East Syracuse In their own ways, both of Baldwinsville’s basketball teams would endure deep frustration during their joint appearance at East Syracuse-Minoa’s Vince Celi Memorial Tournament, but still manage to come out of it with equal 1-1 marks.
For the boys Bees, the rough part came at the end of last Thursday’s opening-round game against Auburn, which got snatched away in a 66-65 defeat.
Once up by 21 late in the first half and by 11 early in the fourth quarter, B’ville saw that lead vanish, but still was in front when Tim Marshall went to the free throw line, his team up 65-63, with 13.3 seconds left.
With a one-and-one chance, Marshall missed the front end. Auburn rebounded, and Mike Charles, from the deep left corner, took a fall-away 3-pointer that swished with 3.6 seconds left, putting the Maroons up by one. Still with a chance to win, B’ville turned it over as the clock ran out.
Having dropped its season opener to Auburn 75-63 on Dec. 6, the Bees were better prepared for the rematch, appearing to take charge when it went on a 26-3 run during the second quarter, leading to a 40-19 edge on the scoreboard.
Though the Maroons cut it to 42-27 at halftime, the Bees stayed in control during the third quarter and, with less than six minutes left, had a 59-48 lead.
In a span of less than three minutes, though, the Maroons used a 13-1 run to charge into the lead. Trent Ward, with 24 points, and Charles, with 20 points, led that comeback.
As time wound down, the tension built. B’ville and Auburn exchanged baskets, and when Mike Aiello sank two free throws with 22.4 seconds left, B’ville moved back in front 65-63.
Auburn went for a quick basket, Ward missing a 3-pointer, and Marshall grabbed the rebound. Fouled instantly, Marshall could not get the free throws the Bees needed, setting up the Maroons’ dramatic finish.