February 10, 2016
CHS fast start squandered
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland High’s Nick Craig, 3, moves to the basket against Jamesville-DeWitt’s Jimmy Boeheim, 10, in the first quarter Tuesday at Shafer Gym.
Things started out well for the Cortland High boys’ basketball team Tuesday night in its regular-season finale against visiting Jamesville-DeWitt.
The Purple Tigers led 13-10 after the first eight minutes, utilizing a game plan of intense man-to-man pressure on the Red Rams’ two leading scorers, Jimmy and Buddy Boeheim.
Offensively, meanwhile, the idea was getting the ball inside to senior center Chris Luke or, failing that, working it to the high post and attacking the middle of J-D’s 2-3 zone.
The 6-foot-10 Luke had six points in the opening quarter to help CHS to the lead. In the second quarter, though, the Boeheim brothers came to the fore, scoring eight points each to key a 24-10 advantage by the visitors that gave them a 34-23 halftime lead en route to what would ultimately be a 66-42 win.
“I think the first quarter gave our team confidence that they could compete against J-D,” Purple Tigers coach Jeremy Milligan said after his team had finished the regular season at 6-6 in the OHSL Freedom National Conference, good for first place, and 9-11 overall. “The second quarter, though, was another story. The Boeheims had six of JD’s nine field goals in the quarter; they went 9-of-14 compared to our 4-of-7.
“Jimmy showed off his deep range, burying two 3-pointers in the second to go along with one in the first, Buddy was also able to connect from behind the arc before Jimmy ended the half with a trey from 30 feet,” he added of the respective senior and sophomore Boeheims. “We were also careless with the ball, with 13 first-half turnovers — most of which came in the second quarter.”
THE HOSTS OPENED the second half with a set play that got the ball inside to Luke for a layup, but that nine-point deficit would be as close as they came the rest of the way. While senior guard Jonny Phillips was able to hold Buddy Boeheim scoreless in the second half, leaving him with 10 points for the game — four below his average — his older brother was more successful.
“Jimmy is the key to J-D’s offense and despite our best efforts he was able to come off some great down-screens in the flex and knock down two more 3-pointers during the third, finishing 5-for-7 on 3-pointers.
“Additionally, Matthew Carlin, J-Ds third-best 3-point shooter, was able to shake loose and get a few open looks and connect, making two treys in the quarter and going 3-for-4 for the game,” he added. “Despite our best scoring quarter of the night, 15 in the third, we gave up 21 to J-D and were unable to cut into the margin. We were limited to one field goal in the fourth (outscored 11-4 by the Red Rams) and the last several minutes of action saw CHS reserves who went out and competed.”
Jimmy Boeheim finished with a game-high 24 points — hitting his average exactly — for J-D, which closed at 10-2 in the Freedom American and 13-7 overall while senior Rahmell Smith also had 10 points and Carlin added nine.
Senior guard Nick Craig had 17 points for CHS and also pulled down five rebounds, with four assists and three deflections. Luke had 12 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots while Phillips and senior forward John Khazzaka had five rebounds each and junior guard Will Pace had three assists.
“WE LOST TO A better team,” Milligan said. “J-D never got rattled, kept their composure and made some nice defensive adjustments to limit easy touches for Chris inside. It was a tough night for us to go cold at the 3-point line against a team that we knew was going to play us (2-3) zone, which they did the whole game.
“We’ve struggled all season to find a consistent third player who can put up some points for us. I think it was an exceptionally efficient night for J-D from 3-point land; in games we scouted them we did not see them shoot this well. In my opinion, turnovers on our end (18) and their ability to connect on treys were the difference.”
Cortland was to learn its assignment for the upcoming Section 3 Class A tournament at today’s sectional seeding meeting.
CORTLAND JVs closed out a 6-13 season with a 61-39 loss to J-D, freshman guard Gus O’Connell with 10 points to lead the hosts. Sophomores Takuya LaClair and Marcus Johnson had 11 points each for the Red Rams while classmate Allpowerful Bornfreedom had 10.
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