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Henninger stops West Genny in AA quarterfinals

Young helps Black Knights pull away in late going

— If you ask Henninger coach Erik Saroney, in his 10th season at the helm, he’ll tell you the offense was stellar, but the lifeblood for Black Knights is and always has been defense.

“Yes, we shot very well,” he said. “But you have to give a lot of credit to West Genesee because they completely took us out of our game for most of it. The fact is that we made shots [Friday], but it was still our defense that won this.”

Kent was on-board.

“It’s not that they press, it’s that they show so many different styles of the press,” Kent said. “The guys couldn’t get into any sort of offensive rhythm because of that.”

It seemed Henninger was going to break the game open early in the second half thanks to the momentum gained by Tyson’s 3-pointer right as the buzzer sounded for halftime, sending the Knights to the break with a 27-20 advantage.

Henninger opened the third on a 10-2 run highlighted by Delee’s seven points as the Knights pulled ahead 37-22.

To the Wildcats’ credit, scrapiness allowed them to hang within shooting distance of Henninger until midway through the fourth. Young took over and the Knights’ athleticism, size and strength prevailed in the end.

Trevor Smith paced the Wildcats with 14 points on two 3-pointers while Scott Sidnam chipped in with 10. Michael Henry and Patrick Patnode added eight apiece.

Henninger was the only city team in Class AA to make it out of the first week. Corcoran, the no. 9 seed, lost to CBA 56-43 in the first round, while Nottingham, the no. 6 seed, handled Watertown 82-39, but lost in the quarterfinals to no. 3 seed Fayetteville-Manlius 66-54.

And Henninger will play F-M in the Class AA semifinals, the winner to get Utica Proctor or Cicero-North Syracuse March 4 in the title game at the Carrier Dome.

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