Even while sporting an eight-game win streak and the confidence of a defending Section III Class AA champion, the Corcoran girls basketball team still had some unfinished business to handle.
Back on Dec. 4, in the opening week of the regular season, the Cougars had taken a hit at Cicero-North Syracuse, a 55-49 defeat where it did not make a single 3-pointer and could not figure out a way to deal with the Northstars' talented freshman center, Breanna Stewart.
So Corcoran was quite eager to see CNS again, this time on its home floor Friday night. Here, a few perimeter shots did fall, and everything else seemed to click, too, leading to a 67-48 victory over the previously undefeated, state no. 9-ranked Northstars.
In the month since that first meeting, Corcoran's own star center, Irene Hudson, had blossomed into a star, so she was ready to get a second shot at Stewart.
As far as that went, Hudson stood up tall, matching Stewart's total of 22 points and doubling her rebound total, 12 to Stewart's six, though Stewart also had six blocks and three steals.
Where the game got decided was on the perimeter. Here, Corcoran clearly had an edge, especially on the defensive front.
Teammates Brittini Ray and Ayanna Bradley honed in on Marybeth Egan, the CNS senior guard who averages 15 points a game. Bothering Egan all night, Ray and Bradley held her to a scant two points, her lowest total of the season.
As a whole, the Northstars made just two 3-pointers, while Corcoran made five of 16 -- not a big showing, but still vastly better than the drought of the first meeting.
That defense held CNS to just seven points in the first quarter, allowing the Cougars to take a lead it never relinquished. Especially in the second half, Corcoran drew clear, outscoring the Northstars 39-27.