SYRACUSE Two years ago John Schurman wasn’t big enough or strong enough to tussle with the titans. The Fayetteville-Manlius boys basketball junior forward relied on his outside touch to fill the scorebook.
But when the Hornets traveled to Nottingham Tuesday night, the now 6-foot-5 Schurman unleashed a furious repertoire of shots - converting layups, jumpers and 3-pointers with regularity as F-M ran out to an early 18-point lead and ultimately held off the Bulldogs 63-50.
“He’s a scorer,” F-M coach Tom Blackford said. “If you told me he had 28, I’d say, no way. He’s a quiet scorer. He gets a lot of points, but he did a lot of good stuff inside tonight.”
Schurman poured in 17 first-quarter points, outscoring Nottingham by himself, and finished with 16 in the paint and drained two key 3-pointers in the second half.
F-M extended its cushion as wide as 21 points, but Nottingham fought to stay within striking distance, though was never able to scrap within single digits.
The Hornets were prepared for a grueling battle, Schurman said, after F-M beat the Bulldogs 66-54 in the AA sectional quarterfinals last winter.
“At times we played really well and at times we were extremely sloppy,” Blackford said. “We had them on the ropes a bunch of different times where we really could’ve blown the game open, but we turned the ball over. We’re going to be good, (but) we just have to clean up a lot of stuff.”
Tomer Nesher scored 10 points, Louis Avellino added nine points and point guard Jake Wittig distributed the ball craftily for F-M, which ran out to a 23-13 lead after the opening frame.
Wittig’s transition lob to Schurman resulted in a three-point play 2:04 into regulation before two Schurman 3-balls pushed the advantage to 21-10 4:32 later.