A frenzy of activity in the first two days of December saw a trio of local high school girls basketball teams take the floor, all of them looking to improve on last season’s shared 6-12 marks.
West Genesee’s opener on Friday night was an exciting contest at Auburn, the Wildcats throwing away a big early lead, but rebounding late to beat the Maroons 52-48.
With both sides looking to bounce back from struggles a year ago (Auburn went 3-13), the Wildcats bounded out to an 18-7 advantage by the end of the first quarter.
Gradually, Auburn ate into that margin over the course of the next two periods, mostly relying on Annie Giannone (15 points) and Maggie Doyle (13 points) to get within 35-34 by the start of the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats held on through a deep, balanced attack where all eight players that saw action got at least three points. Only Melissa Fumano, with 12 points, hit double figures, but Marissa Hudgins (nine points) was close, as Allie Theberge managed seven points. Emily Tripodi and Claire Kelly had six points apiece.
A night earlier, Solvay, who like WG was 6-12 in the 2010-11 season, took a small step toward improving that mark by blasting Fowler 38-12.
Both sides struggled in the first half, but the Bearcats got away with it by holding the Falcons to a single field goal. Only one surge was required, and Solvay attained it in the third period, outscoring Fowler 20-3 to decide matters.
Abbey Jones led the Bearcats with 12 points. Chelsie Delperuto had seven points, while Kelly Nolan and Courtney Napolitano had five points apiece and Julie Gardner added four points.
Marcellus, who had its own 6-12 struggles last winter, also opened with a non-league assignment, hosting Mexico, and all looked good for a while before a rough finish led to a 43-40 loss to the Tigers.
From a 9-9 first-quarter tie, the Mustangs appeared to seize control with a 17-5 spurt through the rest of the half. However, Mexico started to inch back in the third period and would dominate in the late going, outscoring Marcellus 16-5 in the final quarter.
Before things went wrong, Molly MacLachlan had put up 13 points, leading the Mustangs. Meghan Witkowski added nine points, with Lauren Soule and Bethanie Abbott getting six points apiece. Jamie Wallace, with 14 points, led the Tigers’ comeback.