Dec 20, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Without a doubt, the Liverpool boys basketball team had tired of the habit of getting beat by Fayetteville-Manlius.
Trying to break that habit in the hostile atmosphere of the “Hornets Nest” Friday night, the Warriors were close to that goal – but a shooting barrage by F-M produced another defeat, this time by a score of 67-61.
Just 10 days earlier, Liverpool had lost to those same Hornets 52-43 on its home court – and, of course, it had lost to F-M in last year’s Section III Class AA quarterfinals.
No wonder F-M felt confident – and it blitzed the Warriors early, leaving the visitors down 23-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Still trailing by double digits, 36-25, at the half, Liverpool completely turned things around in the third quarter.
The Warriors picked up defensive pressure, holding F-M to six points. Meanwhile, Jesse Gates started converting all over the place, and the blitz didn’t stop until Liverpool had a 48-42 lead with one period to play.
By now, Liverpool was bent on keeping F-M junior Brian Zapisek from doing too much more. Zapisek was on his way to 23 points – and passing 1,000 points for his career, the fifth Hornets player to do so.
However, this concentration on Zapisek left his teammates open. Taking full advantage, Jack Giles and Mike O’Neil combined to his six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, allowing F-M to make the final – and winning – surge. Giles finished with 18 points, as O’Neil added 14 points.
Gates, in defeat, led both sides with 24 points. Connor Rogers had 10 points, with Cam Jones (eight points) and Adam Misener (six points) offering help.
As this went on, Liverpool’s girls team put up a tough fight against unbeaten F-M, only to take a 51-46 loss to the Hornets.
Without Ally Zywicki in the lineup, the Warriors still fought to a 14-11 first-quarter lead and hung close enough, tied 23-23 at the break.
F-M made its decisive move in the third quarter, outscoring Liverpool 17-10, and the Warriors could not make the sustained run it needed to win.
Nicole Ciricillo led both sides in scoring with 17 points. Nina Tassone had 13 points, with Shannon Seymour earning eight points and Lyteshia Price six points. Emily Trapani led F-M with 15 points.
Both Liverpool teams are going to tournaments during the holiday week. The boys Warriors play in the Dec. 27-28 Rosemary Corcoran Holiday Classic at Bishop Ludden, where head coach Jerry Wilcox led many championship teams in the 1970s and ’80s. Liverpool’s girls team will be in the Maine-Endwell Tournament on Dec. 28 and 29.