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WG boys fall to Ithaca in hoops tourney final

Westhill beaten by Little Red, Massena

— West Genesee proved to be too nice a host in its Booster Club Basketball Holiday Tournament.

The Wildcats advanced to Thursday night's final, but had no answers for a strong Ithaca team waiting for them. The Little Red earned the first-place trophy, pulling away from WG in a 68-55 decision.

Westhill was the other local squad in the four-team field. The Warriors lost both of its contests, including a 50-47, last-second defeat by Massena in the third place game.

The Ithaca-WG contest started the like the Westhill-Massena game ended, as they traded the lead for much of the first quarter. Ithaca led 11-8 after one, and maintained a small edge until taking a 25-23 advantage to intermission.

The hosts started the second half well, snaring 27-26 lead with 6:53 left in the third. But that proved to be WG's final highlight as the Little Red scored the next eight points to spark a 14-4 run. Ithaca eventually led 44-33 heading into the fourth quarter.

“Basically we got out of running our stuff,” West Genesee coach Fred Kent said. “Give Ithaca some credit for that, but we didn’t run our stuff. You’ve got to execute (and) play together as a team. We didn’t do that in a key part of the game.”

Ithaca’s momentum carried into the fourth quarter. The Little Red opened the frame with a 13-6 spurt to grab an insurmountable 57-39 lead.

“We haven’t put four quarters together all season," said Kent. "We dug too big a hole tonight. We’ve got to fix it."

A bright spot for the Wildcats throughout this season has been the play of Phil Allen. The junior forward dropped in a game-high 29 points.

“He has a nose for the basket (and) plays hard,” Kent said. “He wants the ball. He wants to be in the situation to lead.”

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