True, the Baldwinsville girls basketball team scraped out a third-place effort from last week's Vince Celi Memorial Tournament at East Syracuse-Minoa - but it nearly was a lot better.
The Bees, in fact, led unbeaten Class A contender Whitesboro with less than two minutes to play in Monday's opening round, but could not hold on, taking a 54-48 loss to the Warriors.
From the time the game tipped off, it proved close and physical. Having not played in 13 days, B'ville took a while to get its offense settled - but in the meantime, it held Whitesboro without a field goal in the first quarter and led 6-2.
Things changed in the second period, each side making runs before going to the break in a 19-19 deadlock. In a back-and-forth third quarter, the lead switched hands 10 times, but the Bees sneaked in front 36-35 with one period left.
No one could get away, the margin never more than three points much of the final period as Maggie Monnat used a trio of free throws to push the Bees back in front 48-46 with less than two minutes left.
But Francesca Coutroupe made the big shots down the stretch, the Whitesboro senior hitting a jumper with 1:22 left to tie it, then a lay-up with 43 seconds left to push the Warriors ahead for good. Claire and Maggie Monnat both missed on late shot attempts, and Allie Cady's free throws with 18.8 seconds to play settled it.
Maggie had a season-best total of 18 points, much of them in the second half, as Claire settled for eight points, below her season average. Andrea Moore had nine points and Liz Giromini, despite some foul trouble, had six points. Coutroupe finished with 21 points tolead both sides as Cady contributed 16 points.