December 23, 2010


Brown’s 25 points spark 65-38 romp —

Tenacious Tigers get best of Homer

basketballJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland’s Nacirema Mann (2) brings down a rebound over Homer’s Sarah diGiovanna (left) in the first quarter of Wednesday’s Freedom Division basketball matchup. Host CHS was a 65-38 winner.

Staff Writer

Some tenacious defense and a typical Maggie Brown performance were more than enough for the Cortland High girls’ basketball team against visiting Homer Central Wednesday night.
The Purple Tigers rallied from an early deficit to take control in the first quarter and Brown scored 25 points, including 20 in the first half, before leaving the game with 2:54 left in the third quarter — at which point the Trojans had scored just 24 points — as CHS rolled 65-38.
“I believe that Maggie is one of the top five players in the section,” said Cortland coach Dick Penoyer, whose team stayed perfect in three OHSL Freedom American Division outings and improved to 3-1 overall. “She’s hard to handle. She rebounds, runs the floor well and is good at getting steals and going the other way.
“There are very few girls who can pass as well as she does,” he added. “She can fire the ball, and make the diagonal pass from halfcourt to someone under the basket and get it right to the person at that distance.”
Brown added a team-high 14 rebounds and six steals for the winners, who won the battle of the boards 43-35.
“I was happy with my rebounding,” said Brown, whose point total was her second-highest of the season. “As a team we had a pretty good rebounding night — Nacirema (Mann, a senior forward)) had a bunch — and got some fast breaks. I was a little surprised at the score. We knew that Homer is pretty good, and were a little worried. But we knew that if we played our game we’d come out with a win.”
The Trojans led 5-4 in the early stages of the contest before CHS stepped it up and held them scoreless for 5:01, moving to an 18-5 advantage before Homer junior guard Jessica Parmiter ended the drought with a 3-pointer. The hosts answered with a 3-pointer of their own, by senior guard Melanie Phillips, and led 23-8 at the end of the first quarter.
“We used a couple of different versions of the half-court trap,” Penoyer said of his team’s defense. “A lot of teams aren’t used to seeing it and have trouble against it. I was a little surprised that we won by that much. We went to a 2-3 zone in the middle of the second quarter and used a little man-to-man, too.”
“WE HAD 26 TURNOVERS. That’s the story right there,” said Homer coach Marv Zimmerman, whose team lost for the first time in three league games and is now 2-3 overall.
“We talked before the game and said that our veterans would have to step it up; they didn’t in the first quarter. They lost their composure against the pressure, Cortland scored 23 points and we were in a hole,” he added. “We did a better job in the second quarter, as they only scored 15, but we were still in a hole. Give credit to Cortland, they played very well. We had a lot of unforced turnovers. We have to do a better job of handling the ball.
“Maggie is very strong and takes the ball to the basket,” he added. “We tried to play off her a little to try to get her to shoot from outside. I thought our player (man-to-man) defense was pretty good. They were able to hit their shots when we were in a zone, but once we went to the player in the second quarter we did pretty well.”
“Homer is a better-shooting team than they have been,” Penoyer said. “The difference was that we hammered them on the boards with Maggie, Nacirema (eight rebounds) and Tara (Parker-Sabin, seven) leading the way. We were a little shaky at the start of the game and were throwing the ball away, but once we started getting some easy baskets off turnovers it helped our confidence.
“The thing we were most proud of as coaches was the way our second group played; they played with confidence, ran the offense and made some shots. It was nice. ”
Mann had 13 points and Phillips 10 to complement Brown for Cortland, Phillips also dishing out four assists. Senior guard Carissa Cornwell led Homer with 21 points to go along with eight rebounds and three steals, while junior guard Jessica Parmiter had 10 points and four steals. Senior forward Sarah diGiovanna hauled down seven rebounds.
“Our young kids are learning,” Zimmerman said. “We have to do a better job inside too. It’s disappointing that we lost but I think we’re headed in the right direction. We’re optimistic about the rest of the season.”
“Homer has shown some improvement, and I like the way that Parmiter plays,” Penoyer said. “They’ve got a lot of young kids — like us — and by the end of the season they’ll be a decent team.”
Cortland is now off until Jan. 4, when it hosts Syracuse CBA in a non-leaguer, the JVs with a 5:30 p.m. start. Homer visits Central Square in a non-leaguer on Dec. 30, the JV game getting underway at 11 a.m.
CORTLAND JVs beat Homer 44-33, the two teams tied 25-25 heading into the fourth, in which CHS had a 19-8 advantage. Sophomore forward Taylor Tabel had 10 points for the Purple Tigers (3-0 league, 3-1 overall) while eighth-grade guard added nine and ninth-grade Cassandra Hathaway had eight.
Homer (1-2, 1-4) was led by freshman Kristen Fuller with nine points, with freshmen Carly Dove and Gail VanValkenburg adding six apiece.


To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard