January 27, 2022

Homer snaps losing skid

Defense leads Trojans to comfortable victory

Katie Vartanian/contributing photographer

Homer’s Jon Barnes, center, dribbles between Altmar-Parrish-Williamstown’s Wyatt Stanard, left, and Logan Zender. Barnes scored 16 points in Homer’s 55-33 win.

The Homer boys basketball team ended its five-game losing streak with a 55-33 win over the visiting Altmar-Parrish-Williamstown Rebels Tuesday night at Homer High School.

A 15-3 third-quarter edge helped Homer break the game open after it led 22-18 at halftime. The Trojans had even scoring in that quarter, with Reid Partis and Evan Butts both scoring four points apiece to lead the way. It was Homer’s defense, however, that led the charge, as Partis’ two buckets were on fast-break layups.

“We really emphasized pushing the ball (down the court),” Homer head coach Rex Ryan said. “We wanted that to start on defense — getting deflections, getting tips, rebounding and outletting the ball. That seemed to work.”

Homer had the game in hand after the third quarter, but continued to get steals off deflections that led to fastbreak points. The Trojans played hard until the very end, something Ryan preaches to his squad.

“That (effort) is what we stress all the time — effort, execution and talent,” Ryan said. “We always say it better not be effort or execution that’s the reason we lose.”

The Trojans’ rebounding also picked up in the second half. Butts and Wyatt Wilbur were mainly responsible for that, whether they were getting the rebounds or boxing out A-P-W’s bigs.

“It (getting rebounds) was tough,” Butts said. “Some of those guys (on A-P-W) were pretty big. We just adjusted to playing against the bigger guys and were finally able to get rebounds.”

In the first half, A-P-W really packed it in defensively and forced Homer to shoot from the outside. That wasn’t what the Trojans game planned to do and their lack of patience kept the game close.

“We went over a bunch of stuff yesterday and were trying to get the ball inside,” Ryan said. “We just weren’t patient enough passing the ball around the perimeter and forced some quick shots and quick turnovers. We’ll have to work on that.”

The Trojans were outscored by an average of 36.6 points during their five-game losing streak. Getting a win, their third of the season, was a feeling the players and coaches all needed.

“It was amazing,” Ryan said. “If you aren’t upset when you lose, it shows you don’t care. This team definitely cares about losing and cares about winning.”

Jon Barnes was Homer’s leading scorer with 16 points. Butts followed him up with 10 and Wilbur added nine points. Partis (6), Tyler VanEtten (4), Mitchell Earle (3), Isiah Beard (3), Troy Tinkham (2) and Max Franco (2) also scored for Homer.

Barnes, a senior, and Butts, a junior, are two leaders on this young Homer team and proved that with their performances Tuesday.

“That’s just their leadership,” Ryan said. “We challenge each other every practice. Those two are two of our captains and some of our leaders. It’s good that they lead by example.”

The Trojans’ next game is at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Mexico.

BOYS BASKETBALL
DRYDEN 55, GROTON 34

Dryden used a 26-13 second half to pull away from Groton. Ryan Wiser scored nine of his 12 points after halftime to lead the Lions’ charge.

Xavier Scott led Dryden with 15 points. Ceon Miles III added in eight points, Armando Gonzalez contributed six points and Antonio Gonzalez had five points. Colton Dow (4), Tyler Nixon (3) and John Pascarella Jr. (2) also scored for the Lions.

Mason Slade’s eight points led Groton’s scoring effort. Austin Hunt added in six points, Omari Riley-Israel netted five and Kanye Israel scored four points. Kolin Manning (3), Drake O’Connor (3), Kael Eldred (3) and Gaige Goodsell (2) rounded out the Indians’ scoring.

GIRLS BASKETBALL
CORTLAND 39, CENTRAL SQUARE 24

Cortland used a 15-8 second quarter to take the lead, then continued to slowly pull away as the Purple Tigers won their fifth straight game.

Cortland trailed 5-4 after the first quarter and really created separation thanks to a 20-11 second half.

Kirsten Merritt led Cortland with 13 points. Margaret Starr added nine points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals. Claire Turner also pitched in six points and Ryleigh Larkin notched five points and five boards. Mallory Turner (3), Danielle Benjamin (2) and Valerosa Gambitta (1) also scored for Cortland.

STOCKBRIDGE VAL. 35, MCGRAW 25

Hannah Wilson and Mariah Thompson led McGraw in defeat. Wilson scored four points, grabbed 13 rebounds and had four steals, while Thompson was the Eagles’ leading scorer with eight points and added in five boards.

TULLY 50, CATO-MERIDIAN 32

Tully carried a 28-13 lead into halftime and cruised past Cato-Meridian for the second time this season. Sammy Morgan scored 10 of her 11 points in the first half and Hailey Olender also netted eight in the half.

Olender finished with a season- best 19 points and five made 3-pointers. Olender made three triples and two free throws in the fourth quarter.

Morgan Downes, Grace McKenna and McKenzie Smith all scored six points for the Black Knights and Rachel Daddona also contributed two.

WRESTLING
HOMER 54, A-P-W 21

Zander Johnson, Dominic Burlingame and Blair Wakula all got pins inside of a minute in Homer’s big win over A-P-W. Johnson (189 pounds) got the job done in 24 seconds, Burlingame (152 pounds) won in 39 seconds and Blair Wakula (215 pounds) got his pin in 51 seconds.

Sam Sorenson (285 pounds) remained unbeaten for the Trojans thanks to a pin in 1:02. Talan Hubbard (110 pounds) bounced back after his unbeaten streak ended by getting a pin in 1:32. Lukas Quinn (138 pounds) also got a pin for Homer, while Christopher Slade and David Morse won by forfeit.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL
TULLY 3, PORT BYRON 0

Tully kept its win streak alive thanks to a 25-9, 25-20, 25-10 sweep of Port Byron. The Black Knights are now 13-0 this season.

Emma Byrne added 15 more kills to bring her total this season to 170. Byrne averages 4.05 kills per set. She also had nine digs, four aces and a block.

Alexa Shay notched 21 more assists to go with six digs, three aces and two kills. Veronica Kowalewski contributed 10 digs and Katelyn Lamoreux had six kills, four aces, two assists, a block and a dig. Keagan Usherwood (five digs, three kills, two aces), Maria Altman (four digs, one ace), Amberle Brown (three aces, two digs, one kill), Catherine Lund (two kills, one ace), Ava Maley (two assists, one dig) and Josie Chapman (one kill, one dig) also contributed to Tully’s winning effort.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE
BOYS BASKETBALL

Marathon at Groton, 7:15 p.m.
Tully at Port Byron, 7 p.m.
DeRuyter at Brookfield, 7 p.m.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Phoenix at Homer, 6:30 p.m.
Moravia at Elmira Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m.

WRESTLING

Marathon at Lansing (co-ed), 6 p.m.
Dryden at Tioga, 5:30 p.m.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Cincinnatus at Central Valley Academy, 7 p.m.
Manlius Pebble Hill at DeRuyter, 7 p.m.

BOWLING

Tioga at Groton, 4 p.m.