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.