In a way, the entire 2011-12 season for the Baldwinsville girls basketball team ended up as an unanswered question.
Short-handed from the start, the Bees still managed to go 12-6, but as the no. 10 seed in the Section III Class AA playoffs, it was given a quick exit in Wednesday night’s opening round, falling to no. 7 seed Utica Proctor 43-41.
Despite an 8-10 regular-season mark, Proctor had the home-court advantage on this night. But the Raiders began the game without, arguably, its two top players, Imani Pierce and Sarina Olds, who were late arrivals.
At the start, the rest of the Proctor players made up for the absence of Pierce and Olds, putting B’ville behind 15-12 by the end of the first quarter.
Yet in the game’s middle stages, the Bees’ defense clamped down, Proctor not even reaching its first-quarter point total in the next two periods combined.
Led by Angelica Romeu, who had 11 points, B’ville seized a 23-21 halftime lead, and inched the margin out to five, 34-29, by the time they reached the fourth quarter.
Pierce and Olds had returned by this point, and they started to assert themselves in a big manner in the fourth quarter. It was Pierce’s 3-pointer that pushed Proctor back in front midway through the period.
After the Bees briefly reclaimed the lead, Hadia Ballard’s basket, combined with a Pierce jumper, suddenly made it 43-39, and B’ville could not catch up. Of Pierce’s 16 points, seven of them came in the fourth quarter, while Olds and teammate Danea Sisti each had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Romeu was the only B’ville player to score in double figures. Hounded all night, senior Maggie Monnat, B’ville’s 1,000-point scorer, only had six points here, the same total as Liz Giromini and Hope DeFazio. Erika Wilcox (five points), Andrea Moore (four points) and Morgan Marshall (three points) made smaller contributions.
So ended a season where the absence of Claire Monnat and the late-season injury to point guard Gabi Jordan prevented B’ville from mounting a serious championship threat. It will be up to the likes of Marshall, Jordan and DeFazio to keep the Bees in contention in 2012-13.