Feb 28, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Maybe the Corcoran girls basketball team had too easy a time when it beat Fayetteville-Manlius in the regular-season finale on Feb. 18.
That memory hung over last Thursday night’s Section III Class AA quarterfinal, when the no. 2 seed Cougars were on the wrong end of the No. 7 seed Hornets’ payback in a 56-50 defeat.
Just six days had passed since Corcoran pushed F-M around in that 67-44 decision – which, as it turned out, pushed the Hornets down into the Cougars’ playoff bracket, setting up the rematch after F-M beat no. 10 seed West Genesee 51-39 in the first 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, it had near-perfect balance between the inside play of junior Kiley Shoemaker and the perimeter work of senior Ali Pliszka.
Combine that with a defense that locked in and kept Corcoran from establishing its own rhythm, and it produced a 28-20 deficit for the Cougars 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 and its season came to an abrupt end.
Aside from Hickey, Taleah Voeltz put up 14 points for the Cougars and Shahadah Williams added 10 points. Shoemaker led F-M with 20 points as Pliszka added 18 points.
Nottingham, given the no. 9 seed in Class AA, did make it through last Tuesday’s opening round, going to no. 8 seed Rome Free Academy and beating the Black Knights 53-43.
This game turned in the second quarter, when the Bulldogs, down 12-9, exploded for 20 points in those eight minutes to take a 29-24 lead to the break. From there, RFA was held to eight points in the third period and watched as Nottingham pulled away.
China Agnew, with 15 points, led three Bulldogs that scored in double figures. Ja’Leasa Worley finished with 12 points and Chyanna Canada added 11 points.
Nottigham’s run would end there, though, in the AA quarterfinals Friday with a 58-26 defeat to top seed and two-time
defending champion Cicero-North Syracuse.
Led by Breanna Stewart, a junior forward who has verbally committed to attend Connecticut in the fall of 2012, the Northstars held the Bulldogs without a field goal in the first quarter, took a 21-1 lead and never got caught, despite Nottingham’s later defensive improvement.
Janaysia Torrence led her side with seven points, but Stewart managed to outscore Nottingham by herself as she finished with 30 points.