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December 30, 2008

 

Purple Tigers roar into title game

Beats Dryden to face Chenango Valley in finals

Purple Tigers Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland High’s Robbie Wade makes his way through Dryden defenders, including Barry Welch (left), during Monday’s first round game of the Royal Auto Complex Holiday Basketball Tournament. CHS moved into the finals with a 72-56 victory.

By TANEY BEAUMONT
Staff Writer

Both coaches came away with positives from the the final game of the Royal Auto Complex Holiday Boys’ Basketball Tournament’s opening night Monday at Shafer Gymnasium.
Cortland High coach Mick Lowie’s positives were just a bit more tangible, his team having advanced to today’s 7:30 p.m. championship game of the CHS Booster Club-sponsored event with a 72-56 win over Dryden. The Purple Tigers were to take on Chenango Valley, a 76-75 winner over Oxford in the varsity opener, in the title game back at Shafer Gymnasiu.
Dryden and Oxford were to go at it in the consolation contest starting at 5:30 p.m.
“I liked our discipline down the stretch offensively,” Lowie said, his team now 6-3 on the season. “We ran high post for Trevor (Williamson). They were getting into our face defensively so we spread our offense and executed well. That in turn left Trevor open one-on-one, and he’s tough to stop one-on-one.”
Williamson, the Purple Tigers’ 6-3 senior center, proved that by pouring in a game-high 31 points. As it turned out, he had some extra motivation.
“My uncle came up from Binghamton to watch the game, and I wanted to show off for him,” Williamson said with a smile. “I was surprised how well the played in the beginning; then we stepped it up. We kind of took them lightly, underestimated them a little bit. Tonight was just a case of having the guys look inside to me. The work that coach (Rick) Miller does with me also helps.”
“We made 25 baskets and had 20 assists,” an obviously pleased Lowie said, 13 of those baskets by Williamson. “The kids are starting to look for each other and starting to find Trevor. They’re also starting to understand when and where to go to reach open spots. Tonight Trevor got himself open, and the kids got him the ball.”
Lowie didn’t think his team underestimated Dryden, but noted: “If they did, it was them. Friday and Saturday at practice and at our shootaround this morning, we told them that Dryden had athletic kids. They’re young, but when things are going their way, they’re tough. We didn’t attack their zone very well early, and when they went man-to-man, I said ‘Thank you.’
“I was impressed with how hard they competed. We only had 13 turnovers, and they only had 15, For the tempo of the game, that’s not too bad.”
A fast tempo is the foundation of the system that first-year coach Kim Brown is building with the Purple Lions, who are now 1-5 on the season.
“Our focus is getting up and down the floor,” Brown said. “The kids have bought into that, and understand that easy points come from doing that, and in turn it comes from working hard on defense. If we get into the other team’s face, it takes away some of their confidence. These kids understand what I want to do. I want to get 70 shots a game; then we’re getting up and down like we should. “
Dryden fired off 67 shots, hitting 23 of those.
“We did a better job of doing that in the first half; we’re not a thick team (physically), and rebounding is an important part of it,” said Coach Brown. “We battled hard, and there were rebounds we should have had but didn’t; today we struggled. While we worked hard, we didn’t get any breaks in rebounding.”
The hosts had a 49-39 board advantage, led by junior guard Caleb Wright’s 11, senior center Justin Guerin’s 10 and nine from sophomore forward Justin Hogan. Dryden’s stats showed senior forwards Chris VanSlyke and Eric Dodge leading the way with four rebounds each.
Dryden controlled the game early on, rolling up 10 points in a row after the Purple Tigers scored off the opening tip. The visitors led 17-16 after the first quarter before CHS scored the first seven points of the second to take the lead for good. It was 27-6 with 2:04 left in the stanza when Lowie called a timeout, and his team then scored the last eight points to take a 35-26 lead into halftime.
A timeout called by Brown helped Dryden get back into it, Cortland having widened the lead to 41-26 just over a minute into the third quarter. When play resumed, the revitalized Purple Lions scored nine points in a row in just 49 seconds to make it 41-35, then added a foul shot a bit later to close to within 41-36 . The spread was still five points, at 43-38, with 3:06 left in the third when Cortland began to pull away, taking a 53-43 lead into the fourth and staying in control the rest of the way.
Williamson had seven points in the third quarter and 10 in the fourth, while junior guard Jordan Prior, playing just his fourth game of the season, had five points in each quarter and finished with 17 points as the only other CHS player in double figures. Senior guard Barry Welch led Dryden with 18 points, and junior guard-forward Dan Holland added 17.
“We got some nice contributions all the way around,” Lowie said. “Jeff Brown (junior guard) had a nice layup at the end of the first half to give us a little extra breathing room, and Justin did a good job when Trevor got into a little bit of foul trouble. Justin Hogan (sophomore forward) gave us a nice lift with a couple of baskets in the first quarter, and Jordan is starting to make big contributions.”
Senior guard Will Fickenscher and Wright had five assists apiece for CHS, Prior and Hogan with three apiece; Brown and Fickenscher had two steals each. Holland and senior guard Cory Goodenough had two assists apiece for Dryden.
“The group I saw on the floor for us today was five times better than at the beginning of the season,” Brown said. “If they continue that into the IAC schedule they could be surprised with how successful they are. We went against a team that goes against a level of competition that we don’t see and stayed close for three quarters.”
“Dryden played a good game. They shot and rebounded well,” Lowie said. Based on how they played today, they could finish the second half of the season pretty well.”
Chenango Valley 76, Oxford 75: In the opening game, Chenango Valley hit a total of 10 shots from behind the 3-point arc and held on to shade Oxford. The Warriors, now 6-2, started strong and led 28-19 after one quarter before Oxford came back to trail by only six, 40-34, at the half.
Blackhawks junior guard Cory Seiler scored 13 of his 21 points in the third quarter as his team used a 22-18 advantage to pull to within two, 58-56, heading into the fourth. Oxford had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, trailing 76-73, but after a missed 3-point shot senior forward Tom Gould could only hit a layup at the buzzer for the final margin.
The winners got a game-high 22 points from junior guard Andy Fox, while senior guard Kyle Cristoffersen added 19, junior guard-forward Tom Hull 18 and junior forward Brian Wagstaff 10. Senior forward Craig Champlin and Gould had 19 points each to complement Seiler for Oxford (3-3).
Today’s JV matchups are the same as at the varsity level. Cortland trounced Dryden 99-44 Monday afternoon, while Chenango Valley was a 49-34 winner over Oxford. The championship game was to be played at 2 p.m., following the noon consolation contest.
Brandon Babcock led the Purple Tigers, now 4-3, with 15 points, while Jonathon Prior and P.J. Mahar had 11 points apiece and Alex Stacy, T.J. Bardsley and Nick Reynolds added 10 each. A total of 11 different players scored for the winners, who scored 31 points in the third quarter and 25 in the fourth after going into halftime with a 43-16 lead. Nick Leyburn and Gage Ellis scored 10 each for Dryden.
Kyle Moyer scored 12 points to lead Chenango Valley, while four players had six points each for Oxford.

Varsity First Round Games
———
Cortland 72, Dryden 56
Dryden (56): Goodenough 1 1-2 3, Horton 0 0-0 0, Phillips 6 1-2 18, Welch 0 0-0 0, Barber 0 0-0 0, Dodge 3 0-1 7, Jenne 3 0-0 6, LeViere 1 1-2 3, Holland 8 0-0 17, LaSala 0 0-0 0, Van Slyke 1 0-3 2. Totals: 23 3-10 56.
Cortland (72): Brown 2 0-0 4, Fickenscher 0 0-0 0, Becker 0 0-0 0, Wright 1 0-0 2, Prior 4 7-8 17, Hogan 2 0-0 4, Williamson 13 5-7 31, Wade 2 0-0 5, Guerin 2 5-8 9. Totals: 26 17-23 72.
By quarters:
Dryden 19 9 17 13 — 56
Cortland 16 19 18 19 — 72
3-point goals: Dryden (7)- Welch 5, Dodge, Holland. Cortland (3)- Prior 2, Wade.

Chenango Valley 76, Oxford 75
Chenango Valley (76): Fox 10 1-1 22, Bakker 1 0-0 3, Ruffo 0 0-0 0, Christoffersen 7 1-2 18, Hull 7 1-2 18, Wagstaff 4 2-2 10, Hurlburt 0 1-2 1, Ball 1 1-3 3. Totals: 29 8-12 76.
Oxford (75): Trask 3 0-0 7, Seiler 8 2-2 21, Champlin 8 1-3 19, Barry 3 1-3 7, Paul 1 0-0 2, Renaud 0 0-0 0, Nelson 9 0-0 19, Gould 0 0-0 0. Totals: 32 4-8 75.
By quarters:
Chenango Valley 28 12 18 18 — 76
Oxford 19 15 22 19 — 75
3-point goals: Chenango Valley (10): Christoffersen 5, Hull 3, Fox, Bakker. Oxford (7): Seiler 3, Champlin 2, Trask, Champlin.

JV First Round Games
———
Cortland 99, Dryden 44
Dryden (44): Goodenough 0 2-2 2, Morrie 1 2-2 4, Norman 0 1-2 1, Rugg 1 6-8 8, Youn 0 0-2 0, Leyburn 5 0-0 10, Winston 2 0-0 4, Bookhout 0 0-0 0, Wei 1 0-0 2, Tate 1 1-2 3, Ellis 3 4-6 10. Totals: 14 16-24 44.
Cortland (99): Prior 1 0-2 2, Stacy 4 1-1 10, Potter 3 1-2 7, Tabel 3 1-2 8, Prior 5 0-0 11, Bardsley 3 3-4 10, Reagan 0 0-0 0, Frederickson 3 0-0 6, Klinger 2 5-8 9, Mahar 4 2-4 11, Reynolds 4 2-2 10, Babcock 5 5-5 15. Totals: 37 20-30 99.
By quarters:
Dryden 4 12 15 13 — 44
Cortland 27 16 31 25 — 99
3-point goals: Dryden- None. Cortland (5)- Stacy, Tabel, Prior, Bardsley, Mahar.

Chenango Valley 49, Oxford 34
Chenango Valley (49): R. Mack 1 0-1 3, Gaudinier 2 0-0 5, K. Mack 1 0-1 3, Moyer 5 2-2 12, Hillegas 1 2-4 4, Fillers 0 1-2 1, Heller 3 3-7 9, Christoffersen 1 0-0 2, Miller 1 0-0 2, Williams 3 2-3 8. Totals: 18 10-20 49.
Oxford (34): J. Wonka 1 0-0 2, Schray 1 0-0 2, Dilfer 0 2-4 2, Carr 1 0-0 2, Golden 3 0-0 6, Moore 0 0-1 0, P. Wonka 3 0-3 6, Izzard 3 0-0 6, Davis 3 0-0 6, Hamilton 1 0-0 2. Totals: 16 2-8 34.
By quarters:
Chenango Valley 13 17 13 6 — 49
Oxford 4 5 16 9 — 34
3-point goals: Chenango Valley (3)- R. Mack, Gaudinier, K. Mack. Oxford- None.