No matter where it turned, the Baldwinsville boys basketball team was confronting first-rate competition and big obstacles in its quest to reach the post-season.
The Bees met two of them in a 48-hour span, starting Tuesday night with a visit to perennial power Utica Proctor, who rarely gets beat on its home court – and did not do so here, either, as it handled B’ville 65-45.
Proctor was fresh off a big 68-56 win over defending Class AA champion Henninger on Dec. 16, and though it had played New Hartford the night before (and beat New Hartford 71-57), the Raiders showed no fatigue.
Instead, Proctor pressed, forced turnovers and converted them into baskets in a 29-8 first-quarter blitz, from which the Bees could not recover, despite playing on even terms the rest of the night.
Willie Hython did finish with 20 points, but he was the only B’ville player to score in double figures as Brett Charbonneau added seven points. For the Raiders, Maurice Mills dazzled with 20 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and three assists as Chris Simmons added 11 points and 10 rebounds and Kerion Barton managed 13 points.
Back home Thursday night, B’ville met West Genesee and, despite a big night from Hython, paid for struggling in the middle stages of a 72-64 loss to the Wildcats.
An evenly-played first quarter saw B’ville inch in front 14-13, but over the next two periods WG outscored them 38-23, mostly on the work of Phil Allen, who set a career mark with 31 points as Mike Henry added 16 points.
Hython tried hard to bring the Bees’ back in the late going, not letting up until he had posted 30 points. The help was minimal, though, as Kevin Drain managed 10 points, Mike Aiello eight points and Mike Muldoon and Zach Leo six points apiece.
B’ville now heads to the Vince Celi Memorial Tournament at East Syracuse-Minoa, where it will play Auburn in Tuesday’s opening round, followed by host ESM or Mexico on Wednesday.