January 20, 2022

Richardson’s big night lifts DeRuyter to title

Matt Czeitner/sports reporter

DeRuyter’s Gavin Richardson, left, is defended by Cortland’s Emerson Johnson Thursday night at Cortland High School. Richardson had 34 points in the Rockets’ win in the championship game of the Cortland Holiday Tournament.

Powered by Gavin Richardson’s 34 points, the DeRuyter boys basketball team used a strong second half to earn a slim victory over Cortland, 48-46, in the championship game of the Cortland Holiday Tournament.

Cortland took a 26-16 lead into halftime while holding Richardson to only eight points. But in the third quarter, the momentum completely shifted in DeRuyter’s favor.

Richardson scored 16 points, good for all of DeRuyter’s points, while the defense turned up its intensity. The Rockets caused several Cortland turnovers and held the Purple Tigers to only three points in the frame, leaving the score at 32-29 heading into the fourth.

“Huge third quarter,” DeRuyter head coach Ric Barnes said. “We went back to the basics of DeRuyter basketball and we challenged ourselves. We started everything with defense; it had to start with defense.”

Things did not slow down for the Rockets at the start of the fourth, as they had a quick 8-0 run, giving them their largest lead of the night at 11.

Cortland did not quit, though, and went on a 10-1 run of its own to make it 41-39 with 1:55 left.

Cortland had some looks and chances to get closer, but couldn’t score and, after a miss from Emerson Johnson was rebounded by Richardson, the Purple Tigers found themselves down 45-39 with 40.6 left.

With the clock against it, Cortland had to make a play and it was Max Gambitta who stepped up and drilled a 3-pointer to make it 45-42 with 27 seconds left.

Richardson’s clutch gene showed again, as the following possession he was fouled and hit two more from the line to extend the lead.

Gambitta looked to answer and was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 13.8 left. He hit two of three and it was back to a one-possession game.

It was not Richardson who stepped up this time, however. It was Brandon Darrow who was fouled and hit one of two to make it a two-possession game, 48-44, with 12.7 left.

Gambitta got a bucket for the Purple Tigers the following possession, but at the cost of 10 seconds running off the clock. The Rockets still led 48-46 with 2.5 left.

The ball was tipped on the ensuing inbound play, but was recovered by the Rockets’ Colton Roberts, who was immediately fouled with 0.3 left. Roberts missed both free throws, but it didn’t matter.

Barnes was happy to see his team’s composure in the fourth quarter to withstand the Cortland comeback and walk away with the victory.

“Just the fact that they knew what they needed to do to hold off Cortland’s rally that last two minutes,” Barnes said.

Behind Richardson’s big night, Glisson contributed six points, Darrow and Roberts each had three and Leland Seamons had two.

For the Purple Tigers, Gambitta led the way with 23 points. Johnson added nine points. Bell had five while Caden Albright, Gaven Truman and Carter Baum each had three.

Gambitta and Johnson were named to the All-Tournament team for the Purple Tigers. Roberts was named to the team for the Rockets and Richardson was named the tournament’s MVP.


Jack White was the only winner for Homer at the Quinney Invite at SUNY Cortland Lusk Field House Wednesday. He won the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 9.11 seconds. White also placed third in the triple jump.

Garrett Sickmon had a personalbest time in the 55-meter high hurdles, but came in third. Dylan Pittsley also notched a personal best in the long jump.

The team of Smith, Sickmon, Jonah Campos and Orie Bush came in second in the 4X400 relay. Nick Costa, Anthony Guido, Dominick Rosato and Bryce Hoffmann teamed up to come in third in the 4X200 relay.


Bryant DePaull won the only event for Dryden while also coming in second twice at the Quinney Invite. He jumped 19 feet, 8 inches to win the long jump and came in second in the high jump and 55-meter hurdles.

Luke Maza also finished second in the 1,600-meter race. Lucas Morrow placed right behind Maza in the 1,600-meter run, while Matt Cubero came in fifth in the shot put and Chris West was fifth in the long jump.

The 4X200 relay team of Blaise Ayers, Lucas McManus, Aiden Green and Kaden Lockwood also came in fourth.


Camdyn Cole had a personal-best clearance in the pole vault at the Quinney Invite Wednesday. Cole cleared the bar a 6 feet, 6 inches and placed third. She was also a part of the 4X200 relay team with Caitlin McCloy, Mikayla Smith and Alyssa Swayzee that finished in second with a time of 2:04.20.

Hannah McMasters also had her best throw of the season in the shot put, launching it 27 feet, 4 inches. Molly McMasters had her personal-best throw in the shot put at 23 feet, 3 inches.

Swayzee placed sixth in the 1,000-meter run.


Walaa Al Shoffe, Carlea Davis and Nicole Morrow all won an event for Dryden at the Quinney Invite Wednesday. Al Soffe’s 31-foot, 0.25-inch leap in the triple jump led the competition, Davis ran the 55-meter hurdles in 9.74 seconds to win and Morrow jumped 4 feet, 6 inches to top all high jump competitors.

Davis also came in second in the long jump.

The 4X200 relay team of Davis, Morrow, Emma Park-Miller and Hollace Fiver won their race with a time of 2:01.45.

Samantha Brown finished second in the 55-meter hurdles behind Davis and was fifth in the triple jump. Raelan Green also came in sixth in the long jump.