December 28, 2011


CHS, Marathon return to final

Purple Tigers erupt early in romp past rival Trojans

BasketballRich Barnes/contributing photographer
Cortland High guard Jonathon Prior (15) goes to the basket against Homer Central defender Thomas Austin during Tuesday’s Royal Auto Group Holiday Tournament at Shafer Gymnasium. Prior scored 10 points as the host Purple Tigers cruised into tonight’s title game winning 74-23.

Staff Writer

The Cortland High basketball players were in the holiday spirit of giving Tuesday.
Of the 28 field goals scored, 19 came off assists as the Purple Tigers routed neighbor Homer Central 74-23 in the opening round of the Royal Auto Group 2011 Holiday Tournament hosted by the Cortland High School Athletic Booster Club.
The defending champion Purple Tigers (5-1) will get a rematch with Marathon (6-1) — a 59-56 winner over Dryden in the other first round match-up — in tonight’s 7:30 championship contest. The Trojans (3-4) tip-off in the 5:30 p.m. consolation game with Dryden’s Purple Lions (3-4).
“It was a good win,” Cortland senior forward J.P. Reagan said. “We played good defense and we were able to score. It was a nice confidence builder because everyone got to play a good number of minutes. It really was a good team effort.”
In just 13 minutes of playing time, Reagan led Cortland in scoring with 14 points. The 6-foot-5 forward added seven rebounds, two blocked shots, two assists and two steals to his final stat line.
“I was real happy with the way we started the game,” Purple Tiger head coach Mick Lowie said of his team’s 30-5 advantage after the first quarter. “We played good defense and made them take difficult shots. We got some rebounds and we got the transition game going.
“The kids were very unselfish,” he added. “They find the open player. they did a real nice job of that.”
Jonathon Prior (10 points) got Cortland started with a 3-pointer in the opening 30 seconds. Two free throws from Reagan, an offensive putback by Brandon Babcock and a corner trey by Brian Hughes made it 10-0 and Homer coach Sean Malone called a timeout.
Rex Ryan scored on an offensive rebound to get Homer on the board after that chat, but Cortland then closed out the quarter with with a 20-3 run.
Babcock scored inside and was fouled for a three-point play with the free throw. Prior scored a fastbreak lay-up off a steal and Reagan had back-to-back steals and lay-ups, plus on free throw and the lead grew to 20-2. Another fastbreak lay-up by Prior, two free throws by Qwuhail Barlow and two 3-pointers from P.J. Mahar completed the Purple Tiger scoring. Cortland shot 10-for-16 in the first quarter.
Austin Recor netted a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the final Trojan points of the stanza.
BY THE MIDWAY point of the second quarter, every Cortland player of the 14-man roster had been on the floor for Coach Lowie as the game result was never in doubt.
The Trojans continued to struggle from the field. After making just two-of-15 shot in the first quarter, Homer connected just three times in 14 tries during the second quarter. Cortland was just 5-for-14 in the second quarter as the sixth through 14th guys saw considerable minutes.
“A second group sometimes runs the offense better than the first group because that first group will sometimes improvise,” Lowie said. “It is nice to watch when the guys make five or six passes because you know someone is going to get open. A guy will get open cutting to the basket and they will find that guy.”
The second half saw the Purple Tigers continue to pull away. The Purple Tigers were 13-for-33 from the field while The Trojans were just 4-for-30.
“We had opportunities to score,” Homer coach Sean Malone said. “Alec Sovocool had 15 mid-range jump shots that hit every part of the rim and fell out. Take things like that and Cortland’s height inside where they controlled the rebounds, we did not get many second-chance opportunities either. That’s something we are working on and we will get better.”
Babcock and Mahar each finished the game with nine points for Cortland. Babcock also pulled down 11 rebounds in 15 minutes with four assists and three steals. Hughes and Josh Gutchess each snared nine rebounds for Cortland. Like Gutchess, Teddy Phillips came off the bench and grabbed eight rebounds for the Purple Tigers.
Cleary led the Trojans with eight points including the 49th and 50th 3-pointers in his career.
— Purple Tigers’ junior varsity head man Yale Hughes and assistant coach Tom Neugebauer were honored at the varsity game’s halftime. Both were presented framed certificates of recognition for all their years of coaching basketball at Cortland High.
CORTLAND JVs wasted little time securing their third win of the season. The Purple Tigers used huge second and fourth quarter burst to roll to a 70-25 victory over Homer in the first round of the tournament. Cortland is now 3-3 and will face Marathon in the 2 p.m. championship game this afternoon. the Trojans fall to 2-5 after the loss and will meet Dryden in the consolation game at noon.
Sage Brown scored all seven of his points during first quarter play to help Cortland build an 11-2 advantage. Quinn Kennedy netted eight of his 16 points during the 22-point second quarter spurt that helped the Purple Tigers increased its advantage to 33-11.
Cortland scored 37 points in the second half, 26 of them in the fourth quarter to coast to victory. Soloman Pittman joined Kennedy in high scoring honor as he tallied 16 points as well.
Chris Lee led the Trojans with five points.


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