In a tightly contested game, the Dryden girls basketball team snuck out with the 47-45 victory over Tully in the first round of the Marathon “Miss Holiday Hustle” Tournament Tuesday night.
Early on, the game looked like it was going to be very one-sided as Tully led 16-3 after the first quarter.
But Dryden went on a 21-3 run in the second quarter and found itself right back in the game due to some very up-tempo, full-court defense and easy looks at the basket. They went into the half with a 24-19 lead.
“We needed to come out and play well in the second quarter and we did,” Dryden head coach Lazlo Engel said. “We got away from their game and started running — which is our game. That is what the difference was.”
It was a back-and-forth affair in the third and Tully found itself up again heading into the fourth with a 31-30 lead.
In the fourth, things really picked up. The Lions would get a huge boost offensively from senior guard Lauren Gulini, who scored 14 of the Lions 17 points in the fourth. Gulini had a stretch where she hit three 3-pointers in a row and made another jump shot from just inside the arc over a three minute span.
The Black Knights stuck around, but trailed the Lions 43-40 with 2:40 remaining. Sindi Pinckney hit a pair of free throws to increase the Lions’ lead to five with 2:13 left. Tully and Dryden went back and forth without any scoring until there was 31.9 seconds left with the Lions still holding a 45-40 lead.
Tully’s Hailey Olender then hit a jumper with her foot on the 3-point line to make it 45-42 with 26.3 remaining.
Tully would foul the following possession and send Kahlen Cornell to the line, where she missed both. The second shot was rebounded by Pinckney, who kicked it out to Laci Prignon, who was fouled and
sent to the line.
Prignon would hit one of two and the lead was 46-42 with 15.1 left.
After a timeout, the Black Knights got a quick 3-pointer from way beyond the arc from Olender to cut the lead to one with 10.4 left.
The Black Knights once again fouled, but Gulini stepped up again and hit one of two shots from the foul line to make it 47-45 with 6.7 left.
Dryden just needed a stop and they would walk away victorious and they did just that. They elected to foul as the Black Knights struggled to find a clean look. The ball was taken out on the baseline for the Black Knights with one second left. McKenzie Smith caught the inbound pass, but she was immediately stripped by Cornell and the Lions edged out the win.
Gulini stepped up huge for the Lions, something Engel is not surprised about, but knows it made a big difference in the outcome.
“We needed somebody to carry the game and she did that today,” Engel said. “We needed that from her because I know she can do it; she has done it for me four years.”
Gulini finished with 23 points. Cornell added eight points. Pinckney had six points, trailed by Prignon (4), Chloe Russell (4) and Abigail Spano (2).
The Lions will take on Groton in the championship game at 4:30 p.m. today at Marathon High School. The Indians secured a spot in the finals due to COVID-19 issues in Marathon’s program, forcing them to withdraw from their own tournament. The Olympians only had three players
CORTLAND 58, WHITNEY POINT 39
Cortland overcame a slow start to get their fourth win in a row behind balanced scoring from four players.
Kirsten Merritt was the leading scorer, notching 13 points to go with three rebounds and three steals. Claire Turner also added 11 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two assists.
Valerosa Gambitta and Kendall Mack both scored eight points, with Gambitta pitching in four steals and Mack adding three blocks.
HOMER 65, WATKINS GLEN 31
Homer won the holiday tournament at Watkins Glen.
POLAND 74, MCGRAW 22
Hailey McCall led McGraw with 11 points as the Eagles fell in the opening round of the Fabius-Pompey Sports Boosters Holiday Tournament.
Hannah Wilson and Heather Magee both added four points for McGraw. Madison Sweeney (2) and Allie West (1) also scored for the Eagles. Mariah Thompson led McGraw with six rebounds, while West added five and Wilson had three. Wilson, Sweeney and Magee all notched two assists and Magee also blocked two shots.
Dryden at Cortland, 7 p.m.
DeRuyter vs. Lansing, 5:15 p.m. at Cortland Jr./Sr. High School
McGraw vs. Faith Heritage, 5:15 p.m. at Madison Central School
Cincinnatus at Fabius-Pompey, 7 p.m.
Groton vs. Solvay, 5:30 p.m. at Tully High School
Canastota at Tully, 7 p.m.
Dryden vs. Groton, 4:30 p.m. at Marathon High School
McGraw vs. Otselic Valley, 2 p.m. at Fabius-Pompey High School
Cincinnatus vs. Williamson, 5 p.m. at Cato-Meridian High School
Cazenovia at Cortland/Homer, 11:30 a.m.
Homer, Dryden, 11 a.m. at Windsor High School
INDOOR TRACK & FIELD
Dryden, Groton, 2 p.m. at SUNY Cortland-Lusk Field House
Tully, noon at Utica College