December 22, 2006


Cowboys stop Pitt with heart


Associated Press/Sue Ogrocki
Pittsburgh’s Aaron Gray shoots in front of Oklahoma State’s David Monds in the first half during Thursday’s game at the O’Reilly All College Basketball Classic in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma State won 95-89.

AP Sports Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY — Pittsburgh and Oklahoma State played one of the best games of the college basketball season, and Cowboys guard JamesOn Curry was convinced the deciding factor couldn’t be found on the stat sheet.
“It’s heart. We’ve got heart,” Curry said after No. Oklahoma State outlasted No. 7 Pitt 95-89 in double overtime on Thursday night.
“It doesn’t matter how many people are on your bench. It’s what’s in your chest.”
Mario Boggan scored a career-high 30 points and had a crucial putback in the final minute, Curry added 21 points and the Cowboys (12-1) benefited from an intentional foul call to emerge with the victory.
“When you’re playing hard and they’re letting you play, they’re letting you be physical, that’s what we’re about — just playing real hard and physical and showing heart,” Boggan said.
Boggan called his putback for a 90-87 Oklahoma State lead a dream come true. Cowboys coach Sean Sutton considered Boggan’s night one of the best performances in school history, up there with Bryant “Big Country” Reeves leading the Cowboys to the Final Four and Randy Rutherford’s 45 points against Kansas on a school-record 11 3-pointers.
“He just kept saying, ‘Get me the ball. Get me the ball.’ He had an_unbelievable performance — one of the best efforts we’ve had from one_of our players in quite a while,” Sutton said.
After Mike Cook answered Boggan’s putback with two free throws and the shot clock was turned off, the Panthers (10-2) were forced to foul and Levance Fields was called for a flagrant foul for grabbing Byron Eaton’s neck with 21.6 seconds left.
Eaton hit both his free throws and Curry added two more for a five-point lead. The celebration started soon after, with the Cowboys exchanging high-fives before huddling with 16.7 seconds remaining. Fields discarded his headband as Curry stepped to the foul line to hit the last two foul shots of the game.
“We didn’t want it to be called an intentional foul, but that’s what they called and you have to play through it,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said.
Eaton, who had his face planted into the hardwood floor, admitted he “acted a little bit.”
In other games involving Top 25 teams, it was No. 6 Duke 61, No. 22 Gonzaga 54 and No. 20 Notre Dame 88, Army 47.
Aaron Gray, the Big East preseason player of the year, had 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead Pitt. Antonio Graves added 17, Cook and Fields each had 15 and reserve Sam Young scored 10.
The Panthers, the No. 2 team in last week’s poll, have lost back-to-back games after starting the season with 10 straight wins.
Oklahoma State, which had an 11-game win streak halted Monday against Tennessee, bounced back from its first loss by cutting down on turnovers. After committing 23 in Nashville against the Vols, the Cowboys had only 13 in 50 minutes against the Panthers.
Curry played 47 minutes and Boggan recorded 43. Four Pitt players — Gray, Graves, Cook and Fields — play more than 40 minutes.
“I thought I was going to be dead to the world but as it kept going I just kept wanting to play. I just got more energy and my adrenaline was just rushing more,” Boggan said.
No. 6 Duke 61, No. 22 Gonzaga 54: Greg Paulus had a career-high 20 points and combined with Josh McRoberts on three big plays in the second half to help Duke beat Gonzaga in the Aeropostale Classic at Madison Square Garden.
The two sophomores came up big for the Blue Devils (11-1) on the offensive end in a defensive game that saw plenty of missed shots and almost as many bodies on the floor.
No. 20 Notre Dame 88, Army 47: Colin Falls scored 24 points and Notre Dame made 15 3-pointers, both season highs, to help the Irish win their ninth straight.
Russell Carter added 12 points, and Luke Harangody had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Irish. Matt Bell led Army (9-3) with 15 points.



Players honored

Staff Writer

After winning its fourth straight Central Counties League championship this fall, the McGraw Central boys’ soccer team also dominated the all-league list.
The Eagles had five of the 13 first-team all-leaguers, as voted by the coaches, in senior midfielder Eric Law, junior forward Brad MacLean, senior goalkeeper Evan Emery, senior midfielder Jesse Wildman and senior fullback Patrick Leach.
Representing runner-up Cincinnatus on the first team are juniors Jherrett Maroney (halfback), Cameron Blanchard (fullback) and Mark Wyns (fullback). Third-place DeRuyter is represented by senior central defender Matt Paddock.
Maroney has been a first-team all-leaguer for three seasons in a row, while Law and MacLean were also on the first team in 2005.
Also named to the first team were Madison senior Sam Luetters, Stockbridge Valley junior Ethan Wilson, Otselic Valley senior Aaron Wood and Brookfield junior Danny Plows.
The second team includes senior fullbacks Josh LaPlante and Brandon Mack plus junior midfielder Anthony Powell from McGraw, Cincinnatus junior halfbacks Kyle Blanchard and Mark Cobb, junior forward Lenny Slocum and sophomore goalkeeper Greg Monroe and, from DeRuyter, junior goalkeeper Dustin McClure, senior midfielder Chuck Grime and junior defender Brandon Galloway.
Also making the second team were senior John Sanders and junior Brett Perry from Madison, Stockbridge Valley junior Dustin Smith and seniors Doug Hadlock and Charles Carney and, from Otselic Valley, sophomore Tyler Davis and junior David Cerasani.
Below are the comments each of the three area coaches made on their first-teamers.
McGraw coach Dave Law
On Eric Law: “Lawman, as we called him, has been with us all four years. As a senior captain, he led the team in many ways on and off the field. I can’t remember a game or practice he missed.  He has always been one of my most dedicated players.  I asked Eric to take on a special task this year. I needed someone to step up and put the ball in the net. He became our go-to. And if we did not get him the ball, he came back and got it. Eric somehow seemed to be able to go into a pack of guys and come out with the ball. He caught many teams off guard especially on direct kicks. He was deadly with both feet and never gave us anything less that 110 percent. Eric finished his final season with a new single-season school record of 27 goals and 12 assists. Over 30 percent of his shots went in the net. I couldn’t ask for more.”
On Brad MacLean: “Brad, a junior, was in his third varsity season this fall. He has certainly made his mark on this team. He played his first year in the defensive stopper position, moved quickly to forward last season banging in 18 goals and again this year totaling 12 goals and 12 assists. Brad is one of my most well-rounded players. Wherever we needed him he was willing to go. We grouped around him at both ends of the field on corner kicks because we just knew he was going to get the ball on his head. For the past two years, Brad has been closely watched; he is always a threat to our competition. I can’t wait to see him next year.”
On Evan Emery: “We can’t say enough about Evan. We took him off the basketball court three years ago to make him our backup keeper; he had never played the game before. As keeper for this team the past two years he kept us in every game. We know his desire is basketball, but he certainly knew how to catch a soccer ball also. In his two-year career he had 210 saves, only allowed 23 goals, had 17 shutouts and became one of the best keepers in the league. The guys just loved having Evan behind them. He was always very talkative in the game and took his practice workout very seriously.”
On Jesse Wildman: “Also a senior captain, Jesse became a great leader. Jesse in his younger years had always played side-by-side up front with Eric. This year we gave him an objective that he took right in stride. He became one of the best defensive halfbacks we ever had, and as the season went on he kept getting stronger. He got the head balls, had the good traps and became our best play-setter. Jesse seemed to be able to run forever. He covered from 18 to 18 setting up plays and controlling mid field.  Jesse was always such a pleasure to coach, always one of the first to practice and last to leave. His dedication to the team was wonderful.”
On Patrick Leach: “When you think of defense, you think of Patrick Leach.  He has been with us for three years now.  In his first year he played as outside fullback. Last fall he asked to move into one of the most important positions on the field, sweeper. He has helped to build two very good defensive teams.  His determination was the best. In his term as sweeper, he collected 29 wins and only eight losses. He is one of my favorite players to coach. He always showed the utmost respect to me as the coach and got the same in return from the team. As a senior captain, he was and always will be a great leader.”
Cincinnatus coach Leigh Wright
On Jherrett Maroney: “Jherrett is the veteran on the team. This was his fourth year at the varsity level and his skills and speed require a lot of attention from the opposing teams. In every game this year the opposing team put a shadow on him, to try and prevent him from making things happen. Despite all that attention Jherrett led the team with 20 goals and six assists. He also had 25 tackles and 49 steals, most of them were on the offensive side of the field.”
On Cameron Blanchard: “In my opinion Cameron was the best sweeper in the CCL this year. While roaming the defensive side of the field he collected 273 steals and 29 tackles; he was also credited for 10 blocks, which is the equivalent to a save for a goalkeeper. Not only does he have some impressive defensive stats but we also got Cameron to start the attack from the back, which puts pressure on the opposing team early in transition. Cameron also ended the year with two goals and three assists.”
On Mark Wyns: “Mark came into his own this year, finding a home at the stopper position. Mark has a great attitude to play that position. When asked to be a little physical he has no problem with mixing it up. He also accepts the challenge of having to mark up the other team’s top scorer or top assist leader. Mark ended up with 148 steals, 52 tackles, two blocked shots, one goal and two assists.”
DeRuyter coach Mike Skeele
On Matt Paddock: “Matt was solid and steady, consistent on defense all year. He usually marked the best offensive player on the opposing team, such as Cincinnatus’s Jherrett Maroney and McGraw’s Eric Law, and did a good job. He was our rock-solid anchor on defense and provided quiet leadership; he led by example.”

   Final CCL standings: McGraw 11-1-0, Cincinnatus 9-2-1, DeRuyter 7-3-2, Madison 6-4-2, Otselic Valley 3-8-1, Stockbridge Valley 2-9-1, Brookfield 0-12-0



Groton boys register important hoops victory

MARATHON — “Our kids grew up a lot tonight,” said Groton boys’ basketball coach John Filzen after his team broke up a close basketball game with clutch free throw shooting and a solid offensive effort. The result was a 65-45 Interscholastic Athletic Conference Division III victory inside a loud McDonald Gymnasium in Marathon Thursday.
In other IAC hoop action, Spencer-Van Etten boys pounded Tioga 64-44, Tioga girls stopped Spencer-Van Etten 59-46 and Moravia girls downed Southern Cayuga 56-47.
In IAC wrestling, Lansing mauled Marathon 51-22, Watkins Glen clipped Candor 30-27 and Mynderse Academy topped Trumansburg 57-22 in a non-league match.
Groton 65, Marathon 45: In this see-saw battle, Marathon grabbed a 12-9 lead in the first quarter and the Olympians were able to maintain a 29-26 advantage at halftime.
Groton rallied in the low-scoring third quarter to grab a 36-35 lead. The two teams remained close until the Indians sank 14-of-16 foul shots in the quarter and pulled away thanks to a 29-10 burst.
“We really made our free throws when we had to,” said Filzen. “Marathon forced us to rush things in the first half and even in the third quarter. We finally settled down and executed our offense during the fourth quarter.”
“It really was a good game until the fourth quarter,” said Marathon coach Jim Holland. “Our kids really hustled and played well. Groton made some crucial 3-pointers and shot free throws well in the final quarter.”
Etha Tilebein shook off his illness from earlier in the week to score 16 points for Groton, but it was teammate Peter Jackson who really burst the Marathon holiday bubble. Jackson scored 22 points, 13 of 17 shooting from the foul line. In fact, Jackson hit 11 of 12 tossed from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.
Tony Ortiz led the Marathon offense with 12 points while Cody Bellefleur netting eight points.
Groton will return to IAC Division III action today as the Indians travel to Union Springs. Marathon will also be in division action as the Olympians travel to Lansing.
IN WRESTLING, Tyler Malmberg, Mikhail Brown and Kasey Bush posted early pinfalls to help Marathon build an 18-12 lead, but Lansing dominated all but one f the remaining matches to secure the victory. Malmberg pinned Sean Eastman at the 1:58 mark of their 125-pound bout. Brown followed by sticking Joh Oblinski in 1:48 at 130. Bush completed the sweep with a 67 second pin of Jesse Weber at 135.
Dustinn Mejean was the only other Olympian winner as he scored a 12-4 majority decision over C.J. Griffin at 215 pounds.
“Lansing was the better team this year,” said Marathon coach Jamie Bush. “Doug Dake did a great (coaching) job with his team. We lost matches that on paper we should have won, but that is why we wrestle the matches.
“Kids get better each year and they have improved more than we have to date” Bush added. “We had some bright spots, but they were matches we knew we should win. We, as a team, need to learn to wrestle six minutes in every weight class.”




Strong start helps Trojans

FULTON — Thanks to a strong first quarter and solid fourth quarter play as well, the holiday season got off to a good start for Homer Central girls Thursday. The Trojans evened their overall record at 4-4 with a 41-34 OHSL Freedom Division basketball win at Fulton.
“We played well tonight,” said Homer coach Brenda Nobles. “Stephanie Hartquist gave us some momentum heading into halftime. Vickie Smith hit a big shot in the fourth quarter and Meghan Finn added a big 3-pointer. It was nice to get scoring from a lot of different players.”
Homer (3-2 division) built a 15-8 lead in the first quarter, but Fulton (1-4, 1-5) battled back to within one point in the closing seconds of the first half. Hartquist (eight points, three assists) tossed in a long_3-pointer near the final buzzer that gave the Trojans a 24-20 halftime_advantage.
The Raiders pulled to within 31-29 as the fourth quarter began, but Homer weathered the storm as pulled away. Smith (10 rebounds) and Finn scored their only points of the game during this crucial eight-minute stretch to help guide the visitors to victory.
Ashley Brown led Homer with 13 points while Hillary Simon netted 10 points, five rebounds and five steals.
Rebecca Wolford led Fulton with nine points while Kristen Kush added eight points.
Homer Central will return to action Jan. 3 at Jamesville-DeWitt. JV action will tip off at 6 p.m.
THE HOMER JVs dropped a 47-26 decision at Fulton Thursday.
Ashley Crossway and Jessica Rigg shared top scoring honors for the Trojans (1-6 overall) with eight points each.
Kemp scored 19 points with Palmicesso adding 11 points to the winning offense.