Dec 16, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
A reduced schedule this winter (18 games, instead of 20 in years past) has led to some long gaps in the middle of the season, and the Cicero-North Syracuse boys basketball team has one of the longest.
Following the Northstar’s game against Henninger, it would not play for 14 days, resuming only at its own holiday tournament on Dec. 29.
And given the way things have started, one cannot blame CNS if it dreads this respite because, as of now, just about everything is going well.
In fact, the Northstars are 5-0, its opening surge capped off by a terrific home effort against Henninger Tuesday night that resulted in a 73-52 victory over the Black Knights.
Over the years, Henninger, in its role as one of Central New York’s most preeminent basketball programs, had positively tormented CNS, both in the regular season and playoffs.
But this winter, forced to replace five starters from its 2008-09 team that reached the Section III Class AA finals, the Black Knights had started 1-3. The Northstars, bent on reversing the one-sided course of this rivalry, would add to Henninger’s misery.
A fired-up CNS defense limited the Black Knights to just six points in the first quarter. And even when Henninger’s attack perked up in the second quarter, the Northstars took them apart on the other end, outscoring them 27-15 and extending its margin to 40-21.
CNS spent the rest of the game ably protecting that comfortable margin. Zach Coleman, in particular, had a great night, earning 22 points to lead both sides as he made Henninger pay for giving too much attention to Andy Falvey, who still had nine points.
Behind Coleman was a well-balanced attack where Josh Williams and Anthony DelCoro both poured in 10 points, with Falvey, Vaughndell Bradley, Eric Munoz (seven points each) and Deyon Smith Jr. (six points) also productive. Henninger’s Kavon Dalee, with 17 points, was the only player on his side to score in double figures.
The Henninger game followed, by one night, the Northstars moving to 4-0 by claiming the championship of the weather-delayed Fulton Savings Bank Tournament.
After crushing Central Square 81-38 in the opening, CNS found last Monday’s final against Oswego to be more of a headache, as it fought past the Buccaneers 75-68.
Not taking a clear lead until the midway point of the second quarter, the Northstars used a 10-1 run to seize control, but still allowed Oswego to hang around, only leading 31-26 at the half.
Early in the third quarter, a scramble for the ball near mid-court led to an exchange and a brief fight that caused Howell, who had nine points, to leave the game and, ultimately, miss the Henninger tilt a night later.
Fired up by this, CNS went on a 15-7 run and built its margin to 50-35. Still, it had to survive a wild, high-scoring fourth quarter and make a series of free throws down the stretch to ice it.
Falvey, with 19 points, and Coleman, got most of their production in the second half, while Williams (10 points) also hit double figures and Smith earned nine points. Bradley added six points. Oswego had four players in double figures — Mac Porter (16 points), Corey Galletta (13 points), Jake Metcalf and Joe Brown (12 points each).
As the CNS boys team was topping Henninger, the girls Northstars were on the city’s north side, dominating the Black Knights 71-28 to improve to 3-1 on the season.
A 28-6 first quarter set the tone for the rest of the night as every CNS player that saw action got at least two field goals. Breanna Stewart led with 15 points, with Cara Gannett setting a new career mark with 14 points and Brittany Paul adding 13 points. Megan Salle got nine points as Kelsey Mattice and Brittney Fedele earned six points apiece.