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F-M girls hoops sweeps to title at Central Square

For the second time in as many weekends, the Fayetteville-Manlius girls basketball team brought home a tournament title - and all for a good cause.

The Hornets prevailed at this weekend's Traci Morey Zimmer Memorial Tournament at Central Square. Four teams - F-M, Christian Brothers Academy, Liverpool and the host Red Hawks - started the tournament, with the Hornets grabbing the crown and the Brothers finishing third.

This tournament, held at Central Square since 1999, is now named in honor of Traci Zimmer, a former Red Hawks player who recently passed away from cancer. To date, the tournament has raised more than $20,000 for Coaches vs. Cancer.

In the first round, F-M met Central Square, with the Hornets pulling out a big 60-38 win as Ali Pliszka poured in 17 points. Charlotte Beers and Alexis Rios both had 12 points, while Taylor DiVirgilio led the Red Hawks with 10 points.

The first quarter was tightly contested, as both teams had to work for open shots. F-M took a 13-11 lead, then turned up its defensive pressure in he second quarter. Kiley Shoemaker, a 6-foot junior, kept the post on lock as Central Square was forced to take contested jump shots.

That period also saw an offensive outburst for the Hornets as they scored 20 in the quarter and led 33-22 at the break. The third quarter saw most of the same as FM rolled to a 50-32 lead and coasted to the finish.

In the other part of the opening round, CBA and Liverpool played in a classic, down-to-the-wire game, with Liverpool squeaking out a 52-46 win. Nicole Ciricillo led the Warriors with 21 points, while Nina Tassone and Ally Zywicki both chipped in 11 points. Marisa Romeo led CBA with 15 points and Ellen Voorheis had 13 points.

The game was close throughout, as both teams executed their offenses as well as they could and found wide-open looks. After an exciting first quarter, the Brothers led 15-14.

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