Cicero 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.