Jan 14, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
No matter how bad the weather got, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball was determined to get on the road for its last out-of-state trip of the season.
Hours before all C-NS activities on Friday were canceled, the Northstars got on the bus and made their way to Springfield, Mass., site of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the annual Spalding Hoops Hall Classic, a four-day gathering of the country’s top boys and girls teams.
As part of the second day of games held at Springfield College’s Blake Arena, the Northstars met a local side, West Springfield, who sported an 8-0 record going into the game.
But it hardly mattered as, led by seniors Breanna Stewart and Brittany Paul, C-NS delivered the same kind of dominating performance Central New York fans are accustomed to, crushing West Springfield 62-20.
Again, defense was a big early factor. West Springfield could not get on the board as the Northstars rang off 15 unanswered points in the game’s first six minutes, led 22-6 after one period and never got a serious challenge the rest of the night.
So good was C-NS’s pressure that West Springfield only managed to make five of the 62 field goals it attempted during the game. And that was with Stewart only playing 23 of a possible 32 minutes.
Still, in those 23 minutes, Stewart, at a venue not far from the University of Connecticut campus she will call home the next four years, outscored West Springfield by herself with 22 points, adding 18 rebounds. Paul was also quite productive, managing 18 points.
On Sunday afternoon, C-NS went to the Philadelphia suburbs to face The Hill School, and Stewart made the difference as the Northstars won again by a score of 62-52.
C-NS grabbed a 21-11 lead by the end of the first quarter. From that point forward, it turned into a chase, Hill producing baskets, but the Northstars continually answering.
And much of that was from Stewart, who poured in 44 points, a new career mark. No other C-NS player had more than Paul’s total of five points.
Just before leaving town, the Northstars put on another display of its power at Central Square last Tuesday night, ripping the Red hawks 76-31.
A series of baskets, and turnovers that led to more points, left C-NS with a 31-4 edge at the end of the first quarter, and the rest of the game was spent adding to that margin.
Stewart contributed 19 points, with Paul (12 points) and Cara Gannett (10 points) also reaching double figures. Sarah Bowles finished with eight points, while Julie Hauberg, Kelly Corbin and Hannah Nichols earned six points apiece.
C-NS takes a shorter road trip Tuesday, to Utica Proctor, before a key home contest on Friday night against West Genesee.