Wildcats split basketball battles with B'ville

In separate venues Tuesday night, West Genesee's pair of basketball teams emerged with a mixed verdict in closely-fought games against Baldwinsville.

Up at the Baker High School gymnasium, the Wildcats blew a 20-point second-half lead, only to gain it all back in a wild overtime period to beat the Bees 87-71 and improve to 2-2 on the season.

Meanwhile, back in Camillus, the girls Wildcats could not make anything happen down the stretch, allowing B'ville to escape with a 39-36 win.

WG expected success on the boys side, despite its modest start, for it was well-rested in comparison to B'ville, who had just lost to Central Square the night before in the consolation game of the Fulton Savings Bank Tournament.

Sure enough, the Wildcats dominated the first half, especially in a 23-11 second quarter, and had a 47-27 edge early in the third quarter. At that point, the only question seemed to be what the final margin would be.

That became moot after B'ville, switching defenses and forcing a rash of WG turnovers, closed the period on a 16-6 run to slice the deficit in half. That surge continued into the fourth quarter as, down 65-57, B'ville reeled off eight unanswered points and caused a 65-65 tie.

With 40 seconds left, Corey Herrington hit two free throws, temporarily putting the Wildcats back in front 67-65. Just as it was about to survive, though, a Kevin Roy steal led to a Chris Thayer basket on the other end and, at 67-67, the teams went to four minutes of overtime.

Only in the OT did the Wildcats settle down, as Brian Burns' 3-pointer and Tyler Carr's three-point play restored the lead. Then, with the score 77-71, B'ville's protest over a foul led to two technical fouls and five converted free throws that settled the outcome.

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