Dec 11, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
One week, Liz Giromini was playing a key role in the Baldwinsville girls volleyball team’s run to a first-ever state Class AA championship. And a couple of weeks later, she brought her magic to the basketball court.
Giromini sank a shot from near half-court as the buzzer sounded in Friday night’s opening round of the Bill Middleton Tip-Off Tournament, giving the Bees a 39-37 victory over Rome Free Academy, and B’ville would go on to fight past West Genesee 42-38 in Saturday’s final.
B’ville, who went 9-10 a season ago, is still a youthful squad. Head coach Kathy Morse has just one senior on her roster, and her five starters include four juniors – Giromini, Claire Monnat, Maggie Monnat and Drey Moore – plus sophomore Gabi Jordan.
Together, they went after RFA, but it proved quite a battle. Tied 9-9 after one period, Bv’ille watched as the Black Knights inch out in front in the game’s middle stages and take a 34-28 lead into the final period.
Only here did the Bees’ depth and relentless defensive pressure start to make a serious impact, as RFA managed just three points in those last eight minutes. Yet it nearly proved enough – until Giromini, who already had 10 points, saved the night.
With less than 10 seconds left, the Black Knights, up 37-36, missed a free throw, and Maggie Monnat chased down the rebound in the corner of the court. She had enough time to pass it to Jones, who threw it to Giromini.
All Giromini could do, with the clock running close to zero, was shoot from near the half-court line. It swished, and Giromini had won the game, mobbed by her teammates as B’ville moved on to the finals.
Less than 16 hours later, the Bees were facing West Genesee, who had far less drama defeating Henninger 48-28 in a first-round game where it led 18-2 after one quarter and cruised the rest of the way.
No one would have any breathing room in the final, though. Claire Monnat’s trio of 3-pointers helped the Bees move in front by as much as four in the second period, but she went to the bench with three fouls and WG pulled within one, 22-21, at the break.
The third quarter proved similar, as B’ville, pushed by Jordan (five of her 10 points came in this period), went up 29-23, only to see the Wildcats come back again, closing the period on a 9-1 run to seize a 32-30 lead.
Four times in the fourth quarter, the lead switched hands. Claire Monnat’s two free throws with 4:36 helped the Bees inch ahead for good, and for the rest of the way WG got just one field goal, B’ville’s defense again excelling in the homestretch.
Maggie Monnat’s free throw with seven seconds left sealed the title as her sister, Claire, who had 14 points in the final after getting 10 points against RFA, earned tournament MVP honors. Giromini also made the All-Tournament team, as did WG freshman Melissa Fumano, who led both sides with 15 points. RFA beat Henninger 46-36 in the consolation game.
B’ville will play Auburn on Tuesday, then head back to practice for nearly two weeks before resuming its season Dec. 27 and 28 at East Syracuse-Minoa’s Vince Celi Memorial Tournament, where it will play Class A contender Whitesboro in the first round.