Feb 24, 2009 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Through an active opening week of the Section III boys basketball playoffs, all of the city’s teams took to the court — but just one kept going.
Henninger, the no. 1 seed and defending Class AA champions, had a real scare from no. 8 seed West Genesee in last Friday’s quarterfinal round, but rallied past the Wildcats 61-49.
Having played (and lost to) the Black Knights two weeks earlier, WG looked for payback. And with Joe Fazio producing a season-best 21 points, the Wildcats claimed a 30-25 lead by halftime and built the lead to as much as eight in the third quarter.
Sensing the danger, Henninger roared back, tying it 41-41 going into the final period, then clamping down on defense the rest of the way as it wore WG down.
From his point-guard position, Kihary Blue gained 20 points and 10 assists. Inside, Jermaine Taylor had 15 points, while Jon Cooper earned 10 points. James Bardenett picked up nine points.
This sends Henninger to Friday’s AA semifinal against no. 5 seed Fayetteville-Manlius, to be played at 7 p.m. at Le Moyne College. The Black Knights rallied to beat the Hornets 75-68 in overtime on Feb. 10. Whoever wins this game gets CBA or Utica Proctor for the AA title March 7 at Manley Field House.
As Henninger moved on, Corcoran left the playoff stage, the no. 3 seed Cougars losing at home to Proctor, the no. 6 seed, in a 65-58 decision.
Corcoran had started out fine, routing no. 14 seed Baldwinsville 75-43 in the opening round Feb. 17 as a 28-10 third-quarter spurt put that game away. Martino Barletta had 19 points, including five successful 3-pointers, while Dewon Bohannon had 12 points and Riley Stroman added 10 points. All 12 Corcoran players that saw action got at least one point.
Against Utica Proctor, a team that had won nine of 10 games coming in (including one over Corcoran), the Cougars did not start as well. Pushing the tempo, the Raiders scored 20 points in the second quarter and had its lead at 32-25 going into the break.
By the fourth quarter, Corcoran was behind 49-39, and pushed hard down the stretch. Forward Algeron Torrence earned 20 points, with Mike Stenson stepping up for 10 points and Bohannon adding eight points.
Still, Proctor held on, getting most of its fourth-quarter points from the foul line as it converted 14 of 15 free throws to hang on. Collis Maddox (16 points), T’Andre Richardson (15 points) and Walkery Mills (12 points) led the Raiders along.
Before West Genesee went to Henninger, it visited no. 8 seed Nottingham in the first round and eliminated the Bulldogs 54-51.
Nottingham roared out to an 18-7 lead, only to see WG make up that deficit over the course of the next two periods. Behind in the fourth quarter, Nottingham tried in vain to catch up, only to have the Wildcats hang on.
Jowan Simmons, with 15 points, led a three-pronged Bulldog attack where Devorn Kinsey had 13 points and Mabior Mayen contributed 11 points.
Over in Class A, Fowler would go 1-1 as the no. 9 seed, starting out Feb. 17 with a 47-37 win over no. 8 seed Bishop Ludden in the opening round.
Down 15-6 after one period, Fowler regrouped and, by the second half, was keeping the Gaelic Knights from doing anything. Ludden had just 12 total points in the second half, allowing the Falcons to pull in front and stay there.
Chris Gilkes worked inside and led the Falcons by putting home 21 points, while Malcolom Jones and Ron Monroe earned eight points apiece.
Fowler then met top seed and defending state champion Jamesville-DeWitt in last Friday’s quarterfinals. This came five weeks after the Falcons nearly upset the Red Rams, and J-D would not have star forward Alshwan Hymes in the lineup.
But that would not matter, as the Rams beat Fowler 85-60. A second-quarter surge pulled Fowler within five, 36-31, at halftime, but J-D used a 25-9 blitz in the third period to put the game away.
Monroe still had 16 points, with Gilkes adding 14 points and Tysheim Barfield getting 10 points. J-D had too much, though, as Syracuse University-bound senior Brandon Triche pounded out 34 points and Lamar Kearse added 19 points. DaJuan Coleman had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
In the opening round of the Class C-2 playoffs, Syracuse Academy of Science, the no. 10 seed, took a 58-47 loss to no. 7 seed Mohawk.