March 23, 2007


CNY Elite girls to debut in Shootout

CNY Elite

Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland High’s Amanda Lawlor (25) is on the newly formed CNYElite 17-under team competing in this weekend’s Cortland Shootout.

Staff Writer

For the first time ever, Cortland will be the home of an Amateur Athletic Union girls’ basketball team this off-season, and the team will make its debut at the Cortland Shootout AAU Tournament Saturday and Sunday.
The CNY Elite 17-Under squad will be coached by Brian Finucane, who coached the Cincinnatus boys’ team during the 2005-06 season.
“This area is beginning to realize its potential for the sport of basketball,” Finucane said. “Athletes have a choice in the spring to play high level competitive AAU basketball. Rod Potter, Machell Phelps and others are putting together teams and tournaments, so not only are we beginning to go outside this county to play stiffer competition, we are attracting teams to Cortland.
“In the past, basketball players have had to travel to Syracuse or to Binghamton to find a competitive team to play on. Last year, three players from Cortland traveled to Syracuse just to play on AAU travel teams. Now nearly half of the CNY Elite team comes to Cortland to play with our players. CNY Elite has a goal to play in front of as many college coaches as possible this spring and summer. Three tournaments attract nearly 100 college coaches looking for players,” he added, referring to events at Virginia and Penn State along with the Junior Nationals in the Washington, D.C., area. “If they see talent early, they will track those players from as early as eight or ninth grade.”
The CNY Elite roster has a handful of players from CHS, point guard Shannon Finucane (the coach’s daughter), forward-guard Amanda Lawlor, guard Deanna Bishop, forward-center Fawn Lolar and freshman center Courtney Tennant — the only non-junior on the squad. Also on the team are Jamesville-DeWitt guard Amanda Koenck, Phoenix guard-forward Julie Tupper, Fulton center Kristen Kush and Oneida forward Emma Adams.
“This is a showcase tournament team that will play in these tournaments: Elite 8 (New Jersey) March 30-31, Virginia Blue Chip April 13-15, Rochester Warriors May Madness May 25-27, Albany Gym Rat Challenge June 16-17, Penn State Blue Chip July 5-8 and the US Junior Nationals in Washington, D.C. July 23-26,” Brian Finucane said. “Of the nine players, eight are being actively recruited by one or more colleges, ranging from the Division 3 level all the way to Division 1.
“For the past three years Megan Conaway at the Cortland Youth Bureau has supported the local girls’ basketball players by allowing them to work out at the county office building on Sundays. Every returning starter for Cortland High basketball has consistently attended those optional workouts, and that hard work is beginning to pay off. Not only are they showing progress during the regular season, but they are now branching out and playing competitive AAU basketball during the recruiting season.”
IN ADDITION to the CNY Elite, a number of other teams from Cortland will take part for the first time in this year’s Cortland Shootout. 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, will also be competing.
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.
Games will take place at a number of area venues, including Cortland Junior-Senior High (tournament headquarters), Barry Elementary, Smith Elementary, Homer High, Homer Junior/Intermediate and the County Office Building Gym. Age-group finals will take place starting at around 11:45 a.m. Sunday.



Ithaca women rally to trip up Cortland

ITHACA — Asti Kutzer scored with four seconds left in regulation to lift Ithaca College women to a 10-9 upset of visiting SUNY Cortland in Thursday night’s lacrosse match-up.
The Bombers scored the game’s final three goals at Schoellkopf Field on the Cornell University campus to finish off this comeback victory.
It was the first loss in three outings for the Red Dragons, who came into the game ranked eighth in this week’s NCAA Division III national poll. Cortland had won 21 consecutive regular season games.
Kutzer’s game-winning heroics were part of a four-goal performance for unbeaten Ithaca (4-0), to go along with an assist.
Ali Bougal had five goals and an assist for the Red Dragons, who never trailed until Kotzer’s late goal. The visitors were up 7-3 at halftime and took a 9-7 lead with 16:34 left to play when Andrea Venditti converted an unassisted scoring chance.
Cortland was blanked the rest of the way.
After Kutzer scored off a Kassie Garfield assist with 12:03 left to play, Ithaca pulled even at 9-9 with 9:18 on the clock when Sarah Cox scored and then pulled out the victory on Kutzer’s final tally.
The last Cortland regular season setback occurred on April 12, 2005, with a 14-12 SUNY Athletic Conference loss to Geneseo.
In this loss Cortland held a 30-21 shot edge, though the Bombers had a 14-8 advantage after intermission. The Red Dragons also got goals from Jessie Fritz, Gina Fazio and Beth Elmer.



Red Dragons romp behind 18-hit attack

FARMINGDALE — An 18-hit barrage kept the SUNY Cortland baseball team undefeated on Thursday.
The Red Dragons scored runs in seven innings while rolling to a 16-5 victory at SUNY Farmingdale, improving to 10-0 on the season.
Shortstop Matt Vitalone was 4-for-4 and scored twice, Dan Maycock homered and doubled while driving in three runs and third baseman Paul Merriweather scored three times and picked up three RBI for the Red Dragons.
A dozen different Dragons collected base hits.
Maycock smacked a two-run homer in the sixth inning and a run-scoring double in the ninth for Cortland, the Red Dragons never trailing after building a 5-0 lead.
Starting pitcher Jon Rockfeld was reached for four runs in the bottom of the fourth as Farmindale pulled to within a run, but Cortland responded with four runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth to regain control.
Merriweather had a two-run single and Nick DeVito a run-scoring triple in the fifth inning response. Maycock’s homer was part of the sixth inning scoring that upped the Cortland lead to 12-4.
Rockfeld picked up the win and was one of four Red Dragons used on the mound by Coach Joe Brown. Nick Serio pitched two hit-less innings after taking over for Rockfeld, while David Limbach pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts.