November 29, 2007


Finucane reaches milestone

Goes over 1,000 career points in CHS road win


Photos by Bill Sinsabaugh/contributing photographer
Shannon Finucane brings the ball upcourt against Fulton’s Michelle Bateman (2) during Wednesday’s 53-33 Cortland High road win. Finucane scored 12 points and went over 1,000 points for her career.

FULTON — A first-quarter milestone and a third-quarter strategic move highlighted the Cortland High girls’ basketball team’s third win in as many games Tuesday night.
Senior point guard Shannon Finucane scored six points in the first quarter of a 53-33 non-league romp over host Fulton to reach the 1,000-point plateau early in the fourth year of her CHS career. The Purple Tigers used a pressing defense to pull away in the third quarter of the triumph.
“We changed defense and went to the press for the first time all season,” said CHS coach Dick Penoyer. “We needed to speed up the pace a bit. We went from one press to another, and I think it kept them off-balance a little bit. We got a few cheap baskets right away. We scored 10 or 12 points before they knew what happened. We were ahead by six (25-19) at halftime, I looked at the scoreboard and suddenly we were way up.”
Senior forward Fawn Lolar led Cortland with 14 points, while Finucane added 12 — giving her 1,006 for her career — and senior forward Deanna Bishop chipped in with 11.
Fulton got 13 points from Kristen Rush.
“Our scoring was pretty balanced, which is good to see,” Penoyer said. “Fawn continues to play very, very well and comes up with big baskets when we need them. Our defense is playing very well, but I think that the offense can improve a bit. We need to get a few more baskets from outside.
“It was good to come home with a win from our first road game of the season. Fulton is much improved over last year.”
Finucane’s accomplishment left her trailing only Amy Sherry (1,492 points from 1987-91) and Pam Lowie (1,063 from 1994-98) on the all-time CHS scoring list. “I’d describe Shannon as a bulldog,” Penoyer said. “She never quits playing. Defensively she totally disrupts the other team all over the court, and offensively she just works well with the other kids. She’ll make a play, at either end, and I’ll say ‘Where did that come from?’ She’s tough physically and mentally, and is fun to coach.”
CORTLAND JVs opened their season with a 30-26 win over Fulton, overcoming a scoreless second quarter and resulting 14-6 halftime deficit by outscoring their hosts 24-12 in the second half. Coach Jamie Brown noted that a fourth-quarter press was instrumental in helping her team pull away from an 18-18 tie after three periods.
Maggie Brown led Cortland with 16 points, while S. Stowell had 13 for Fulton.
Both Cortland squads visit Mexico Friday in non-leaguers.




Spurt carries Purple

It’s safe to say that Cortland High boys’ basketball coach Mick Lowie was pleased with his team’s third quarter performance, which turned out to be the key in a 59-50 non-league win over Fulton Tuesday night.
“That was some fine basketball we played in the third quarter,” Lowie said, his team (now 2-1 overall) outscoring the Red Raiders 24-7 over that eight-minute span to go from a 22-21 halftime lead to a 46-28 advantage entering the fourth.
“We hit most of the shots we took, and they were good shots. We wanted to apply defensive pressure the whole game because we knew Fulton was young — they graduated all five starters from last season — though we didn’t know they’d be as tall as they were,” he added.
“We started in a half-court trap, which leaves someone open any time you use it, and they hit some 3-pointers. We came out in the third and played some zone, and it seemed to work well. They didn’t get good looks at the basket, which led to rebounds and transition for us, and good shots. We went 10-of-12 from the field in the third, a good number of those shots from the perimeter.”
Senior forward Levi Walrath scored nine of his 15 points in the third, while freshman guard Kevin Shaw had seven of his game-high 24 (including four 3-pointers) and junior guard Will Fickenscher five of his 11.
“Levi ran the floor well and had a nice second half, doing most of his scoring inside, though a couple shots came from the perimeter,” Lowie said. “Will found his stroke, scoring nine of his 11 total points in the second half, and Kevin was hitting from outside.”
Senior center Matt Pitcher came off the bench and led the Purple Tigers in rebounds, with 13 (each team grabbed 34 boards), assists with six and blocks with five.
“One thing we’re impressed with is the way Matt finds kids who are open,” Lowie said. “He had a real nice game. Derek Allen did a lot of nice things. He had four assists, and helps settle things down for us.”
Allen is a senior guard, and shares point guard duties with Shaw.
“Most of the night we didn’t set up offensively as much as I would have liked, but our transition game worked well. Fulton’s in the same boat we are, with a lot of young players, though they went 6-5, 6-5, 6-3, 6-1 and a 5-8 point guard with their starters. They have two forwards, Gary Kemp (team-high 13 points, including four 3-pointers) and Christopher Butera (11, with three 3-pointers), who can shoot the ball quite well. It was a good game for us; the rebounding was even, and I though we played pretty aggressively on defense.”
Robert Jackowski added 10 points for the Red Raiders in their season-opener.




Hannibal spoils opening Liberty game for Trojans

Homer Central boys ran into a buzzsaw for their first of 14 games against OHSL Liberty Division opposition Wednesday. The Trojans hosted defending Section 3 Class B basketball champion and state semifinalist Hannibal and dropped a 57-31 non-league decision.
“Hannibal is a very good basketball team,” said Homer coach Jim Luchsinger. “We did not handle their pressure very well and we gave up several easy baskets.
“We did do some good things as the game went along,” Luchsinger added. “We are getting better and Kane Hartnett played well.”
Hartnett buried a trio of 3-pointers during the game and finished with a team-high 16 points for the game. No other Trojan player had more than four points.
Hannibal raced to a 20-8 lead in the first quarter and the margin grew to 33-18 by halftime. The visitors continued to pull away in the second half behind the 24-point effort of Chad Burridge, who nailed three 3-pointers, as did teammate Jeff LaMont (10 points).
“Burridge is a big 6-5 kid,” said Luchsinger. “We could not stop him because we did could match-up with him. He is a calm, good player. He handles the ball very well and moves well.”
Homer will face another tough Liberty Division team Friday when the Trojans travel to Cazenovia. JV play will tip-off at 5:30 p.m.
HOMER JVs opened their season with a 58-48 loss to visiting Hannibal. The game was tied at 14-14 after one quarter before the visitors used a 19-9 second quarter to build a 10-point halftime advantage.
“We were hurt by foul trouble in the second quarter,” said Homer coach Doug Passquerella. “Hannibal is an aggressive, physical team. It took some time to adjust to their style, but I thought we played well for our first game. I was pleased with our overall effort.”
The Trojans played Hannibal evenly in the second half with each team scoring 25 points.
Luke Pedersen led Homer with 13 points while John Sciera netted 12 points.
Zach Welling poured in 26 points for Hannibal with 12 points coming from Lenny Fowler.