The first and fourth quarters made the difference Friday night as the visiting Oswego boys’ basketball team scored a 59-41 OHSL Freedom Division win over Cortland High.
The Purple Tigers, who celebrated Senior Night with all five upperclassmen starting, trailed 16-5 after one quarter, outscored the Buccaneers 31-27 over the middle two stanzas but were again outscored 16-5 in the fourth as the visitors headed home with a 59-41 win to improve to 3-0 in the Freedom American Division and 5-20 overall. CHS is now 2-10 in the Freedom National and 5-14 overall.
“The game started out very flat for us,” Cortland coach Jeremy Milligan said. “We had some good looks but were unable to put the ball in the basket. We went 2-for-14 from the floor in the first quarter and were 2-for-15 from the floor in the fourth. Oswego went with a 3-2 zone all night and we gave it everything we had with multiple zone offenses. We had decent looks, some from long range, some from up close, but were unable to finish. If you want to compete and win, you have to make more than two field goals in eight minutes.
“We came back in the second quarter and were down by only eight at the half (28-20); multiple times we cut it down the stretch in that quarter, but Oswego was too much to us. Their top shooter, Trey Clark (senior swingman) had an off night from shooting, but we let him go to his left hand, his strong side, drive the lane and get fouled. He went 10-for-11 from the line on the night. Marion Poston (sophomore guard) stepped up for them and hit three 3-pointers; we weren’t expecting that.”
Clark had 18 points, Poston 13 and senior forward Carson Smith 11 to lead Oswego. Senior guard Sheridan Crane had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Purple Tigers, senior guard Will Pace with 12 points and seven rebounds to go with four deflections and two assists. Senior forward Duff Steve had 12 rebounds and sophomore center Jay Atkins had six rebounds as the hosts had a 49-39 advantage on the boards.
CHS trailed 43-26 heading into the fourth and was able to get to within six, at 45-39, on a basket by Crane two minutes into the fourth. Oswego then went on a 11-0 run to seal the verdict.
“Again it was a lack of consistent scoring for us,” Milligan said. “It’s tough to know from game to game who’s going to get hot and put up points.”
THE CORTLAND JVS IMPROVED TO 10-9 on the season with a 52-34 win over Oswego as sophomore forward Caleb Thompson led the way with 15 points, complemented by Rocky Young with 12.
Both CHS teams close out the season Tuesday by hosting Central Square, the JV tip-off set for 5:30 p.m.