August 31, 2007
Tigers topple Trojans
Photos by Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland High’s Molly Branschrenber prepares to hit a backhand shot during Thursday’s second singles match against Homer Central’s Emily Martin. Branschrenber won in straight sets. CHS was a 5-2 match winner.
In a match in which neither team was at full strength, host Cortland High beat visiting Homer Central 5-2 Thursday in the season-opener for both OHSL Freedom Division girls’ tennis squads.
“Homer was missing their top two players while two of our players couldn’t compete because they didn’t have the required number of practices,” Purple Tigers coach Bob Walrath said. “This year’s league seems pretty evenly matched. I knew that Homer was well-coached coming in and would be prepared for us. I thought that our team saw the fruits of their labors pay off last night.”
“There’s definitely room for growth, however I’m very pleased and optimistic with the opener,” Homer coach Nancy Cavellier said. “I saw some good things on the court and enthusiasm from our girls.”
Cortland swept the singles matches. Jaimee Robertson won first singles 6-2, 6-1 over Homer’s Natalie Sutton, while Molly Bramschreiber was a 6-3, 6-1 winner over Emily Martin at second doubles. Newcomer Kim Hall won third singles for CHS, 6-3, 6-1 over Hope Chambrone.
“Jaimee and Molly played solid matches. They stayed consistent and moved the ball around using the whole court,” Walrath said. “Both players used good shot selection. Kim was a nice bright spot as she passed her test. Playing in her first varsity match ever, you could see her confidence grow point by point as the match progressed. By the end she was moving the ball side to side and up and back at will.”
The Purple Tigers Lauren Shirley and Courtney Tennant were 6-2, 6-0 winners over Cady Spencer and Mariah Hubbard at first doubles. The final CHS point came at second doubles, where Eva Rosenthal and Robyn Hesse beat Laura Major and Michelle Pfleuger 6-4, 7-5.
“Lauren and Courtney got off to a good start,” Walrath said. “They demonstrated good touch around the net, and we were most pleased to see them play within themselves. They didn’t go for too much on their shots. Courtney was especially patient in picking her moments when she would go for a little more. They complemented each other in the way they communicated and backed each other up. Having played singles most of her career, it was good to see Lauren be as dominant as she was at the net.
“Eva and Robyn were in a battle. We are going to need as a team to continue to find ways to pull out the close matches as the season unfolds. It was good to see them hang tough on the big points,” he added.
Homer got its points at third and fourth doubles. Jessica Gutchess and Alaina Ryan won third doubles over Maggie Reagan and Taylor Warren 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, and Katie Strausser and Rachel Perry downed Marlyss Darrow and Danielle Payne 3-6, 6-4, 10-8 at fourth doubles.
“Maggie and Taylor dropped a tough one, but won some great points at the net,” Walrath said. “We just need to cut way down on our unforced errors. Marlyss and Danielle got off to a good start in their first varsity match by playing consistent error-free tennis. Learning to play with the lead is an important developmental step in tennis.
“Our success as a team is going to be directly related to how we focus our attention in our matches. We are making gains in practice,” he added. “As we grow in keeping our focus on good footwork, racquet preparation and shot selection well think less about winning and losing and more about controlling the things we can control.”
Cortland was to host Cicero-North Syracuse in a non-league match at 4 p.m. today, while Homer visits Fulton at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Cortland 5, Homer 2
Singles: Jaimee Robertson (C) def. Natalie Sutton 6-2, 6-1; Molly Bramschreiber (C) def. Emily Martin 6-3, 6-1; Kim Hall (C) def. Hope Chambrone 6-3, 6-1.
Doubles: Lauren Shirley-Courtney Tennant (C) def. Cady Spencer-Mariah Hubbard 6-2, 6-0; Eva Rosenthal-Robyn Hesse (C) def. Laura Major-Michelle Pfleuger 6-4, 7-5; Jessica Gutchess-Alaina Ryan (H) def. Maggie Reagan-Taylor Warren 2-6, 6-3, 7-5; Katie Strausser-Rachel Perry (H) def. Marlyss Darrow-Danielle Payne 3-6, 6-4, 10-8.
Newcomer saves day for Cortland
The new kid did all right for the Cortland High golf team Thursday.
The Purple Tigers were down by 10 strokes to visiting OHSL Freedom National Division opponent East Syracuse-Minoa Blue at Cortland Country Club with one card to be turned in.
Cortland’s care was from Brown, a sophomore who is on the team for the first time and who fired a 37 as Cortland scored its 21st consecutive win over the past three seasons, 201-202.
In a Freedom American match that was also played at Cortland CC Thursday, Homer beat Phoenix 206-252.
Cortland 201, East Syracuse-Minoa Blue 202: I thought there was no way we were going to win, said Cortland coach Yale Hughes, who again ran the team in the absence of head coach Kevin Cafararo. “Jeff came in with his career low and beat his man by 11 strokes; what a turnaround.
“I didn’t want to be in charge when the win streak was broken. I’d never hear the end of it. To beat a real good team like that without Matt Porter (the junior currently competing in a youth tournament in Connecticut) was very exciting.”
Nick Decker also shot a 37 for Cortland (now 2-0 league and overall), while Ryan Wanish came in at 40, Steve Stowell 42 and Mike Congdon 45 to round out the scoring. Chris Pace was the sixth man with a 48. Matt Placito and Tyler Dattmore both had 37s for ES-M Blue, and Andy Farrell had a 39.
In a correction from Thursday, Cortland’s season-opening 199-207 win over Jamesville-DeWitt on Wednesday took place at Cortland CC, rather than Drumlins, as was reported.
Cortland visits Fulton Tuesday at Battle Island Golf Course.
Homer 206, Phoenix 252: “We had a team meeting before the match,” said Homer coach Gary Wilcox. “I told the kids this is a team was should beat. I told them to relax, talk to each other and tell jokes if they got nervous and to have a good day.”
The meeting worked as Dan Miller shot one-over-par 37 and Andy Saraceno rebounded from his 44 Wednesday with a two-over 38 on the par-36 front nine at Cortland Country Club Thursday.
The biggest turnaround came from Brad Mitchell who shot 42, nine strokes better than his 51 Wednesday.
“Dan was one-under through seven holes, but finished bogey-bogey,” said Wilcox. “Andy really settled down today and Brad played much better.”
Rounding out the scoring for the Trojans were Greg Eves (44) and Molly Nulty (45). Lane Hopkins carded 49.
The Trojans improve to 2-0 in division play and 2-1 overall while also qualifying for team sectionals with their 206 team total. It is the first time since the spring 2004 season that Homer has qualified for team sectionals.
Camden Fix (42) and Jeff Williams (43) were the low scorers for Phoenix (0-3 overall).
Homer will return to action Tuesday when the Trojans travel to Rogues Roost to face Chittenango in a 3:30 p.m. match.
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Garrett takes over Homer stickers
A new face brings a winning background to Homer Central School for the 2007 field hockey season.
Ellen Garrett is the new varsity coach after Kate Smith moved to Buffalo for a new job offer. Garrett is back in the school district as a teacher at Hartnett Elementary School in Truxton and she has a winning background serving as a varsity assistant for Karen Funk at Marathon Central School a few years ago. Garrett is also the sister of Cortland High JV coach Maureen White.
“I spoke with Kate about helping with the JV team last spring because Barb Wood was retiring and Kim (Butts) wanted to coach the junior high team,” said Garrett. “Kate got her new job and suddenly Homer needed a varsity and JV coach. I spoke to Mr. (Mike) Carboine. He knew I had experience and I got the job. I loved coaching field hockey in Marathon and I did coach the junior high team when I taught her previously. It just all worked out. I know there is more responsibility and more paperwork as the head coach, but I like to do that stuff. That is my type of personality. Kori (Buhr) is new teacher and has never coached before, so it just worked out that I would coach the varsity and she would coach the JVs.”
With 12 players returning from the first Trojan team to make sectionals in a number of years, and an influx of talent from the JV ranks, the turning of the corner for this program should continue. The Trojans were 7-9-2 overall and 4-5-1 in league play.
“Practice has been going great,” said Garrett. “We have been on the turf for every practice. As soon as I got the job, I e-mailed Mike to get time of the turf. We have had to practice around some of the other teams, but I felt it was important to have our turf time. There is no home-field advantage if you don’t practice on it.
“We have mixed the practices, ninth grade through 12th grade, throughout pre-season,” Garrett continued. “ The seniors really stepped up in this scenario. They took the time to help the new freshmen. The seniors have gotten the freshmen into the drills. They have been very helpful and very supportive of the new kids.”
Heading the list of returning players are seniors Ashley Brown and Jenae Griffith, who shared high-scoring honors in 2006 in 14 points each. Brown scored 12 goals with two assists while Griffith had eight goals and six assists.
Other returning seniors include Lindsay Wilson, Vickie Smith, Jessie Brown, Krista Guy, Christina Hoffmann, Elaina Jones, Stefanie Lewis, Katrina McCracken, Brittany Proffitt and Haleigh Reisman.
“Ashley, Jenae and Lindsay have been playing on the varsity since they sophomores,” said Garrett. “They have shown great leadership. Vickie is the quarterbacking the defense. She is another skilled player.”
Coming up from the JV ranks are juniors Kimmie Carboine, Angela Contento, Justanna Gray, Brandi Harris, Rachelle Holl, Alexis Johnston, Brittany LaRue, Colleen Leary, McKenna Riley and Michelle Soule, along with sophomores Abbey Phelps and Mcakenzie Sullivan.
The Trojans have both Lewis and Guy back to handle the goalkeeping duties.
“They split their time last year, so both have good experience,” said Garrett. “It is a toss-up right now as to who will start in our first game Saturday against Whitesboro. Both girls have been working very hard.”
Garrett is switching the Trojan alignment from a 4-2-2 set to 3-3-3-1 set this season.
“The different formation is just a mind set to get used to,” said Garrett. “It is just a way to spread out. There is a lot of flexibility. I want all the girls to know they can push forward on offense when we have the ball, as long as they hustle back on defense. It was what we did at Marathon and it works there.”
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