Feb 04, 2012 Kris Russell Uncategorized
Cicero-North Syracuse scrapped its way past archrival Liverpool 65-58 Friday night in a Class AA CNYCL National boys’ basketball game. But when Northstars coach John Haas and his Warriors counterpart, Matt Jacob, review the game film, they’ll have to cover their eyes through large parts of it.
Turnovers, poor free throw shooting, bundles of missed layups, and mental mistakes far outnumbered sound basketball in front of a large crowd at C-NS.
“It could have been a lot better night,” Haas said. “But we got through that adversity and got a good win against a very hard fighting Liverpool team.”
Jacob borrowed the phrase that describes the Pittsburgh-West Virginia college football rivalry.
“It’s the backyard brawl,” Jacob said. “Records don’t matter. It’s a brawl and it’s a dogfight and they’re great basketball games.”
The Northstars started well, scoring the game’s first seven points. The Warriors eventually trailed 10-2, but fought back to narrow their deficit to 15-14 after one quarter.
Liverpool took its first lead early in the second quarter at 17-15 before extending its edge to four (26-22) halfway through the frame.
C-NS then turned in a spurt that gave them the lead for good. The hosts outscored Liverpool, 11-2 over the final three minutes of the second to take a 33-28 edge at intermission.
The Northstars looked primed to run riot over the Warriors late in the third quarter. When Vaughndell Brantley dropped in a three pointer, it gave CNS a 50-38 lead.
It wasn’t over, though. Liverpool scored the final two points of the third quarter, and 11 of the first 14 of the fourth. The Warriors trailed only 55-51, and had a chance to narrow the deficit more, but again turned it over.
The Warriors last got within four points at 58-54, but a Sam Nassar layup with exactly one minute left all but ended it.
“We started out pretty strong but we didn’t compete for the entire 32 minutes,” Haas said. “We kind of allowed (Liverpool) to come in. And they made plays to get back into the game.”
C-NS improved to 11-5 overall and 6-4 in league play. Two regular season games remain — at Rome Free Academy and home to Corcoran — before the Northstars go into the Section III Class AA playoffs.
Nassar led the winners with 14 points. Roberts had 12. Brantley notched nine points and Shakir Thomas added eight points.
Liverpool fell to 5-12 overall and 1-9 in league games. The Warriors won’t make the sectionals, but that matter won’t prevent their coach from being upbeat about his squad.
“We didn’t play all that great but we battled back,” Joseph said. “I’m proud of these guys they just keep working.”
Tyler Bliss led the Warriors with a game high 17 points. Abe Odum reached double figures with 10 points. Caleb Taylor and Jeff Edwards had nine points apiece.
Both sides entered the game with good feelings after wins last Tuesday night, each of them impressive in their own manner.
Liverpool earned, arguably, its best victory of the season by holding off Corcoran 64-63, just as C-NS was venturing to Baldwinsville and using a big second half to dismiss the Bees 79-48.
The Warriors’ game with the Cougars went back and forth, Liverpool unable to hold on to a 14-10 edge as it went to halftime trailing, 30-26.
Yet in the third period, bolstered by a multifaceted attack, Liverpool outscored Corcoran 24-13, and then had to hang on as the Cougars staged a furious late rally. When all was done, Alonzo Grainger had 15 points and Odum finished with 14 points. Bliss added 10 points, with Jeff Edwards managing eight points.
C-NS, meanwhile, found itself in a tight first half at B’ville, unable to escape as the two sides went to halftime in a 28-28 tie.
All that changed, though, in the third quarter. Just like with Liverpool, the Northstars played its best here, torching B’ville’s defense and more than doubling its output as it went on a 30-11 spurt, which proved decisive.
Nassar, with 16 points, and Brantley, with 15 points, led that surge, while Andrew Johnson stepped up for 11 points. Thomas (nine points) and Xavier Brown (seven points) also made solid contributions.