The Homer Central girls’ basketball team made some more history Thursday night.
Two Caley Cornwell free throws with 16 seconds remaining gave the Trojans a 31-27 lead and they held on for a 33-27 OHSL Freedom National Division triumph over Cortland to complete a sweep of the Purple Tigers this season. Homer is 3-1 in the division and 7-5 overall while Cortland falls to 1-1, 3-9 overall.
Homer broke the 16-year winless streak against Cortland Dec. 19 with a 43-34 win at Shafer Gymnasium and this game at SUNY Cortland’s Corey Gymnasium was close the entire way. It has been at least 17 years since the Homer girls have managed a season’s sweep over CHS.
“We played poorly tonight, but a win is a win,” Cornwell said. “We were able to pull it out and I’m happy for that.”
“It was a grind-it-out win tonight,” Homer coach Jeff Tabel said. “We have had a lot of games where we win by a lot or lose by a lot, but both Cortland games were games we had to grind it out. We did hit some big foul shots again.
“As Caley said, a win is a win. We’ll take a win any day, no matter how ugly. Nolan (Sinclair) does a great job with his girls.”
The Cortland coach wanted the win, but he was proud of his team.
“Our girls didn’t give up,” Sinclair said. “We cut the lead in the fourth quarter and worked hard. I could not be more proud of our effort. I know we didn’t get outworked. These girls have a lot of heart.”
Shawnessy Earle hit her first of five 3-pointers to give Homer a 3-0 lead, but a Morgan Tabel bucket and Lyndsie Babcock free throw tied the game in the first two minutes. The Trojans would crawl to a 9-5 lead after the first quarter and maintained a 14-11 advantage at halftime in the low-scoring affair.
Homer scored the first point of the third quarter before Cortland went on a 6-0 run. Margaret Reagan made two free throws and Morgan Tabel tied the game at 15-15 with a running shot in the paint. The Purple Tigers took their only lead with 4:43 left in the quarter on a drive to the basket by Logan Chase for a 17-15 edge.
The Trojans came back with their own 9-0 ru, starting with a Cornwell bucket. Earle hit a trey, Cornwell followed with a 3-pointer and Earle buried another trey as Homer retook a 26-17 advantage with 1:45 left in the quarter.
Alaina Rabusin put home an offensive rebound and Babcock scored a deuce and was fouled. She made the free throw and Cortland trailed 26-22 heading into the fourth quarter.
Earle completed her 15-point night with her final 3-pointer with 6:47 left in the game for a 29-22 Homer lead. It would be the final field goal of the night for the Trojans.
Reagan made one free throw then Chase made two charity tosses to pull the Purple Tigers to within 29-25 with 3:29 to go. A Morgan Tabel jumper made it 29-27 with 1:12 remaining.
Cornwell’s two free throws gave Homer a 31-27 lead and Cary Trierweiler made both ends of a one-and-one for the final Trojans points with seven ticks remaining.
Cornwell finished with nine points for Homer. Morgan Tabel — Homer coach Jeff Tabel’s daughter — led Cortland with eight points.
Cortland and Homer will both be in action Tuesday. The Purple Tigers hosting CBA while the Trojans travel to Mexico, both with 5:30 p.m. JV starts.
THE HOMER JVs got a 38-30 victory over Cortland Thursday, pulling away from a close game with a 13-point fourth quarter. The Trojans (6-6) were up 25-23 after three quarters.
Jerze Joseph led Homer with 12 points while Leah Reiner chipped in with nine points. Cortland (5-6) got 13 points from Shayanne Lewis while Ashley Shortsleeve helped out with six points.
CHS, HOMER HONOR MONDICS: Tonight’s OHSL Freedom National Division boys’ basketball game between Cortland High and Homer at Shafer Gym will involve more than a rivalry this time around.
The contest will honor Moravia senior captain Dustin Mondics, who was seriously injured last week in an automobile accident on his way to practice. Fans attending the game will be able to help raise funds that will be donated to the Mondics family.
Things get underway with the 5:30 p.m. JV contest.