By Alex Herold Contributing Writer
The Daily Star
---- — ONEONTA — A total of 21 days separates two championships for Oneonta High.
Mariah Ruff was a big part of this one, too.
Ruff finished with game-highs of 25 points, nine assists and seven steals Sunday, leading host OHS to a 55-46 girls basketball victory over Cicero-North Syracuse in the championship game of the Anthony C. Drago Tournament.
“I can’t ask for anything better,” said tournament MVP Ruff, who helped OHS to its first girls soccer state title Nov. 17.
Actually, things got a lot better for Ruff on Sunday night as the New York State Sports Writers and Coaches Organization for Girls Sports rewarded her for that 2-1 girls soccer victory over Marcellus with a share of the Class B Player of the Year Award.
The NYSSCOGS, in conjunction with the New York State Sports Writers Association, also bestowed the Class B Player of the Year honor on junior teammate Taryn More and selected Jerry Mackey as the Class B Coach of the Year. Additionally, Madison Miller (Second Team), Taylor Hitchcock (Third Team) and Meg Burns (Fifth Team) made the Class B all-state teams for girls soccer.
Make no mistake, though, senior guard Ruff is all basketball these days.
Ruff, who will play Division I basketball next season at St. Bonaventure, scored 25 points for the second straight day in leading OHS to the Drago title. On Saturday, her game-high 25 points paced the Yellowjackets (3-0) to a 59-53 first-round victory over Southern Tier Athletic Conference rival Owego.
She hit 25 again Sunday, capping her performance with a 6-for-6 effort at the foul line inside the last minute. Elizabeth Miles’ two-pointer with 55 seconds left pulled C-NS to 49-46, but Ruff made three sets of foul shots thereafter to secure the victory.
Ruff, who scored 30 points in Oneonta’s season opener, finished 10-for-10 in free throws and hit five three-point field goals.
“We were too inconsistent,” said Northstars coach Eric Smith, whose team missed its last two field goal attempts. “But I think we guarded Ruff fairly well.”
Ruff was far from a one-girl show, though, as seniors Brittney Herrick and Maria DiMartin contributed 12 points apiece. All-tournament selection Herrick, an all-state volleyball player who will compete for D-I Siena next year, also grabbed a varsity- and game-high 18 rebounds for the defending Section Four Class B champion Jackets.
“We have some balance,” said OHS coach Matt Miller, who received 10 points apiece from Herrick and Brieanna Baker in Saturday’s opener. “If we can do that (every game), we’re going to be pretty tough to beat.”
Ruff’s final three-pointer came with two minutes left in the second quarter, breaking a 21-all tie. About 90 seconds later, DiMartin hit a two-pointer to close the first-half scoring and give OHS a 26-21 lead at the break.
The Northstars followed with a 16-13 advantage in the third quarter, but OHS finished with a 16-9 edge in the final period.
Emilee Norris scored a team-best 12 points for Cicero-North Syracuse, which placed Elizabeth Miles and McKayla Roberts on the all-tournament team.
All-tournament honors also went to 6-foot-3 Owego center Rachel Merrill and Emily Ferreri from Our Lady of Lourdes.
Oneonta, which reached the Class B state final last season, will continue its quest for a seventh straight Section Four championship when it hosts a STAC game Wednesday against Chenango Valley.
Oneonta 55, C-NS 46
at Oneonta High
CICERO-NORTH SYRACUSE: McKayla Roberts 2 0-0 5, Beth Bonin 3 0-0 8, Samantha Roberts 2 2-2 7, Emilee Norris 6 0-0 12, MaryKate Bonanni 0 0-0 0, Elizabeth Miles 4 0-0 8, Samantha Tortora 2 0-0 6, Marissa Felasco 0 0-0 0, Bryar Cummings 0 0-0 0, Amani Free 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 18 2-2 46.
ONEONTA (3-0): Abby Picinich 0 0-0 0, Brieanna Baker 1 0-0 2, Meg Burns 0 0-2 0, Mariah Ruff 5 10-10 25, Brittney Herrick 4 4-8 12, Maria DiMartin 6 0-0 12, Gabby Richardson 0 0-0 0, Madison Miller 2 0-2 4. TOTALS: 18 14-22 55.
Cicero-NS 12 9 16 9 - 46
Oneonta 16 10 13 16 - 55
Three-point field goals: C 5 (Bonin 2, Tortora 2, M. Roberts); O 5 (Ruff 5).
Tournament MVP: Mariah Ruff (Oneonta).
All-Tournament Team: Brittney Herrick (Oneonta); McKayla Roberts (CNS); Elizabeth Miles (CNS); Rachel Merrill (Owego); Emily Ferreri (Our Lady of Lourdes).
JV Championship: Cicero-North Syracuse 49, Oneonta 48.