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Boys Bearcats denied by Marcellus; girls prevail

For the second time in three nights, the Solvay boys basketball team got to the brink of a big surprise.

Following its close call with Hannibal, the Bearcats went to Marcellus Wednesday night, Solvay again had a chance at the wire -- and again fell just short, falling to Marcellus 56-54.

A poor second quarter left the Bearcats down, 35-22, going into the break. But Solvay made up most of the defict in the third quarter and kept eating away at the margins until it tied the game, 54-54, as regulation time wound down.

All Solvay needed was one more defensive stop to force overtime -- but Will Nolan hit a short jumper to break the tie, and the Bearcats could not answer.

Lucio hit five 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 21 points, leading the comeback. Aiello had 11 points and Surrey added 10 points. Nolan led the Mustangs with 17 points, with Scott Cotter (15 points) close behind.

As this was going on, Solvay's girls team, who lost to Marcellus on Tuesday night, went to Hannibal Wednesday and got many more players involved in the offense, leading to a 54-36 victory over the Warriors.

Each side struggled for any kind of offense early, but it was Solvay perking up first and inching in front over the game's middle stages. More than half the Bearcats' points came in the fourth quarter, when it hit a long series of free throws and outscored Hannibal 28-15.

For once, Tessa Pucello, who had 16 points, didn't have to shoulder most of the offensive burden. Amanda Bigness earned 12 points, as Liz Martinez threw in 11 points. Cierra Garner (eight points) and Kelsey Balcer (six points) both emerged as new scoring options.

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