A fast start and a growing reputation has placed the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball team at no. 4 in the state Class AA rankings.
And the Northstars continued to back up those lofty expectations by winning its division at last weekend's New York Invitational at South Shore High School in Brooklyn.
CNS began play on Saturday against Bishop Kearney, from the Section V ranks. The Northstars handled Kearney, 62-47, using a 14-6 run in the second quarter to take command and not looking back as, inside and outside, CNS found answers.
Marybeth Egan got open often for her outside shots, and constantly hit them on her way to a season-best 23 points. And Breanna Stewart earned her second triple-double of the season, backing up her 18 points with 13 rebounds and 11 blocks.
Two days later, CNS took on Grant Street and, once again, used its potent inside-outside duo to hammer its way to a 70-55 victory.
By outscoring Grant Street 42-25 in the second and third periods, the Northstars took control. Both Egan and Stewart drove the engine, finishing with 22 points apiece as Egan put home three more 3-pointers. Brittany Denslow came off the bench to earn 10 points, too.
Prior to this, CNS rolled through lastTuesday's game against Henninger, racing to a 63-38 victory over the Black Knights.
On its way to a sixth consecutive victory, CNS took charge right away, with a sharp and diverse attack that baffled Henninger throughout the first half.
By halftime, the margin was 37-16, and the Northstars nursed that lead the rest of the way. Egan had 15 points, most of it from a trio of successful 3-pointers, while Stewart and Kelsey Mattice got 13 points apiece. Ashley Waldron added eight points.
Now 8-0 following its work in Brooklyn, CNS roared into 2009 and will look for nine in a row next Tuesday against Central Square before a big battle with defending Class AA champion Corcoran (whom it beat earlier this season) on Jan. 9.