CBA girls hold off F-M, win tournament

It's quite possible that the Christian Brothers Academy and Fayetteville-Manlius girls basketball teams could meet at an important spot in the Section III Class AA playoffs a few weeks from now.

If so, then both sides could take something out of the Brothers' 52-43 win over the Hornets in Friday night's opening round of the Central Square Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament.

For CBA, it was a near-perfect first quarter, a 20-2 blitz that saw its defense suffocate the Hornets and Leanne Ockenden find her golden shooting touch.

For F-M, it was how the rest of the game turned out - a long, steep climb to reach the Brothers that nearly proved successful.

Try as it could, though, the Hornets could not fully erase the permanent mark of those first eight minutes.

Whether it was rushing shots or having the ball swiped away by various CBA defenders, F-M constantly found trouble, forcing head coach Scott DeForest to use three different time-outs to try and settle his players down.

The Brothers were all too glad to cause this consternation. It scored the game's first 14 points, 12 of them from either Ockenden or Ellen Voorheis. Then Ockenden punctuated the period with back-to-back 3-pointers.

F-M had to settle down if it wanted any chance - and it did, slowly eating away at CBA's huge lead in the second quarter as the tempo slowed down, which made the Hornets feel much more comfortable.

By halftime, it was 29-16, and though Ockenden, with 17 points, had outscored the entire F-M roster, she would struggle in the second half, giving the Hornets the opening it needed.

Late in the third quarter, CBA saw the lead shrink to seven, 33-26, before Ockenden hit a deep 3-pointer (her only field goal of the half) and Michelle Wiese, with the shot clock winding down, banked in a 3-pointer of her own to move the margin back to 39-26.

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