Hornets fall to Henninger in OT epic

One sure thing about the Fayetteville-Manlius boys basketball team -- win or lose, delirium or disappointment, it never fails to be exciting.

In between a pair of clashes with Cicero-North Syracuse, the Hornets merely got involved in a double-overtime game at Henninger Tuesday night, and despite an all-out effort, F-M lost to the Black Knights 67-64.

It was fitting that the two sides would go beyond regulation -- for that's what happened in last February's Section III Class AA semifinal as Henninger prevailed 59-54.

This time, against an entirely different cast of Black Knights, F-M appeared to have victory, only to have it snatched away at the end of the second OT.

Following a 53-53 regulation stalemate, the Hornets and Henninger cranked up the defense and, throughout the first extra period, mostly traded empty possessions, one side waiting for the other to produce something decisive.

F-M did pull out in front, though, and with time running out in the OT period, it clung to a 58-55 edge, needing just one more stop to prevail.

But it didn't happen. Kadeem Johnson flashed open and, at the buzzer, converted a 3-pointer, sending the game to another OT. Stunned, F-M watched as the newly-energized Black Knights went back in front in the second extra period and stayed there.

Before all this, the Hornets had made one of its patented comebacks in the third quarter of regulation. Trailing for much of the first half, the Hornets used a big offensive push to seize a 43-41 lead before Henninger settled down in the final period to set up the drawn-out climax.

Brian Zapisek poured in 24 points, while Jack Giles gained 19 points, as both of them hit on three 3-pointers. Mike O'Neil added 11 points. For Henninger, Kavon Delee had 20 points and Johnson added 19 points, With Brandon Hanks (11 points) also hitting double figures.

This leads to F-M hosting CNS Friday night, a mere nine days after the Hornets used a closing 20-0 run to knock off the Northstars in the finals of the CNS Holiday Classic. Furious by that result, the Northstars took it out on Oswego 99-38 on Tuesday night to improve to 7-1.

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