Jan 14, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
True, the Cicero-North Syracuse knew a rough ride awaited them at home last Friday night when it met Corcoran, a team fresh off crushing a solid Rome Free Academy team by 42 (82-40) earlier in the week.
Yet few thought the Northstars’ 10-game win streak would crash to a halt.
The Cougars pulled it off, though, relying on a sound game plan and clutch shooting to drag the game to overtime, where it ended up beating CNS in a 60-58 thriller.
It started slow on both ends, as the Northstars and Cougars played to a 14-14 first-half draw. What was ominous, though, was that (1) CNS was having difficulty hitting the outside shots it relies on, and (2) its 6-2 center, eighth-grader Breanna Stewart, was getting into foul trouble.
Corcoran took advantage of this as the pace quickened in the third period, seizing a 36-31 lead, but CNS made a big comeback in the fourth quarter, quickly going back in front.
Stewart, who had just four points, fouled out with 2:15 left in regulation. Still, the Northstars persevered, and when Morgan Nandin hit a pair of free throws with 10.5 seconds left, it still led 52-49. Only a great shot could keep the Cougars alive.
Which is exactly what Brittini Ray did, banking a 3-pointer off the glass through the net with 2.1 seconds left, shocking the CNS home crowd and, at 52-52, forcing overtime, the first time the Northstars had faced it this season.
Without Stewart, and having not undergone much pressure in building its 10-game win streak (most of them were one-sided wins), the Northstars watched as baskets by Ray (another banked-in 3-pointer) and Akebulynn Stephens put Corcoran ahead to stay.
Through it all, Nicole Dwyer led CNS with 19 points, with Marybeth Egan (12 points) and Nandin (11 points) both climbing into double figures, too. Shannon Hickin had eight points. Ray led Corcoran with 19 points, while her teammate, Irene Hudson, poured in 13 points.
The Northstars, now the no. 11 team in the state Class AA rankings, had run the win streak to 10 last Tuesday night, when it went to Central Square and took down the Red Hawks 63-40.
For a while, the game was a mystery. CNS held Central Square to just four points in the first quarter, only to see the Red Hawks get hot in the second period, slashing the Northstars’ lead to 27-24 by the break.
Adjusting on the defensive side, the Northstars held Central Square to just 16 points the rest of the way and pulled clear. Central Square’s all-time leading scorer, Katie Hart, had just eight points on the night.
Dwyer hit on three 3-pointers and finished with 20 points overall. Egan stayed consistent, with 13 points, as Nandin added 10 points. Stewart, Ashley Waldron and Jessica Misiaszek earned six points apiece.
Even with the Corcoran defeat, CNS had a record of 12-2 which it takes into Tuesday’s game at West Genesee, a prelude to Friday’s visit from Fayetteville-Manlius.