Now with a full complement of players on hand, the Fayetteville-Manlius girls basketball team is riding a four-game win streak.
The Hornets topped both Christian Brothers Academy and Liverpool to claim the first-place trophy in the Traci Zimmer Memorial Tournament at Central Square, which raised money for Coaches vs. Cancer and the American Cancer Society.
F-M's opening-round game Friday night against CBA marked the first start of the season for Kiley Shoemaker, back from a foot injury that had sidelined her earlier this month. Fully effective, especially on the defensive side, the Hornets earned an impressive 49-28 win over the Brother
What made this effort so surprising was that CBA was riding its own three-game win streak, but it never got on track against an F-M side that applied defensive pressure on every inch of the court.
While that went on, the Hornets also feasted on the offensive end, roaring out to a 35-16 halftime lead. Though F-M cooled off, it didn't let the Brothers take full advantage, maintaining the comfortable margin throughout the second half.
Lauren Getman, with 12 points, led a well-balanced F-M offense. Madison Beck stepped up for 10 points, while Alexis Rios and Charlotte Beers managed nine points apiece and Shoemaker added seven points. Only Marisa Romeo gave the Brothers any consistent production, finishing with 10 points as Kelsey Johnson got six points.
Liverpool beat host Central Square 49-32 in the other part of the first round, leading to Saturday's final where the Hornets, led by Beers and another fine defensive effort, beat the Warriors 39-31.
Trailing 7-5 after a sloppy first quarter, F-M slowly started to pick up its attack and moved out in front during the second period. To hang on, it simply maintained its defensive intensity, clinching matters by holding Liverpool to six points in the fourth quarter.