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December 1, 2011

 

Brown reaches 1,000

CHS senior hits milestone in romp past Homer

BasketballBob Ellis/staff photographer
Maggie Brown of Cortland High lays in her 1000th career point over Gail VaValkenburg of Homer Central Wednesday at Shafer Gym.

By TANEY BEAUMONT
Staff Writer

Maggie Brown is certainly no procrastinator.
The senior entered the Cortland High girls’ basketball team’s non-league season-opener with visiting Homer Central Wednesday night having already decided that she would continue her hoops career at LeMoyne College this coming fall. She also came in on the threshold of a milestone, having racked up 991 points in her four previous varsity seasons.
It took Brown exactly 4:57 into the 2011-12 campaign to reach the magic 1,000-point mark with a steal at the foul line and a lay-up.
At that point the game was stopped to a thunderous ovation from the Shafer Gym crowd — including the CHS boys’ varsity team, which took time out from practice prior to Friday’s season opener (see separate story on page 13) to witness the occasion — and she was presented with the game ball and flowers in a short ceremony. Brown ended the night with 27 points in three quarters of play as the Purple Tigers rolled to a 65-23 win over the Trojans, who were also opening their season.
“I knew how many points I had to get coming in and tried not to think about it,” said Brown, whose historic shot made it 13-0 Cortland and who also had 10 rebounds and six steals on the night. “I tried to focus on Homer, though this would have been just as good whenever it happened. Their player put the ball out there, I took it to the basket and knew I had it.
“Three people in this program have gotten to 1,000 points, and they were all great players. It’s good to be grouped with them,” she added. “A lot of friends were here to see it. One of them is Amelia Heiselman from Bishop Grimes, who was wearing my (No. 3) jersey. She and I have played on the same AAU team, the Unity Wildcats, since the seventh grade.”
Amy Sherry, who graduated in 1991, is the CHS girls’ team’s all-time leading scorer with 1,492 points, followed by Shannon Finucane (Class of 2008) with 1,333 and Pam Lowie (1998) with 1,063. Brown now has 1,018 career points.
“It was good to get the milestone out of the way early, and nice that Maggie got it at home,” Cortland coach Dick Penoyer said. “She came up to varsity at the end of her eighth-grade season for sectionals and has been here ever since. She learned from some good kids, as well as the coaches, and she’s at the point now that she’s a leader and helps the younger kids with what they need. It will be tough not having her here next year.”
CHS WAS NEVER challenged in the game, scoring 15 of the 17 first-quarter points and taking a 29-5 lead into the locker room at halftime. The winners were up 43-16 at the end of three.Tuesday’s contest also marked the Homer coaching debut of head coach Chris DiFulvio, whose young squad is made up of seven sophomores and three seniors.
“I think with young players, everyone wants to play their own game,” he said. “When we play our team game we can accomplish things. In the second half, we came out more confident and did that. This was the first varsity game for half of this team. Jessica Parmiter (senior point guard) is our star; she certainly played well tonight and hustled. She’s really taken on the leadership role and taken our young kids under her wing. There aren’t words to express how valuable she is to this team, and the school.
“Kristin Fuller (sophomore guard) played to her abilities for us in the second half, and (sophomore forwards) Carly Dove, Kailee Dimorier and Kasey McGrath in the middle did well against number 21 (Cortland junior forward Devon Tennant). Opening against Cortland is fun for both teams, but to me it doesn’t matter who we face. It’s our responsibility as a coaching staff to prepare the team the best we can for whoever we play.”
Penoyer said before the season started that his team had unusual depth this season, noting that other than Brown and Tennant the other 10 players on the roster were all fairly even in talent. In fact, he said, any game’s starting five could depend on the opponent. In all, eight players scored at least two points in Tuesday’s romp, Tennant and junior forward Amanda DeGraff with eight each to complement Brown. Parmiter, McGrath, Fuller and sophomore guard Gail VanValkenburg had four points each to lead Homer.
The winners had a 39-30 rebounding advantage led by Brown, while McGrath and Dimorier claimed eight boards each for the Trojans.
“It was good to see Amanda and (junior guard) Rachel Prentice play well in the second half,” Penoyer said. “Our defense was very good throughout the game, but we didn’t rebound well and missed a lot of easy shots. You can’t do that and survive on a nightly basis.”
CORTLAND JVs beat Homer 42-21 as eighth-grade guard Shea Swartwout led the way with 16 points, freshman forward Abby Hess had eight and freshman guard Erin Brown had seven. The winners led 10-23 after one quarter, 18-5 at halftime and used a 1504 third-quarter run to take control at 33-9 heading into the fourth. Eighth-grader Madison Dimorier led the Trojans with eight points.
Both Purple Tiger squads visit Cazenovia Friday for non-league games, the JVs getting things underway at 5:30 p.m. The Laker varsity squad was a Class B state semifinalist last winter. Homer’s teams are also back in non-league action Friday, hosting Central Square in a doubleheader that also begins with the 5:30 p.m. JV game.

 

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