Each of Solvay's basketball teams want winning marks in 2009-10, but both of them got off to rough starts.
The girls Bearcats, s trying to bounce back from last year's 9-12 mark, met Bishop Ludden last Thursday night. And the Gaelic Knights toppled the Bearcats 60-34 in a game where the first two minutes proved decisive.
That's how long it took the Gaelic Knights to bolt out to an 11-0 lead. Michelle Roesch hit two free throws, Ashley Cianfriglia connected on a 3-pointer, Natalie Barletta sank two foul shots and Bella Knapp connected on her own 3-pointer before sinking a free throw -- all in a span of less than 90 seconds.
Solvay would spend the rest of the night trying to catch up, and it only got as close as 16-12 late in the first quarter before a Cianfriglia lay-up and a 3-pointer from Roesch as the buzzer sounded.
Mostly, Ludden nursed that margin over the next two periods even as it cooled down on the offensive side. It held Solvay's star forward, Tessa Pucello, to just eight points, something that guard Cierra Garner (12 points) and 6-foot forward Abbey Jones (10 points) could not make up for on their own.
At one point in the second half, the Gaelic Knights held the Bearcats without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes, which allowed for the getaway. Roesch finished with 17 points as Cianfriglia put up 14 points.
On the boys end, the Bearcats (6-16 a season ago) opened last Wednesday night against Bishop Grimes, taking a 75-55 loss to the Cobras.
For much of the game, Solvay did play on even terms with Grimes. Dan Aiello punched in 15 points, while R.J. Lostumbo gained 11 points. Chuck St. Andrew hit a pair of 3-pointers on his way to nine points as T.J. Fazio got seven points.
However, Grimes capitalized on a quick start, putting the Bearcats in a 23-6 hole in the first quarter and cruising the rest of the way behind junior star Mike Stone, who poured in 29 points.
Both Solvay teams have games this week against Marcellus and Westhill.