The Cortland High girls’ varsity basketball team began the SCAC Empire Division season Saturday night with a hard fought win at Shafer Gymnasium.
The Purple Tigers made 12 of 33 free throw attempts en route to a 31-23 victory over Oswego. The Buccaneers made four of 13 charity tosses in a game where 39 fouls were called overall.
It was a very slow start for each team as Oswego (0-1 league, 0-2 overall) took a 7-6 lead in the first quarter. Cortland (1-0, 2-0 overall) held the visitors to two points in the second quarter while hitting double figures in scoring with 11 points for a 17-9 halftime advantage. Shyanne Lewis, Kirsten Merritt, Marissa Gilmore and Paige Ludwig figured in the scoring as this quarter proved to be the difference in the game.
Each team scored six points in the third quarter and eight points in the fourth quarter. The Purple Tigers got all eight points from the free throw line in the final eight minutes on 16 free throw attempts.
Lewis was the only player in double figures for either team as the senior guard netted 11 points to go with six rebounds, four steals and two assists. Kaitlyn Pratt had a team-leading 10 rebounds along with four points and one assist. Lyndsie Babcock added six points, nine rebounds and two steals. Merritt chipped in with five points, two rebounds and two steals.
Mary Culeton and Hannah Holland each scored six points to pace the Oswego attack. Caitlin Lilly and Nicole Pappa had four points each.
The Cortland girls will be back in action tonight. The Purple Tigers will host Dryden in a non-league game at 6:45 p.m. The JV game will tip off at 5 p.m. in Shafer Gymnasium.
Cortland JVs improved to 2-0 on the season with a 33-29 victory over Oswego in the first game of the Saturday twinbill.
It was a see-saw game as Oswego took a 5-3 lead in the first quarter, but Cortland fought back to take a 16-10 lead by halftime. Oswego posted 16 points in the third quarter to regain a 26-25 advantage entering the fourth quarter. The Purple Tigers regrouped with an 8-3 edge in the fourth quarter for the four point win.
“It was a big league win,” Cortland coach Janice Meyer said. “We are a young team and this was going to be a true test. We rose to the occasion. Defensively we made improvements over the week and we will continue to do that for Monday.”
Kendall Mack led Cortland with a team high 15 points. Mallory Turner helped out with eight points while Danielle Benjamin added six points, five rebounds and one steal.
Sophia Babcock scored a game high 16 points for Oswego.