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Mustangs beat Wildcats for third place

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.

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