Dec 30, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Amid a spirit of high community support, both East Syracuse-Minoa basketball teams took to the court for the annual Vince Celi Memorial Tournament, named in honor of the late ESM boys basketball coach.
Neither Spartan squad would win in the opening round, though, as the ESM boys fell to Union-Endicott 63-51 and the girls Spartans lost to Baldwinsville 61-51.
Against a Class AA foe in Union-Endicott, the boys Spartans played on even terms in the first half, rallying from an early deficit to forge a 30-30 halftime tie.
The Tigers regained control, though, by outscoring ESM 21-11 in the third quarter. In defeat, Greg Raab led the Spartans with 13 points, while Sharif Nero earned 12 points. Steve Lothridge and Quadear Mike each had nine points. Tiberus Noelle (17 points) led four U-E players that scored in double figures.
As for the ESM girls, it engaged in a tense, tight battle against Baldwinsville. They were tied, 23-23, at halftime, and neither side gained a lead larger than four points until the fourth quarter, which the Spartans entered with a 39-35 lead.
Only in the last minutes did the Bees get away, helped in no small part by ESM’s foul trouble that caused stars like Chelsea Medler (12 points) and Becky Teschler (nine points) to go to the bench early. B’ville outscored ESM 26-12 in that last frame.
The Bees saw Claire Monnat hit on a pair of 3-pointers and get 10 of her 20 points at the free-throw line. Maggie Monnat added 15 points. Mallory Buckley and Alex Cassella each had eight points.
This put the two ESM teams into consolation games — the boys against Baldwinsville (who lost to Auburn 86-60), the girls against Auburn (who fell to Whitesboro 64-52).
On the boys side, the Spartans fell again, 75-63, as a close contest broke open late in the first half and ESM, despite a couple of runs, could not quite answer.
Nero led with 18 points, but no one on the Spartans could stop B’ville forward Chris Whalen, who set a new career mark with 29 points. Whalen’s teammate, Kevin Roy, added 18 points, 13 of them coming in the second half.
A few hours later, it turned out quite differently on the female side, as ESM smashed through Auburn’s defenses in a 77-46 romp.
Pushing the tempo from the opening tip, the Spartans dominated the first quarter, outscoring the Maroons 23-10, and didn’t let up. The defense took over in the third period, holding Auburn to four points as ESM got away.
Arnela Mesic set a new season mark with 19 points, with Buckley close behind as she got 16 points. Teschler and Olivia Luciani each had 10 points, while Danielle Russo earned seven points.
In the championship games, Union-Endicott won a 73-72 overtime thriller over Auburn for the boys title as Anthony McNeil hit the game-winning shot at the OT buzzer. Whitesboro fought past Baldwinsville 48-38 for the girls title as Allie Cady (21 points) took MVP honors for the Warriors.