February 15, 2007


Orange beat Bulls


Associated Press/Steve Nesius
South Florida’s McHugh Mattis, right, pulls down an offensive rebound surrounded by Syracuse’s Darryl Watkins, left, Terrence Roberts, and South Florida's Kentrell Gransberry (1) and Chris Howard (24) during the first half of NCAA basketball action in Tampa, Fla.

AP Sports Writer

TAMPA, Fla. — With Demetris Nichols struggling through a subpar shooting performance, Syracuse still found a way to win.
Darryl Watkins dominated inside with 17 points and Andy Rautins came off the bench to score 15 on long jumpers Wednesday night, helping the Orange overcome a slow start and pull away to a 70-53 victory over South Florida.
The Orange (18-8, 7-5) won easily, wearing down USF’s smaller frontcourt in the final 15 minutes even though Nichols, the Big East’s leading scorer at just over 19 per game, was held in single digits for only the third time this season.
Nichols, coming off scoring a career-high 37 in a two-point victory over St. John’s, was limited to eight points. He missed his first five shots and was scoreless until his 3-pointer with 14:24 remaining fueled Syracuse’s 32-15 game-ending run.
“I thought that we were much better offensively down the stretch than we’ve been,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “We kept our turnovers down. We executed. We got good shots and we did a better job on the boards and defensively in our zone than we have in a long time.”
Kentrell Gransberry led South Florida (12-14, 3-9) with 17 points and 12 rebounds, however the 6-foot-9 center was held to just four points in the second half. Melvin Buckley also scored 17 for the Bulls, who lost for the third straight time since upsetting Notre Dame 69-63 to knock the Irish out of the Top 25.
“We shot the ball well from behind the 3-point line — 6-for-13. We would have liked to have more attempts,” USF coach Robert McCullum said. “You know when you play Syracuse, they have so much size and do a great job of almost making you settle. ... We obviously had trouble with their zone in the second half.”
The Bulls also had no answer defensively for the 6-foot-11 Watkins, who made six of 11 shots — most of them layups and dunks.
“I thought we moved the ball better in the last 10 minutes than we have all year,” Boeheim said.
“We got two or three wide open shots ... and for the first time, probably all year, we got some offensive rebounds. We’ve been getting seven or eight offensive rebounds. We got 15 today. That’s a big difference.”
Nichols was 0-for-4 in the opening half, but Syracuse led 32-31 at the break despite shooting 33.3 percent and not getting any scoring out of its leading scorer, who finished 2-of-8 from the field.
The Orange heated up after halftime, going 12-for-20 (60 percent) and methodically pulling away.
With Nichols struggling, Rautins took up the slack with five 3-pointers — one of them wiping out USF last lead of the night and another putting the Orange up by 14 with just under six minutes to go. Eric Devendorf was a key to the surge, too, and finished with 13 points.
“That’s the best we’ve played, probably, in the second half all year,” Boeheim said.
Buckley said USF simply was worn down.
“When you try and get out and run with another team that’s as deep as Syracuse ... and the teams that we play in the Big East, you’re going to run out of gas,” Buckley said. “And when you run out of gas, they’re going to take advantage of it.”


CHS hoops games rescheduled

The date and times for the Cortland High boys’ and girls’ basketball teams’ opening-round sectional contests against Oneida have been changed.
CHS athletic director Jeff Johnson noted that due to school being closed today and the subsequent lack of practice time, the games have been moved from Friday to Saturday at Shafer Gym. The fourth-seeded Cortland girls (14-6) will host No. 13 Oneida (7-12) at 5 p.m. Saturday, with the boys’ contest between sixth-seeded Cortland (13-6) and No. 11 Oneida (8-12) immediately following, set to start at approximately 7 p.m.
The 14-seeded Homer boys (7-12) will visit No. 3 Utica Notre Dame (17-3) in another Class A first-rounder at 7 p.m. Friday, and the Homer girls, seeded 11th at 8-11, will travel to No. 6 Whitesboro (14-6) for a 7 p.m. contest Saturday.
In other boys’ sectional action, Cincinnatus, seeded 10th in Class D-1 at 6-14, will visit No. 7 Remsen (9-11) at 7 p.m. Friday. No. 5 McGraw (9-9) got a first-round bye and will visit No. 4 Hamilton (10-10) at 7 p.m. Tuesday. In D-2, meanwhile, No. 9 DeRuyter (3-17) visits No. 8 Sackets Harbor (5-14) at 6 p.m. Friday.
The IAC boys’ semifinal between Dryden and Candor that was set for tonight has been postponed to 6 p.m. Friday at Watkins Glen. Lansing and Watkins Glen meet at the other semifinal contest at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Odessa-Montour. The championship game is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at SUNY Cortland’s Corey Gymnasium.
The Cortland-Homer hockey team (11-10-1) visits Clinton at 7:30 p.m. Friday in a first-round Section 3 Division II game.
The Cortland High wrestling team will compete in the Section 3 Division I tournament at 4 p.m. Friday at Chittenango. There will be two rounds of wrestling in each weight class to get to the eight quarter-finalists, and two rounds of wrestle-backs to get to the four consolation semi-finalists.
The Division I event will conclude Saturday at the Utica Memorial Auditorium, where four Homer wrestlers will compete in the Division II tournament on Sunday. The weight class champions in Divisions I and II will represent Section 3 in the state tournament at Albany March 3-4.



Olympian featured in local ice show

Olympic skater and U.S. nationals bronze medallist Matt Savoie will be featured as the Cortland Figure Skating Club presents Magic Moments on Ice March 10 and 11 at SUNY Cortland’s Alumni Arena.
Members of Cortland’s figure skating club will be performing, along with the club’s two synchronized skating teams, the Crown City Jewels and the Crown City Gems. “Our Learn to Skate program, which is intended to introduce kids to figure skating skills for recreation, will also be featured,” said Show Chair Mary McGory. “It includes about 80 children, some as young as three. For many of our skaters, the show is an event they look forward to all year.”
“Having an Olympic competitor appear at the event should be a draw for many skating fans,” said Machell Phelps, the executive director of the Cortland Regional Sports Council. We’re expecting visitors from across Central New York to attend the performance. Having the chance to experience this level of skating in our community is a unique opportunity.”
The show will start at 7 p.m. on March 10 and 1 p.m. on March 11. Advance-sale tickets are available at Homer Men & Boys as well as both Jodi’s Hallmark and Sheridan’s Jewelry in Cortland. Tickets will also be available at the door for each show.