Dec 09, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
When the Chittenango boys basketball team lost back-to-back games to Jamesville-DeWitt and East Syracuse-Minoa to open the season, fans had to wonder when, or if, the winning would resume.
They would not have to wait long.
Hosting Fulton Tuesday night, the Bears used strong defense to take charge in the early going, then held on at the end to beat the Red Raiders 53-48.
Chittenango’s pressure was constant from the opening tip, as it masked continued offensive struggles. In each of the first three periods, the Bears held Fulton under 10 points, allowing a 34-24 margin to build by the time the fourth quarter started.
Only then did the Red Raiders start to make baskets on a regular basis — but Chittenango, through key free throws from Brendan Galek and Devin Christopher, held on.
Galek, with 14 points, finished just behind Mike Scott, who led the Bears with 15 points. Christopher contributed nine points, with Mike Moon (eight points) and Steve Mesmer (six points) close behind. Max Ambuske led Fulton with 19 points.
The Bears would get two wins in a row Friday, at Homer, where it played strong defense throughout a 55-42 victory over the Trojans.
All Homer could manage in the first half was 14 points. That helped Chittenango to a double-digit lead, even if its own offense remained modest and a lot of free throws were needed down the stretch.
Between them, Galek, Christopher, Moon and Cavanaugh Chaires hit on 19 total foul shots, as Galek led with 14 points and Chaires joined Scott with 11 points. Christopher had 10 points.
As this went on, the Chittenango girls team lost a pair of contests.
First, the Bears fell to Fulton 49-40. No doubt, the hosts were in an inspired mood, playing in purple jerseys (instead of white and red) to honor the father of team member Aly Morzo, who passed away of pancreatic cancer.
The Red Raiders put the Bears in a 25-17 halftime deficit, and though Chittenango would make a third-quarter push and cut into that margin, Fulton would stay in front.
Sierra Shafer, with 12 points, and Kaitlin Antelmi, with 10 points, both reached double figures as Emily Baker added six points. Fulton had a three-pronged attack where Sammi Stowell got 12 points, Alicia Vann 11 points and Ashley Palmitesso 10 points.
Trying to turn it around against Homer Friday night, the Bears nearly did so, but lost a tough 45-42 decision to the Trojans.
Chittenango saw its 15-11 lead disappear as Homer staged a 13-2 second-quarter blitz. Down 24-17 at the break, the Bears fought back, especially in the fourth quarter, and had numerous chances to catch up before seeing missed free throws make the difference.
Kaley Landers stepped up on this night, earning 14 points, while Shafer got 13 points and Antelmi gained 11 points. Carissa Cornwell led a balanced Homer attack with 12 points.
Both of Chittenango’s basketball teams will play Mexico on Friday after the boys Bears host Bishop Ludden on Tuesday night.