Dec 05, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Normally at the start of December, the Fayetteville-Manlius girls basketball team would get its early-season competitive fix by playing at Jamesville-DeWitt’s annual tip-off tournament.
But since that wasn’t on the schedule, the Hornets instead went much further north for a high-profile tournament in Oswego, where it nearly knocked off a perennial Class AA contender and emerged with a third-place finish.
In the opening round Friday night, F-M met Corcoran, the same team it knocked off 56-50 in last February’s Section III Class AA quarterfinal. But the result was different this time around, as the Cougars edged the Hornets 38-36.
From last year’s 14-6 squad that went on to lose in the AA semifinals to Utica Proctor, two starters – Ali Pliszka and Bri Dolan – departed. Two other starters, Alexis Rios and Charlotte Beers, are back, and another, Kiley Shoemaker, waits to return from a stress fracture in her foot, but is missing the early part of the season.
Under intense pressure from the Cougars’ defense, the Hornets fell behind, 22-15, by halftime, and managed just two points in the third quarter. Still, F-M’s own resistance was strong, which kept the game within reach.
Down the stretch, F-M nearly made up the whole deficit as newcomer Madison Beck worked her way to 12 points, with Beers getting six of her eight points at the free-throw line and Rios adding seven points. Corcoran would hang on, though, even if it didn’t have a single player reach double figures as Mary Morgan and Jasmine Davis led with eight points apiece.
Corcoran would go on to beat Oswego 47-30 in Saturday’s final. Relegated to the consolation bracket, F-M would meet Fulton and roll to a 62-42 victory over the Red Raiders.
The Hornets outscored Fulton in every period. Lauren Getman, quiet in the Corcoran game, rose up for 15 points, while Rios got 11 points. Beers (nine points) and Beck (eight points) weren’t far behind, while Erica Assimon’s pair of 3-pointers led to six points.
Another local side that went to the Class AA semifinals a year ago, Christian Brothers Academy, opened on Friday, but took a 52-41 loss to Westhill.
With just one starter (Ellen Voorheis) gone from last season’s 15-5 squad, the Brothers fully expected to fare well, even against a strong Westhill squad that also has four returning starters.
However, CBA struggled from the start trying to solve the Warriors’ 1-3-1 matchup zone defense, and its outside shots did not fall, either, leading to a 21-14 halftime deficit.
Sparked by baskets from Marisa Romeo and Kelsey Johnson, CBA used an 8-0 run late in the third quarter to tie it, 27-27, only to have Westhill zoom back in front and stay there, led by Anna Ross, as the sophomore piled up 15 points, nine rebounds, six steals and five assists.
Romeo, before fouling out, had 11 points, while Johnson and Alyssa Pitonzo managed 10 points apiece. Ross was one of four Westhill players in double figures as Sam Peebles, Kelly Mascari (12 points each) and Gwen Dougherty (11 points) lined up just behind Ross.