Many times this season, the West Genesee boys basketball team relied on the hot shooting and overall play of senior Chris Cruz to pull itself through tough occasions.
But on Senior Night, Cruz gladly deferred to his teammates -- at least to some degree -- as the Wildcats survived a big test from neighbor Bishop Ludden last Tuesday and beat the Gaelic Knights 57-51.
In all, five seniors -- Cruz, Kevin Wadach, Moody Ashkar, Casey Reale and Brian O'Leary -- were honored for their contributions to the WG program in their final regular-season home game.
All the festivities had a lingering effect, as the Wildcats trailed for most of the first half. Still, WG's defense was quite sound, and at the break, Ludden clung to a 22-21 lead.
The pace quickened in the third quarter, and the Wildcats inched in front. Every time the Gaelic Knights tried to get the lead back, WG would hit a key basket.
After putting up 26 points in each of his previous two games (against Fayetteville-Manlius and Utica Proctor), Cruz settled for 11 points this time.
Meanwhile, sophomore Jack Conboy stepped up and led the Wildcats with 15 points. Wadach had nine points, while reserve Joe Fazio gained seven points as he, Wadach and Cruz each hit on a pair of 3-pointers. Reale (six points), O'Leary (four points) and Ashkar (two points) all added their own baskets on Senior Night.
Ludden, as it has done all season, put up a full effort that did not translate into victory. Daquan Grobsmith led both sides with 17 points, while George Eunice and Wendall Williams each had nine points and Wes Valentine added eight points.
WG moved to 12-7 and concludes its regular season Friday night, at Nottingham.