Knowing that it needed to win every game down the stretch to reach the Section III Class A playoffs, the Chittenango boys basketball team gave it a real try.
Hosting Mexico last Tuesday night, the Bears had a near-perfect start to each half, which made the difference in a 54-40 victory over the Tigers.
Strong on the defensive side, Chittenango (6-10) held Mexico in check as it bolted to a 17-4 lead. The Tigers turned it around in the second quarter, closing within 24-21, but the Bears reclaimed control with a 15-6 push through the third period.
All the while, Mike Scott drew attention, as his 23 points included nine successful free throws. Devin Christopher had 12 points, while Cavanaugh Chaires and Brendan Galek earned six points apiece. Pat Twiss led Mexico with 11 points.
As this went on, the Chittenango girls team went to Mexico and found success, beating the Tigers 39-34 to improve its mark to 5-10.
A 16-11 sprint through an active first quarter would prove important. Throughout the rest of the game, Mexico did a solid job of containment, but could not sustain a scoring run as the Bears kept answering whenever it needed to.
Kaitlin Antelmi, with 11 points, led a three-pronged attack where Alanna Haynes hit 10 points and Emily Baker hit a trio of 3-pointer to account for all of her nine points. No Mexico player scored in double figures.