February 11, 2008


Dragon women recover

ONEONTA — With forward Ali Canale at her productive best, SUNY Cortland women did more than just survive what could have been a disastrous week of basketball.
The Red Dragons avoided an uncharacteristic three-game losing streak and created a three-way tie for first place in the SUNY Athletic Conference East Division by tripping host Oneonta 64-50 Saturday.
Canale, a junior out of Oswego, scored 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Cortland made Oneonta’s one-day stay atop the division standings a brief one.
So after losing a game-long lead and dropping a crucial contest at West Division leading Brockport in the late going this past Tuesday, after dropping a frustrating overtime outing at New Paltz on Friday, the defending champion Red Dragons are back on track.
Forward Jessica Laing added 13 points, forward Sara Cavanaugh 11 points and guard Kristin Ciccone 10 points in a balanced scoring effort that enabled the Red Dragons to grab 35-18 control by halftime and increase their lead by as much as 21 points in the second half.
Now Cortland, Oneonta and New Paltz all have 10-3 records and a share of first place in the division, each with three SUNYAC games left in the regular season. All three of the Red Dragon league games will be on their Corey Gymnasium home floor.
Cortland (16-4 overall) travels to Keuka College Thursday to end a four-game road trip.
Ciccone had five points as Cortland opened up 9-3 lead five minutes into the game and then went on a run of 16 unanswered points to pull away for keeps. The Red Dragons shot 52 percent from the floor during that hot start, while the hosts shot just 24 percent.
Oneonta (15-6) never made a run in the second half, either. Sara Chrystie had 15 points and Christi Podgorski 12 in the loss. The hosts struggled shooting throughout, including going 3-for-21 from 3-point range.
Cortland ended up shooting 24-of-53 from the floor, with Canale making 6-of-9 shots during her big outing. Freshmen Jennifer Polan and Jennifer Patten helped out with seven and six points, respectively.

Cortland Men Grab Victory

ONEONTA — Even with junior Carson Niehoff and senior Michael Jankiewicz shooting lights out from long-range, SUNY Cortland men still had its hands full with Oneonta on Saturday.
It would take a late second half spurt to finally put the visiting Red Dragons ahead for keeps, Cortland coming up with a 72-68 SUNYAC victory over their Eastern Division rivals.
Cortland improved to 10-3 in conference play, 17-5 oveall and sits unchallenged in second place in the East Division standings. Third place Oneonta is 6-7 in SUNYAC play and 11-11 overall.
This game was deadlocked at 58-58 with just over six minutes remaining when Cortland scored seven straight points — capped by a Mike Lewis lay-up — to move ahead for keeps.
Niehoff and Jankiewicz both made 4-of-5 shots from beyond the 3-point arc for a Red Dragon team that shot 58 percent from the floor for the game. All of Niehoff’s team-high 16 points came in the opening half when Cortland led 39-35 while making 63 percent of its attempts from the floor.
Oneonta went ahead 47-45 on a Michael Grimes jump shot five minutes into the second half, the hosts stayed in front until Jankiewicz buried a 3-pointer to tie the game at 50-50 with just over 10 minutes left to play.
After Cortland surged ahead, the closest Oneonta came was within 71-68 on a Bobby Fisk 3-pointer with 23 seconds left to play. Juan Miolan made the first of two free throws with 21.2 seconds left to push the Cortland lead to four, and Oneonta missed on two 3-point attempts in the final 12 seconds.
The inside tandem of Lewis and Paul Oliver scored 15 and 14 points apiece for the Red Dragons, Lewis making 6-of-10 shots and Oliver 6-of-9. Jankiewicz, who had 13 points and a trio of treys in a win at New Paltz on Friday, also had 14 points in the victory.
Robert Fisk of Oneonta led all scorers with 25 points, while Michael Grimes tossed in 15.
Cortland is off until Saturday afternoon when SUNYIT visits Corey Gymnasium. 




Groton nipped in ‘wild’ playoff

SPENCER — It was a cliffhanger of a boys’ basketball game as Groton Central and Candor met in the Interscholastic Athletic Conference wild-card playoff showdown Saturday at Spencer-Van Etten Junior-Senior High School.
Will Gates scored a game-high 27 points and Jorden Updyke hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 52 seconds remaining to give Candor a thrilling 77-76 win in a game with 10 lead changes and 10 ties.
Candor (13-6 overall) advances to face Division III champion Union Springs (16-2) at 8 p.m. in one semifinal match-up Tuesday at Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden. Division I champion Lansing (17-1) and Division II champion Elmira Heights Edison (15-3) meet 6 p.m. in the first match-up of the night.
“It was a good spectator game,” said Groton coach John Filzen. “We did give-up 40 points in the first half. It was an up-tempo game, but the kids played hard.”
Ethan Tilebein tossed in 21 points for the Indians, while Kyle Younger added 17 points and 18 rebounds. Josh Senter finished with 16 points and Peter Jackson tossed in 11 points to go along with 11 assists as Groton now heads into the Section 4 Class C tournament.
Late in the game Updyke (13 points) gave Candor a 75-74 advantage and Gates added two crucial free throws for a 77-74 advantage.
Groton (14-5) did not go away quiet as Yunger tipped in a game-tying 3-point miss to pull the Indians to within 77-76 with six seconds left that snapped drought since the 2:35 to go mark by Groton. After a bad inbounds pass by Candor went out-of-bounds, Groton got one last chance. Jackson’s desperation lay-up after a full-court drive rolled off the rim as time expired. It was a similar play that Jackson made to force overtime against Newfield just two weeks earlier.
“I thought the ball went out-of-bounds on the end line, but the officials said that a Candor player did touch the ball on the long inbounds play,” Filzen explained. “That meant we had to inbound the ball at the far end line instead of under our basket. Peter got the shot off and the ball just hung on the rim for a second before falling away.”




All-star swim status for six Purple Lions

ELMIRA Dryden High’s Steve Rugg, Zach Wixom, Luke McNinch, Marcel Merwin, Nick Lange and Jon Ottenschot all earned all-star status Saturday at the Interscholastic Athletic Conference Swimming and Diving Championships at Elmira Free Academy.
The Purple Lions placed third as a team with 239 points as Lansing topped Waverly, 298-263, for team honors.
Rugg won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:07.45 while Ottenschot led the Dryden divers to first-place team honors while scoring the individual win with 278.30 points. Ottenschot earned Most Valuable Diver honors with his victory.
Lange posted a second-place finish in diving while Rugg joined Zach Wixom, Carl Odfalk and Dan Cooper as runners-up in the 200 medley relay team.
Third-place finishes were posted by Marcel Merwin (500 free), Wixom (100 backstroke), Devin Jewell (diving) and the 400 free relay team of Zach Griffin, Luke McNinch, Kevin Vorstadt and Wixom.
Lansing standout Jake Sangren was the Most Valuable Swimmer. Sangren won the 200 individual medley (1:57.96) and 100 backstroke while anchoring the winning 200 medley relay team.




Saints roll into playoffs

PENN YAN — Cortland Christian Academy basketball teams will both be seeded second for the Empire State Christian Athletic League playoffs, those squads coming up with victories on Saturday to conclude the regular season.
Cortland Christian girls pulled away in the second half to beat Emmanuel Baptist of Penn Yan 38-15 Saturday morning. The Lady Saints will now host Cincinantus Christian this evening at 5 p.m. in an ESCAL semifinal game.
Cortland Christian boys led 24-2 after the first quarter en route to a 54-24 win over Emmanuel Baptist, and will host Baldwinsville Christian Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in another ESCAL semifinal.
While Cortland Christian and Cincinnatus Christian meet in one girls’ semifinal, Finger Lakes travels to Norwich to take on Valley Heights in the other semifinal.
Cincinnatus Christian boys are at Valley Heights on Tuesday in a semifinal game, with the title games for both boys and girls slated for Friday night at Cincinnatus Central High School.
After making just 5-of-27 first half shots in opening girls’ game, Cortland Christian (6-2 ESCAL, 7-3 overall) pulled away as 10 different players scored points. Larissa Miller had 10 points to lead the way, while Courtney Hall finished with eight points. Leah Sweeney had six points and seven rebounds, Diane Horton also with seven rebounds for the Lady Saints.
Abby Woudenburg led Emmanuel Baptist (0-8) with 10 points.
— Cortland Christian (8-2 ESCAL, 11-2 overall) coasted past Emmanuel Baptist (2-8, 4-8) behind a balanced attack. Greg Buchanan had 10 points and seven rebounds for the winners, while Nick Chiano also tossed in 10 points.
Kyle Kinney and Nathan Ploss added nine points apiece, Kyle Ripley had eight points and four assists and Seth Ripley nine rebounds for the Saints.



Cortland dominates at tourney

MARATHON —Marathon Central wrestlers hosted a mini-tournament Saturday for wrestlers who had not participated in the maximum number of tournaments allowed.
At the end of the day, Cortland High took home team honors with 347 points while Tioga placed second with 327 points. Marathon placed sixth in the tournament field.
Individually, four Cortland wrestlers took first-place honors while the other five grabbed second-place finishes. “Everyone we had there wrestled well,” said Cortland coach Dave Darrow.
Jason DeGouff (130), Montana Sanders (145), Garrett Wyatt (152) and Bradon Fitzgerald (160) each took top honors with perfect 5-0 records.
Going 4-1 for the Purple Tigers were runners-up Barklee Sanders (96), Anthony Stento (112), Garret Morse (125), A.J. Meldrim (140) and Cody Hartmann (189).
Marathon was led by the first-place efforts of Tyler Bush at 96 pounds and Kasey Bush at 140; second-place finishes by Scot Torbitt (145) and Troy Reynolds (171); plus third-place results by Quin Nichols (160).