Feb 21, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Neither of Liverpool’s basketball teams would find their way to the second week of the Section III Class AA playoffs.
The boys Warriors nearly sprung an upset at no. 2 seed Utica Proctor Friday night, but watched the Raiders pulled away and prevail 65-53.
Meanwhile, the Liverpool girls team kept up with no. 3 seed Corcoran early in its quarterfinal game, but a long mid-game drought led to a 55-32 defeat to the Cougars.
In terms of order of play, the girls went first, and Liverpool, the no. 6 seed, came out with more energy than no. 3 seed Corcoran, winning its fair share of rebounds and forcing turnovers.
Nina Tassone’s basket tied the game, 16-16, at which point Corcoran head coach Jim Marsh took a time-out and lashed into his team, asking for more effort.
And the Cougars responded by blanking Liverpool for more than nine minutes, a drought that stretched deep into the third quarter, while Corcoran put up 20 unanswered points, using its size, speed and experience to take charge.
Ally Zywicki and Nicole Ciricillo would lead the Warriors with 10 points apiece. On Corcoran’s side, Carrie Blunt had 16 points and 16 rebounds, while Coriesha Hickey earned 12 points and nine steals. Zephrah Pam added nine points.
As the Corcoran game ended, the Liverpool boys team, with the no. 7 seed, tried to become the first road team to win at no. 2 seed Utica Proctor’s home court and, at the same time, deny long-time Raiders head coach Norm Stamboly his 300th career win.
Liverpool came out in a zone defense – and watched Proctor miss its first eight shots. The Raiders broke its drought, but the Warriors still led 13-9 after one period.
Right before halftime, the Warriors’ lead disappeared in a 10-0 Proctor flurry, helped in no small part by defensive pressure that forced Liverpool into 17 turnovers in the half.
After seeing the deficit grow to 49-38, Liverpool made one more big push, a 10-1 run that closed the margin to two, 50-48. But Will Hawkins’ lay-up and back-to-back steals from Jayson Jackson sparked Proctor’s response, and it would get clear.
Liverpool did have a well-balanced attack, as Ian Hamm led with 10 points and Cam Jones added nine points. Adam Misener and Tyler Wallis each got eight points, with Richard Green and John Foley earning seven points apiece.
Connor Rogers, a cornerstone of the Warriors’ attack all season, had just one field goal, and the team ultimately paid for 31 turnovers. Jackson (13 points), T’Andre Richardson, Wendell Wright (12 points each) and Walkery Mills (10 points each) hit double figures on Proctor’s side.
The boys Warriors finished 12-7, and would always wonder how things might have turned out had its leading scorer, Jesse Gates, not been sidelined with mononucleosis for the last month of the season.
Liverpool’s girls, who went 10-9, should be a prime contender next season. Just one senior starter, Aubrey Barrett, graduates, with standouts like Zywicki, Tassone, Circillo and Lyteshia Price expected to return.