Mar 02, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In vastly different ways, the Fayetteville-Manlius and Christian Brothers Academy girls basketball teams saw their respective quests for the Section III Class AA championship halted.
The no. 7 seed Hornets, trying again to avenge a regular-season defeat, could not quite pull it off, but gave no. 3 seed Utica Proctor a battle before falling to the Raiders 55-39 Tuesday at Whitesboro High School.
On that same night, CBA ran headlong into top seed and two-time defending champion Cicero-North Syracuse at LeMoyne College and never got into the argument, absorbing a 75-26 defeat.
F-M went east in a happy frame of mind. Not only did it carry a vast advantage in post-season experience over Proctor, its confidence had gained a major boost when it had upset no. 2 seed Corcoran 56-50 in the Feb. 24 quarterfinals – the same Cougars it had lost to at home the week before.
Now it looked for the same thing against the Raiders, who had never reached a sectional final before. Like Corcoran, Proctor had beaten F-M late in the regular season, a 62-44 decision on Feb. 14.
In short, the Hornets were doomed by its slow start, only managing five points in the first quarter as Proctor’s star senior guard, Brianna Kiesel, kept forcing turnovers and converting them into baskets on the other end.
For the rest of the night, F-M chased the Raiders, improving on the offensive side to keep the game interesting, but unable to make any sustained run. Only Ali Pliszka, with 14 points, reached double figures as Lauren Getman added nine points and Kiley Shoemaker got eight points.
Kiesel, who is going to the University of Pittsburgh next fall, stood out again as she poured in 24 points, adding 10 steals and four assists. Sarina Olds added nine points and nine rebounds as Cara Mootz hit a trio of 3-pointers to account for all of her nine points.
At least F-M stayed within sight of Proctor – something CBA, despite all of its best efforts, never got close to doing against an opponent as formidable as CNS.
Applying all kinds of pressure and a quick tempo, the Northstars were up 23-4 by the end of the first quarter, and the margin kept growing, in large part because CNS took full advantage of all the attention the Brothers lavished on Connecticut-bound junior Breanna Stewart.
Stewart had 18 points, below her season average, but Brittany Paul made four 3-pointers on her way to 15 points and Abbey Timpano set a season mark with 14 points as Kelsey Mattice (10 points) also made solid contributions.
By contrast, the Brothers had no player reach double figures. Marisa Romeo led with nine points, with Kelsey Johnson (seven points) and Ellen Voorheis (six points) close behind.
Finishing with a 15-5 mark, CBA only sees two seniors, Voorheis and Alexa Darwish, depart, and the large returning cast, including Romeo, Johnson, Michelle Wiese and Olivia Pitonzo, should lead to more success next winter.
Meanwhile, F-M, who finished at 15-6, returns every key player except Jillian Schwab. The core of Pliszka, Shoemaker, Getman, Bri Dolan, Alexis Rios and Charlotte Beers should make the Hornets quite formidable.