Dec 11, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
True, Emily Trapani has departed – but the Fayetteville-Manlius girls basketball team has a lot of familiar faces back for the 2010-11 season, and has every intention to challenge for a Section III Class AA championship again.
The Hornets traveled the short distance across town and made an impressive season debut in the 20th annual Jamesville-DeWitt Tip-Off Tournament, beating Oswego 50-28 in the opening round and knocking off Massena 63-39 in Saturday night’s championship game.
In the last two seasons, F-M has reached the championship game (in 2009) and semifinals (in 2010). Both times, Breanna Stewart and Cicero-North Syracuse eliminated them on its way to back-to-back sectional titles.
Trapani, who topped 1,000 career points, did graduate, but head coach Scott DeForest returns every other starter, a core group that includes Alexis Rios, Bri Dolan, Ali Pliszka, Charlotte Beers and Kiley Shoemaker.
By stark contrast, J-D saw all five of its starters – Alyssa Gratien, Jessica Kramer, Nicole Ortega, Liz Beville and Theresa Hernandez – graduate from a 16-5 squad that reached the Class A semifinals before falling to eventual champion Cortland.
Events at the tournament reflected the state of the F-M and J-D programs. F-M first took on Oswego – a team that, like the Red Rams, had to replace its entire starting lineup. And those early jitters were evident as the Hornets held the Buccaneers to just four points in the first quarter and moved into a comfortable lead.
For a while, Oswego stayed within sight, but the Hornets’ defense only got more effective, at one point holding the Bucs without a field goal for more than 10 minutes as it moved out to a 41-15 lead late in the third quarter and cruised the rest of the way. Eleven different F-M players scored on this night as Shoemaker, with 11 points, and Rios, with 10 points, led the way.
Then J-D took the court against Massena in the other half of the opening round and took a 52-23 defeat to the Red Raiders.
For one period, J-D held up as it took a 12-9 lead. But the visiting Red Raiders reeled off 15 unanswered points in the second quarter, moving ahead for good and eventually going on a 35-5 run that stretched deep into the second half. Kayleigh Cavanaugh led the Rams with just seven points.
Forced into Saturday’s consolation game against Oswego, J-D lost again, this time in a 41-33 decision where, again, the middle stages proved decisive.
Ahead 6-4 going into the second quarter, the Rams watched as the Bucs took off on a 30-15 surge that covered two full periods. Arriell Mussi, in defeat, produced nine points for J-D as Cavanaugh earned eight points and Cydney Goodrum earned six points.
Then F-M took the court for the final against Massena, and quickly set a brisk pace, taking a 17-12 lead. Then it really put the Red Raiders away as it outscored them 20-9 in the second quarter, then kept adding to the margin in the second half.
Pliszka, in particular, broke out, casting aside her quiet showing against Oswego to punish Massena with 20 points as she earned eight field goals, two of them 3-pointers. Close behind, Beers also had a big night, working inside for her 16 points as Shoemaker (nine points) and Rios (eight points) nearly joined them in double figures and Erica Assimon added six points.
East Syracuse-Minoa, 12-7 a season ago, made a weather-delayed debut on Saturday and beat Chittenango 42-35. Trailing 11-6 after one period, the Spartans gradually made up that deficit, then took charge in the fourth quarter when it outscored the Bears 18-12.
Gabby Eure stood out in her varsity starting debut, leading ESM with 18 points, including eight successful free throws. Olivia Luciani, the only returning starter from 2009-10, had eight points, while Juile Maselli delivered seven points. No Chittenango player scored in double figures.
CBA, beginning life without all-time leading scorer Leanne Ockenden (now playing at Marist), went to the Lady Raider Classic and, in the first ground, gave host Utica Proctor a real scare before losing to the Raiders 64-59.
Held to six points in the first quarter, the Brothers spent the rest of the game trying to catch up, and nearly did in the final minutes. Ellen Voorheis picked up 23 points, including a trio of successful 3-pointers, while Marisa Romeo finished with 20 points. Proctor’s Brianna Kiesel, who is going to the University of Pittsburgh next year, led her side with 22 points.
On Sunday, CBA lost the consolation game to Greece Athena 61-53, though Romeo put up 16 points, Kelsey Johnson had 15 points and Voorheis (who made the All-Tournament team) added 10 points. Michelle Wiese got six points.
F-M and CBA both get to play next Friday and Saturday in Central Square’s Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament, with the host Red Hawks and Liverpool rounding out the field.