The last time the Liverpool girls basketball team was on the same court with Oswego, it was celebrating the 2007 Section III Class AA title it had just won.
Now that they were back together, the Warriors and Buccaneers waged another tough battle last Friday night -- and it came down to free throws.
By sinking enough of them, Oswego thwarted Liverpool's late comeback attempt and ended the Warriors' six-game win streak in a 50-42 decision.
Not only did Liverpool have a hot run going, so did Oswego, as it had shaken off a 3-3 start to register seven wins in a row prior to the reunion with the Warriors.
As the game started, Liverpool unveiled a zone defense, expressly designed to keep Oswego's pair of tough forwards, Cari Reed and Nikki Carroll, from getting too comfortable in the paint.
It didn't quite work. Reed still finished with 20 points, joining teammate Kristina Licatese (eight points) as they both connected on a pair of 3-point field goals. Carroll, meanwhile, still pulled down 13 rebounds to make up for managing just seven points.
All this pounding allowed Oswego to build a double-digit lead, eventually going to 32-21 by the close of the third quarter.
Desperate to catch up, Liverpool went man-to-man on defense and started fouling. Of the 22 free throws the Bucs took in this game, 18 of them were in the fourth quarter, and Oswego converted 14.
Tyler Ash led the rally attempt, finishing with 18 points, 11 of them coming in that frantic final-period push. Ally Zywicki got all nine of her points from a trio of successful 3-pointers, while Jessica Stagnitta had six points. Oswego's defense held Sharon Dennis to just four points, well below her average.
Just getting to Oswego was challenging enough. In last Tuesday's game against 4-9 Utica Proctor, the Warriors did not play sound defense, yet still had enough to beat the Raiders 70-61.