Feb 17, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
On a single Tuesday night, three Marcellus winter sports teams saw their seasons end within hours of each other during the Section III Class B playoffs.
The most notable was the boys Mustangs stunned at home by Solvay 67-61 in the opening round, the full-strength Bearcats taking full advantage of Marcellus and its late-season woes.
Just a few weeks ago, when it knocked off top contenders Skaneateles and Westhill in back-to-back games, the Mustangs had reason to think it could win a sectional title.
But all those dreams crashed on Feb. 3 when, late in a win over Cazenovia, Will Fiacchi, the team’s leading scorer and unquestioned driving force, broke a bone in his foot, sidelining him for the rest of the season.
Without Fiacchi, Marcellus still believed that, with the likes of Will Nolan and Steve Raven present, it could make a playoff push. But Solvay, beaten twice by the Mustangs in the regular season when Fiacchi was around, had other plans.
Through a high-scoring first half, the Bearcats hung in there, fortified by the shots that T.J. Fazio and John Savo were hitting and the inside presence of Dan Aiello. Marcellus countered with Chaz Hayes, who stepped up for a season-best 18 points.
Trailing 34-31 at halftime, Solvay turned things around in the third period, outscoring the Mustangs 18-10 to take the lead for good. And every time Marcellus tried to get close in the final minutes, the Bearcats answered and held on.
All told, Fazio had 23 points, making five 3-pointers and eight successful free throws. Savo and Aiello each had 14 points in support, while Jeremiah Cregan got seven points. Help also came from R.J. Lostumbo (five points) and Nick Leonardo (four points).
As for the Mustangs, Nolan finished with 17 points, just behind Hayes, and Raven had 11 points and Mike Tross earned six points. Marcellus finished at 12-7, and would always wonder what might have happened had it been at full strength.
Out at Buckley Gym, the girls basketball Mustangs suffered a 60-36 defeat to Cazenovia in the opening round, unable to keep up with the quicker Lakers.
Though it went 12-6 in the regular season, the girls basketball Mustangs had seen player defections hamper the team’s performance. Still, it hoped to dethrone Cazenovia, the defending Class B champions, whom it lost to 56-40 on that same court two weeks earlier.
This one would prove more lopsided. Even though no. 9 seed Marcellus had more rebounds than the no. 8 seed Lakers in the first half, it could not convert enough of them, and starting in the second quarter, Cazenovia got away.
Ashley Stec had six of the Lakers’ points in an 11-2 run during the second quarter. That, plus a 15-2 march through much of the third period, ended the Mustangs’ chances.
Though Melissa Lee had 18 points, Marie Temara never scored a basket until the third quarter, by which point Cazenovia had pulled far away, and she had just five points, well below her average. Emily Brissette had six points. Stec (16 points), Raeanne Clabeaux (12 points) and Ellen Burr (11 points) led the Lakers’ efforts.
Over at Jamesville-DeWitt in the Class B girls volleyball semifinals, Marcellus tried to reverse two regular-season defeats against an undefeated Skaneateles squad that held the no. 2 seed – but lost again.
The Mustangs never got close in either of the first two games, both of which ended with the Lakers in front 25-12. Marcellus would nearly extend the match, but Skaneateles closed it out 25-23.
Samantha Vulcano, in defeat, had 17 assists, feeding it to Becca Eddy (six kills), Nicole Fletcher (five kills) and Sara Ryan (four kills) on the front line. On the Lakers’ side, seniors Ryan Merle (eight kills, four blocks), Katherine Hill and Emily Wood (seven kills each) dominated the front line as Gabby Eckles and Alexa Campanile each got 12 assists.