Feb 13, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Emotions are always high on Senior Night, and they can either spin out of control, or be used as a potent weapon to take down an opponent – especially if that foe is held in high regard.
In the case of the Fayetteville-Manlius boys basketball team, it was pure inspiration being translated into high success during Friday night’s 80-72 victory over Corcoran.
By moving to 14-4 on the season, the Hornets not only grabbed a piece of the CNY Counties League American division regular-season title, it gave proper tribute to a long-time member of the F-M community.
Earlier that day, John Shafer, a long-time English teacher at F-M, passed away, and while no game could make up for that kind of loss, it could provide some smiles.
So could a charitable cause. All the fans that came to the game were encouraged to wear pink in honor of breast-cancer awareness, and head coach Tom Blackford wore a pink T-shirt during the game, too.
With the “Hornets’ Nest” jam-packed and lots of pink on display, F-M went after Corcoran, a team it lost to 56-52 back in December when it squandered a fourth-quarter lead.
Nothing would be squandered here, even against a Cougar team considered by some to be the Section III Class AA championship favorites – though a key player, guard Martino Barletta, did not play on this night.
Right from the start, the trio of Jack Giles, Brian Zapisek and Mike O’Neil hit on outside shots, and those pushed F-M to a 24-12 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Corcoran would spend the rest of the night in an energetic, but futile chase. Every time the Cougars tried to surge, the Hornets answered with its own push – usually another jump shot that found the net.
Giles, in particular, had a night of glory, setting a career mark of 30 points as he connected on 12 field goals, three of them 3-pointers.
Zapisek was solid, too, as he poured in 22 points, while most of O’Neil’s 14 points came from sinking four 3-pointers. Counting Connor Chen’s pair of treys, F-M finished with 11 3-pointers on the night.
Corcoran, in defeat, got 21 points from Marsean Brown, while Algeron Torrence had 16 points and Riley Stroman got 13 points. None of that could keep the red-hot, emotionally charged Hornets prom prevailing.
Another title showdown took place in girls basketball at the same time when F-M visited Corcoran – but the Cougars proved to be too much, beating the Hornets 58-38.
Having just lost for the first time this season (to Cicero-North Syracuse on Feb. 5), Corcoran (17-1) bounced back by taking over in the game’s middle stages.
Only down a point, 11-10, through one period, F-M (15-3) could not produce much against the Cougars’ pressure and were outscored 33-15 in the second and third periods.
Though Emily Trapani would lead both sides with 20 points, no other F-M player had more than five points. By contrast, Corcoran had five players get six or more points, with Ayana Bradley (16 points) and Carrie Blunt (11 points) leading the way.