The Cortland boys basketball team held off a strong secondhalf performance from Dryden, defeating the Lions 56-46 in the opening round of the Cortland Holiday Tournament Wednesday night.
Cortland walked into halftime with a 35-21 lead and everything going their way. However, Dryden came out of the break with a different mindset and much stronger play.
The Lions went on a 14-4 run in the third quarter and, suddenly, a game that looked like would be a blowout was a four-point game with a score of 39-35. A large part of the comeback was the struggles from the Purple Tigers’ offense, which was 2-for-17.
“We had some good, clean looks and I did not feel like we were forcing shots, but the rim just had a little bit of a lid on it,” Cortland head coach Jeremy Milligan said.
In the fourth quarter, the Purple Tigers got off to a quick start to go back up eight, but the Lions’ Colton Dow hit a big 3-pointer to cut the lead right back to five.
The lead would remain as such until Carter Baum hit a 3-pointer to make it 49-40 Cortland with three minutes remaining.
The following possession, Dow turned the ball over, leading to a bucket by the Purple Tigers’ Max Gambitta to make it 51-40.
The Dryden offense would try and battle back, getting an and-one from Xavier Scott, who made the free throw to cut the lead to eight.
The Lions looked to build off the momentum, but the Purple Tigers responded.
Caden Albright got his lone bucket of the game on a stellar back-door cut for an easy layup to push the lead back to 10 with 1:45 on the clock.
Dow came down the following possession and drilled a 3-pointer to make it 53-46 with 1:25 left.
Dryden needed stops, and they got them but failed to convert on several chances, resulting in the team having to foul with 35.7 left.
Gambitta stepped up and missed the first end of a one-and-one, but got his own rebound and was instantly fouled. Gambitta again missed the first shot but Marvin Bell was there this time with the offensive rebound.
Bell then hit the first and missed the second, but Emerson Johnson was right there for the tip-in to give the Purple Tigers the bucket and 10-point victory.
Milligan was happy to walk out victorious despite the second-half scare from a solid team on the other end.
“We were pleased to be able to scrap it out and get the win versus a tough Dryden team,” Milligan said. “I tip my hat to Dryden because that is a good, young club and they have a good future ahead for them.”
Gambitta led the way with 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals. Johnson had a big game with 18 points and nine rebounds and Bell put together a nice double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
For the Lions, Dow finished with 23 points. Scott added nine points and CJ Miles had six points.
Holding Dow and Scott in check was a big goal for the Purple Tigers as they have had fantastic seasons thus far.
“We knew he (Xavier) was a tough matchup for us especially without Tyler (Blake) who is usually our center that would be matched up with him, so to see Xavier with nine was huge,” Milligan said. “Colton Dow is a great athlete; we knew he could shoot the ball. We really tried to focus on those two and I thought overall our guys did a great job.”
Next up for the Purple Tigers is the championship game at 7 p.m. today against DeRuyter.
SOLVAY 58, GROTON 35
Mason Slade’s eight points led Groton in defeat. Omari Riley-Israel added in seven, while Benjamin DeMatteo and Kanye Israel both netted six apiece. Kael Eldred (4), Owen Crispell (3) and Drake O’Connor (1) also scored for the Indians.
TULLY 81, CANASTOTA 53
Tully used a 47-23 first half to propel them to a bounce-back win. Lane Edinger scored 14 of his 18 points in the first half and Ryan Mize had 12 of his 18 then also. Edinger and Mize led the Black Knights in scoring.
Edinger also added eight assists and four steals, while Mize notched six rebounds and three blocks.
Dan Mech and Mick Swan also went into double figures, scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively. Matt Congelli (6), Connor Bestedo (6), Andrew Barber (4), Tommy Maley (3), Sam Brown- Paul (2), Lorenzo Garofolo (2) and Kevin Wood (1) also scored for Tully. Congelli also grabbed six rebounds, Bestedo added four assists and Swan had three steals.
ORISKANY 44, MCGRAW 40
Quintin Burdick scored 23 points in defeat for McGraw, as the Eagles came up just short of winning the holiday tournament at Madison High School. Burdick knocked down three 3-pointers.
Nick Sutton followed Burdick up with 12 points. Nolan Knickerbocker’s three points and Nate Stiles’ two rounded out McGraw’s scoring.
MCGRAW 35, OTSELIC VALLEY 16
Hannah Wilson’s monster game led McGraw to a victory in the consolation game of the Fabius-Pompey Sports Boosters Holiday Tournament. Wilson had 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and seven steals.
Lexi McCall added in eight points and four steals. Hailey McCall, Allie West and Heather Magee all had four points and Madison Sweeney scored two. Hailey McCall also had five rebounds and seven blocks. West ripped down five boards. Magee chipped in five rebounds and five steals.
HOMER 65, WATKINS GLEN 31
Sarah Sovocool, Catherine Apker and Gracie Patriarco all went into double figures Tuesday as Homer won Watkins Glen’s holiday tournament. Sovocool led the way with 16 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and six steals. Apker added 15 points, six assists and six steals and Patriarco had 14 points, six boards and five steals.
Kayla Miller scored nine points and had five rebounds. Catelyn Ensign (5), Amanda Rood (4) and Kiera Miller (2) also scored for the Trojans.
CAZENOVIA 5, CORTLAND/HOMER 1
Logan Goodman scored Cortland/ Homer’s only goal as their three-game win streak was snapped. Goodman’s tally came in the third period and was assisted by Mitchell Riter. Riley DeLage had 23 saves in goal for the Golden Eagles.