Something is working for the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball team as it has claimed two tournaments in as many weeks.
Right after its success at Vestal on Nov. 24 and 25, the Northstars played much closer to home last weekend and did it again, prevailing in the West Genesee Athletic Booster Club Tip-Off Tournament.
Each game had its own character. In the opening round against Henninger Friday night, the Northstars were able to do whatever it wanted in a 73-25 pasting of the Black Knights.
Everyone on the roster got at least one point as CNS, up 10-8 after one period, began to draw clear with a 22-8 outburst in the second quarter.
Nicole Dwyer led the way with 19 points. Right behind her, Jessica Misiaszek had a career-best 13 points, as did Mary-Beth Egan, while Morgan Nandin gained nine points.
CNS knew that a much tougher game awaited them in Saturday's final against host West Genesee, who had whipped Fowler 58-20 in the other opening-round contest.
And it proved to be quite exciting, as CNS blew a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter, yet relied on some clutch baskets to beat the Wildcats 46-41.
Playing a tough and efficient zone defense to counter WG's size advantage, the Northstars led by as many as 12 in the first half before WG close within six, 25-19, at the break.
Steadily, that lead built back up during the third quarter. When Corissa Quattrini hit a lay-up early in the final period, CNS had a 40-27 lead -- and its last basket for six minutes.
That was enough time for the dormant Wildcats to roar again, as it went on a 14-0 run by forcing turnovers and hitting all kinds of big shots. Liz Wierbinski's lay-up with 1:58 left put the Northstars behind, 41-40.