December 23, 2009


Plenty of helpers for Purple Tigers


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland’s Maggie Brown (left) goes up for a basket against Chittenango’s Kaitlin Antelmi in the first quarter Tuesday at Shafer Gym. Brown scored 14 points in a 73-30 CHS romp.

You know you’re in good shape when your halftime goal is to get every player on the team into the scoring column.
Such was the case for the Cortland High girls’ basketball team, the 17th-ranked Class A squad in the state, against visiting Chittenango Tuesday night. And, oh yes, mission accomplished, as each of the 12 Purple Tigers scored at least two points en route to a 73-30 OHSL Freedom Division Shafter Gym romp.
“Chittenango is a very young team,” CHS coach Dick Penoyer said, his team now 5-0 in the OHSL Freedom Division and 6-0 overall. “They’ll be good in the future, but for now they’re trying to build a program. We kind of overmatched them. It was 24-5 after the first quarter so we started subbing; we got everyone in, wanted them all to score, and they did.
“Nacirema Mann (junior guard) had a very, very good game, one of her better ones. She made one of the most athletic moves I’ve seen in a girls’ game in years, grabbing an offensive rebound four or five feet away from the basket, bringing it in and shooting it over the a defender to score,” he added.
Mann had 14 points, as did sophomore guard Maggie Brown, who added a team-high 12 rebounds, seven steals and four assists. Senior forward Courtney Tennant had a team-high 15 points for the winners.
Sierra Shafer led the Bears (1-5 league and overall) with nine points.
Cortland is now off until Jan. 5, when it hosts Syracuse CBA before home games against Jamesville-DeWitt Jan. 8 and East Syracuse-Minoa Jan. 12. J-D, ranked 13th in the state at 6-1, is tied for the league lead at 5-0 with the Purple Tigers, CBA right behind at 4-0 league and overall. ES-M is fourth at 5-2 (5-3 overall).
“The kids have played very well the first half of the season,” Penoyer said. “When we come back we’ll be in the heart of the season. Those teams will give us a run, especially Jamesville-DeWitt and CBA.
“I think the kids are all looking forward to it, seeing where they’re at playing that caliber of team. They’re excited to play them. We don’t have any games for those two weeks, and that seemed to work out for us last year. We’re good enough that when the kids scrimmage each other it makes for a good practice.”
One thing that Penoyer has going for him this season is depth.
“We have a deep bench,” he said. “I can put a whole new five in and they can score almost as well as the starters. That’s a luxury you don’t usually get. It’s not that we’re trying to run the score up (CHS having won its five league games by an average margin of just over 33 points); we just have a lot of different kids who are able to score in a lot of different ways.”
CHITTENANGO JVs beat Cortland 41-27, Madison Beck carrying most of the load for the Purple Tigers (2-4) with 17 points.