December 5, 2012
Purple Tigers unable to rally
Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland High’s Jackie Phillips (14) is flanked by CBA defenders Marisa Romeo (24) and Natalie Nardella (32) in the first quarter Tuesday night at Shafer Gym.
A bad start against a talented opponent meant a long night for the Cortland High girls’ basketball team Tuesday.
The Purple Tigers fell into a 16-5 hole after the first quarter and never recovered, falling to visiting Syracuse CBA 59-44.
“It wasn’t that we played slow, but we had the shots and didn’t make any baskets,” said CHS coach Dick Penoyer, whose team fell to 0-2 in the OHSL Freedom National Division and 1-2 overall. “The kids played better, are hustling and showed some progress, but we’re very inconsistent.
“We had a hard time handling their defensive pressure up front; we were able to sometimes, but that was the inconsistency. Actually, we played with them for the first half. We were within four or five in the middle of the second quarter but then were called for a flagrant foul, which gave them foul shots and possession. Then they were able to go up by eight or nine,” he added.
The Brothers, now 2-0 in the Freedom American and overall, led 33-20 at halftime and never looked back.
“We haven’t quite figured it out offensively, and our defense wasn’t great,” Penoyer said. “We tried man-to-man, zone, presses, nothing worked. Marisa Romeo (senior forward) is a really good athlete; it was tough to match up against her man-to-man, but when your down by so many points there’s not much choice.”
Romeo had a game-high 24 points, while freshman forward Natalie Nardella added 14 and sophomore guard Julie Cuomo 12 for the winners.
Freshman guard Jackie Phillips had 10 points to pace Cortland and earned praise from Penoyer, as did freshman guard Shea Swartwout and senior forward Amanda DeGraff. Sophomore forward Abby Hess hauled down nine of the hosts’ 41 rebounds, while senior forward Devon Tennant had seven rebounds and senior guard Julia Babjack six.
CORTLAND JVs suffered their first loss in three games this season, 34-24 to CBA despite 12 points from sophomore guard Shaniqua Artis, who also had five rebounds and three steals. The Purple Tigers trailed but just two, 18-16, at halftime but scored just eight points the entire second half. CBA was led by Kate LaCasse, who also scored 12 points.
Freshman forward Aubrey Helchowski led CHS with six rebounds, while sophomore forward Delaney Marshall added five boards and eighth-grade forward-guard Kacie Hubbard had four steals.
The Cortland squads host Homer Central Friday, the JV game tipping off at 5:30 p.m.
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