Reeling from an 0-2 start, the Fayetteville-Manlius boys basketball team had a quick chance to recover - but only got half the task accomplished.
The Hornets earned its first win of the season in Tuesday night's game against Rome Free Academy, exploding on the offensive side and racing past the Black Knights 84-50.
F-M ran from the opening tip, charging right through RFA's meager defenses on its way to a 45-29 halftime lead. Not content with that, the Hornets shored up its defense in the third quarter, outscoring the Black Knights 21-9 to put the game away.
For the third game in a row, John Schurman led the way, the freshman getting 21 points. Mike Palermo, with 17 points, was close behind as Conner Chen added 10 points and Matt DeFrancisco got eight points. Each of the 10 F-M players that saw game action got at least one field goal.
Just 24 hours later at Central Square, the Hornets were rolling toward back-to-back wins when, in the fourth quarter, it all fell apart in a 61-56 defeat to the Red Hawks.
Here, F-M led 23-15 through one period, and even though that scoring pace could not be maintained, it still kept a comfortable margin through the next two periods.
All of a sudden, though, the Hornets, playing its fourth game in six days, went cold in the fourth quarter. And Central Square, getting big baskets from Brandon Kerr (whose 18 points included four 3-pointers) and Tom Turner (12 points), went on a 19-6 run to pull it out.
Palermo, in defeat, had 14 points, while Schurman picked up 13 points, his fourth straight outing in double figures. Sophomore Tomer Nesher added 11 points as Kevin Putnam got eight points.
F-M (1-3) now heads to the Cicero-North Syracuse Holiday Tournament, where in the first round next Wednesday it will face Ithaca, then play Bishop Grimes or the host Northstars.