Jordan-Elbridge's boys basketball team returned to action Friday in the Hannibal Tournament, ruining the host Warriors’ memorable evening and breaking its own four-game skid with a 62-51 victory.
On this night, Hannibal dedicated it court in honor of two former coaches, Steve Cianfrano and Ken Sturges, who combined to win more than 400 games in their respective tenures.
Maybe the ceremony distracted the Warriors as J-E, returning to full strength, held Hannibal in check and gained a 15-6 first-quarter lead. That margin grew to 28-18 by halftime, and the Eagles spent the rest of the night answering every Warriors charge.
Jake Melfi, with 20 points, led a multi-pronged J-E attack. Zach Wagner and Kyle Matousek each got 13 points, while Jared Bard stepped up for 10 points. Trevor Alton (19 points), Jake Schenko (13 points) and Jake Shortslef (11 points) accounted for most of Hannibal’s output.
J-E would get to face Phoenix (who beat Cato-Meridian 57-35 in its opening-round game) in Saturday’s finals. Against a much-improved Firebirds side, the Eagles’ offense would struggle again, leading to a 51-41 defeat.
During a low-scoring first- half, J-E played terrific defense, but could not reward itself for it, only getting sporadic baskets against Phoenix, who inched in front 19-16 by the time they reached the break.
As the pace picked up in the second half, Phoenix slowly got away, and no J-E players could get hot, Bard leading the way with just 11 points. Colyn Hanley got nine points, while Wagner had seven points and Matousek earned six points. Zach Sisera (13 points) and Brian Sawyer (10 points) led the victorious Firebirds, who improved to 6-2.
Solvay, meanwhile, had a third-place finish in the Chittenango Tournament. The Bearcats blew a fourth-quarter lead to the host Bears in the Dec. 27 opening round, falling in a tight, tense 45-43 decision despite Nick Filippi’s 16 points. No other Solvay player scored in double figures.
But the Bearcats beat Pulaski 52-46 in the consolation game a night later, steadily making its way to a 25-18 halftime lead and this time hanging on, answering the Blue Devils every time it tried to catch up in the last two periods.
Filippi was strong again, earning 21 points, but this time got more help, especially from John Savo, who poured in 20 points. Together, they accounted for 17 of the Bearcats’ 21 field goals as Ron Williams (14 points) and Nick Hollis (13 points) led Pulaski’s efforts.