October 19, 2021

Purple Tigers, Blue Devils stage colorful boys’ final

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

McGraw’s Chris Pickert (22), center, splits Cortland defenders Jay T Atkins (55), left, and RickyG Young in the first quarter of the Purple Tigers’ 54-37 win Thursday.

The Cortland High boys’ basketball team got some revenge, and a berth in the finals of its own Cortland Classic Holiday Tournament, Thursday night with a 54-37 first-round win over McGraw.

The Eagles won the championship of last year’s event with a 52-48 win over the Purple Tigers.

CHS will face Moravia, a 66- 41 winner over Dryden, in today’s 7 p.m. title game.

Cortland 54, McGraw 37: The second quarter told the story of the Purple Tigers’ win, as they trailed 13-8 after one quarter but outscored the Eagles 21-6 to take a 29-19 halftime lead. The hosts were up 44-41 after the third en route to improving to 4-3 on the season.

RickyG Young had a gamehigh 17 points for CHS along with six rebounds, five assists and two steals. Caleb Thompson added 13 points, five rebounds and three steals while Jay T Atkins had eight points, seven rebounds, four blocks, three deflections and two steals and Rory Hines also scored eight points.

Evan Ignatowski and Chris Pickert scored 12 points each for McGraw (6-2), the eighth-ranked Class D team in the state which will face Dryden today in the 3:30 p.m. consolation contest.

“McGraw out-hustled and out-rebounded us in the first quarter,” CHS coach Jeremy Milligan said. “We didn’t do a lot different in the second quarter, just made some shots. “The first quarter we got good looks, took the ball hard to the basket but didn’t finish well. In the second we finished better inside and hit some shots from outside. We mostly played zone in the first half and they got decent looks; in the second half we went mostly man-to-man and held them to 18 points.

We emphasized getting the ball inside; we thought our size, with Jay T and Caleb, would be a little too much for them to handle. RickyG finished better in the second half and Noah Barber came back from an injury and off the bench to give us a spark off the bench.”

NOTES: Hunter Hall, a sixthgrader from Barry School, was the Cortland Fan of the Game… The annual CHS alumni game, open to all former players, will take place at 5 p.m. today in the downstairs gym.

In their only game over the break, the Cortland JV boys improved to 3-5 with a 71-52 win over Moravia. Max Gambitta led the way with 21 points while Tyler Blake added 11 and Owen Riley scored 10. Ryan Robbins had 19 points and Kyler Proper 10 for Moravia.

The Purple Tigers led 16-7 after the first quarter, 38-22 at halftime and 50-32 after three. Their next game is against visiting Fulton a week from today at 5 p.m., prior to the varsity contest.

Moravia 66, Dryden 41: Dryden fell victim to some intense defensive pressure and critical 3-point shooting by Moravia as the Blue Devils rolled.

Moravia led 8-2 with three minutes to go in the first quarter before Gavin Stayton and Deegan Sovocool buried 3-pointers to push the Blue Devils led to 14-4 in the match-up of Interscholastic Athletic Conference North Division teams. Moravia would hold a 16-7 advantage as the first quarter ended.

Moravia buried five treys in the second quarter and forced turnovers defensively to blow the game opened at 36-11 with three minutes left in the first half. From there, the Blue Devils cruised to the win.

“I am definitely excited about the intensity we had on the defensive end tonight,” Moravia coach Todd Mulvaney said. “It’s been one of the focuses in practice the last week or two. We have been trying to turn up the dial defensively. I was happy with that effort. On offense we have capable shooters.There is more than one guy so if one guy is covered we can move the ball around a have another guy get a good look.”

“Credit Moravia with the way they shot the ball outside,” Dryden coach Zack LeViere said. “Their pressure forced a lot of turnovers in the open court. We struggled to get the ball up the court. Our guys didn’t give up. We really could have let the game get away from us in the second half, but we kept the game in the 20s. I like the way our guys didn’t quit. The score tonight is indicative of the talent we have on this team and how we will do the rest of the year.”

Moravia got balanced scoring. Stayton and Kaden Hooper finished with 13 points each while Gavin Genson chipped in with 12 points.

Keegan Gesin led Dryden with 17 points in the paint and Patrick Murphy added nine points.