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Basketball Northstars roar to AA semis

Those looking for suspense and excitement from the Cicero-North Syracuse basketball playoff doubleheader on Thursday night would leave disappointed.

But neither Northstar team minded one bit.

In a rare feat, both CNS sides entered the Section III Class AA playoffs as top seeds - favored, if the seeds hold, to go to the championship games March 6-7 at Utica Memorial Auditorium.

First, though, they had to get through the quarterfinal round - which didn't prove too difficult. The CNS girls ripped Baldwinsville 62-21, and the CNS boys did the same thing to Auburn 86-44.

Entering the playoffs as defending sectional champions, the girls Northstars were not interested in letting no. 8 seed B'ville enter the conversation, much less have a chance to pull an upset.

The first five CNS baskets were scored by five different players - first Abbey Timpano, then Kelsey Mattice, then Brittany Paul, then Breanna Stewart and finally Brittney Fedele.

It took barely five minutes for the margin to go to 17-2, and it went to 23-4 before the first quarter was done.

So it continued, as Stewart earned 16 points in the first half, three more than the entire Bees' roster, then sat most of the second half with the game out of hand. Paul worked her way to 19 points and nearly matched B'ville, too.

With that work done, attention turned to the CNS boys team, who proceeded to stomp all over no. 8 seed Auburn.

What made the Northstars' 22-4 start in the first quarter so remarkable was the fact that none of it involved points from star center Andy Falvey.

Instead, the spark came from unlikely sources. Eric Munoz hit back-to-back 3-pointers. Vaughndell Bradley, Josh Williams and Anthony DelCoro all hit baskets before that opening period was done.

And the bench production would continue, as Riley Moonan gained nine points and Elliott Boyce gained eight points before the night was done.

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