Girls Wildcats upend F-M in Class AA semis

WG uses 19-2 push in second half to beat Hornets

— Tripodi finished with four steals as Hudgins had nine rebounds to go with her six points before fouling out.

Meanwhile, Graveline sparked the spurt with a jumper and 3-pointer on consecutive possessions that tied the game, 31-31, and when Datellas executed a steal and layup early in the fourth quarter, WG went ahead for good.

Graveline would finish with 19 points and six rebounds, while Fumano had 17 points as the pair combined to hit a season-best six 3-pointers.

Datellas helped in the clutch, getting all of her nine points (she also had four assists) in the fourth quarter as the Wildcats had to hold back a furious late F-M surge.

F-M, down 45-33, used full-court pressure to go on an 8-1 run to move within 46-41 with 1:30 to play, but after another Hornets steal, the Wildcats stole it back and Graveline made a crucial basket.

Shoemaker, who finished with 16 points, fouled out in the closing seconds after the Hornets closed the gap to 49-45, and the Wildcats used four more free throws to seal it. Beers, despite all the pressure on her, finished with 11 points.

This sets up the Wildcats for a memorable experience as, next Friday at 7 p.m., it goes to the Carrier Dome to face top seed and defending state Class AA champion Cicero-North Syracuse for the sectional title. To say WG is a massive underdog might be understating the challenge that lies ahead.

Led by Connecticut-bound McDonald's All-American Breanna Stewart (who is also Section III's all-time leading scorer), the Northstars beat the Wildcats 89-31 when they met in the regular season on Jan. 20 and put together a 39-2 first half in burying Liverpool 63-19 in the other sectional semifinal.

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