A wild second half that saw the two teams combine to score 111 points ended with the Tompkins Cortland Community College men's basketball team on the wrong end of a 97-85 loss to Jefferson Community College Tuesday night. The loss leaves the Panthers record at 2-3 overall, 2-2 in Region III, and 0-1 in the Mid-State Athletic Conference. It was the first win of the year for the Jefferson Cannoneers who now stand at 1-8 overall, 1-5 in Region, and 1-0 in the MSAC.
The first half featured five lead changes and plenty of up-and-down the court action. Tompkins Cortland led by as many as eight in the middle of the half before seeing the lead slip to 37-34 at the half. The lead disappeared early in the second half, with Jefferson using a 10-0 run to create some space at 60-48 with 11:04 left in the half. The margin stayed in double figures the rest of the way, as the Panthers struggled to stop the hot-shooting Cannoneers. In the second half, Jefferson connected on 58.6% from the field, which combined with huge advantage at the free throw line, proved to be too much for the Panthers to overcome. By the final horn, Jefferson had made 45 trips to free throw line, compared to 15 for the Panthers. Tompkins Cortland shot a better percentage from the line (80% to 73.3%), but the Cannoneers scored 33 points from the charity stripe to just 12 for the Panthers.
Four Panthers scored in double figures, led by another big game from Omari Lane (Newburgh/Newburgh Free Academy). The sophomore went for 31 points for the second straight game, adding 7 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists, and a block. Kyle Drysdale (Rosedale/Thomas Edison H.S.) had 15 points and Devonte Henry (Brooklyn/Boys and Girls H.S.) had 11. Brandan Paul (Middletown/Progress H.S.) finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds, while Jaiden Allen (Marlboro/Marlboro H.S.) handed out 8 assists to go with 4 steals, and 4 rebounds.
While the Panthers are still looking for their first win at home, they are a perfect 2-0 on the road. They will get a chance to add to that record on Thursday with a Region III game at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.