If the Liverpool girls basketball team can survive battles with a pair of quality Class AA foes, it can post a significant challenge to Cicero-North Syracuse atop the CNY Counties League standings.
Step one was taken last Tuesday night, in Camillus, where the Warriors forced a long Wildcat scoring drought and used its star power down the stretch to beat the Wildcats 45-38.
Little went right at the start, as WG played air-tight defense, making Liverpool uncomfortable as it fell behind and watched Tyler Ash go through much of the first half without a basket.
But after Alyssa Sutherland's jumper made it 15-7, Liverpool did not let the Wildcats score again for nearly 10 minutes. Relentless Warrior pressure forced WG into bad passes, errant shots and a host of turnovers that turned the game around.
Charging at the end of the half, Liverpool inched in front, 16-15, just before the break and kept it up throughout the third quarter, a 22-4 run that produced a 29-19 lead late in the third period.
WG refused to go away, whittling the deficit to 31-28 in the fourth quarter, but Ash took over. She scored her team's final eight points, including four successful free throws, giving her 19 points for the night.
Sharon Dennis worked hard for her 10 points, as Harmony Cross and Jordan Miller finished with six points apiece. WG, in defeat, got 13 points from Alyssa Sutherland and 11 points from Liz Wierbinski.
This battle will continue Friday night, when the Warriors host Fayetteville-Manlius.