Jan 17, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Having passed a milestone (Mike Olley’s 100th career win) and announced its contender status by knocking off previously unbeaten Fayetteville-Manlius on Jan. 7, the Liverpool girls basketball team now fought to keep that status intact through its busiest stretch of the season. It played four time in six days – and nearly won them all.
It was that defeat that would stick out, though, as in the first round of the Juggler Classic at SUNY-Utica Tech, the Warriors saw a big fourth-quarter lead disappear in a wild 67-64 loss to Utica Proctor.
From the time the game started, all looked to be fine for the Warriors as it gained a 17-9 first-quarter lead. The two sides then traded baskets until another surge in the third period pushed the Liverpool advantage to 49-35.
Ally Zywicki could not miss much, hitting five 3-pointers and 11 overall field goals on her way to a new career mark of 31 points. Nicole Ciricillo (12 points) and Lyteshia Price (10 points) were helping out, too, and the Warriors, as a whole, were keeping Proctor star Brianna Kiesel from breaking out the Pittsburgh-bound senior had 18 points through three periods.
Then came the fourth quarter, and Kiesel took over. Almost by herself, she brought the Raiders back, hitting on every conceivable shot and eventually matching Zywicki’s total of five 3-pointers as Proctor closed on a 32-15 run to pull it out. All told, Kiesel had 40 points, tying the school record for points in a single game.
Stunned by this result, Liverpool nearly lost again in Sunday’s consolation game against West Genesee, but recovered enough to beat the Wildcats 72-70 in overtime.
Despite its 3-7 mark, WG used a 15-5 push through the second quarter to take a 26-18 lead, and maintained that edge deep into the final period.
This time, though, it was the Warriors making the comeback as Zywicki again proved spectacular. Topping her Proctor total, Zywicki finished with 34 points as the Warriors forged a 63-63 tie, then outscored WG 9-7 in the four-minute extra period. Price and Nina Tassone each finished with 14 points as, for the Wildcats, Katie Kolinski (22 points) and Melissa Fumano (17 points) led the way.
Before all this, the Warriors nearly squandered a big early lead at Nottingham last Tuesday night before hanging on to beat the Bulldogs 46-43.
Hot early shooting (just like the F-M game) put Liverpool up 18-7, but just as quickly the Warriors cooled off, giving Nottingham all kinds of time to rally.
It was 25-19 by halftime, and for the rest of the game the Warriors had to clamp down on defense to make sure the Bulldogs didn’t make it all the way back.
Part of the problem was seeing Tassone go without a field goal, as both her points came at the free-throw line. That put more pressure on Zywicki, but she stepped up and finished with 19 points, while Circillo contributed 13 points. Price helped, too, earning nine points.
Two nights later, the Warriors hosted Central Square and dominated all the way through a 59-25 victory over the Red Hawks.
From the time it started 15-2, Liverpool dictated the game’s entire course. Zywicki again led the way, picking up 13 points as Ciricillo finished with nine points. Chloe Buccina stepped up, joining Tassone with seven points as Allie Melle added six points.
Liverpool emerged from this eventful and busy stretch at 7-3 for the season. The Warriors have to go through all of it again this week with rematches against both West Genesee and Utica Proctor.