Northstars' win streak ended by Corcoran in OT

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.

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