Cortland girls’ basketball win first round of sectionals

CORTLAND, N.Y.— After losing both of their regular season confrontations against Oswego, the Cortland Tigers sought revenge and found it in a 45-36 win in the first round of sectionals Friday night.

The Tigers played with a pass-first mentality throughout the game in an effort to find open shooters. Team co-captain Tsai Lewis was not afraid to drive to the hoop and take contact, scoring a total of nine points with five of them coming from the line.

Co-captain Lyndsie Babcock led the Tigers with a double-double, notching 13 boards and scoring a total of 17 points, seven of them coming from the charity streak., Babcock drove to the rack for most of the game, forcing Oswego to foul her almost every time she entered the lane.

Cortland Tigers junior Kaitlyn Pratt followed Babcock with a double-double of her own, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

“This game is a huge spot for us,” Cortland Tigers head coach Nolan Sinclair said. “(This team) hasn’t won a sectional game since 2012, so we talked a lot about getting over that hump and doing something that the girls have been targeting all year long.”

The Tigers were struggling by the end of the first half, with Oswego outscoring them 12-3 in the second quarter.

Oswego senior Sarah Casaletta led the Buccaneers in scoring with 21 points,12 of them coming from the three-point line.

“We moved the ball well in the second half and got the ball under the post with Lyndsie and Kaitlyn, our two post players down low making big shots for us,” Sinclair said when asked how the team turned the game around after half-time.

The Tigers will be on the road to take on the number one-ranked Bishop Ludden Knights on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m.