Homer Central girls have been playing with speed and quickness all season, but the Trojans were run out of SUNY Cortland’s Corey Gymnasium Friday night as well as beaten inside by two six-footers.
Senior six-foot forward Clara Culeton scored 19 points and 6-foot-1 junior Adeline Benjamin added 12 points as Oswego snapped the Trojans two-game winning streak with a 60-43 basketball win.
Homer is now 4-3 after the non-league match-up of OHSL Freedom Division schools, while Oswego improves to 4-2.
“I though we would match up with them a little better,” Homer coach Jeff Tabel said. “We thought we could get them out in the open court and press them better, but they (Culeton and Benjamin) handled the ball better than I thought. They were very good around the basket too. We’ll need to work a scheme where we can work around the basket against them defensively, front them better and maybe play some zone.
“We have played a couple of tall girls,” he continued. “These two were more skillful and that threw us for a loop.”
The teams traded points in the first three minutes, but after Shawnessy Earle hit a 3-pointer for an 8-6 Homer lead which led to Oswego calling a time-out. Benjamin hit a jumper in the paint to spark a 13-2 Buccaneers run as the visitors led 19-10 after the first quarter.
Oswego opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer by Jenna McManus (10 points) for a 22-10 lead. Earle would hit two more 3-pointers to finish with all her nine points in the first half to help Homer close to within 26-20 with four minutes left in the half.
Homer did make another run late in the half by scoring the final six points. Brenna Johnson started the run with a steal and lay-up. Caley Cornwell scored inside off a pass from Johnson and Cornwell grabbed an offensive rebound and dropped it home at the buzzer as the Trojans closed to within 30-26. The junior would finish with a team high 14 points and nine rebounds.
The Trojans used that momentum for a 9-2 run to open the third quarter as the home team grabbed a 35-32 lead. It began with a Macy Boice steal and lay-up. Cornwell added a lay-up and Boice delivered a deuce. Cary Trierweiler capped the run with a steal and basket.
Sarah Casaletta drove the lane to pull Oswego to within two points before Culeton netted three baskets. Her first gave the Buccaneers a 36-35 lead that Homer retook quickly on a Johnson offensive rebound with 3:06 left in the quarter. The Trojans shooters went cold, not scoring again for four minutes.
Culeton hit a short jumper and scored on a lay-up for a 40-37 edge. The Buccaneers got seven more points to lead 47-37 heading into fourth quarter play. Oswego limited the Trojans to six points on the fourth quarter to seal the win.
“We got close, but our shooting percentage really dropped,” Tabel said as his team made just three shots in the fourth quarter. “Everything seem to be off the back iron. If they fell we would have had a game. The girls played hard for the most part.”
Homer will have a quick turnaround. The Trojans will travel to Cortland High to face the Purple Tigers in a non-league clash. The JV game will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the varsity game to follow.
HOMER JVs had trouble making shots as the Trojans dropped their second straight game to slip to 4-3 on the season.
Caitie Lilly used her height and a nice shooting touch to score 15 points and lead Oswego to the 36-24 victory.
“We just couldn’t shoot tonight,” Homer coach Cris Colasurdo said. “The ball would not fall for us.”
Oswego led 11-9 in the tight first quarter and the Buccaneers push their advantage to 18-13 at halftime. The second half saw Oswego take charge with a 14-4 scoring advantage in the third quarter to pull away.
Nicole Pappa added 10 points to the Buccaneers attack.
It was a balanced scoring night for Homer as Jerze Joseph, Reagan O’Donnell, Allison Thompson and Allyson Natale each scored four points.
Colasurdo praised the later three for good play.
“Reagan really did do a nice job and made some good moves to the basketball,” Colasurdo stated. “Allison did a better job of controlling the ball and Allyson stepped in and made a couple of shots.”