Girls basketball Warriors top B'ville

Maybe head coach Mike Olley can stop worrying about whether his Liverpool girls basketball team will be present when the Section III Class AA playoffs start a month from now.

Having endured a brutal opening stretch, the Warriors have turned hot in January, and used Tuesday night's 53-44 home victory over Baldwinsville to rise above the .500 mark, to 6-5 on the season.

A young Liverpool lineup (just one senior starts) has seen its confidence grow throughout this win streak, and it's capable of scoring in bursts, as well as playing first-rate defense.

Of course, it can still run hot and cold, as it did in a first quarter where the Warriors registred the game's first 10 minutes, all in in a span of less than two minutes - only to go scoreless the rest of the period to tie it, 10-10.

In fact, Liverpool went 7:27 without a point before Nina Tassone caught fire. Hitting on four 3-pointers, three of them in the second period (she finished with 14 points), Tassone pushed the Warriors to an eight-point margin before going to halftime ahead 25-19.

B'ville would make a series of runs in the second half, moving within one (25-24) early in the third quarter and within three, 40-37, early in the final period.

Each time, Liverpool had an answer, especially when Ally Zywicki and Nicole Ciricillo started to roll.

All of Zywicki's 13 points came in the second half, while Ciricillo got eight of her 13 points after the break, including a clinching lay-up with 1:02 left.

B'ville, who fell to 5-5 on the season, saw Claire Monnat pick up 13 points, while Maggie Monnat earned eight points. Julie Engels and Lauren McVey got six points apiece.

Liverpool visits Auburn this Friday in advance of what is building to be an important test on Jan. 29 against Corcoran, currently unbeaten and no. 2 in the state Class AA rankings.

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