SUNY Cortland secures playoff birth with win at Potsdam

POTSDAM, N.Y. — Blair Estarfaa (Buffalo/Maryvale) led a balanced Cortland scoring attack with 17 points as the Red Dragons secured a SUNYAC men's basketball playoff berth with an 87-71 win at Potsdam.

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The Red Dragons (16-7, 10-6 SUNYAC) are guaranteed one of the league's six postseason spots. With two games remaining, Cortland is tied for fourth in the league with Oswego, two games ahead of sixth-place Oneonta (8-8) and three games up on seventh-place Buffalo State (7-9). Geneseo and Brockport are tied for second at 10-5, three games behind leader Plattsburgh (13-2).

The top two teams will earn byes into the semifinals and the third and fourth-place teams will host SUNYAC first-round games Feb. 23. Cortland's remaining two games are home contests with Brockport Tuesday and Oswego Friday, each at 7:30 p.m.

blair estarfaa

Blair Estarfaa led the Red Dragons with 17 points (Photo: Darl Zehr Photography)

Estarfaa hit 7-of-13 shots, 3-of-6 from 3-point range. He scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half. T.J. Hefele (Greenlawn/Friends Academy) and JP Reagan (Cortland) scored 14 points each, while Carrel Joseph (Port-au-Prince, Haiti/Deer Park (NY)) and Michael Kelly (Monroe/Burke Catholic) netted 11 points apiece. Hefele and Reagan led the team with four assists each, with Hefele also totaling four steals and Reagan leading the squad with five rebounds.

Joe Estramonte hit 9-of-18 shots, including 5-of-11 from 3-point range, and led Potsdam (1-21, 1-14 SUNYAC) with 24 points and six assists. Nosa Onabor went 5-of-8 from long distance and scored 15 points, while Mitch Lamerson finished with 14 points with three 3-pointers. Serigne Kane added 13 points and six rebounds and Nate Wyatte pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.

Both teams made double-figure 3-point field goals. Cortland hit 12-of-31 from the arc (39 percent) and 51 percent overall from the field. Potsdam hit 14-of-30 from 3-point land (47 percent) and 45 percent overall.

The teams only committed a combined 12 fouls (six each) and 16 turnovers (10 for Potsdam, six for Cortland).

Cortland finished the first half on a 15-8 run to extend a 33-27 lead to 45-32. The Red Dragons maintained a double-figure lead the entire second half.

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