Tompkins Cortland opened Mid-State Athletic Conference play on Tuesday, taking to the road for a game against the defending conference champion Jefferson Community College. Despite stretches of strong play, including over the closing minutes of the game, the Panthers came home with a 66-56 loss to the Cannoneers. Tompkins Cortland is now 2-2 overall and 1-2 in Region III. Jefferson is 3-3 overall, 3-2 in region, and 1-0 in the MSAC.
The first quarter was back and forth most of the way, with Jefferson up by one at the buzzer, 19-18. The Panthers reclaimed the lead with the first basket of the second quarter, but the Cannoneers used a 7-0 run to move ahead 26-20. The spread continued to grow over the closing minutes of the half, ending with the home team leading 37-26. The third quarter was another back and forth, with Jefferson adding a point to their lead, making it 50-38 heading into the fourth. A late push got them within six at 62-56 with 1:48 left, but the Panthers couldn't get any closer as Jefferson closed out the game at the line.
K'Anndra Rhoden (Brentwood/Brentwood H.S.) led the Panthers with 16 points while also recording 8 rebounds, 7 steals, and 4 assists. Shaylin Heidl (Candor/Candor H.S.) came up just short of a double-double, finishing with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Shantasia Jeffrey (Harlem/Curtis H.S.) scored 10 points to go with 8 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists. Mackenzie Constable (Sidney/Sidney H.S.) chipped in 10 points.
The Panthers return home Thursday to take on Fulton-Montgomery Community College.