The Daily Star
---- — STAFF REPORT
Mariah Ruff probably wishes she could play Kingston every Saturday.
For the second straight Saturday, Mariah Ruff scored 25 points to lead Oneonta High’s girls to a seven-point non-league basketball win over visiting Kingston – most recently by a 46-39 count.
“They’re extremely athletic,” said OHS coach Matt Miller, whose team traveled to Kingston last Saturday and earned a 48-41 win. “I haven’t seen a team one through five as athletic as they are. They’re a scrappy defensive team. They’re similar to how we’re made up. I knew it was going to be a low scoring game.”
Miller said Ruff’s penchant for putting up big offensive numbers in low-scoring games will be big as the season progresses.
“That’s going to be really important,” Miller said of Ruff’s scoring. “Defensively, we can hang around with any Class B teams in New York state. The ace in our pocket is that Mariah can generate offense. If teams adjust to that, she’s also a great passer.”
Brittney Herrick contributed eight points and 18 rebounds for the Yellowjackets (12-1), who received four key points from Gabby Richardson late in the fourth quarter.
Kingston closed to three points with about two minutes left in the fourth quarter when OHS’ Brieanna Baker was fouled. Baker was shaken up on the play and could not take the free throws. Miller called on Richardson – an 80 percent free throw shooter – to take the shots. Richardson missed the first but made the second to give OHS a four-point lead.
On Oneonta’s next possession, Richardson hit a three-pointer from the corner to extend the Yellowjackets’ lead to seven.
“She scored four points off the bench and they were huge,” Miller said.
Ruff, Madison Miller and Meg Burns all had seven rebounds for the Yellowjackets, who’ll travel to Chenango Valley on Friday. The teams met Dec. 11 and OHS escaped with a 53-51 victory at home.
“We have to make sure we maintain a good pace,” Miller said. “We were up, 13-0, at home and then took our foot off the gas. As long as we defend and push the ball, and play the way we have the last couple of weeks, we’ll be fine.”
Earlier this winter, Ruff was among 60 or so from New York state nominated to play in the girls McDonald’s All-American game. Ruff will be presented with a certificate today at practice for her nomination. She was one of three Section Four girls to be nominated, along with Owego’s Rachel Merrill and Harpursville’s Miranda Drummond.
Ruff and Drummond will play together next season at Division I St. Bonaventure.
SV 52, Unatego 31
Host Unatego hung around for three quarters before falling in a non-league game.
The Spartans (7-6, 5-4) trailed, 32-25, entering the fourth quarter. The Sabers then outscored Unatego, 20-6, over the final eight minutes.
“They kind of picked up their intensity level in the fourth quarter,” Unatego coach Greg Bonczkowski said of the SV. “We did a nice job defensively for three quarters. We had handled their press for three quarters, but then I think we got a little bit tired. They play at a quicker pace than we’re used to.”
Unatego outscored the Sabers, 12-10, in the third quarter. Cassidy Newman scored 10 of her game-high 15 points in that quarter for Unatego. Newman also grabbed 15 rebounds.
“I’m proud of the kids’ effort,” Bonczkowski said. “That was one of our better games defensively on the year. I think they knew they were in a good basketball game.”
Rose Green and Shayna Williams had 11 points for SV.
The Spartans will host Afton on Tuesday.
Cooperstown 72, West Canada 20
Liz Millea scored 18 points and host Cooperstown bolted to a 46-9 halftime lead en route to a Center State Conference victory.
Christina Noto contributed 17 points for Cooperstown, which received nine points apiece from SJ Morosko and Ciarra McGoldrick.
BOYS BASKETBALLHarpursville 53, Walton 47
Michael Lindsay and Eric Zimmerman scored 14 and 12 points, respectively, for visiting Walton, which lost in the Midstate Athletic Conference.
Zimmerman made four of the Warriors’ six three-pointers.
Devon Dean’s 15 points paced Harpursville, which outscored Walton, 14-8, in the fourth quarter.
WRESTLINGJC 40, BGAH 28
Technical fall victories by Chris Cirigliano and Jake Andrews weren’t enough for Bainbridge-Guilford/Afton/Harpursville, which lost in the quarterfinals of the Section Four Dual Meet Tournament at Chenango Forks.
Cirigliano completed his 21-6 win over Tim Reed with 26 seconds left in the 106-pound match. Andrews ended his 20-4 decision over Jarred Guidelli with 15 seconds left at 132.
BGAH also received wins from Austin Carr and Madison Hoover at 138 and 145, respectively.
Logan Robinson and Dylan Wood earned championships for Walton in the Brigham Memorial Tournament at Minisink Valley.
Robinson, the second seed, won the 120-pound title. Wood, also a No. 2 seed, earned the title at 126.
Dawson Beers finished third at 160.
“These teams were very tough,” Walton coach Paul Leblanc said.
Walton will Cooperstown on Wednesday.
Rondout Valley Duals
Unatego went 4-1 and Oneonta High finished 2-3 during the Rondout Valley Duals on Saturday.
Included in the Spartans’ record was a 40-39 win over Oneonta. The teams tied at 39, but Unatego earned a criteria point for finishing with more victories.
Ryan Marszal, Austin Ryan, Nate Wilsey and Riley Hanrahan all finished 5-0. Teammate Lucas Dejoy went 4-1 for the Spartans, whose loss came to Cornwall, 57-22. Unatego also earned victories over Goshen (40-23), Rondout Valley (56-24), AuSable Valley (54-24).
Marszal improved his record to 27-0.
The Spartans (9-3) will travel to Sidney on Thursday.
Kirkland Dolan and James Longo both finished 4-1 for the Yellowjackets.
Dolan’s loss – his second of the season -- came against Arlington’s Brandon Badger, 9-2.
The Yellowjackets (15-15) defeated Rondout Valley, 48-26, and AuSable Valley, 62-21. OHS also lost to Arlington, 54-24, and Chaminade, 53-24.
OHS will compete next in the Southern Tier Athletic Conference Championships on Friday and Saturday at Union-Endicott. The tournament starts at 5 p.m. Friday.
Little Falls 72, Cooperstown 4
Paul LoRusso won by major decision over Andrew Messina, 14-3, but visiting Cooperstown fell in the Center State Conference on Friday.
Cooperstown (2-14) will travel to Walton on Tuesday.
Frontier League Championships
Sean Mebust placed second in the 100-yard freestyle and the 200 individual medley to help Cooperstown to a third-place finish in the Frontier League Championships at Rome Free Academy.
Mebust broke his school record in the 100 free. He touched in 50.48 seconds to break the mark of 50.68 he set last week.
Mebust finished behind Holland Patent’s Barrett Celeki, who swam a state qualifying time of 48.95.
“He raced against the best and that’s what you want to do,” Cooperstown coach Cheryl Rock said.
Mebust touched in 2:09.15 in the 200 IM.
“We took quite a few second places,” said Rock, who also received second-place finishes from Michael Kern (200 free, 2:04.00) and Ted Mebust (100 backstroke, 1:00.46).
Cooperstown’s 200-yard medley relay team of Ted Mebust, Tae Livermore, Ivan Baez-Braunstein and Sean Mebust also finished second in 1:52.16.
Cooperstown will host Rome Free Academy in a dual meet on Tuesday.
INDOOR TRACKNew Balance Games
Sidney sophomore Dean Howard joined some elite company Saturday night in the New Balance Games at the New York Armory.
Howard tied a school record in the 600 meters set by Karl Paranya. Howard finished in 1 minute, 25.78 seconds. Paranya ran a hand-held 1:25.7 in 1993.
Paranya gained fame following his graduation from Sidney by becoming the first NCAA Division III runner to break four minutes in the mile. He did so while running for Haverford College. Paranya went on to run in the United States Olympic Trials in 1996 and 2000.
Paranya’s personal best in the mile was 3:54.83.
Howard finished 14th out of 137 runners Saturday.
“He’s been running right around the 1:26 range, but he had a bit of a breakthrough,” Sidney coach Paul Sims said.
Sidney will compete Friday night in the Section Four Elite Meet at Ithaca College.