Liverpool girls hand F-M first defeat

A few vivid memories served the Liverpool girls basketball team quite well on Friday as, with a sterling performance on the road, it put an end to the unbeaten run of Fayetteville-Manlius.

Led by hot shooting from Ally Zywicki, Nina Tassone and Nicole Ciricillo, the Warriors gave the 7-0 Hornets its first defeat of the season, prevailing by a score of 67-54 - and getting head coach Mike Olley his 100th career victory in the process.

Less than three weeks earlier, in the Dec. 18 finals of the Traci Zimmer Memorial Tournament at Central Square, Liverpool got its first shot at F-M, but slumped badly in the second half and lost to the Hornets 49-39.

Now it had to deal with F-M again - and in the hostile, intimate confines of the "Hornets' Nest", no less. For some reason, this would not bother Liverpool, as it worked it way through a 12-12 first quarter, waiting to heat up.

That happened soon enough. A fast-paced second period saw the Warriors match every F-M surge with one of its own, and when it went to halftime, it clung to a 32-31 lead, having nearly matched its point total from the first F-M encounter in one half.

And Liverpool didn't stop there, continuing to pour in baskets against a frazzled Hornet defense in the third quarter as the lead grew to 51-43. Try as it could, F-M could not recover.

Zywicki set the tone, her season-high 21 points including four successful 3-pointers. Tassone connected three times beyond the arc to account for most of her 15 points, while Ciricillo worked inside for 13 points, with help from Shannon Seymour as she finished with eight points.

F-M wasn't bad, for its part, as Ali Pliszka led with 15 points and Alexis Rios added 11 points. But the Warriors did a solid job containing the likes of Kiley Shoemaker and Charlotte Beers, holding them to six points apiece.

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