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.