November 27, 2021

Cortland varsity squads split wins with Fulton

SCAC Empire Division

Purple Tiger boys’ late scoring run beats Fulton

FULTON — The Cortland High boys’ basketball team met a scoring run with a scoring run Friday night en route to a 62-55 win over host Fulton in the Salt City Athletic Conference Empire Division opener for both teams.

The Purple Tigers, who never trailed in scoring their second win in as many overall contests this season, were up 51-41 a minute into the fourth quarter until the Red Raiders (1-3 overall) outscored them 10-0 over the next 2:30.

“I called a timeout at that point,” CHS coach Jeremy Milligan said, “and we talked about relaxing and taking what their defense gave us. We ran more sets than we had been, the kids kept their composure and they rebuilt their lead, playing great defense and rebounding.”

Cortland outscored its hosts 11-4 the rest of the way after the timeout for the victory.

The Purple Tigers led 31-28 at halftime, during which, Milligan said, “We told our players that we were more athletic and had quicker guards and taller players. We demanded our guars move the ball better, use their speed effectively and get the ball into the post.

“Our bigs, John Blanchard and Jay T Atkins, benefited; John had 11 of his (team-high) 19 points in the third quarter and Jay T had eight of his 15 in the second half.”

Blanchard and RickyG Young both had double-doubles for Cortland, Blanchard adding 10 rebounds to his point total and Young with 11 points and 10 rebounds along with five assists. Atkins also had six rebounds, three assists and a block while Rory Hines had 11 points and Izeah Williams had five assists.

Jake Gugula led Fulton with a game-high 23 points, complemented by Jason Knopp with 14.

“I think this will be a confidence booster for us,” Milligan said. “We had to come back from deficits to win our first game (60-51 over Waverly last Friday), and tonight we led all the way, let Fulton come back to tie it and kept our composure. We had four players in double figures, which shows how tough our guys are to guard.”

The Cortland JV boys lost to Fulton 56-32 to fall to 1-1 this season. Donovan Hartnett had 12 points for the Purple Tigers while Broderick had 15 and Shepard 13 for the Red raiders.

The CHS teams are back in action Monday at Skaneateles in non-league play starting with the 5 p.m. JV game.

Cortland girls drop league opener

CORTLAND — The Cortland High girls’ basketball team trailed for most of the game and came up just short at the end Friday night, losing 48-46 to visiting Fulton in both teams’ Salt City Athletic Conference Empire Division opener.

The final outcome overshadowed a double-double put up by the Purple Tigers’ Tsai Lewis, who scored 18 points and had 11 rebounds, as well as two assists and two steals. Lyndsie Babcock had 10 points, six rebounds and two assists for CHS (1-3 overall) while Kathleen Starr had eight points and five rebounds and Shayanne Lewis two assists and two steals.

McKenna Chesbro led the Red Raiders (2-1 overall) with a game-high 27 points. Teammates Erin Nicholson and Cara Smith added six points apiece.

Fulton led 17-8 after one quarter thanks largely to Chesbro, who scored 11 points in the first eight minutes. The visitors were up 28-21 at halftime and 38-31 after three quarters but were outscored by Cortland 15-10 in the fourth, the hosts coming up just short.

“The girls gave everything they had,” CHS coach Nolan Sinclair said. “This was one of the more fun games I have been a part of at Cortland. The girls got down big early but never gave up. Their determination was truly impressive. Fulton is a very well-coached team. Derek (Lyons) does a great job with his girls.

“I called out my team at the half. I told them we needed people to step up and make plays, and they did in a big way. We changed defenses and they were relentless. We attacked much harder on both the backboards and the offensive end of the floor.”

Sinclair singled out a few players for their individual efforts.

“T (Tsai Lewis) was on a mission tonight,” he said. “This was the best game of her Cortland career. Shayanne did an amazing job running the point for us tonight as she only had one turnover against some really tough defensive pressure. Our post players — Lyndsie, Kathleen and Kaitlyn Pratt — made some huge plays in the second half. We didn’t finish on the right side of the scoreboard, but we truly have things to build on after this game.”

The Cortland JV girls improved to 4-0 with a 23-19 win over Fulton, with no individual statistics reported. “All in all we did a lot of good things tonight, especially defensively,” CHS coach Janice Meyer said. “We’re looking forward to putting all these good things together against Skaneateles.”

The Purple Tigers teams are both off until this Friday, when they host Skaneateles in non-league games, starting with the 5 p.m. JV contest.