J-E hoops sweeps to holiday titles

Each of Jordan-Elbridge's basketball teams made trips to Oswego County early last week for simultaneous holiday tournaments -- and each would enjoy the experience.

In particular, the J-E girls completed a memorable December, improving to 7-1 by sweeping through the Hannibal Holiday Tournament.

The Eagles first confronted unbeaten (6-0) Tully in Monday's opening round. With a little more depth and balance, J-E beat the Black Knights 51-43.

Each side made a first-half run. The Eagles went first, bolting ahead 15-7, but Tully had a strong answer in the second quarter, nearly doubling J-E's output and sneaking into a 26-25 lead at the break.

Making the right defensive adjustments, the Eagles held the Black Knights to seven points in the third period, reclaimed the lead, and stayed there despite Jenna Johnson giving Tully 21 points and her teammate, Jesslyn Doody, adding 17 points.

To counter, J-E had four players hit double figures. Natalie Andrianos, with 14 points, led the way, but Liz Caspari was close behind as she got 13 points. Kali Davis and Molly Hourigan each finished with 10 points.

In the finals on Tuesday, the Eagles met Phoenix, who had edged host Hannibal 53-47 in the other half of the opening round.

Though it proved close, J-E made it seven wins in a row, fighting past the Firebirds 55-48. All through a low-scoring first half, the two sides swapped the lead, but the Eagles inched in front 19-18 just before the break.

As it has done throughout its win streak, J-E took control in the second half, excelling in all phases of the game, especially in a 19-8 third-quarter push that proved decisive.

Caspari would lead the surge, finishing with 20 points as she snagged tournament MVP honors. Andrianos and Davis helped with 12 points apiece, while Wheeler picked up seven points. Sarah Bregg, in defeat, paced Phoenix with 18 points.

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