So much for a rebuilding season at Oneonta High.
Reigning Daily Star Player of the Year Mariah Ruff scored a game-high 30 points and Brittney Herrick grabbed 16 rebounds Tuesday, leading the Yellowjackets to a season-opening 53-46 girls basketball victory at Southern Tier Athletic Conference rival Norwich.
“I think they’re our toughest Class B opponent in Section Four,” OHS coach Matt Miller said of Norwich, which rallied from a 16-point deficit in the second half but failed to overcome a program that graduated nine seniors from last season’s Class B state finalists. “They’ve got a lot of experience and are pretty big. I knew this was going to be a tough test for our opener.”
Ruff scored 20 points in the first half, which ended with OHS ahead, 28-19. She finished with eight field goals, including all three of Oneonta’s three-point field goals, and made 11 of 14 shots from the foul line.
Herrick, who took last season off to concentrate on volleyball, scored six points in her first game since helping OHS to the Class B state quarterfinals in the 2011-12 season.
“We lost nine seniors, four were starters and two came off bench and gave us a lot of minutes,” Miller said. “You’d think this would be a year we might have to rebuild, but that’s not the case. I think we’re going to be in pretty good shape this year.”
Brieanna Baker also scored six points for OHS, which received five from Meg Burns.
Bri Cashman’s 14 points paced Norwich, which received 12 from Kassidy Seary.
OHS, which has won six straight Section Four championships, hosts the Anthony C. Drago Tournament on Saturday and Sunday. The Jackets open against STAC rival Owego at 4:15 p.m. Saturday. Our Lady of Lourdes and Cicero-North Syracuse play the other first-round game at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
The consolation and championship games are set for 2:30 and 4:15 p.m., respectively, on Sunday at OHS.
“We’ll have some tough games in that tournament for sure,” Miller said. “We’ll have our hands full.”
Cooperstown 58, CV 30
Sophomore guard Liz Millea scored a game-high 23 points to lead defending Section Three Class C champion Cooperstown to a season-opening victory at home.
Millea hit 10 field goals and went 2-for-2 from the foul line for Cooperstown, which jumped to a 24-11 lead after one quarter.
“We really had a good first quarter,” Cooperstown coach Mike Niles said. “Liz scored eight points. She’s put in a lot of time and she’s a heck of an athlete.”
SJ Moroski and Christina Noto contributed nine points apiece for Cooperstown, which received six steals and four blocks from Millea. Noto and Mallory Arthurs (five steals) also grabbed eight rebounds apiece.
Cooperstown visits Sherburne-Earlville on Thursday.
Franklin 56, Edmeston 28
Jordan Beers scored 23 points and Marisa Cawley had 22 to lead defending Section Four Class D champion Franklin to a season-opening win at home.
“They have a height advantage and they got the ball down in transition,” Edmeston coach Russell McCall said of Franklin, which took a 32-14 lead into halftime. “My girls were focusing on Jordan and she got the ball to Cawley a lot as a result.”
Beers hit all three of Franklin’s three-pointers and Cawley made 10 field goals for the Purple Devils, who also won the Tri-Valley League championship last season.
Brianna Dunham had eight rebounds to pace Edmeston, which plays Richfield Springs at 7 p.m. Thursday in the opening round of the Richfield Springs Tournament. Cherry Valley-Springfield meets Sharon Springs in the other first-round game, at 7 p.m. Friday. The consolation and championship games are slated for 6 and 7:30 p.m., respectively, on Saturday.
Laurens 31, G-MU 29
Charlotte Lee scored a game-high 19 points for Laurens, which held on for a Tri-Valley League road win despite getting outscored, 13-4, in the fourth quarter.
The Leopards (2-1, 1-0) held a 27-14 lead in the third quarter, but G-MU (0-3, 0-1) rallied to cut it to 30-29 on a layup by Tayler Nichols with 30 seconds left.
Claire Fraser capped the scoring by hitting 1 of 2 free throws for her only point with about 15 seconds left.
Meghan Meers scored 12 points to lead the Raiders, who are at Edmeston on Monday.
Davenport 52, Jefferson 30
Sophomore Jenna Lutz finished with a game-high 27 points, 16 rebounds and four steals to lead Davenport to a Delaware League victory at home.
“She’s a strong girl who helped us a lot last year,” Davenport coach Ray Preston said of Lutz. “She’s coming around and deserves a lot of credit because she works really hard inside and did a nice job.”
Davenport (1-1, 1-0) pulled away with a 20-2 advantage in the fourth quarter.
“We really executed well offensively, and defensively we cranked it up a little bit,” Preston said. “I’m very pleased with our effort in the fourth quarter.”
Shiann Bellinger’s 17 points paced Jefferson, which trailed, 23-17, at halftime.
Sarah Haight contributed 10 points and four steals for the Wildcats, who visit South Kortright on Monday.
SK 63, Margaretville 21
Brianna Laing had 14 points and eight steals to lead South Kortright to a Delaware League win at home.
Kayla Warycha contributed 10 points and Lexi DuBois grabbed 11 rebounds for the Rams, who won without leading scorer Tori Rockefeller (ankle injury).
Annette Hogan’s nine points paced Margaretville in its season opener.
Defending Delaware League champion South Kortright (3-0, 1-0) visits Jefferson on Thursday.
Delhi 35, Downsville 29
Allyce McIntosh scored five of her nine points in the fourth quarter to lead Delhi to non-league victory in the first round of the Walton Tip-Off Tournament.
McIntosh went 5-for-5 from the foul line to lead a 10-2 run in the fourth quarter for the Bulldogs, who trailed by four at the start of the period.
“We became more aggressive going to the basket,” first-year Delhi coach Todd Bruce said.
McIntosh also had five assists and Allison Hannigan contributed seven.
Kaileen Townsend paced Downsville with 17 points.
Delhi (1-0) will face Worcester in the championship game Thursday.
Worcester 42, Walton 28
Jessie Thompson scored 12 points to lead Worcester to a non-league victory in the opening round of the Walton Tip-Off Tournament.
Jamie Thompson and Cierra Ralph finished with eight points apiece for the Wolverines, who will play Delhi in the championship game Thursday.
Kelsey Smith finished with nine points, including two three-pointers, for Walton, which also received eight points from Morgan Beardslee.
Walton (0-2) will face Downsville in the consolation game Thursday.
CV-S 49, Milford 47
Maddie Archer scored 11 of her 15 points in the fourth quarter to lead host Cherry-Valley Springfield to Tri-Valley League victory.
Lauren Loucks contributed 11 points and Emily McDermott finished with eight for the Patriots, who took a 23-19 lead into halftime.
Addy Lawson scored a game-high 26 points, including three three-pointers, to lead Milford.
Cherry-Valley Springfield (2-1, 1-0) will play Sharon Springs in the first round of the Richfield Springs Tournament on Friday.
Schenevus 34, RS 32
Ceara Marlow finished with 15 points and nine rebounds to lead Schenevus to a Tri-Valley League win on the road. Teammate Sarah Mellor contributed 10 points.
Becca Smith finished with nine points for Richfield Springs, which rallied from a nine-point deficit to tie the score at 27 in the fourth quarter. Katie Richvalsky finished with eight points for the Indians.
Richfield Springs (0-1) will host Edmeston in the first round of the their tip-off tournament Thursday.
Roxbury 39, H-T 27
Stacey Sprague finished with a game-high 25 points to lead Roxbury to a Delaware League victory in its season opener at home.
Sprague scored nine points in the first quarter for the Rockets, who led, 15-6, after eight minutes. She also had 10 points in the fourth quarter, when Roxbury outscored Hunter-Tannersville, 13-4.
Jade Meehan contributed 13 points for the Rockets, who are at Gilboa on Friday.
Sam Dibbell finished with nine points to pace Hunter-Tannersville, which trailed, 18-16, at halftime.
Andes 52, Windham 47
Cheyenee Weaver’s shot 2:47 into overtime broke a 47-all tie to lead host Andes to a Delaware League victory.
Weaver scored five of her 16 points in overtime for the Mountaineers, who got game-highs of 17 points and nine steals from Shianne Coss in its season opener.
Sussannah Simpfenderfer paced Windham with nine points.
Andes (1-0), which outscored Windham, 8-3, in the extra period, hosts Downsville on Friday.