January 20, 2022

Local teams set for holiday tournaments

Though all high school students are on break from school this week, there are several holiday basketball tournaments going on that feature local teams. In boys basketball, the Cortland Holiday Tournament will feature Dryden, DeRuyter, Lansing and the host Purple Tigers. The Black Knight Holiday Classic will feature the hosts from Tully, along with Groton, Solvay and Canastota. The Cincinnatus boys will head to Fabius-Pompey for the Sports Boosters Holiday Tournament. In girls basketball, the Marathon Miss Holiday Hustle Tournament will feature Tully, Groton, Dryden and the host Olympians. The final tournament will feature the McGraw girls team, who are heading to Fabius- Pompey as well for the Sports Boosters Holiday Tournament.

Here’s a look at the tournaments and how local teams stack up:


The first game between DeRuyter and Lansing takes place at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday. Cortland then takes on Dryden at 7 p.m. The losers of each game will meet at 5:15 p.m. the following day and the winners will battle for the championship at 7 p.m. Lansing was a late entry to the tournament after Moravia had to back out due to issues with COVID-19.

The Purple Tigers come in with a 4-1 record and are currently on a two-game win streak. They are led by senior Max Gambitta, who averages 23.4 points per game. The team has had a balanced attack offensively this season, however, as they have three others averaging double figures in points. Emerson Johnson and Marvin Bell are both averaging 11 a game, while Tyler Blake is averaging 10 to go along with his team-leading 21 blocks.

Their opponent, Dryden comes in also on a two-game winning streak with wins over Elmira Notre Dame and a big road win against Chenango Valley. Xavier Scott has been a problem for opponents so far this season, as he has notched a double-double in every single game. Colton Dow has been consistent as the team’s point guard and is coming off of a 30-point performance. The Lions will look to keep their win streak alive in what is expected to be a close one Wednesday night.

“We are looking forward to it and keeping this energy going and then we roll into January,” Dryden head coach Zachary LeViere said.

Though DeRuyter had its 39-game winning-streak snapped on Dec. 21 by Cinicinnatus, they bounced back with a 25-point victory over Otselic Valley the following day. The Rockets are 3-1 on the season and are led by Gavin Richardson, who is averaging 29.8 points per game. Lansing is not a team they are familiar with, but the matchup looks to be an exciting one.


Groton and Solvay will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and Canastota will take on Tully at 7 p.m. The consolation game will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday followed by the championship at 7 p.m. All games are at Tully High School.

Groton is coming off of a crushing loss against Southern Cayuga that featured a buzzer beating 3-pointer from the Chiefs. It would have been the Indians first victory of the year. The Indians have a balanced attack offensively led by Mason Slade at 8.3 points per game followed by Ben Dematteo with eight points a game. Their opponent, Solvay, is 3-3 and on a three-game win streak. Tully is 7-1 on the year. The Black Knights started their season on a six-game winning streak and suffered their first loss in their most recent game against Fulton. Lane Edinger leads the offense with 11.8 points per game followed by Daniel Mech (11) and Ryan Mize (9.6). The host’s opponent, Canastota, is winless at 0-7.

The tournament is expected to be a competitive one, according to Tully head coach Ryan Dando.

“We are off to a good start but we have really only played against smaller schools, so this will be a nice test for our program,” Dando said. “We played Groton this summer and they are a very well-coached team, that plays extremely hard.”


Cincinnatus takes on Poland in the opening game at 5:30 p.m. today, followed by Otselic Valley taking on the hosts, Fabius-Pompey, at 7 p.m. The consolation game will take place at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday followed by the championship at 7 p.m. The Lions are 5-1 on the year with a big win against DeRuyter on Dec. 21. They have also already defeated Otselic Valley, who they could face this week, 54-28 on Dec. 7. Their first opponent, Poland, is 1-6 on the year and in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Otselic Valley is 2-3 this season and Fabius-Pompey is 0-4. On paper, Cincinnatus is the clear favorite.


Tully will take on Dryden in the opening game at 5:30 p.m. today at Marathon High School followed by Groton facing off against Marathon at 7 p.m. The consolation game will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, followed by the Championship at 7 p.m. Dryden picked up a big win in its last game against Watkins Glen. They are led by head coach Lazlo Engel, who saw their latest win as a confidence booster.

“We hope to continue playing with this level of confidence going forward,” Engel said.

Tully is 4-2 on the season and currently on a three-game win streak. Tully is the lone Section III team in the tournament and is looking forward to the competition.

“Looking forward to playing after nothing last year,” Tully head coach Jeff Russell said. “They run a great tournament and it’s good for us to get outside our section and see other competition. We played all three teams in the Dryden summer league, so it should be a competitive tournament.”

Groton is a young team finding its identity this season, but head coach Justin Albro is excited for the challenge the tournament should bring.

“I know going up against a tough Marathon team in the first round on their home court is a challenge but our girls have started to play well as of late and are eager to get back out there,” Albro said. “I think this tournament will be a great test for us going into 2022.”

The hosts of Marathon have the homecourt advantage all tournament and have the MVP from last year’s tournament in Brooke Tillotson, who’s expected to shine again.

“It’s a perfect event to showcase her talents and try to lead the team to a championship as she did in ninth grade,” Marathon head coach Andrew Pierce said.


McGraw will take on Poland in the opening game at 2 p.m. today, followed by Otselic Valley against Fabius-Pompey at 3:30 p.m. All games take place at Fabius- Pompey High School. McGraw is only 1-1 on the season, with the lone victory coming in its most recent game. Poland is 2-0, Otselic-Valley is 0-4 and Fabius- Pompey is 1-4. Some players to look out for are McGraw’s Heather Magee and Hannah Wilson.


Homer got back in the win column thanks to big games from Gracie Patriarco and Catherine Apker. Patriarco led the way with 23 points and seven steals, while Apker had a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double.

Catelyn Ensign also added six points and Kayla Miller pitched in four. Brianna Fortin (3), Sarah Sovocool (2) and Fiona Hartnett (2) also scored for the Trojans. Sovocool also added eight assists and seven steals. Kiera Miller contributed four steals.