Jan 22, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Perhaps it is nights like this one that will propel the Cicero-North Syracuse boys basketball team from the realm of good, solid contender to that of a champion.
When pushed by Utica Proctor in front of a large home crowd Friday night, the Northstars pushed back, getting a career night from point guard Deyon Smith and solid inside work from Andy Falvey to beat the Raiders 62-53.
With that win, CNS improved to 12-1 on the season, strengthened its hold on first place in the CNY Counties League National division and took a huge step toward a possible top seed for next month’s Section III Class AA playoffs.
“This win says a lot about how everyone else views us,” Falvey said. “It gives us a lot of respect.”
And it wasn’t just that CNS won – it was the way it was done, without a big night from its leading scorer, Zach Coleman. Mired in foul trouble, Coleman had just six points before bowing out in the fourth quarter.
More than anyone else, Smith made sure that Coleman’s struggles did not prove too damaging. Never yielding in the face of a stiff Proctor man-to-man defense, Smith produced a season-best 20 points and made few mistakes all night.
“Deyon was a man,” head coach John Haas said. “He’s been steady all year running the team. But we needed him to penetrate and hit some shots, and he did just that tonight.”
Only twice all night did CNS trail, at 2-0 and 4-2 in the opening minutes. With the game tied 15-15 late in the first quarter, Vaughndell Bradley and Smith hit on back-to-back baskets in the final 23 seconds, and the Northstars took the lead for good.
Mostly, CNS played a zone defense in the first half, forcing Proctor into jump shots that flew off target, and the Raiders rarely got second shots with the likes of Falvey (who led his team with 21 points) controlling the boards.
“Andy has worked his tail off (the last two years) and has been a force on the defensive end,” Haas said.
The lead stretched to 12 in the second quarter before the Northstars hit the halftime break ahead 32-23.When Proctor pressed in the third period and closed within four, 34-30, CNS had a ready answer with a 10-0 spurt, including two key baskets from Bradley.
Haas said both Bradley and Josh Williams played crucial roles off the bench, with Coleman in foul trouble and Anthony DelCoro out with an ankle injury.
For the most part, the Northstars nursed a double-digit lead throughout the fourth quarter. Proctor cut it to 59-53 with 1:35 left on Malcolm McGill’s 3-pointer, but moments later Walkery Mills, who led Proctor with 15 points, fouled out – and Smith would hit a trio of free throws down the stretch to seal it.
So ended a successful girls/boys doubleheader for CNS, as the girls Northstars dominated its non-league game against Canandaigua, beating the Braves 61-39.
For much of the night, Breanna Stewart outscored Canandaigua all by herself. The 6-3 sophomore center hit a variety of shots, including a 3-pointer, on her way to 19 first-half points, eight more than the entire Braves roster.
CNS (10-3) led by as much as 33 on this night before easing back in the late going. Stewart finished with 30 points and was most impressive on the foul line, sinking all 11 of her free-throw attempts.
Both CNS teams get a week to rest before facing Baldwinsville next Friday night.