Girls Hornets stun Corcoran in AA quarterfinal

A lot can change in six days - just ask the Fayetteville-Manlius girls basketball team.

Not even a week after getting flattened at home by Corcoran, the Hornets gained the sweetest possible revenge by going into the Cougars' home gymnasium Thursday night and earning a 56-50 victory in the Section III Class AA quarterfinals.

In the regular-season finale on Feb. 18, F-M got pushed around by Corcoran in a 67-44 defeat, which helped tumble the Hornets down to the no. 7 seed for the AA tournament - right into the bracket of the Cougars, who held the no. 2 seed.

And after dismissing no. 10 seed West Genesee 51-39 in Tuesday night's opening round, the highly-motivated Hornets took aim at Corcoran and, from the opening tip, put together one of its most complete efforts of the season.

On the offensive side, F-M had near-perfect balance between the inside play of junior Kiley Shoemaker and the perimeter work of senior Ali Pliszka as it quickly seized the lead. Combine that with a defense that locked in and kept Corcoran from establishing its own rhythm, and it produced a 28-20 lead for the Hornets going into halftime.

F-M's margin kept growing in the third quarter, to 43-32, but Corcoran was not done. Led by Coriesha Hickey, who produced with a game-high 22 points, the Cougars stormed back and, with two minutes left, had pulled within three, 50-47.

Somehow, the Hornets kept cool, and after Bri Dolan hit two free throws to make it 52-47, Corcoran never got so close again.

Shoemaker hit on nine field goals and finished with 20 points, while Pliszka contributed 18 points, converting on six free throws. Dolan nearly reached double figures, too, earning nine points as Alexis Rios (five points) and Charlotte Beers (four points) did the rest.

With one big upset behind them, F-M aims for more payback Tuesday when it plays no. 3 seed Utica Proctor (whom it lost to 62-44 on Feb. 14) In the Class AA semifinals at Whitesboro at 6 p.m. The winner plays Cicero-North Syracuse or CBA in Sunday's final at 5:30 at Utica Memorial Auditorium.

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