February 11, 2011


CHS clincher topping Trojans

Staff Writer

It took one quarter for Cortland High girls to get the offense into run-and-gun mode, but from that point on the Purple Tigers cruised to an easy victory over host Homer Central Thursday night.
Maggie Brown scored a game-high 17 points as Cortland clinched a share of the OHSL Freedom American Division title with a 52-34 win over the Trojans.
Cortland improves to 9-2 in division play, 11-4 overall. Homer falls to 3-10 in division, 3-13 overall.
It took seven minutes before either team scored a basket. Cortland built 6-2 on four free throws from Brown and two from Devon Tennant. The two Homer points were free throws by Carissa Cornwell.
With 40 seconds left in the quarter, Brown hit a baseline jumper and the flood gates opened. A steal, pass and bucket by Tennant followed before Melanie Phillips recorded a steal and lay-up with nine seconds left in the quarter as the Purple Tigers six points scored in 31 seconds for a 12-2 lead at the end of the quarter.
“We weren’t making our shots close to the basket,” Brown said. “We decided to fast break more. It worked and we started to score more. We knew that eventually we would get it together. We kept running our offense and getting fast breaks. We knew that we could start pulling ahead.”
“You have to be able to rebound,” Cortland coach Dick Penoyer said. “When our kids rebound well, we are able to run. We did rebound well tonight. That started opening some things underneath the basket later. That got us going.
“We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well,” he added. “It was nice that some kids scored tonight that haven’t score that much. Homer has three good shooters in (Sarah) diGiovanna, (Jessica) Parmiter and Carissa (Cornwell). They did hit some shots, but we did well against them overall.”
CHS WENT ON a 12-2 run in the first three minutes of the second quarter to blow the game open. Nacirema Mann began the run with a short jumper before Cornwell made two more free throws for Homer.
The Purple Tigers then scored 10 unanswered points. A bucket by Tennant off a Mann pass plus two baskets by Brown came before Homer coach Marv Zimmerman called time out. Mann connected again after the break and Phillips’ fast-break lay-in made it 24-4.
With 4:22 left in the first half, diGiovanna netted the only Trojan basket in 33 attempts to stop the Cortland run, but the Purple Tigers closed out the half with a 13-0 spurt for a 37-6 halftime advantage.
Brown had 12 points at the break. Tennant netted eight points and Phillips had seven, each better than the Homer total.
Homer found its shooting touch to start the third quarter. The Trojans doubled their point total with a 7-0 run. Jessica Parmiter nailed a 3-pointer and the junior then assisted by jumpers by diGiovanna and Chelsea Jones. After Tennant stopped the Trojan run with her ninth and 10th points of the night, Jones scored another bank shot off glass from the foul line for Homer.
After that, Cortland countered with its own 10-0 run for its biggest lead of the night at 49-15. From then on, Penoyer began emptying his bench.
Cornwell and Parmiter each connected on a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter as the Trojans won the fourth quarter 14-5 and the second half 28-19.
It’s those positives that Zimmerman is trying to build on.
“I THOUGHT WE did play well,” Zimmerman said. “We came out strong and played good defense. We just couldn’t make a shot. If you keep missing shot, the other team is going to start to catch fire and that’s what Cortland did. We did win the second half and we can build on that for Fowler.
“Chelsea Jones came off the bench and played her best game the year,” he added. “We did comeback at the end a little and make it respectable.”
Brown ended the night with 17 points, eight assists on four rebounds. Phillips netted 11 point while Tennant added 10 points and nine boards. Mann totaled eight boards and a team-high 11 rebounds. The Purple Tigers controlled the boards 52-37, which, in turn, generated their fast-break offense.
Cornwell had a double-double for the Trojans with 13 points and 10 rebounds. she finished with three 3-pointers on the night for a total of 37 for the season. The senior sharpshooter is four away from tying Ashley Brown’s single-season mark of 41 treys set during the 2007-2008 season.
Parmiter added nine points and eight rebounds to the Homer attack.
Are the Purple Tigers beginning to peak in terms of their play?
“We’ve been inconsistent at times,” Penoyer said. “I will say that this team has improved tremendously since the beginning of the season. We have gotten better. The younger kids are starting to come around.”
Cortland High will return to action Saturday as the Purple Tigers host Mexico in a make-up game from last Tuesday night. The JV game tips off at noon with the varsity to follow.
Homer will close out its season Tuesday. The Trojans will host Fowler on Senior Recognition Night. JV action tips off at 5:30 p.m.
CORTLAND JVS escaped with a 32-20 win over Homer when Jackie Phillips made one of two free throw attempts to keep the visitors in front with 39.9 seconds left.
Taylor Tabel gave Cortland (10-5) a 31-28 lead with 1:42 left in the game, but Homer (5-11) cut the margin to one point on a bucket by Danielle Litzen with 1:19 left. After a Homer miss, Cortland failed to ice the game with a pair of missed tosses from the charity stripe with eight seconds to go, but the Trojans could not get a final shot off.
“We got open looks, but we didn’t shoot the ball too well,” a hoarse Jamie Brown said after the game. “We have been getting better each game and winning these close ones can only continue to help us improve.”
“Despite all the fouls and having just eight players, the girls played well,” Homer coach Cris Colasurdo said. “We played a much better game this time. It really was a good defensive effort.”
Raeanna Dunn led all scorers with nine points for Cortland. Amber Welsh added seven points.
Alexis Conway paced Homer with seven points. Hannah Agate and Litzen each added six points for the Trojans, who actually made 13 shots from the field compared to Cortland’s eight.
The big difference in the game was free throws. The Purple Tigers made 16-for-31 attempts. The Trojans got just eight attempts, sinking three.


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