OSWEGO — Cortland’s strong offense showed in its 51-39 win over the Oswego varsity girls basketball team on Friday.
The Purple Tigers came out firing in the first frame, hitting five 3-pointers and leading 21-11 after the opening quarter.
“Cortland came out hot. We were not finding their shooters and they were not missing,” Oswego coach Joe Babcock said. “(We were) down 10, after one, but I told the kids we have a lot of game left.”
Oswego limited the Cortland offense to just six points in the second stanza and ended up outscoring the Purple Tigers 8-6. The Bucs trailed 27-19 at halftime.
“We went into halftime feeling good,” Babcock said. “We missed a lot of easy shots and just needed to clean up a few things to get back into the game.”
Both teams went back and forth during the third quarter, and the Bucs trailed by just seven points going into the final quarter.
“Cortland is a really good team that’s been on a roll,” Babcock said. “They have been beating league opponents by 20 to 30 points, so I just told our girls keep working hard as we had nothing to lose.”
Oswego cut the lead to five points after back-to-back 3-pointers from Sophia Babcock, but Cortland held on during the final stretch sinking some free throws to close out the game.
Sophia Babcock led the Bucs with 12 points. Maria Sweet added 11 points. Adriana Ellis tacked on nine points. Peyton Bond recorded and five points, and Maria Warner rounded out the team’s scoring with two points.
“Our girls played a really good game (Friday) vs. a really good team,” Joe Babcock said. “We just missed too many easy shots that we normally make. Our girls really came out and competed (Friday) and that’s all we ask for.”
CORTLAND — In an unusual back-to-back weekend, Oswego traveled to Cortland to take on the Purple Tigers again on Saturday.
Cortland came out on top 68-64.
The Bucs turned the page from Friday’s game and led 19-17 after the first quarter. Sophia Babcock hit three 3-pointers, and Adriana Ellis nailed two 3-pointers in the first frame.
“Playing a game the night before I wasn’t sure how we were going to come out of the gates this game,” Joe Babcock said. “I was pleasantly surprised with the energy we had.”
Cortland continued its offensive steadiness with 19 points in the second frame, while limiting the Bucs to just 11 points. The Purple Tigers led 36-30 at halftime.
“We just lost track of their good shooter too many times in the second quarter and she made us pay hitting three 3-pointers,” Joe Babcock said. “We will continue to work on understanding who we need to pay the most attention to on the other team.”
Coach Babcock said Cortland continued to push the pace in the third frame with good ball movement against Oswego’s zone defense and put up 16 points to take an 11-point lead into the final stanza.
“We had (cut the lead) to three (points) and Cortland went on a quick 8-0 run to close out the quarter,” Joe Babcock said. “Our kids were still fighting as they always do so we still had time.”
Down by 14 with three minutes remaining in the contest, the Bucs went to a full-court pressure and made a “furious rally” attempt, starting with Ellis hitting three 3-pointers to cut the lead to 68-64. But the four-point deficit was as close as Oswego could get.
Joe Babcock noted Sweet “fought to the end” scoring 16 second-half points helping Oswego’s comeback attempt.
Ellis and Sweet led the Bucs with 20 points each. Sophia Babcock tacked on 12 points. Bond contributed six points.
Sydney Hoefer, Alexa Kuzawski and Riley Reynolds all recorded two points.
“Couldn’t be more proud of the team. Cortland is a very, very good team and to have a chance two days in a row vs. them is a testament of the never-give-up philosophy we talk about,” Joe Babcock said. “We fought to the end and it was a really fun game to be part of.”