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Buzzer-beater pushes Spartans past Mexico

Another month, another year - and another dramatic victory for the East Syracuse-Minoa boys basketball team.

Just as the Spartans sank Fulton with a last-second overtime basket back on Dec. 18, it did the same thing at Mexico exactly three weeks later, pulling out a 65-63 decision over the Tigers to rise above the .500 mark, improving to 6-5 on the season.

With the game tied 63-63, ESM had the last shot of regulation. The shot was off - but just before the buzzer sounded, Quadear Mike swooped in and put home the rebound for the winning two points.

It was just the last part of a memorable night for Mike. The ESM guard used his speed and skill to blaze through Mexico's defense, earning 27 points.

All of them would be needed in a close contest where neither side could get away. ESM, fresh off its big 59-58 road win at Bishop Ludden three nights earlier, stayed patient as Mexico eased in front early and took a 31-28 lead to halftime.

Throughout the third quarter, every time the Tigers tried to get away, the Spartans would answer, normally with Mike and another aggressive drive to the basket.

When Mike wasn't converting, Sharif Nero put together 12 points and Steve Lothridge added seven points. Mexico countered with Tim Forbes pouring in 23 points, as Patrick Twiss (15 points) and Dana Rowe (11 points) helped out.

Meanwhile, back at ESM, the girls Spartans upped its mark to 6-4, pounding through Mexico 66-39.

It all got settled early. Forcing the Tigers into all kinds of mistakes, ESM shut out Mexico in the first quarter, racing to a 23-0 lead and adding to the margin the rest of the night.

Arnela Mesic set a season mark with 20 points, while Chelsea Medler and Becky Teschler picked up 12 points apiece. Olivia Luciani had nine points and Alex Cassella gained six points.

Both ESM teams will try to keep its winning mark in games next week against Cortland and Chittenango.

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