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Last-second shot lifts Spartans past Fulton

Though down by one in overtime of Friday night's game, the East Syracuse-Minoa boys basketball team still had a chance to knock off Fulton.

And Quadear Mike seized that opportunity, as his basket before the buzzer allowed the Spartans to beat the Red Raiders 78-77 and move up to the .500 mark (3-3) for the season.

This game had all kinds of excitement before Mike won it. ESM led, 16-14, through one period, but managed just eight points in the second quarter as Fulton seized a 30-24 edge.

Gradually, the pace picked up - and with it, the Spartans began to eat away at that deficit, led by center Greg Lothridge, who set a new career mark with 22 points, and Greg Raab, who added 21 points, most of it from four 3-pointers.

ESM tied it, 65-65, and forced four minutes of overtime. The wild exchange continued throughout that extra period until, trailing 77-76, ESM got its shot at the win.

Mike already had 15 points on the night (the same as Sharif Nero), and with the seconds ticking down, he dribbled through the Fulton defenders and saw his running shot find the net as the clock hit zero.

Fulton saw Andrew Kush pick up 21 points, with Max Ambuske (20 points) and Jeff Crofoot (18 points) close behind.

It proved to be a great night for both of ESM's teams, as the girls Spartans went to Fulton and also improved to 3-3, dominating the Red Raiders in a 61-19 rout.

Even with a 23-7 start, the Spartans had some doubts until a third quarter where it blanked Fulton and put up 18 unanswered points. In fact, the Red Raiders had just a single field goal for the entire second half.

Mallory Buckley, with 16 points, was one of four ESM players to score in double figures. Chelsea Medler had 14 points, while Oilvia Luciani earned 11 points and Alex Casella got 10 points.

Both ESM teams meet Homer on Tuesday before hosting the Vince Celi Memorial Tournament on Dec. 28 and 29.

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