Dec 12, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Eight minutes, one quarter of action – that’s all it took for the West Genesee girls basketball team to let everyone else in the Section III Class AA ranks know that it is ready for a championship push.
Led by junior Melissa Fumano and junior Vicki Graveline, the Wildcats roared past visiting Baldwinsville 78-43 in Tuesday night’s 2012-13 season opener.
A year ago, WG’s rise to prominence culminated with an appearance in the AA title game at the Carrier Dome, but Breanna Stewart and Cicero-North Syracuse were unstoppable en route to a second consecutive state championship and fourth straight sectional crown.
Now Stewart is at Connecticut, and Wildcats head coach Dan Hallinan returns three starters – Fumano, Graveline and Marissa Hudgens – along with a deep supporting cast that is bent on taking that last step and winning it all.
Eager to get started after a month of practice, WG jumped all over B’ville in a 28-10 tear through the first quarter that featured relentless full-court pressure, plenty of forced turnovers and lots of fouls, too.
It was that last part that really benefited the Wildcats, for it took 13 free throws in that opening frame and made 12 of them on the way to a 17-for-19 performance in the first half.
Fumano, perfect on all six of her foul shots on this night, set the scoring tone with a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter, getting 14 points in that frame.
Graveline offered ample support, hitting on 12 points in the second quarter as the margin stretched out to 45-19 at one point before the Wildcats went to the break sporting a 47-26 lead.
It got more lopsided in the third quarter, WG doubling up B’ville’s total on the way to a 71-35 margin. Fumano ran her total to 26 points and Graveline ended up with 24 points, and both of them sat out the entire fourth quarter because the game was well in hand. Sophomore forward Grace Osterdale came off the bench to score seven points.