December 28, 2006


CHS tripped up in OT

Ithaca to face Chenango Forks in title game


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland High Center Tom Wilk (44) goes up for a shot over Ithaca’s Kyle Chapman in the second quarter of last night’s Royal Motors Complex Holiday Tournament first round game. Ithaca pulled out 68-65 overtime win despite 28 points from Wilk

Staff Writer

What Ithaca High lacks in size, the Little Red make up with heart, hustle and desire.
Those ingredients allowed the visitors to stay close and helped Ithaca High pull off a 68-65 overtime basketball win over host Cortland High in the opening round of the Royal Auto Complex Holiday Tournament hosted by the CHS Athletic Booster club.
The win propels Ithaca (3-5 overall) into the 7:30 championship game tonight at Shafer Gymnasium against another Southern Tier Athletic Conference squad, Chenango Forks. The Blue Devils were 69-56 winners over fellow STAC entry Maine-Endwell in the opening varsity game of the night.
The Purple Tigers (5-4), winners of three straight prior to the loss, and Spartans (1-6) play in the varsity consolation game at 5:30 p.m.
“It was a big win for our team,” said Ithaca High coach Brian Stone. “As a group, we had to play together. I don’t think that we are as talented as Cortland, but we hung in there. That shows a lot of character for these kids. I am really proud of them.”
“It was not a case that we played bad,” said Cortland coach Mick Lowie. “Ithaca is one of the better teams that we have played this year. We knew they were an athletic team coming into the game. Put their record aside and look at who they have played. They play all Double-A schools, including Binghamton, who is having a great season. They lost to Auburn by three points. Auburn is 8-1 and having a great year.
“I think we could have played better,” Lowie added. “There are the same opportunities that we have had all year long and not capitalized on. We did a lot of good things and Ithaca made some great athletic plays to win.”
The game was tied four times. Twice in the first quarter at 2-2 and again at 9-9, but Cortland never trailed as 6-foot-8 senior center Tom Wilk (28 points and 10 rebounds) controlled play in the paint and 6-2 senior guard Joel White (15 points and eight assists) helped run the offense out front with knifing drives and good passing. After two buckets inside by Wilk, White hit Levi Walrath underneath for another bucket and a pass from White to Derek Allen led to another score as the Purple Tigers led 8-2 with 5:22 left in the first quarter.
Six-foot-four senior Kyle Chapman (27 points) kept the Little Red close and his bucket with 2:12 left in the quarter tied the score at 9-9, but Cortland led 13-11 after the first eight minutes came to an end.
A dish by Kaywon Pittman to Wilk was followed by a steal and lay-in by White as the Purple Tigers jumped out to a 17-11 advantage in the first 34 seconds of the second quarter. Cortland maintained a four to eight-point cushion for most of the remaining first-half minutes with a White basket at the one-minute mark keeping the Purple Tigers on top by a 32-24 count, the biggest margin of the night.
Chapman sank two free throws for the Little Red with 31 seconds left before a steal and lay-in by Justin Malcolm pulled Ithaca to within 32-28 with another two quarters remaining.
The third quarter followed the first-half script, but Cortland could never put the determined Ithaca High squad away. The Purple Tigers clung to a 48-46 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Two free throws by Ithaca junior David Farnham (22 points) knotted the score at 48-48 15 seconds into the fourth quarter. After a Purple Tiger miss, the Little Red took their first lead of the game when Malcolm threaded a pass to Chapman who buried deuce while being fouled. Chapman added the free throw as Ithaca took a 51-48 lead with seven minutes left in regulation time.
Lowie called a timeout to settle his troops and the strategy worked. The Purple Tigers came out on fire. White scored on a lay-up with 6:22 left and he scored again 13 seconds later after a stealing the ball for a 52-51 Purple Tiger lead. One minute later, Pittman drove to the hoop and scored for a 54-51 Cortland cushion, forcing Ithaca to call a timeout.
Wilk scored off a White feed and was fouled with 4:58 to go. He added the free throw for a 57-51 advantage.
Farnham stopped the Cortland run with a bucket and free throw with 4:14 on the clock to pull Ithaca to within 57-54, but Jack Wood connected from three-point land for a 60-54 Purple Tiger advantage with 3:23 left in regulation time. Those would be the final points for Cortland in the quarter as the Little Red defense forced the issue.
After a Farnham free throw, the Little Red got a 3-pointer by Farnham with 1:37 left to cut the deficit to 60-58. Cortland took time off the clock, but missed a shot. The Purple Tigers could not score either. Ithaca got the ball back with 38 seconds to go and called timeout. Executing to perfection, Chapman got open and nailed the short jumper to knot the score at 60-60 with 18.3 seconds left.
Cortland could not connect with and Ithaca got the ball back with 3.5 seconds left. After the timeout, Malcolm took a long shot with 1.5 seconds left. The shot bounced away and the game head into overtime.
Ithaca drew first blood as Malcolm got a shot at redemption. The senior guard hit just his second shot in nine attempts and only shot from behind the 3-point arc to give Ithaca a 63-60 lead with 3:42 left in overtime.
Allen dished a pass in the paint to Wilk for the lay-in as Cortland closed to within 63-62, but Farnham hit both end of a one-and-one to build the lead back to 65-62. Wilk tried again from in close, but Chapman blocked the shot and grabbed the loose ball. Farnham then hit another foul shot for a 66-62 lead with 1:52 left.
As the game moved into the final 38 seconds, Ithaca missed a chance to ice the game as Allen grabbed the rebound for the Purple Tigers. Cortland got three shots in the paint and three offensive rebounds before an Ithaca foul stopped play. Wilk made one free throw for the Purple Tigers with14.7 seconds left and Malcolm answered for Ithaca with 12.6 ticks remaining with one of two free throws made.
With five seconds to go, Walrath scored as Cortland pulled to within 67-65. After a Purple Tiger timeout, Malcolm was fouled. He made one free throw for a 68-65 lead. Cortland tossed a long pass, but the ball was high and off the fingers of Dan Leonard. Time ran out and Ithaca escaped with a big win.
Chenango Forks 69, Maine-Endwell 56: Chris Statts netted six of his eight points in the first 2:30 of the game as Chenango Forks (3-4) raced to an 8-0 lead and never looked back in this battle of STAC teams.
The Blue Devils continued to dominate play through the second quarter as their advantage grew to 33-15.
Maine-Endwell poured in 26 points in the fourth quarter to mount a rally, but the deficit was way too big to overcome as Chenango Forks posted the 13-point victory.
Garrett Cade led the balanced Blue Devils offense with 16 points with Jeff Creagh adding 15 points.
Corey Adrian paced Maine-Endwell with 16 points as well. Brad Kuzawinski and Ryan Fetterman added 14 and 10 points, respectively.
CORTLAND JVs needed some extra time to pull off their sixth win of the season. Kevin Shaw and Trevor Williamson each netted game-high honors with 21 points as the Purple Tigers improved to 6-1 with a hard-fought 62-59 overtime victory over Ithaca High JVs Wednesday.
Cortland JVs will meet Chenango Forks, 58-45 winners over Maine-Endwell, in the JV championship game at 2 p.m. today. Ithaca and Maine-Endwell clashed in the noon consolation game.
Williamson netted six points in the first quarter as Cortland grabbed an 11-7 advantage, but Ithaca pumped in 16 second-quarter points for a 23-21 halftime edge. Brandon Jordan scored eight his of 14 points during that second-quarter run.
Fajhir Nunn (10 points) netted six points during third-quarter play to keep the Little Red in front 35-32.
Shaw caught fired in the fourth quarter with three of his five 3-pointers as Cortland scored 18 points and pulled even at 50-50 as the buzzer sounded to end regulation time.
In the four-minute overtime period, Williamson netted six points while Shaw added four as the Purple Tigers used a 12-9 edge to post the victory. Elvir Bahtic (16 points) scored five of the nine Ithaca points.


Cold spell costly for Cortland girls

OSWEGO — Coach Dick Penoyer had no explanation for it.
His Cortland High girls’ basketball team led Malone 15-13 Wednesday after the first quarter of their game in the Linda Shoults Memorial Tournament at Oswego High. Then, suddenly, the wheels fell off.
The Purple Tigers scored only three points in the second quarter to 18 for Malone and trailed thereafter in what ended up a 62-49 loss.
“We just went cold, stone-gold, in the second quarter,” said Penoyer, whose team is now 7-2 overall. “I have no idea why. We had quite a few unforced turnovers in that quarter as well, and didn’t shoot real well the entire game.
“We also could have done a little better job defensively,” he added. “We gave up 62 and only scored 49, which is borderline for winning. You can’t allow 62 points against a good team, which Malone is. We tried a press, but they broke it fairly easily. We tried a lot of different things, but after the second quarter we never got back into it. The closest we came was within four or six in the middle of the third.”
Shannon Finucane had a team-high 16 points for CHS including a 3-pointer. Amanda Lawlor added 16 points and sank a pair of treys.
Cortland meets Bishop Ludden at 5 p.m. today in the consolation game. The Gaelic Knights lost 57-36 to Oswego in the other first round game, the hosts to meet Malone for the title at 7 p.m.
CORTLAND JVs lost to Malone, with no score or details reported, to drop to 0-7 on the season.


Van Ingen on all-state second team

Marathon Central cross country standout Erik van Ingen earned a second team spot on the prestigious New York State Sportswriters Association All-State squad.
The senior secured that second team honor by finishing 18th at the New York State Federation Championships held back in November, when he ran his best 16:28.2 time at Bowdoin State Park.
The Section 4 champion Olympians, coached by Todd James, finished fifth in the final New York State Class D team rankings — with van Ingen leading the way.
Candor senior Christian Thompson — a long time van Ingen rival out of the Interscholastic Athletic Conference — was among the first-team selections. Seniors Tommy Gruenewald and Geoff King from Fayetteville-Manlius out of Section 3 were also on the top squad.
Seniors dominated the first team, with Steve Murdock and Zack Predmore from Shenendehowa, Brian Rhodes-Devey from Guilderland (whose grandparents are Cortland residents), Terrance Prial from Warwick, Keith Stapleton from Curtis and Corey Robinson from Greece Odessey upperclassmen honored. Lee Berube from Ticonderoga was the lone first team junior.
Other Central New York runners honored were Ithaca senior Drew Hart on the third team; Liverpool junior Ethan Hickey, F-M senior Like Fitzgibbons, Marcellus sophomore Chris Stogsdill and Auburn senior Chris Mason on the sixth team; South Jefferson sophomore Zach Ornelas on the seventh team; Tully senior Mike Heymann on the ninth team and F-M junior Ben Kimple on the 10th team.
In this year’s New York State Class D race, van Ingen matched his best ever finish by running third at Warwick, Long Island. It was his fifth consecutive state meet appearance, and the fourth time he earned a medal.