Continuing a strong late-season push, the Fayetteville-Manlius girls basketball team won on back-to-back nights during last weekend's Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament at Paul V. Moore High School in Central Square.
In the first half of the tournament, the Hornets faced Bishop Ludden, blowing a fourth-quarter lead and getting dragged to overtime before beating the Gaelic Knights 59-53.
F-M seemed to have picked a good time to deal with Ludden, a prime Class B title contender who had just gone through a hard-fought 47-46 defeat to Cazenovia just two nights before. And when it jumped out to a 14-3 lead, the Hornets looked to be in fine shape.
But Ludden hung close through the next two periods, then caught fire in the fourth quarter behind the hot shooting of Ashley Cianfriglia, whose 3-pointers helped close the gap.
Still ahead, 51-48, as regulation time ran out, F-M did everything it could to prevent another Cianfriglia 3-pointer, but the sophomore still got off a shot before time ran out -- and converted.
Now facing overtime, the Hornets went back in front with a Torie Lee 3-pointer and would not get caught, holding Ludden to just two points in that four-minute extra period.
Lee finished with 20 points, with Emily Trapani continuing her big late-season push as she earned 16 points. Katie Sager had eight points and Morgan Axenfeld added six points. Cianfriglia finished with 24 points, including five 3-pointers.
A day later, the Hornets faced Liverpool. And though the Warriors made a late push to close the gap, F-M still won by a score of 57-51.
With a steady, fast-paced attack, the Hornets worked its way to a 32-27 halftime advantage, then doubled the margin by holding Liverpool to just six points in the third quarter.
Fending off the Warriors' late push, F-M again turned to Trapani, as she worked inside for 20 points. Lee provided the balance, earning 19 points, while Liz Towne stepped up for nine points. Liverpool had Cara Scalisi earn 16 points and Nina Tassone add 13 points.
F-M comes back to Central Square this Friday after a Tuesday trip to Henninger, a chance to improve upon a 14-4 mark and gain a high seed for the Section III Class AA playoffs that start this week.