February 20, 2008


CHS off to good start

Purple Tigers dribble past Whitesboro girls, 59-49


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland High’s Fawn Lolar (54) passes into the paint while being guarded by Whitesboro Warrior Franscesca Cotrupe (12) in the second quarter of last night’s Class A tourney game at Shafer Gym. CHSadvanced, winning 59-49.

Staff Writer

Shannon Finucane and Amanda Lawlor were determined to help take this year’s edition of the Cortland High girls’ basketball team farther than last year’s.
Mission accomplished.
Finucane scored 27 points, including a 17-for-20 performance from the foul line, and Lawlor added 18, including the third-seeded Purple Tigers’ only two 3-pointers, in a 59-49 victory over visiting No. 6 Whitesboro Tuesday night in a Section 3 Class A quarterfinal game at Shafer Gym.
CHS coach Dick Penoyer, whose team got a first-round bye this time around, knows that things are going to have to be different in the next game, a semifinal clash with No. 2 Indian River tentatively scheduled for Saturday at Chittenango High School. The exact date, time and site were undetermined at press time.
Indian River’s Warriors, now 20-1 and ranked ninth in the state among Class A teams (where Cortland is ranked 14th), advanced to that game by dispatching No. 7 Phoenix 70-48 on Tuesday night.
“We’re going to need more than two people do the scoring against Indian River,” he said. “We’re going to have to finish on more possessions than we did tonight. We had a number of wasted ones. Indian River is a good team, and they’re huge inside, big and physical. They play man-to-man all over the court and will pressure us everywhere we go.”
Despite the fact that they’re both seniors, point guard Finucane and forward Lawlor weren’t thinking in terms of winning the last home game of their high school careers. “I didn’t think about that,” said Finucane, who also had four assists and three steals. “We wanted to get farther than last year. We don’t want it to stop now.”
Last year, CHS lost to New Hartford in the quarterfinal round.
“I didn’t want us to lose in our first game,” Lawlor (six rebounds) said, CHS with a first round bye in the tournament. “One of our goals this season was to win sectionals, and so far we’ve achieved every one goal we’ve set.”
“Ever since I’ve been here, Shannon had always come through,” Penoyer said. “You never have to worry about her in the big games. She’s always going to be there. Amanda also came up big for us tonight. Fawn Lolar had a very good game (the senior forward with six points, a team-high eight of CHS’s 29 rebounds -to 37 for Whitesboro - and six steals), and Alena Turturro (junior forward) hit a couple of big free throws when they made a run at us and had a couple of big rebounds.
“Not having (senior forward) Deanna Bishop hurts us a lot,” he added. “She’s our other outside shooter, and plays good defense. She’s tall, and is a good rebounder.”
Senior forward Bishop, who suffered an ankle sprain against West Genesee Feb. 4, looked to be ready to return but turned the ankle again in practice on Saturday. Her status for the Indian River game is uncertain, according to Penoyer.
WHITESBORO, WHICH closed the season at 16-6, had used its inside game to dismantle No. 11 Chittenango 72-38 Friday in the first round. The CHS coaching staff, which also includes assistant coaches Ron Hulslander and Lee Ann Martins, took note and was ready.
“We thought after watching Whitesboro play that they weren’t good outside shooters,” Penoyer said. “They shot better from outside against us than they did in that game, which surprised us a little. We weren’t going to let them get inside and pound the ball in on us.
“We used a 2-3 zone — the first time we’ve gone zone for most of a game — and packed it in, challenging them to shoot from outside. One of their big kids, (Meghan) Soja, did well, scoring 16 points, but their best player, (Betsy) Gadziala, only scored seven. Our kids were more patient in our half-court offense than they’ve been in a long time. They moved the ball well, and looked for open shots.”
The Purple Tigers never trailed in the contest, taking a 16-8 lead after one quarter and a 30-20 advantage into intermission after Soja canned a desperation 3-pointer from just inside mid-court at the buzzer. Whitesboro took one point off the deficit in the third quarter, which ended with the hosts on top 41-32, and made its final serious push by scoring the first five points of the fourth quarter to make it 41-37.
The winners then took control for good by scoring the next four points, and the Warriors were never closed than five (47-42) thereafter. Finucane hit eight free throws in a row down the stretch, while Turturro and Lawlor added two each to keep CHS on top. All told, CHS hit all 14 of its free throws in the final period.
“The biggest difference in the game was our turnovers,” said Whitesboro coach Patrick Reader, whose squad had 20 in the game to nine for the Purple Tigers. “We were without our starting point guard, Lauren Dudziak, who broke the ring finger of her left hand and also has stitches in her chin, and that hurt a little.
“But the bottom line is that the credit goes to Cortland,” he added. “They’re an excellent team, and figured out what they needed to do to win. Their defense caused quite a few of our turnovers, and Finucane and Lawlor are good players.”
LAWLOR HIT BOTH of her 3-pointers in the first quarter, and said with a laugh afterwards: “It probably surprised (Whitesboro) a bit. The bigger girls usually don’t hit 3-pointers. After that they had someone on me all the time. But we had a shoot-around earlier in the day, and I knew I was on. I could feel it.
“The Indian River game should be a good one; we’re two evenly-matched teams,” she added.
The Purple Tigers hadn’t played a game since a 57-21 win sat Chittenango in their regular-season finale Feb. 8, but the 11-day span wasn’t a drawback, according to Finucane.
“We worked hard and had really good practices, which helped,” she said. “I don’t think that playing a team like Chittenango (in a first-round game) would have helped us as much as the hard practices we’ve had. Everyone played well. We just want Deanna to get back for the next game.”
Fourth-seeded Mexico (16-5) beat No. 5 Jamesville-DeWitt 51-43 on the other side of the bracket and will face the winner of tonight’s game between visiting No. 8 Carthage (13-8) and No. 1 New Hartford (19-1), which was postponed Tuesday night due to the weather in the North Country.




Red Dragons fall short in playoffs

POTSDAM — Back in the conference playoffs for the first time since 2005, the SUNY Cortland men’s hockey team was unable to find success Tuesday night.
The fifth seeded Red Dragons went scoreless in 10 power play scoring chances and were beaten 7-2 by fourth seed Potsdam in a quarterfinal round playoff opener.
The Bears got goals from seven different players and never trailed on their Maxcy Hall Arena home ice, Potsdam (10-12-4) now advancing to face top-seed Plattsburgh (21-4) in Saturday’s semifinal round.
The other semifinal Saturday sends third seed Fredonia (11-8-3) to second seed Oswego (17-5-2), Fredonia advancing with a 4-2 home ice win over Buffalo State.
Cortland, which got goals from junior Nick Cantanzaro and senior Zach Dehm in the loss at Potsdam, finishes up 11-12-3 under first year head coach Joe Baldarotta.
Vince Tarantino led Potsdam with a goal and two assists. Connor Treacy and Peter Vaisanen each totaled one goal and one assist and goalie Rob Barnhardt made 27 saves.
Red Dragon goalie Mike Mistretta turned back 24 shots, Jon Bova taking over for the final 6:18 and making three saves while allowing one goal.
Potsdam led 2-0 after one period on goals by Chris Beaudoin and Colin MacLennan. The lead grew to 3-0 on a Tarantino power play goal 1:52 into the second period.  Cortland got on the board with 5:47 remaining on Catanzaro’s goal, assisted by freshman Jarrett Gold, with each team down one skater.
Potsdam, however, took a 4-1 lead on Treacy’s goal with 1:17 left in the period.
Cortland was whistled for a five-minute major with 34 seconds left in the second period, and the Bears capitalized with two power play goals in the first four minutes of the third period to go up 6-1. Brandon Cribari scored at the 1:17 mark and Vaisanen tallied 3:33 into the period.
Cortland’s final goal came on Dehm’s unassisted score with 4:08 left and Potsdam’s Greg Lee finished the scoring with 25 seconds on the clock.




Morehouse, Foster 2nd seeds in Division I

Two Cortland High wrestlers are seeded second in their respective weight classes for Friday’s sectional Division I tournament at Cicero-North Syracuse.
The winner of each weight class in the tournament will represent Section 3 in the state Division I tournament at the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester March 8 and 9.
Junior Josh Morehouse, who won the championship at 215 pounds in last weekend’s Section 3 Class A wrestling tournament and is 34-5 on the season, is seeded second at that weight behind Josh Cox of Watertown, who is 44-3. Junior Dan Foster (40-2), the runner-up at 160 in Class A, is the second seed in that weight class behind Fulton’s Matt Bogardus (45-1), who beat him for the Class A championship.
Seeded third for Cortland are senior Coty Cute (40-4) at 171 pounds, where he was Class A runner-up, and junior Brandon Fitzgerald (34-7) at 152, where he was third in Class A. Collin Toney (29-6) is seeded first and Derek Shue from Fulton (26-10) second at 171, while at 152 Mexico’s Ron Majerus (38-2) is the top seed ahead of Pat Brady (39-2) from Carthage.
Also for the Purple Tigers, senior Barry Kinney (33-12) is seeded fifth at 130 and senior A.J. Meldrim (30-10) sixth at 140, both having finished third in Class A in their respective weight classes.
Also competing at the Division I sectionals will be sophomore Eric Reisweber (23-14) at 119 (second alternate), freshman Garret Morse (15-19) at 125 and junior Corby Reynolds (26-13) at 145 (first_ alternate).
SECTION 4 will hold its Division I and Division II Championships Friday and Saturday at the Broom County Arena in Binghamton.
Dryden and Marathon will have wrestlers in Division I, with Groton having some competitors in Division II.




TC3 drops regular season finales

SYRACUSE — After falling behind by 20 points in the second half, the Tompkins Cortland Community College men’s basketball team nearly pulled off a great comeback Tuesday before losing 88-85 at Onondaga CC.
The loss brings TC3’s regular season to an end with a record of 17-10 overall and 6-6 in the Mid-State Athletic Conference.
TC3 now prepares for the postseason, starting this weekend when the Panthers will be the fourth seed in the conference tournament. The Panthers will also be invited to the NJCAA Region III playoffs next week.
Onondaga ends its regular season 21-7 overall and 9-3 in the MSAC.
The Panthers trailed 39-37 at the half before Onondaga opened the second half with a burst to push the lead to 20. TC3 climbed back into the game, but was unable to make up for a huge deficit in free throws. The Panthers enjoyed a 32-30 advantage in baskets from the floor, but TC3 went to the foul line just 16 times compared to the home team’s 32.
Sean Anderson led TC3 with 29 points. Tony Parker posted a double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds while Adam Prue scored 16 points and Eddie Mitchell added 12 points.
Chris Vincent paced the winners with 20 points. Shane Williams added 17 points and Zack Thomsen netted 14 points.
The location and schedule for the MSAC tournament will be announced later today.
TC3 WOMEN closed out its season losing to Onondaga CC 89-30. The Panthers end up with a 6-19 overall record and 1-11 in the MSAC.
Jenn Iler finished a fantastic freshman season with a 12-point performance. The guard also led the team in rebounds with five. Sophomore Nicole Reid closed out her TC3 career by scoring 11 points, grabbing three rebounds, and swiping a pair of steals.