March 20, 2007


McLaughlin captures three wins

Stingers shine hosting state meet in Cortland


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland Stingers swimmer Alexandria Pizzola churns through the water at the PERCenter during the Class A girls’ 500-yard freestyle event at the state meet. Pizzola finished 12th.

Scott McLaughlin won three events to lead another impressive showing by the Cortland Stingers as hosts to the New York State YMCA Swimming Championships that concluded on Sunday.
In the boys’ Class C 11-12 year old age group, McLaughlin picked up his first victory on Saturday at the SUNY Cortland PER Center in the 50-yard freestyle in a time of 25.89. The Homer swimmer then posted a pair of first places on Sunday, touching first in the 50-yard butterfly in 29.54 and capturing the 50-yard breaststroke in 31.68.
Those three wins helped the Stingers finish fourth in the Class C team standings.
“It was truly inspiring to watch Scott McLaughlin win three state titles at this meet, the last two coming about 20 minutes apart,” said Cortland head coach Mike Falls. “Two summers ago, Scott set his goals very high for this season and accomplished something that very few swimmers will ever do at the YMCA State Championships.”
Lukas Pizzola posted a pair of second-place showings, with Quinn Kennedy also a runner-up, for Cortland boys in Class D (9-10). Pizzola had seconds in the 50-yard free (30.05) and 200 free (2:25.41), while Quinn was second in the 50-yard backstroke (35.71).
The Class E (8-and-Under) boys also placed fourth as a team as Robby Belton finished third in the 25-yard backstroke (19:19). Also finishing third were Gregory Wissink in the Class A 200-yard individual medley (2:03.09), Emily Elliott in the Class E 25-yard backstroke (18.92) and Taeho Ryu in the Class C 100-yard butterfly (1:02.20.
There were several Stingers who posted Top 16 times in this meet that drew top-notch competition from teams like downstate powers the Flushing Flyers and Huntington Bluefish.
“This year’s state meet was an awesome display of hard work and determination on part of the Stingers,” said Coach Falls. “We had 58 top 16 finishes and a combined 135 personal best times during the meet. The kids came ready to swim and several swimmers made it to the finals for the first time in their swimming careers.”



AAU hoops tourney returns to Cortland

A number of teams from Cortland will take part for the first time in the 2007 Cortland Shootout AAU basketball tournament, which will take place Saturday and Sunday at various area venues.
The newly-formed CNY Elite, a 17-Under girls’ squad coached by Brian Finucane and featuring give Cortland High varsity players, will compete this weekend. So will Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grade boys’ travel teams from Cortland, under the direction of Buddy Mahar, Rod Potter, Jeff Tabel, Bill Mulhern and Yale Hughes.
A total of 63 boys’ teams and 30 girls’ teams (in the Under-10 to_Under-17 age groups) will be involved in this year’s tournament. New this year are teams from Massachusetts, Vermont and New Jersey. The tournament began in 2005 with 36 teams. More than 80 were involved last spring.
“Part of what defines an event’s success is the number of teams or participants that return,” said Machell Phelps, the executive director of the Cortland Regional Sports Council, which is assisting the Central Western AAU in hosting the tournament. “That combined with the total number in the field can tell you if what you’re offering is worth the investment. In this case, when we say the field has basically tripled in three years, there is no question (of the tournament’s success).
“Another overwhelming measure of success is the simple fact that we have a team from Nassau, Bahamas (the Mystic Marlins) that will be making its third trip to Cortland to play in this event. How many other sporting events in a city the size of Cortland can draw internationally, each year of an event? I think it speaks to the kind of event that Central Western and the Cortland Regional Sports Council put on.”



Squirts skate off with St. Pat’s title

The Stafford Chevrolet-Economy Paving-Homer Logging Squirt youth hockey team won the championship of the Holleydell (N.J.) St. Pat’s Tournament over the weekend.
The Cortland-based squad opened the tournament with a 10-5 win over the Holleydell Hurricanes Saturday as Nate Walker had three goals and two assists and Danny Turck three goals to lead the way. In addition, Mike Gibbs had two goals and an assist, Joel Potter a goal and two assists and Julie Brazo one goal. Goalie Gage Eldred had 20 saves.
Walker had five goals and an assists and Shea Swartout one goal later Saturday in a 6-3 win over the Bowie Bruins in which Eldred stopped 15 shots. In its third game, on Sunday, the Cortland team beat the Holleydell Rink Rats 8-4 as Walker had six goals and an assist, Swartout a goal and an assist and Sean Sullivan one goal. Eldred made 20 saves.
In the championship game on Sunday, Turck had the game-winner in a 5-2 win over the Bruins. Walker had three goals and an assist, giving him 17 goals and five assists in the four games, while Connor Paquin had a goal and two assists. Eldred turned aside 15 shots, and made 70 shots over the course of the tournament.
In a late report, the Cortland Flames Mite Select team beat visiting Binghamton 4-0 on March 10 as Ryan Gabriel made 15 saves for the shutout. Mike Turck had three goals and Ben Gravel a goal and an assist.