January 20, 2022

Cortland wins 6th straight

Purple Tigers prevail in back-and-forth game over Fulton

Katie Vartanian/contributing photographer

Cortland’s Mallory Turner (3) looks to finish a layup over Fulton’s Carleigh Patterson (11) and Madison Baum (15). Turner scored 14 points in the Purple Tigers win Friday night.

The Cortland girls basketball team extended its win streak to six games with a tough 49-42 win over visiting Fulton Friday night.

“That is a tough team, for sure,” Cortland head coach Janice Meyer said. “That is a game that we needed to win. Coming off five games, it’s tough. We were kind of out there floating a bit and got a little complacent, but we still showed up and got the win.”

It was a back-and-forth game most of the way and, after three quarters, things were close as Cortland led 32-30.

Cortland came out hot, going on a 7-0 run to open up the final quarter to make it 3930. Fulton halted the run to keep the game close.

Kirsten Merritt hit a huge 3-pointer to make it 47-40 with just over a minute remaining. Merritt hit four 3-pointers in the second half, all coming at times when the Purple Tigers needed a bucket. Merritt’s play is something Meyer knows she will get from her every single game.

“Kirsten is just bought into this program 100 percent and she embodies what this program means,” Meyer said. “There is no easy game for her, there’s no days off; she is coming in ready to win. She just brings out the best in everybody else too. Just hitting those clutch shots and giving us that defensive energy that we need keeps us alive.”

After Merritt’s shot increased the lead, the defense stepped up by getting a huge stop to keep the lead with 22 seconds left.

Fulton fouled Margaret Starr, who missed both free throws. The Red Raiders capitalized with a quick bucket from Carleigh Patterson to make it 47-42 with 12 seconds left.

Starr was once fouled again, but six seconds came off the clock and she went to the line for two shots with 4.9 left. Starr sank the first shot and the second was almost rebounded by Cortland’s Mallory Turner, but she continued to fight for the board and forced a jump ball. Cortland kept possession, then Danielle Benjamin made two free throws to put the game out of reach.

Benjamin not only sealed the win with the free throw, but she stepped up huge defensively in the final minutes.

“Danielle Benjamin’s defensive performance sealed the deal for us to win that game,” Meyer said.

Merritt led the way for Cortland with 16 points. Mallory Turner added 14 points. Starr (5), Valerosa Gambitta (4), Claire Turner (4), Benjamin (4) and Ryleigh Larkin (1) also scored for the Purple Tigers.

Cortland will look to keep its winning streak alive at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19 as they host East Syracuse-Minoa.


Brooke Tillotson and Abigail Ensign combined for 40 points to lead Marathon to another blowout victory. Tillotson had 23 points and Ensign added 17. Addison Oram also notched 16 points for the Olympians.

Bailee Hurlburt (8), Anna Hoyt (4), Paige Hurlburt (2) and Catherine Newkirk (2) also scored for the Olympians.

Marathon led 39-20 at halftime, then had a 23-2 third quarter to blow the game wide open.

Hannah Wilson had three points and 10 rebounds and Allie West added five points and five boards for McGraw in defeat. Hailey McCall and Madison Sweeney added in two points apiece for the Eagles. Mariah Thompson also had six rebounds and Eden Sears grabbed five boards.

Abby Dykeman led Groton with 10 points, while Kate Allen scored eight points and went 4-for-4 from the foul line down the stretch.

Sidni Pinckney had nine points in Dryden’s loss. Lauren Gulini followed her up with four points, while Laci Prognon (3), Kahlen Cornell (3), Chloe Russell (2) and Mikayla Hisey (2) also scored for the Lions.

Allison Kehoe led Moravia with 17 points and three assists as the Blue Devils won their sixth game in a row. Gabby Heim also contributed 11 points and six steals, while Olivia Genson and Jordan Smith both had seven points.


Cortland and Fulton played a back-and-forth game, with Cortland coming out on top to end its four-game skid. The win is thanks to a double-double from Tyler Blake and near double-doubles from Max Gambitta and Marvin Bell. Blake finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, Gambitta had 24 points and nine boards and Bell notched nine points and 11 rebounds.

The two teams were tied at 27 at the half, then the Purple Tigers held a 3331 lead after three. Cortland played Fulton to a 15-15 tie in the fourth to walk away victorious.

Emerson Johnson had Cortland’s only other points, netting five.

Conor Holland’s 42-point explosion helped Marathon come away with a big victory. Holland had 23 points in the first hald. He made six 3-pointers, 10 twos and went 4-for-8 from the free throw line.

Braeden Morrison hit key free throws to help the Olypmians put the game away. He added six points, eight rebounds and four steals. Brayden Drake netted eight points and Drew Rozewski had two to round out Marathon’s scoring.

Groton came back from down nine points with under four minutes remaining in regulation to stun SpecerVan Etten in overtime.

Mason Slade scored the only points of the overtime period by hitting three free throws. He finished with a team-high 12 points.

Slade forced overtime by making a 3-pointer assisted by Ben DeMatteo with 13 seconds left. Groton got the ball after a steal by Omari RileyIsrael.

DeMatteo added 11 points for the Indians. Kael Eldred scored nine points and Riley-Israel and Thomas Pinkowski had five points apiece. Austin Hunt (4), Drake O’Connor (4), Kolin Manning (3), Kanye Israel (2) and Gaige Goodsell (2) also added to Groton’s winning effort.

Tommy Maley and Kevin Wood led Tully with 17 and 16 points, respectively, as the Black Knights won their third game in a row.

Dan Mech and Ryan Mize scored nine points apiece, while Lane Edinger added in eight. Matt Congelli scored six points, Connor Bestedo and Mick Swan each had five and Lorenzo Garofolo notched four. Michael Reid (3) and Sam Brown-Paul (1) also scored for Tully.


DeRuyter won every other set in a close affair with Weedsport. The scores of the sets were 25-14, 22-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-17.

Keely Worlock led the way with 10 kills, eight aces and five digs. Olivia Lidell added 19 assists, five aces and a dig and Madelyn Pforter notched eight kills, three aces, three assists and a dig. Jillian Race had nine digs, five kills and three aces, Emma Denkenberger had four kills and three aces and Amaya Rounsaville contributed three aces and two digs. Neveah Woods (two kills, one block), Brianna Hannafan (two blocks, one kill) and Peytin Burrows (one kill, one block) rounded out DeRuyter’s production.


Marathon, 9 a.m. today at Unatego Dryden, 8 a.m. today at Camden

Cortland, 9 a.m. today at Onondaga Community College
Homer, Tully, 3 p.m. today at Onondaga Community College
Groton (boys only), Moravia, 9 a.m. today at SUNY Cortland, Lusk Field House
Dryden (girls only), 8 a.m. today at SUNY Cortland Lusk Field House
Dryden (boys only), 2 p.m. today at SUNY Cortland Lusk Field House

Dryden, 10:15 a.m. today at Elmira