Dec 11, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Introduced to the big stage of the Carrier Dome, the West Genesee boys basketball team could not quite make the experience a full one with a victory. The Wildcats fell, 61-52, to Cicero-North Syracuse in Sunday afternoon’s Holiday Tip-Off Classic, and moved to 1-1 on the season.
This marks Fred Kent’s second year as head coach of the Wildcats. His first campaign, in 2010-11, featured a torrid start that could not be sustained as WG finished at 13-7, falling to Henninger in the Section III Class AA quarterfinal.
Now the Wildcats looked to improve on that mark, but this time it would sustain an early defeat against a CNS side that has enjoyed the best regular-season mark in the local Class AA ranks in the last two years.
Playing for the first time in the unique Dome atmosphere, the Wildcats took a while to adjust. That led to a rough opening stretch, with just three field goals in the first quarter as the Northstars, who played in the inaugural Tip-off Classic a year ago, raced out to an 18-9 lead.
Then it got worse, thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers from Shakir Thomas and Mike Tricarico that spread the margin to 24-9 and made head coach Fred Kent use another time-out to try and stop things before it got out of hand.
It worked, as Matt Naton and Mike Henry hit on their own 3-pointers to push WG back in it, and it traded baskets the rest of the half, going into the break with a manageable 31-25 deficit.
Even as the pace quickened in the third quarter, WG kept up, pulling within one on a couple of occasions before the Northstars restored the margin and led, 48-43, with one quarter left.
Again the Wildcats pulled within one, 48-47, early in that final period, and had chances to take the lead. Again, CNS answered, going on a 10-2 run, capped by Sam Nassar’s steal and lay-up with 2:45 left that made it 58-49, and WG would not catch up.
Phil Allen paced WG, earning 14 points, while Henry gained 10 points and Naton added seven points. For CNS, Vaughndell Brantley (17 points) and Bryan Quartier (16 points) set the pace.
WG went to the Dome with one impressive win already in the books, having opened its season Friday night by going to Fowler and ripping past the Falcons 74-39.
Wasting little time, the Wildcats bolted out to a 22-9 lead by the end of the first quarter. At halftime, the margin was 45-16 as WG was effective in all phases of the game and never let Fowler get close.
Phil Allen, with 19 points, and Mike Henry, with 18 points, paced the attack. The rest of the production got spread around, with Sean Howard picking up seven points and Matt Naton, Christian Schmidt and Scott Sidnam managing six points apiece. Adam Wierbinski added five points.