ONEONTA — Jordan Gutierrez is making a name for himself at Oneonta High.
On Saturday, his name was on the MVP award for the Anthony C. Drago Tournament as the lanky junior guard scored a game-high 36 points to lead OHS to a 64-55 boys basketball victory over visiting Southern Tier Athletic Conference rival Johnson City.
“Our team has worked hard for this,” said Gutierrez, a first-year varsity player who scored a game-high 22 points in Friday’s first round as the Yellowjackets opened their season with a 59-32 defeat of Seton Catholic Central. “It’s good to win some games.”
Former OHS boys and girls basketball coach Bob Zeh said Sunday night that Gutierrez fell three points shy of the school’s single-game scoring record set by Ron Carey during the 1980-81 season.
While current Oneonta coach Jerry Mackey was pleased with Gutierrez’s performance, he seemed concerned with the lack of offense elsewhere.
“We need more guys to play well,” said Mackey, whose other double-digit scoring performance came in the form of 10 points from sophomore Albert Odero. “It’s great Jordan played so well tonight, but that’s not really a recipe in our league to win too many games.”
Gutierrez opened the scoring 28 seconds into the championship game and Odero made it 4-0 on a layup 17 seconds later.
Johnson City’s Ricky Balles then made 1 of 2 free throws with 5 minutes, 3 seconds left in the opening quarter. His made free throw marked the only point for the Wildcats (1-1, 0-1) until Nick Chilson hit a layup with about a minute and a half to go in the first period.
OHS (2-0, 2-0) went on a 10-0 run in the meantime. Gutierrez hit a jumper, Mike Wolsetnholme converted a layup and Odero made a wing jumper to start the spurt. Gutierrez followed with another jumper and then closed the run with a lay-in off a sharp pass from all-tournament selection Paul Bischoff, giving the Jackets a 14-1 cushion with 1:41 left in the first period.