When two of Central New York's top girls basketball players gathered together Friday night, both left the floor with something important.
Emily Trapani, playing for Fayetteville-Manlius, earned a milestone, which was nice. But Breanna Stewart and her mates at Cicero-North Syracuse emerged with the win, which was much nicer.
In the Northstars' first encounter with the Hornets since last March's Section III Class AA final, Stewart got more offensive support than Trapani, and CNS took charge in the second half to win again over F-M, this time by a score of 54-39.
Though many stars from last season's final had departed on both ends, both still had their standouts in the paint, meaning that Stewart and Trapani would be spending a lot of time close to each other on the court.
F-M's aim was clear - prevent Stewart from getting any kind of easy looks. In some way, it succeeded, as Stewart got just four field goals.
However, all that attention meant Stewart earned trips to the foul line, where she didn't miss much. Of Stewart's 19 points, 11 of them came from free throws.
Trapani did her part, too, finishing with 15 points. And when the Pace University-bound senior hit some free throws late in the fourth quarter, she surpassed 1,000 career points, joining a small list of F-M stars to have reached that mark.
CNS and F-M played to a 24-24 standoff in the first half. But it started to turn in the third quarter, when the Northstars held the Hornets to six points, pulling in front for good.
And during a 20-9 run to close the game, Brittany Paul and Kelsey Mattice stepped up. Paul poured in 13 points, while Mattice hit on a trio of 3-pointers, finishing with 12 points. Together, they gave Stewart the kind of ample support that was present throughout the Northstars' 2008-09 championship run.
The JV girls Northstars rolled past F-M 47-27, this on the heels of a 51-33 win over Oswego earlier in the week.
CNS (6-3, 4-0 league) is home again to face Nottingham before a Friday trip to Central Square.