Dec 29, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
For two days early last week at East Syracuse-Minoa, eight basketball teams – four girls, four boys – sought top honors at the annual Vince Celi Memorial Tournament.
And it was the girls Spartans enjoying the best finish, reaching the championship round before falling to Whitesboro 67-51, while the boys Spartans used a buzzer-beater from Ryan Dadey to salvage a third-place finish.
ESM’s girls met Auburn in last Monday’s opening round and used a big push late in the first half to work its way to a 58-41 victory over the Maroons.
During the second quarter, the Spartans (wearing pink jerseys to support Coaches vs. Cancer) went on a 13-2 run, and though Auburn closed to 30-22 at halftime, it could not keep ESM from reclaiming its double-digit margin in the late going.
Inside, Gabby Eure secured 19 points, and Auburn couldn’t concentrate on her because Olivia Luciani was working her way to 14 points. Auburn’s Anna Giannone led her side with 18 points.
Now the Spartans faced Whitesboro, who used a game-ending 8-0 run to rally past previously unbeaten Baldwinsville 54-48 and improve its own mark to 6-0.
It did not take long for ESM to find some trouble, as Whitesboro roared to an 18-8 first-quarter lead. The Spartans did settle down for a time, but Whitesboro used 23 points in the third quarter to pull away.
Luciani, with 15 points, and Eure, with 13 points, again had strong outings, but Whitesboro’s senior duo of Allie Cady and Francesca Coutroupe topped them, as Cady earned 22 points and Coutroupe added 17 points. B’ville rolled past Auburn 47-23 in the consolation game.
ESM’s boys could not make it out of the opening round against Mexico, a close affair that finally turned in the Tigers’ favor during the fourth quarter of a 61-56 defeat.
Trailing 13-12 after one period, the Spartans appeared to find its rhythm in a 23-point second-quarter blitz that produced a 35-29 lead. Just as quickly, though, ESM went cold, managing just seven points in the third period as Mexico slowed it down and pulled even, 42-42.
Then, led by Patrick Twiss (20 points) and Josh Hutchinson (17 points), Mexico went in front late. ESM, in defeat, saw Joe Greco (13 points), Sharif Nero (12 points) and Josh Stuper (10 points) each hit double figures. Ryan Dadey added six points.
So in Tuesday’s consolation game, ESM met Baldwinsville, who had lost 70-66 to Auburn after leading by as much as nine in the third quarter, victimized by the Maroons’ Nick Granato getting 28 of his 32 points in the second half.
And in the most exciting way possible, ESM prevailed 70-68, as Ryan Dadey hit a corner baseline jump shot at the buzzer.
ESM squandered double-digit leads in both the first and third periods, and as time wound down the Spartans trailed, 68-66, needing a big play to pull even.
And it came from Stuper, who drove to the basket and hit a running shot with 18.6 seconds left, tying it 68-68. Fired up by this, ESM’s defense forced a B’ville turnover and, with 7.9 seconds to play, got a chance to win it.
Greco, who had all 14 of his points in the first half, flashed open and took a jump shot with three seconds left. The ball careened off the rim to the left corner, where Dadey was waiting and, in one motion, Dadey unleashed a jumper that swished at the buzzer.
Stuper finished with 17 points, while Nero matched Greco with 14 points. Matt Placito had eight points and Casey Sullivan contributed six points.
In the final that followed, Auburn defeated Mexico 50-46, with Granato continuing his tear with 33 points as he easily garnered tournament MVP honors.
All tournament proceeds, which included donations at the door, team-specific T-shirts and raffles, went to benefit the More Than A Game Foundation.