Dec 30, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
The whole plan for the Marcellus and West Genesee boys basketball teams was to face each other during the Mustangs’ annual holiday tournament — but not in the manner in which they ultimately got together.
Instead of dueling for the first-place trophy, the Mustangs and Wildcats ended up playing for third place in Tuesday night’s consolation game — and Marcellus, breaking a brief two-game skid, would survive overtime to prevail by a score of 67-59.
Without guard Will Nolan, the Mustangs had lost back-to-back games, but his absence did not keep the hosts from continuing WG’s early-season woes.
It wasn’t easy, though. Marcellus led, 19-6, through one period, and that margin remained steady until a third-quarter Mustang drought (just six points) allowed WG to pull within range.
Staying on the offensive, the Wildcats then outscored Marcellus 19-13 in the fourth quarter, forcing overtime at 53-53 before the Mustangs regrouped and reclaimed control in the four-minute OT session.
Will Fiacchi had 21 points, while Mike Fox hit on four 3-pointers as he set a career mark with 20 points. Steve Raven earned 11 points, with Kyle Hastings (eight points) and Luke McNaney (six points) getting the rest of the field goals.
WG, who fell to 2-5 on the season, saw Eric Spencer lead the second-half rally, finishing with 17 points, while Nick Wood got 12 points. Corey Herrington had eight points as Matt Naton and Colin Monroe earned six points apiece.
All this was set up by the events of the opening round a night earlier. Marcellus took a surprising 60-53 loss to Rome Free Academy, while West Genesee could not keep up with Fulton in a 69-52 defeat.
RFA had not won yet this season, but it led from the start, holding Marcellus (still playing without Nolan) to a scant eight points in the first quarter. Even when the Mustangs’ attack began to stir in the second period, it still trailed 29-22 at the break.
Gaining more confidence as the night went along, the Black Knights’ margin grew to 47-35 and it proved too much for the Mustangs to overcome despite a late surge.
Raven led Marcellus with 17 points, including all three of his team’s 3-pointers. Fiacchi had 14 points, while Niko Wagner got eight points and Hastings had seven points. Jerry Howard (16 points) and Tim Abone (14 points) led RFA’s winning effort.
Earlier that night, WG suffered its own poor start against Fulton, falling behind 23-12 in the first quarter. The Wildcats closed within 32-26 by halftime, but the Red Raiders gradually drew clear, especially in the fourth quarter.
WG saw Wood finish with 16 points and Spencer add 14 points, with Monroe putting up eight points. For Fulton, Max Ambuske led the way with 19 points as Jeff Crofoot (13 points) and Andrew Kush (11 points) also hit double figures.
In the tournament finals, Fulton beat RFA 66-48, Crofoot earning 16 points to lead the Red Raiders to the first-place trophy.
As the Wildcats prepare for games against Corcoran and Rome Free Academy next week, Marcellus (6-4) takes a 14-day break, not returning until Jan. 12, when it plays at Phoenix.