Jay T Atkins scored the game-winning basket on a back-door layup with just over one second left Wednesday night as the host Cortland High boys’ basketball team edged Fulton 41-40 in an SCAC Empire Division contest.
The Red Raiders (1-7 league, 5-8 overall) had a late 40-38 lead when the Purple Tigers’ Kyle Behrenfeld deflected a pass and then saved the ball from going out of bounds. Rory Hines rebounded a missed shot and was fouled on the followup, making one of two shots to make it a 40-39 game.
Cortland (3-5, 7-6) then committed a foul and Fulton missed the front end of the one-andone. CHS got possession and coach Jeremy Milligan called a timeout to set up what ended up being a broken play, Izeah Williams gaining possession of the ball in a scramble underneath the basket and calling a timeout with 5.8 seconds left. After a Fulton timeout, Hines took the inbounds pass on the ensuing inbounds play under the Cortland basket, dribbled to his right at the foul line extended, drew an extra defender and found Atkins alone underneath for the game-winner.
“That last shot may have been the easiest one of the game for either team,” Milligan said. “Both teams played scrappy defense and worked hard. We needed players to make plays, and it was fun to watch it unfold. They went man-to-man all game, one of the tougher man-to-mans we’ve seen. We switched between man-to-man and zone.
“We only made 17 baskets, and 11 of them were assisted. We went 5-for-6 from the foul line and they went 5-for-7.”
Atkins led Cortland with `4 points and also had seven rebounds (the winners with a 36-24 advantage in that department) and a block. Hines scored eight points while John Blanchard had seven points and five rebounds, Williams seven rebounds, four assists and two deflections and RickyG Young five rebounds and three steals.
Jacob Gugula had 15 points and Jason Knapp 12 for Fulton.
The Cortland JVs are 3-10 after falling to Fulton 62-50. Anthony Bryant led the way with 15 points while Ethan Myers and Noah Armstrong scored nine points each.
Seth Grimshaw was the game’s high scorer with 21 points for the Red Raiders, Dominic Abbott and Marcus Shepard chipping in with 17 and 14 points, respectively. Fulton trailed 23-21 at halftime before taking control with a 25-11 third-quarter advantage.
Both Cortland teams host East Syracuse-Minoa Friday, the JV game getting things started at 5 p.m