Stewart pushes Northstars past Rush-Henrietta

In the not-so distant past, a Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball victory over Rush-Henrietta would qualify as a major development, worthy of front-page attention.

With major personnel having moved on, the Northstars' 48-34 conquest of the Royal Comets in last Saturday's Syracuse/Rochester Shootout lacked the power it might have possessed -- but still was a big deal, for many reasons.

It's not every day that anyone beats a team that has won the last three New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA championships, as Rush-Henrietta did.

Furthermore, the game featured that rare basketball feat of a triple-double, as attained by freshman center Breanna Stewart.

No doubt, CNS's job got a lot easier when Shenise Johnson, who led the Royal Comets to those three straight state titles, graduated. Johnson is now at the University of Miami, where she leads the team in both scoring and rebounding -- 13.0 points and 8.4 boards per game.

But the Northstars had its share of issues, none bigger than the fact that nine days had elapsed since its huge win over Corcoran on Dec. 4. The obvious concern was that CNS would be rusty and might take some time to get settled.

That didn't prove to be a problem, though. CNS grabbed a 14-8 lead by the end of the first quarter, then played on even terms until controlling the third period and building the margin to 39-28.

From beginning to end, any time Rush-Henrietta tried to go inside, Stewart was ready to turn them away. Her mere presence on both ends of the floor proved too much, as she augmented 21 points with 12 rebounds and 11 blocked shots, getting the triple-double she just missed against Corcoran.

Marybeth Egan's solid work in the backcourt kept the Royal Comets' defense from focusing on Stewart, as she had 12 points and rarely turned the ball over. Brittany Paul added seven points. Bernadette Davis led Rush-Henrietta with 12 points.

At 3-0 on the season, the Northstars visited Auburn on Tuesday and comes back home Friday to take on Henninger.

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