Even as the Cicero-North Syracuse hurdles toward the best record in head coach John Haas' tenure, it continues a pattern of strange behavior in the homestretch of games.
There were, of course, the two games with Fayetteville-Manlius -- one where the Northstars gave up the game's final 20 points to suffer its only loss, then the rematch where CNS erased a 12-point second-half deficit to pull it out 60-59 at the wire.
The oddities continued in last Tuesday's game at Nottingham. The good part was that CNS won again, topping the Bulldogs 60-54. The bad part was that a lot of needless stress emerged in the final minutes.
Both sides had success in the first half. CNS, down 12-10 after one period, started to pick up its pace and seized a 27-24 lead before halftime.
Staying aggressive, the Northstars controlled the paint, helped in no small part by the foul trouble for Nottingham forwards James Brown and Mabior Mayen, both of whom would foul out in the second half.
As a result, Zach Coleman flourished, pouring in 26 points, while Andy Falvey added 15 points. Combined, Coleman and Falvey got 12 of their points through free throws as Riley Moonan added six points.
CNS built its lead to 10 at one point in the fourth quarter, but nearly gave it away. It took 13 throws in the final 90 seconds and only made three of them, allowing Nottingham to creep back within four before the Northstars could put it away.
A far different result awaited Liverpool as it went to Camillus to face West Genesee.
Perhaps the Warriors were thinking ahead to Friday's home duel with league-leading Utica Proctor (winners of nine in a row) long before the Raiders came to town.
How else could Liverpool's 66-55 defeat to the Wildcats be explained? Liverpool was 7-3, riding a win streak, and gaining confidence by the game. WG was 2-8, reeling, lodged near the bottom of the CNY Counties League and going close to nowhere.