SKANEATELES — The Cortland High boys’ basketball team got off to a strong start in its non-league game at Skaneateles Monday night.
The ending left a little to be desired, though it still ended up as a win.
The Purple Tigers roared to a 29-14 lead after the first quarter and were up 46-26 at halftime and 59-36 after three before the Lakers stormed back in the fourth to get close before falling 66-63.
“The first quarter was some of the most well-executed basketball and hottest shooting I’ve seen from a Cortland team in a long time,” CHS coach Jeremy Milligan said, his team going 11-for-16 from the floor in the first eight minutes. “With the big lead, we were able to get reserves in. We executed decently but stopped finishing shots.
“With the big deficit, they went to a full-court press and we turned the ball over a handful of times. We also missed some easy shots which would have helped us keep our (big) lead. In the fourth, everything they shot seemed to go in while we stopped being able to finish. We also struggled at the free throw line as they were forced to foul a lot; we hit one of our eight free throws in the fourth quarter, including the front ends of two one-and-ones.
Milligan put his starters back in for the last couple of minutes. The Lakers trailed by seven, 66-59, with 40 seconds left and cut the deficit to what ended up being the final score with eight seconds left. They got a long 3-point attempt as time ran out, the ball glancing off the glass and the rim before falling harmlessly away.
“Give Skaneateles credit,” Milligan said. “They kept fighting, and made shots in the fourth quarter.”
John Blanchard had a double-double for the Purple Tigers, now 3-0 overall, with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Rory Hines led the winners with 14 points while Jay T. Atkins (four assists) and Lucas Rivera had eight points each and RickyG Young had seven points, nine rebounds, six assists and two blocks.
In addition, Izeah Williams had seven assists and three steals for CHS while Noah Barber came off the bench to hit two 3-pointers in the second quarter and finished with seven rebounds.
Justin McClanahan took game honors with 20 points for the Lakers (1-2), complemented by Jack Canty and Jeremy Castle with 12 each.
The Cortland JVs fell to 1-2 on the season in a 51-34 loss to Skaneateles. Jaden Fitch had eight points while Ethan Myers and Collin Williams scored six each for the Purple Tigers. Fouts had 14 points and Neumann added 11 for the Lakers.
Both Cortland squads are off until a week from today, when they visit Central Square. The JV game gets things started at 5 p.m.