February 12, 2010


Cortland High girls pull off upsets

Dribblers knock J-D out of 1st


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland High’s Courtney Tennant scored 19 points as the Purple Tigers knocked host Jamesville-DeWitt out of first place with a 51-33 victory Thursday night.

DeWITT — The Cortland High girls’ basketball team wanted to make a statement Thursday night in their regular-season finale at Jamesville-DeWitt.
Fresh off a 61-48 loss at Syracuse CBA Tuesday that ended their chances to win the OHSL Freedom Division title, the Purple Tigers were, according to coach Dick Penoyer, feeling a bit overlooked heading into the Class A sectional tournament.
That won’t be the case now, as CHS sprang to a 24-7 lead after the first quarter and cruised past the Red Rams 51-33. That avenged the Purple Tigers’ first loss of the season, 52-49, at home back on Jan. 8.
J-D junior point guard Alyssa Gratien had a game-high 24 points in that game, and got plenty of defensive attention from Cortland Thursday night.
“We came out in a box-and-one and put Aubrey VanGorder on Gratien,” Penoyer said after his team finished the regular season at 13-3 in the league and 14-3 overall. “Aubrey did a great job one-on-one, and shut her down. We controlled their offense and frustrated them. They weren’t ready for it (box-and-one) and couldn’t do what they wanted to with the ball. We got a lot of steals on the defensive end and crashed the boards, which enabled us to get out in our transition game, which killed them.”
Cortland collected 48 rebounds in the victory.
Senior forward Courtney Tennant and sophomore guard Maggie Brown both had double-doubles, Tennant with a game-high 19 points and 16 rebounds and Brown with 13 points and 16 rebounds to go with four assists and four steals. Junior guard Nacirema Mann had 10 rebounds and three steals, while senior forward Maggie Reagan had six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Senior guard VanGorder had the winners’ other rebound, to go along with three assists and three steals.
“Courtney, Maggie Brown and Maggie Reagan were steady the whole game, and Nacirema played by far her best game all year rebounding and offensively,” Penoyer said.
The outcome of the game was never in doubt after the Purple Tigers’ first-quarter blitz. The visitors led 28-14 at halftime, and J-D got to within 10 points in the third quarter and no closer, according to Penoyer, who noted that his team got a few more fast breaks after that en route to a 41-24 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Cortland will now await Sunday’s seeding meeting to see where they end up in the Class A bracket. Penoyer noted that his squad could be the top seed or second behind J-D, depending on how the Red Rams fare in their regular-season finale Saturday at Syracuse CBA.
With the loss to Cortland, J-D is 13-2 in the division and 14-3 overall.
CORTLAND JVs lost to J-D 41-20 to conclude a 6-11 season, Madison Beck leading the Purple Tigers with eight points. Kayleigh Cavanaugh had a game-high 11 points for the winners, while Lauren Beville had nine points and Gabrielle Eure eight.