It was a shooting gallery for Homer Central when the Trojans traveled to Cortland High Tuesday night.
Lars Roos scored 90 seconds into the game and it was the first of 24 Trojan goals in the 24-4 OSHL Freedom National Division regular season finale for both teams. Homer closes out the regular season at 15-1, 7-1 in division play, heading into Section 3 Class C Tournament action. Cortland closes its season at 2-14, 2-6 in the division.
“It’s great,” Homer senior Jake Riley said after his six goal-4 assist night. “We love playing this guys. It’s a good way to end the regular season for us and now it’s on to the next round.
“A lot of guys got their first goals tonight,” he added. “Everyone is working hard We work to set each other other up, to get the assists and it’s good when everyone gets some points out there.”
Riley scored three goals in the first quarter as Homer took a 7-0 lead. Vincent Basile (4 goals-2 assists) scored twice in the quarter and Dante Yacavone (5-0) found the cage once.
The Trojans were up 11-0 by the time Cortland got its first goal. The 11th Trojan goal was Yacavone’s second of the game at 100th career goal. With his five points, the Trojan junior is tied for 10th place on the all-time scoring list with Anthony Basile (116-45) with 161 career points. Yacavone has 103 goals and 58 assists.
“There are a lot of great guys on this team,” Yacavone said. “We like sharing the ball and we have our own friendly competition amongst each other, We all like to play and it’s been a fun season.
“There are a lot of guys I looked up to on that list,” he continued. “I look forward to going higher on that list. It’s driven me to do better and to work harder.”
Homer led 18-2 by halftime and was on cruise control. Roos and Jacob Morenus each had two goals on the night. Tucker O’Donnell, Justin Wainwright, Cameron Perks, Ethan Stiles and John Horner netted one goal each. It was the first goal of the season for Wainwright, Morenus and Perks. Zach Barber and Alex Recor each dished out two assists with Max Riley adding one assist.
“That’s great because they all practice hard,” Homer coach Tom Cottrell said of having 13 different players get points. “They all come to contribute. We appreciate every kid on the team. We only have 20 guys so anytime I can get those guys who don’t see as much playing time an opportunity, we love to see them get in there and have some success.
“It was a big night for Jake,” he continued. “He did a great job of distributing the ball and taking what the defense gave him. Dante, like Vinny, are just getting started in their careers. I’m sure both of their numbers will change before they are done.”
Brandon Ludwig paced Cortland with one goal and one assist. George Hines, Andrew McCormick and Anthony Stevens added one goal each. Pat Hartnett and Kiegan Brown handed out one assist each.
Mike Turck made eight saves in the Trojan goal. Cameron Aldrich and Ben Pallone each had four saves for the Purple Tigers.
Cortland High coach Matt Blaich summed up his young team’s tough season.
“I was happy as long as the kids didn’t give up,” Blaich said. “That’s all we asked of them in the second half of the season. They came to work every day. They practiced and they got better. We knew it would be a tough year because we were a young team. We will continue to keep working to improve. We worked on fundamentals. This is a great group of kids. The future is bright for this program.”
Homer JVs came away with an 8-4 victory over Cortland in the first game of the evening.
The Trojans took a 1-0 lead in the first quarter and built a 4-1 cushion by halftime. Homer took the second half 4-3 to maintain control and improve to 11-3 on the season.
Dylan Yacavone paced the Homer attack with five goals. Nate Evans finished the day with one goal and one assist. Andrew VanPatten and Dante Patriarco netted one goal each with one assist each for Joe Brady, Connor Matthews and Josh Lee. Eric Suits made 20 saves in the Trojan goal.
Cortland got two goals from Dylan Luther. Martin Monroe and Nick Litzenberger tallied one goal each with Aaron Benjamin collecting one assist. Ethan Myers made 11 saves for the Purple Tigers while Kirkland Case stopped one Homer shot.
Homer JVs will host Jordan-Elbridge today at 5 p.m. on Butts Field. Cortland JVs will travel to Tully today for a 5:15 p.m. contest.