February 14, 2007


Cortland CA boys survive semi scare

Cortland Hoops

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland Christian center Greg Buchanan (21) comes down with a second quarter defensive rebound over Caleb Austin (44) of Baldwinsville Christian, as Saints’ Darren Miller, center, turns upcourt. Buchanan had 16 points in the Saints’ 64-59 playoff win last night.

Top-seeded Cortland Christian Academy boys survived a bit of basketball scare before moving on to the Empire State Christian Athletic League title game.
In Tuesday’s playoff semifinal tussle on their home floor, the Saints escaped with a 65-59 victory over fourth seeded Baldwinsville Christian in a game that was deadlocked heading into the final quarter.
Four players finished in double figures for both squads in this shootout, Cortland Christian (18-1) moving on to Saturday’s championship games being held in Remsen.
Second seed Cortland Christian girls face top seed Valley Heights out of Norwich in the opening title game at 10 a.m. Cortland Christian boys follow at 11:30 a.m., to meet the winner of the semifinal game sending Valley Heights to Maranatha Christian in New Hartford.
Pete Sargent had 17 points to lead the regular season champion Saints, also pulling down nine rebounds.
A trio of players also had impressive stat lines for the victors.
C.J. Burnett finished with 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had five assists. He also made the lone 3-point shot for the Saints, compared to the seven 3-pointers landed by Baldwinsville Christian shooters.
Greg Buchanan also had 16 points, the 6-foot-7 center with seven rebounds and six blocked shots. And Aaron Burnett had 16 points to go along with a team-high 14 rebounds.
Baldwinsville Christian, which finished 9-6 with three losses to the Saints, were led by Mark D’Anna with 15 points. Caleb Austin had 14 points, Mark D’Anna and Andrew Calabrese pumped in 11 apiece, and Lewis Castor had eight points and seven assists.
The Saints had an early 9-4 lead, only to see Baldwinsville Christian go on a 21-6 run to take the lead. The hosts pulled even at 31-31 by halftime.
The third quarter was a 19-19 standoff, Baldwinsville Christian making five of their seven 3-pointers in the period. But the visitors cooled off in the final stanza, not making a single shot from beyond the arc.
Cortland Christian pulled away by making six straight free throws at one late juncture, though four consecutive misses in the final minute kept this close.
The Saints were 8-for-19 from the line for the game.



Cortland women grab 21st victory

Cavanaugh surpasses 1,000 career points

POTSDAM — Junior Sara Cavanaugh ignited a second half revival that got a lot accomplished for the SUNY Cortland women’s basketball team Tuesday night.
First and foremost, the Red Dragons rallied from a two-point halftime deficit to put away pesky Potsdam 67-52 and remain unbeaten in SUNY Athletic Conference play.
After shooting just 34 percent from the floor and missing all five of their 3-point attempts over the opening 20 minutes, the Red Dragons made 15-of-27 second half shots including a half dozen treys to pull away from their hosts at Jerry Welsh Gymnasium.
With the win came these addition nuggets.
* Cavanaugh finished with 21 points and became the 14th player in Cortland history to surpass 1,000 points for her career. The 6-foot forward reached the milestone swishing a 3-point shot with 16:19 left as part of a 15-2 Red Dragon spurt to open the second half — with Cavanaugh responsible for 13 of those points.
With 1,009 career points, Cavanaugh became only the third player in school history to reach 1,000 points in three seasons or less. Only Kate Smith (1998-2001) and Becky Burkley (1981-83) were as prolific.
* The Red Dragons have now won 21 games in a row, one shy of the school record. With a 21-1 overall record, Coach Jeannette Yeoman’s squad is ranked 24th in the latest national poll.
* The Red Dragons can do no worse that share first place in the SUNYAC standings. At 14-0 in the conference, they hold a two-game advantage over second place Brockport with two games left in the regular season.
Cortland visits Brockport on Friday in a crucial showdown before finishing off the regular season hosting Fredonia at 6 p.m. Saturday. A first place finish, and a first round victory in the SUNYAC playoffs, means Cortland would host the tournament’s Final Four. And the Red Dragons have won 35 consecutive games on their Corey Gymnasium floor.
CORTLAND LED BY as much as eight points in the first half against Potsdam (5-9 SUNYAC, 10-13 overall), but could not put the Bears away until building a double digit lead coming out for the second half.
Red Dragon freshman Jessica Laing had 18 points and 15 rebounds in the victory. It was her 15th ‘double-double’ of the season, the forward also with three steals.
Sophomore guard Maggie Byrne chipped in with 10 points and seven assist, making a couple of 3-pointers during Cortland’s second half success.
Potsdam took a 27-25 lead into intermission when Maureen Curley made a last second 3-pointer. She would wind up leading the Bears with nine points and 12 rebounds before fouling out in the second half.
Cavanaugh tied the game with a basket 15 seconds into the second half, Laing scored a lay-up 18 seconds later, and the Red Dragons never trailed again.
Potsdam was within 50-40 when Hannah Fairchild made a 3-pointer, but Kristin Ciccone and Byrne connected from long range within a span of just over a minute and the Red Dragon lead was at 16.
Ciccone contributed seven points off the bench for Cortland, while senior guard Kerry Costello finished with five assists.
Brockport beat SUNYIT 80-57 last night to keep alive first place hopes. The Golden Eagles finish the second Saturday hosting Geneseo.



Title chance slips from Rockets’ grasp

SYRACUSE — The DeRuyter Central volleyball team was one point away from a third straight berth in the Section 3 Class D finals Tuesday night, on the verge of a chance at redemption against a New York Mills squad that had beaten the Rockets for the title in each of the last two seasons.
It wasn’t to be.
Trailing 25-24 after having lost the first two games 25-19 and 25-22, host Faith Heritage broke DeRuyter’s serve at 25-24 and scored the next two points to win the third game 27-25. The top-seeded Saints then tied the match with a 25-19 win in the fourth game, and closed out the No. 5 Rockets by taking the fifth game 25-9.
Also on Tuesday night, New York Mills (19-4), the tournament’s second seed, advanced to the championship match — set for 8 p.m. Saturday at Jamesville-DeWitt High — with a 25-8, 26-24, 25-6 win over No. 3 Hamilton (16-7).
“It’s kind of disappointing not to be able to go to the finals and play New York Mills again,” said DeRuyter coach Gary Burdick, whose team’s final 15-7 record includes two non-league losses to the Marauders. “We didn’t take Faith Heritage for granted. We had a great season, including a win over Class A Homer and a strong showing in the quarterfinals in beating Oppenheim-Ephrata. I’m proud of the kids; they did a great job. It’s hard to end that way.”
DeRuyter also won a third straight Central Counties League championship.
Faith Heritage led the third game 24-23 before DeRuyter broke serve and then went up 25-24 with a chance to close out the match. The Saints (17-3) rallied for the win, prevailed in a fourth game that was tied as late as 15-15 and then rolled in the deciding contest.
“If we had gotten that last (match) point, it would have looked like it was fairly easy for us, and it wasn’t,” Burdick said. “Faith Heritage is a very tough team with a strong defense. It seems they can get everything up, and they’re scrappy. They play hard at the net, and put some balls into and off our blockers, which was frustrating. Give them credit, they’re a good team.”
The deciding game was close early on, as the Saints led by just 7-4 before claiming 18 of the next 23 points and the match. “They kept on whittling away and getting points,” Burdick said. “Sometimes when you see a score like that, you think that the losing team let down, but the girls played with all they had. They wanted that game.”
The final point, fittingly enough, came when a Faith Heritage hit went off a DeRuyter player and out of bounds.
Kristi Custer, in her last game as a Rocket, had eight kills, four aces, 17 assists and two blocks, while sophomore Jen Cizenski had three kills, four aces, nine assists and a block. Another senior, Aubrey Schelah, had nine kills, three aces and two blocks, while senior Brandi Henry and Junior Chelsea Way had five kills and three aces apiece and junior Polly Gallerani five kills.
Tuesday’s match also closed out the high school volleyball career of Rocket senior Brittney Northrup.
Jillian Goodfellow had 29 kills, two aces and a block for Faith heritage, while Mell Cathcart had 13 kills and two aces, Liz Mancuso 12 kills, four aces and an assist, Katie Awad nine kills, an ace and two assists and Rachel Bender three aces and 47 assists.
Having played both Class D finalists, Burdick said: “Probably New York Mills is a stronger team, though it’s hard to say at this point, when it comes down to one match.”
New York Mills hasn’t lost to a Class D team since December of 2004.