All is in place now for the Cicero-North Syracuse basketball teams and their respective Friday-night showdowns with Corcoran.
To set that up, the Northstars both had to win their respective Tuesday-night games against Auburn - and they did so, with varying degrees of difficulty.
The CNS boys did not get tripped up, though it had to battle its way to a 62-51 road victory over the Maroons.
Through a back-and-forth first half, CNS led a good part of the time, but Auburn, despite its 5-9 mark, proved stubborn, and forged a 29-29 halftime tie.
It took patience and determination for the Northstars to inch ahead in the third quarter, and showing its newfound ability to close out opponents, CNS nearly doubled the Maroons' output in the final period.
Andy Falvey poured in 21 points, while Zach Coleman regained some of his mid-season magic by earning 15 points. Vaughndell Bradley earned six of his eight points at the free-throw line. Eric Munoz and Deyon Smith Jr. had five points apiece.
Back home, the CNS girls had a far different experience with Auburn, blasting past the Maroons 72-28.
Doing whatever it wanted on offense, CNS had a 26-10 advantage before the first quarter was done. And that margin kept growing as the night proceeded, to the point where nine of the 10 players that saw action got at least one field goal.
Breanna Stewart finished with 22 points, as Brittany Paul worked her way to 15 points and Kelsey Mattice added 11 points. Abbey Timpano had seven points, with Jamila Maxim having an impact as she got six points.
Both of these CNS-Corcoran games will have intrigue. On the girls side, the Northstars will try to figure out a multifaceted Cougar attack where Zephrah Pam, Carrie Blunt and Coriesha Hickey are each capable of getting 20 points on any night.
And in the boys game, both sides want to push the tempo, with Corcoran matching up its top forward, Algeron Torrence, against Falvey as guards Marsean Brown and Riley Stroman offer the primary support.