Baldwinsville The long, arduous process of bringing the Baldwinsville boys basketball program into the top level in Section III Class AA play continues.
Before going to the Carrier Dome to face Liverpool on Sunday, the Bees had to navigate through a new event of its own creation, the Kiwanis Tip-Off Classic, staged Thursday and Friday at Baker High School’s gym and involving a rotation of four visiting teams – Auburn, Onondaga, Liverpool and Corcoran.
Liverpool only played once, defeating Corcoran 77-58 on Friday and getting two days of rest before meeting the Bees in the Dome.
Meanwhile, B’ville would take on Auburn and Onondaga in consecutive nights. The Bees first drew the Maroons and played on even terms most of the night – with one blinding exception, which led to a 75-63 defeat.
For whatever reason, B’ville’s defense was slow to start, and Auburn took full advantage, tripling the Bees’ output in a 24-8 first-quarter blitz.
This meant that, for the rest of the night, B’ville would get into a futile chase. Any production it had was matched by Auburn in the next two periods, a 32-32 deadlock that did not change much down the stretch, despite the Bees’ best efforts.
Kevin Drain, fresh off a state final four appearance with the volleyball Bees, led with 17 points. Tim Marshall and Mike Aiello each had 12 points, while Anthony DeMarco (also a volleyball player) added 10 points.
No one on the Bees could do much about Auburn’s Chris Courtney, who threw in 29 points, including four 3-pointers. Mike Charles (12 points), James Feocco and Trent Ward (10 points each) gave Courtney support.
Now B’ville faced Onondaga Friday night, and it was never a contest as the Bees, frustrated by what happened the night before, took out that frustration on the Tigers in a 73-28 rout.
Similar point totals in the first two periods left B’ville way out in front, 41-18, by halftime, and while it could not quite sustain that kind of production, it kept shutting OCS down.
Seven different players had at least six points, but none had more than Ben Diorio and Jayson Brower, with 11 points apiece. Drain and Marshall each got nine points, with DeMarco managing eight points. Aiello and Devyn McLeod gained six points apiece.