Jan 12, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In the course of streaking to an 8-0 start, the West Genesee boys basketball team had rarely faced late-game pressure such as what it dealt with in Tuesday night’s game against Corcoran.
Yet the Wildcats responded to it well, coming from behind and making all the key plays in the homestretch to beat the Cougars 67-64 to make it nine wins in a row.
Corcoran, who entered the game with a pedestrian 1-3 record, pushed the tempo from the start, forcing WG to adjust – which it did, though it trailed 21-17 after one period.
All through the next two periods, it became an exchange, the Wildcats again turning to Eric Spencer for consistent production. The senior center would work his way to 28 points, hitting on 12 field goals and four successful free throws.
Despite this, WG still was behind, 52-50, going to the fourth quarter, but it fought its way to the front behind Spencer and Corey Herrington, each of whom hit on three field goals.
Ahead 65-64 as time began to wind down, WG knew that Corcoran would concentrate its defense on Spencer – so he passed to Phil Allen, who drove in for the basket with 17 seconds left. The Cougars’ attempts to tie the game at the end fell short.
In support of Spencer, Herrington finished with 11 points and Matt Naton had seven points. Corcoran saw Delvon Adams lead the way with 21 points as Brandon Reed and Shakem Buckmon each got 10 points.
Two nights later, the Wildcats went for 10 in a row at Rome Free Academy and, again, had to heavily lean on Spencer to produce a 54-43 victory over the Black Knights.
Sluggish at the start, WG trailed 15-10 after one period, but once Spencer started to establish his game in the paint, things turned around. The Wildcats raced ahead, 25-21, by halftime, then kept adding to the margin in the last two periods.
Much of it was due to Spencer, who poured in 29 points off 12 field goals and five successful free throws. Naton, with seven points, and Herrington, with five points, offered the most help. Brandon Gullo led a balanced RFA attack with 10 points.
A big week awaits the Wildcats. First, it travels to Liverpool next Tuesday, a team it beat 69-47 on Dec. 27 in the Bishop Ludden Rosemary Corcoran Holiday Classic, but has since won four in a row behind the hot play of forward Ian Hamm, who is averaging more than 20 points per game this month.
Then comes WG’s most anticipated game so far – next Friday night’s trip to Henninger. The Black Knights have roared to a 7-1 start and is considered, by many, the Class AA favorites. A win here would go a long way toward silencing any remaining doubts about the Wildcats’ ability to contend for a championship.
WG’s girls team played hard at Corcoran, but lost to the Cougars 63-51. The Wildcats got off to a nice start, leading 13-9 in the first quarter, and were still even (24-24) at the half before Corcoran used an 18-10 third quarter to move ahead for good.
Still, the Wildcats had a fine offensive effort, as Marie Temara poured in 21 points and Melissa Fumano contributed 12 points. Katie Kolinski (seven points) and Vicki Graveline (six points) also made solid contributions. Corcoran’s Coriesha Hickey led her side with 20 points.
The Wildcats also fell Thursday to Rome Free Academy 53-37, a game where it led 24-19 at the break, but fell apart in the second half as the Black Knights, led by Allyson Egan (who finished with 20 points), outscored them 34-13. Kolinski, with 12 points, and Temara, with eight points, led the hosts.