Feb 19, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In two vastly different ways, the Cicero-North Syracuse basketball teams earned a sweep of Friday night’s regular-season finales against archrival LIverpool, leaving both of them at 16-2 going into the defense of their Section III Class AA playoff titles.
At Liverpool, the boys Northstars trailed the revenge-minded Warriors at halftime, but got yet another big performance from senior Zach Coleman and rallied to prevail by a score of 68-54.
Back at home, the CNS girls were far more dominant as, in her last regular-season home game, University of Maine-bound senior Kelsey Mattice stood out in many ways during a 73-33 romp.
Way back on Dec. 12, CNS and Liverpool met on the boys end in the Holiday Classic in the Carrier Dome, and the Northstars won that contest 65-49 in a game where the Warriors trailed 31-16 by halftime and never really threatened.
More than two months later, the Warriors had improved a lot – and playing at home on Senior Night, it was bent on payback. For a half, that hope was kept alive as, after both teams had sluggish starts, the pace quickened in the second quarter.
Adam Misener’s hot 3-point shooting (he would make six on the night, accounting for all of his 18 points) helped Liverpool along, and at the break the Warriors possessed a 30-27 lead, a far better situation than that first encounter in the Dome.
However, Coleman, as he has done so many times in the last two seasons, caught fire in the third quarter. If he wasn’t making shots, he was drawing fouls and converting at the line, all part of CNS outscoring the Warriors 23-13 in that frame to move ahead for good.
As the Northstars pulled clear in the late stages, Coleman worked his total to 27 points, 13 of them coming from successful foul shots. Dave Jackowski stepped up for 10 points, while Elliott Boyce Jr. and Vaughndell Brantley produced nine points apiece.
Liverpool, who fell to 10-8 on the season, saw four players reach double figures. Behind Misener, Ian Hamm produced 14 points (six of them free throws), while Connor Rogers and Nick Kline got 11 points apiece, The difference was that no other Warrior had a single point as, in contrast, seven Northstars had at least one field goal.
At least this game had some suspense much of the way. That wasn’t the case a few miles away in the CNS gymnasium, where Mattice, along with Megan Salle and Danielle Jimenez, thoroughly enjoyed their Senior Night at Liverpool’s considerable expense.
Normally a distirbutor to the likes of Breanna Stewart and Brittany Paul, Mattice got a chance to take a more active scoring role on this night, and she didn’t waste it. Mattice converted eight field goals, two of them 3-pointers, and finished with a season-best 20 points.
That sparked CNS to a 21-6 lead by the end of the first quarter, and the margin kept growing as the night went on. Not that Stewart, bound for the University of Connecticut in 2012, was quiet, as the junior superstar poured in 27 points and Paul added 12 points.
As this went on, the Northstars’ stifling defense again proved outstanding, as no Liverpool player reached double figures. Ally Zywicki led with nine points as Nina Tassone and Lyteshia Price each got eight points and Nicole Ciricillo got held to four points.