December 15, 2007


Unbeaten Purple Tigers top Phoenix —

Showdown up next for CHS

The battle of OHSL Freedom American Division girls’ basketball unbeatens is set.
The Cortland High girls made it two-for-two in league play and six-for-six overall Friday night, rolling past visiting Phoenix 65-41.
The Purple Tigers visit Jamesville-DeWitt Wednesday night, The Red Rams are also 2-0 in league play after beating Chittenango 58-26 Friday and were 6-0 overall heading into a game this evening against Pittsford Mendon from Section 5.
Senior point guard Shannon Finucane led CHS Friday with 29 points, giving her 1,077 career points early in her fourth varsity season and moving her past Pam Lowie (1,063) as the second-leading girls’ scorer all-time at Cortland High. She was formally presented the game ball from the Nov. 28 Fulton game, in which she eclipsed the 1,000-point mark, in a pre-game ceremony.
Purple Tigers coach Dick Penoyer cited Finucane for her defensive play as well and also praised a pair of senior forwards.
“Deanna Bishop and Fawn Lolar had huge games defensively against Phoenix’s best two players,” said Penoyer. “Deanna held Jenna Rossi, their leading scorer who also recently reached 1,000 career points, to four, and Fawn held Julia Tupper to 14. We played our man-to-man help defense most of the game, with a little zone, and the Phoenix girls said afterwards that our defense was tough as nails.”
Bishop and Lolar scored 11 points each to complement Finucane, and Lolar also had four of the winners’ seven blocked shots. Senior guard Amanda Lawlor had nine points, 12 rebounds and three steals, and also won praise for her defense from Penoyer.
Cortland led most of the way, moving to a 17-8 lead after one quarter and going up by 33-22 at halftime. It was 45-31 for the hosts heading into the fourth. “They made a run in the third and got it down to 11 or 12,” Penoyer said. “We scored the last nine or 10 points of the game to blow it wide open. We shot extremely well from the perimeter, with six three-pointers (led by Finucane with four).”
As for Wednesday’s showdown, Penoyer said: “The girls are looking forward to it. They welcome the opportunity to see how far they’ve come and what they can do. I believe, and I’ve told them, that if they come out and play no one can beat them but themselves. We have all the components to be an excellent team, and I think they’re really beginning to believe it.”
CORTLAND JVs trailed Phoenix 19-16 at halftime but outscored the Firebirds 27-15 in the third en route to a 52-42 victory that improved their record to 4-0. Eighth-grade guard Maggie Brown 19 of her game-high 29 points in the decisive quarter.
“It seems like every game is close at the half, and then we come out in the second half and put teams away,” said CHS coach Jamie Brown. “It’s nice to see. Maggie (the coach’s daughter) just got hot in the third; once she started to get her confidence all her shots started falling.
“We re-emphasized better execution at halftime and the girls did execute well, got good looks and the shots started falling. Phoenix tried to press us at various times and we did a nice job of handling it. We broke it every time and forced them to get out of it.”
Maggie Brown also grabbed a team-high five rebounds, with Christine Gutchess, Kay Kostuk and Ashley Norton adding four each as the team totaled 26. Cousins Aubrey and Morgan VanGorder had three assists apiece.
“We’re moving in a positive direction and will get a true test Wednesday against Jamesville-DeWitt,” Jamie Brown said.




Golden Eagles’ win streak ends

The Cortland-Homer ice hockey team rallied from a 2-0 deficit Friday night to tie visiting Cicero-North Syracuse before the visiting Northstars gained the advantage again and went on to score a 4-2 non-league victory that snapped the Golden Eagles’ three-game winning streak.
“Things have been bouncing our way a bit lately, but tonight that didn’t happen,” said C-H coach Don Armstrong, whose team is now 3-4 overall on the season. “We had just pulled even when they pulled back ahead again. You’ve got to give them credit.”
One player who should get lots of credit for C-NS, now 2-5 overall, is junior forward Aaron Hildreth, who scored the visitors’ first three goals at the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex, including the eventual game-winner, and assisted on the other. “We gave him too much room to skate, on the game-winner and in general,” Armstrong said of Hildreth. “But that’s a good lesson. We’ll be facing some teams, starting with Skaneateles Tuesday, that have some skilled guys, and we’ll have to improve and adjust.”
Skaneateles visits the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex for a 7 p.m. start.
Hildreth opened the scoring with an unassisted power-play goal 5:50 into the game, and made it 2-0 with 1:11 left in the first period off an assist by David Koch. Senior left wing Clayton Law halved the hosts’ deficit with the only goal of the second period (his first of the season), taking a pass from senior defenseman Vic Marchetti, moving through the neutral zone and, two steps over the C-NS blue line, unloading a shot from the middle that went over the left shoulder of C-NS goalie Zach Hall. “Clayton took a great shot, with a quick release,” Armstrong said.
Some solid forechecking led to the Golden Eagles’ game-tying goal, an unassisted tally from close range by junior left wing Sam Ferro (also his first of the season) 2:42 into the third. Armstrong noted that senior right wing Andre Coen and sophomore center Carl Zimmerman helped set up the tally with their forechecking and offensive pressure, including shots. Hildreth gave C-NS the lead for good 5:37 into the final period off an assist by Will Kaljeskie, and assisted on Koch’s goal that ended the scoring with 4:03 left in the game.
“Overall, I thought the effort was there,” Armstrong said. “Our passing wasn’t clicking, and we struggled with our skating for the first half of the game. We didn’t play team defense like we needed to. It was a good effort to pull even, but we didn’t handle the puck well in the defensive zone. It was good to see scoring from the second (Ferro) and third (Law) lines. We’ll need consistent play from all three lines. The first line put in the effort, but things didn’t click.
“The kids are disappointed. They were trying for four wins in a row. But they’ll learn from this and get a little better.”
Each team took 21 shots in the contest, C-H senior goalie Mat Everts making 15 saves in two periods and junior net-minder Nicolo Baldarotta stopping two shots in the third. Hall, a freshman, made 19 saves for the Northstars.