Jan 26, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
John Schurman was picking up the habit of Fayetteville-Manlius boys basketball players, present and past.
It was Schurman’s 3-pointer that, for the briefest of moments, gave the current edition of the boys Hornets a third straight victory over defending state Class B champion Westhill Wednesday night – until it was ruled that the shot came just after the final buzzer sounded.
This left F-M on the wrong end of a painful 57-56 defeat, and the fact that it did come down to this was no small irony, given that, the night before and just a few miles across town, Hornets alum Patrick Lee hit a half-court buzzer beater (that made the top 10 plays on ESPN’s “Sportscenter”) to help his Stonehill (Mass.) College team beat LeMoyne 84-82 in overtime.
The team Lee left behind was finally beginning to assert itself, coming off back-to-back wins over Oswego and Chittenango, and it showed lots of fortitude nearly making it three straight at Westhill.
Trailing by as many as 12 in the first half, F-M went to the break down 38-28, hurt more than anything by Westhill draining six 3-point shots, three of them by Kevin McAvoy, who was on his way to 23 points for the night.
But the Hornets tightened its 2-3 zone in the second half, and not only did Westhill’s outside shots stop falling, it started turning the ball over with regularity, allowing F-M to inch back, basket by basket, as the game entered the homestretch.
When Schurman hit a hook shot with 5:39 left, F-M had a 50-49 lead, its first since the early moments. A tense exchange followed, and in the last minute it looked like the Hornets would pull it out.
First, Mike Palermo sank a 3-pointer with 34 seconds left, putting F-M back ahead 54-52. Then, after a Westhill turnover, Connor Chen converted a pair of free throws with 20.9 seconds to play and doubled the margin to 56-52.
McAvoy’s rebound basket pulled the Warriors back within 56-54 and, with 11.0 seconds left, Schurman was fouled. He missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Warriors’ Mark McAnaney rebounded the ball, then called a time-out.
Westhill quickly worked it down the court. McAvoy flashed open in the left corner, took a pass and, with five seconds left, made the go-ahead 3-pointer. Without a time-out, F-M rushed down the court to Schurman’s heave that found the net – if only it had been released a moment sooner.
Shaking this off, F-M went to Nottingham Friday night and, trailing again in the fourth quarter, this time made the rally stick and beat the Bulldogs 51-46.
Following a 21-21 first half, the Hornets fell behind, 33-30, but it turned things around in the final period behind a barrage of 3-pointers.
By himself, Palermo had six of them as, with 25 points, he posted nearly half of F-M’s offensive total. Schurman and Tomer Nesher both connected three times beyond the arc as Schurman gained 13 points and Nesher added 11 points.
Meanwhile, the F-M girls basketball team, back after a week of rest, was dazzling early against Nottingham and worked its way past the Bulldogs 54-44.
The Hornets nearly pulled off a first-quarter shutout, zooming out to an 18-2 lead. And though it couldn’t keep up that kind of domination, F-M made sure that Nottingham did not inch too close.
Kiley Shoemaker had one of her best efforts of the season, finishing with 22 points. Charlotte Beers had 10 points and Erica Assimon added six points as F-M improved to 11-2 on the season. Both of the Hornets’ teams face West Genesee this Friday night.
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