from sophomore Patrick Palmisano and junior Mike Maier.
Bryan Goudy led the Blue Devils with three goals and Matt McKeown scored twice and assisted on two goals. Neal Sheehan added a goal and three assists and Steve Albert finished with a goal and two assists.
Sheehan and McKeown scored on Fredonia’s first two power play attempts, and Alex Morton’s goal 10:49 into the period gave the hosts a 3-0 lead.
Cortland got on the board 1:01 into the second period when Palmisano was hooked on a breakaway while the Red Dragons were shorthanded. He was awarded a penalty shot and scored to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Fredonia, however, scored the next five goals, two on the power play, over the next 16 minutes. Goudy scored all three of his goals during that stretch. The Red Dragons ended the run when Maier converted off a Gerard Heinz assist for a power play goal with 1:05 remaining.