West Genesee's boys basketball team is still alive in the Section III Class AA playoffs, with a chance to knock off top seed and defending champion Henninger Friday night on the city's north side in the tournament quarterfinals.
WG gave itself a shot at Henninger by the hard work it did coming from behind in Tuesday night's opening round against no. 8 seed Nottingham.
By refusing to acknowledge the crisis situation and battling all the way back, the Wildcats defeated the Bulldogs 54-51.
They had met a week before, and Nottingham had won 41-36 -- but that had come with WG missing Jack Conboy, Joe Fazio and Eric Spencer from the lineup. They all were around for this more important encounter.
For a while, though, it didn't matter, for Nottingham raced out to an 18-7 lead. But WG quickly cast that aside and began to come back in the second quarter, closing within 26-20 by the time they reached the break.
Suddenly, shots started falling with regularity for the Wildcats in the third quarter, and the ensuing surge gave WG a 40-38 edge with one period left.
All through the stretch, Nottingham tried to win, but Greg Wadach's 3-pointers allowed the visitors to keep pace, and he also joined Conor Regin to hit crucial free throws in the last minute to produce victory.
Wadach led with 14 points, with Regin (11 points) and Conboy (10 points) also hitting double figures. Fazio earned nine points and Spencer added six points. Nottingham's Jowan Simmons led both sides with 15 points.
WG and Henninger will square off to see who faces Liverpool or Fayetteville-Manlius in next weekend's AA semifinal