The question following Saturday's Federation Class AA girls basketball semifinal was this: how could a player as big as Cicero-North Syracuse's Breanna Stewart become invisible on the court? Murry Bergtraum provided the answer.
After scoring 15 points in the first half, the Northstars' star forward was limited to one point in the second half as Murry, the New York City public school champions, came back for a 58-49 victory at Albany's Times Union Center.
Stewart was on the court the whole time, but Murry Bergtraum's defense kept her away from the ball at the offensive end. Stewart only attempted a handful of shots over the game's final 16 minutes, none of which dropped. Most of the time, either Stewart carried the ball up the court, or she passed the ball to one of her teammates.
Meanwhile, the smaller, faster Blazers were beating CNS to every loose ball. Murry Bergtraum out-rebounded the Northstars 56-33, which included an astounding 33-12 advantage on the offensive glass.
There were plenty of rebounding opportunities in the first half. Murry Bergtraum took 43 shots and made only 11 of them, while CNS hit 12 of its 23 field goal attempts as it built a 32-26 halftime lead.
The Northstars increased their advantage to 10 points less than three minutes into the third quarter before the Lady Blazers took control. First, they went on a 10-0 run to tie the game at 40. Then, Sarah Bowles drove the baseline for a layup to give CNS a 42-40 lead before Murry Bergtraum opened the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run to move ahead 47-42.
CNS stayed close for a little bit, but Murry Bergtraum went on an 8-0 run to put the game out of the Northstars' reach. Forward Shaniqua Reese capitalized on a pair of shots near the basket to cap the Lady Blazers' spurt.