Down 11 points going into the second quarter of a game against Whitney Point squad, first-year Marathon girls basketball coach Andrew Pierce made a number of adjustments.
He had to find a way for his Olympians—a taller, longer team than the Eagles—to beat their speed and to push his team to be more aggressive and to use their height to their advantage.
Following an electric first half of offense, the Olympians overcame their seven-point halftime deficit to defeat Whitney Point 53-49 for their first win over the Eagles in several seasons.
“Whitney Point’s pretty good,” Pierce said. “But we beat ’em, so I guess we’re alright.”
A relatively young team, with two sophomores and a freshman player as well as a freshman coach, the Olympians relied on experience , with a majority of the team’s output coming from senior forward Megan Contri’s 23 points and junior guard Cassidy Marsh, who tossed in 24.
There was also some seasoned leadership on the bench, as Pierce’s former coach and Cortland High School basketball legend Mick Lowie made his return to the bench after a brief absence from the game. Lowrie, the all-time wins leader at Cortland High, made his return to help his former player just several years after his retirement following the 2012 season.
Although in his first season as varsity coach, Pierce has served as coach for the area girls AAU team CNY Heat, based in Cortland.
“It’s always great to start a year 1-0,” Pierce said. “Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come.”