SYRACUSE The second Baldwinsville-Liverpool boys basketball early-season showdown in the Carrier Dome did not end the way that the first one did.
Struggles on the defensive end, combined with an inability to match the opposition's torrid scoring pace, would hurt the Bees in an 87-68 defeat to the Warriors in Sunday night's Tip-Off Classic.
B'ville had beaten Liverpool in this same venue, and in this same Tip-Off Classic, by a 68-65 margin one year ago. To do so again would complete a 2-1 run through the season's opening weekend, which included a split of the Kiwanis Tip-Off Tournament games it hosted last Thursday and Friday.
Liverpool, who beat Corcoran 77-58 in that same Kiwanis event, was aiming for a 2-0 start, and payback for the 2011 Dome defeat, featuring many of the same players from that squad but a new coach - Matt Jacob - leading them after he replaced Jerry Wilcox last winter.
And it was the Warriors that flew out of the gate, going on a 14-1 run in less than three minutes' time to answer Jayson Brower's opening free throws, the only time all night that the Bees would lead. Caleb Taylor had the last seven points in that spurt.
The Bees trailed 20-5 at one point in the first quarter before closing the gap to 22-12 entering the second period. But the Warriors' quick pace continued to prove too difficult for B'ville to slow down, and the deficit grew again, to 42-27 by the time they reached the break.
Once more, it got away from B'ville in the third quarter. After it cut Liverpool's edge to 44-34, the Bees again saw its resistance break down. Taylor continued to lead the Warriors, working his total to 25 points, which helped make it 66-46 with one quarter left.
So when the Bees made a big run early in the final period, it only reduced the deficit to 68-55, and Liverpool quickly recovered to put things out of reach as Taylor finished with 29 points before going to the bench early in the fourth quarter.
B'ville's game against West Genesee, originally set for Tuesday night, has been moved to Dec. 20.