In a matter of days, the Liverpool boys basketall team rose from supreme struggle to sweet success.
The Warriors' 61-47 home conquest of Utica Proctor Friday night was impressive on two levels. First, it put a halt to the Raiders' nine-game win streak, an important consideration.
Just as importantly, though, it showed that the Warriors could shake off extreme disappointment.
Three nights earlier, Liverpool, sporting a 7-3 record, had lost at 2-8 West Genesee, 66-55, a result that could have caused discouragement from a team expecting much more of itself.
Instead, the Warriors practiced hard over the next two days, then greeted Proctor, who hadn't lost since its season opener Dec. 4 against Rush-Henrietta and had sneaked into the no. 24 spot in the state Class AA rankings.
And all the Warriors did was put together was head coach Jerry Wilcox had been searching for all season - a complete, 32-minute effort.
It started on defense, where Liverpool irritated Proctor on every possession and only allowed a handful of field goals in the first half on its way to a 28-16 lead.
From that point forward, every time the Raiders wanted to get closer, the Warriors provided an answer.
While Proctor lacks any single standout player, Liverpool has one in Jesse Gates - and he flourished on this night.
Too many times, the Raiders left Gates open on the perimeter and paid for it, as the senior sank six 3-pointers and finished with 26 points overall, nearly twice the total of Proctor's top player, Walkery Mills, who had 14 points.
Gates had solid help, too, as Connor Rogers hit a pair of 3-pointers on his way to 11 points, while Ian Hamm got nine points and Richard Green earned eight points.
As this went on, Liverpool's girls basketball team rose to the .500 mark (5-5) at Utica Proctor, earning a 54-50 victory over the Raiders.
The Warriors' defense dominated the first half, holding Proctor to nine points. And even when the pace quickened in the second half, Liverpool was prepared with a three-pronged attack.
Nicole Ciricillo led the front line with 19 points, while Nina Tassone sank three 3-pointers on her way to 16 points and Ally Zywicki gained 15 points. Tatiyana Brooks led the Raiders with 14 points.