South Kortright boys drive past 'Cats for title

By John Bernhardt
The South Kortright boys’ basketball team was a NASCAR race car on cruise control Friday night at SUNY Delhi. From the opening tip off, SK was a driving force, powering the ball to the basket and cleaning the glass with put-back after put-back, as the Rams rolled to a 56-46 Delaware League championship over Davenport.
SK’s Rashawn Herrington’s hard driving lay-up in the opening seconds of play set the tone. A Tanner Metzo drive on SK’s possession ended in two foul shots. Metzko hit one-of-two, but Herrington pulled down the miss and hit Jon Denario with a pass. The senior guard drained a short jump shot, and in a blink, SK led, 5-0.
Eventually, Davenport would settle down and make it a game. Brandon Chase established himself around the blocks scoring three times to draw Davenport within a basket at 10-8. Even so, the Rams’ inside game was overwhelming. Every time Davenport hinted at making a stand, a series of SK drives or put-backs would slam the door closed. Herrington put-back a Rams’ miss, then drove the lane hitting a jumper, and SK led 14-8 at the quarter break.
The lead surged throughout the second quarter. Tanner Metzko’s no-look bounce pass found Brandon Tuttle in transition for a lay-up giving SK their biggest lead of the half at 20-12. A Buddy Adam three-point shot just before the half closed the gap to 20-15 at the intermission.
Davenport simply could not catch a break in the early going of the second half. The Wildcats started with Chase making what appeared to be a strong post move near the hoop, but his basket was waved off with a traveling call. A second Davenport field goal would be nullified on a traveling call, and SK would have the advantage of five early foul calls against the Wildcats by the middle of the third period.
Yet, it was the inside power game, that was simply unstoppable for SK. Charlie Darling tipped in a missed shot to start the scoring assault. Herrington used a steal to go coast to coast for a score. He then drove the hoop again on the Rams’ next possession. A Metzko steal turned into another Herrington drive, this time along the baseline, and with 4:46 still on the clock, SK had stretched their lead to 28-17.
The power display continued throughout the quarter. SK converted points on three more driving scores and two put backs in the period. Two jump shots by Tanner Metzko were the only Rams’ scores away from the basket, as SK powered to a 41-28 lead heading into the final quarter. SK and Davenport traded baskets throughout much of the final frame. Mike Ontl successfully drove the basket hard three-times for Davenport down the stretch, but Davenport could get no closer than the 10-point final difference.
Herrington led all scored netting 26 points for the Rams. The teams will be seeded numbers one and two in the upcoming Section IV playoffs with Davenport holding the top spot and the newly crowned Delaware League Champions one slot behind.
The win avenged SK’s only loss of the year, an earlier season loss at Davenport that broke a winning streak going back to the fall of 2008.