Jan 13, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
The original plan was for West Genesee and Liverpool’s girls basketball teams to play four quarters Thursday night, with the Wildcats seeking its 10th win of the season and the Warriors looking to rise above the .500 mark.
They ended up playing longer – a lot longer.
In fact, it went to four overtimes before WG, by shutting out Liverpool in the last of these extra periods, finally emerged with an 86-76 victory in a game no one who played in it will forget.
It started routinely enough, the Warriors playing a solid, steady first half. Liverpool led, 13-9, after one quarter, and while the Wildcats’ attack picked up as the half went on, the Warriors still led 26-23 going into the break.
Liverpool’s production never wavered – it scored exactly 13 points in each of the regulation periods. But WG played its best in the third quarter, inching out in front 40-39 by the time it was done.
Through a tense fourth quarter, both teams had the lead, and both teams had chances to decide it, but it ended 52-52, creating the need for a four-minute overtime period. Liverpool made it this far despite 29 turnovers (it would finish with 37 overall) against WG’s 1-3-1 zone.
Both sides were cold in that first OT, managing just four points apiece, and so the game went into a second extra period, where the production doubled, but again nothing got settled as it now stood at 65-65.
The third OT would prove decisive, despite it not settling anything on the scoreboard. Liverpool was on the brink of ending the long affair, ahead 76-73, when WG’s Emily Tripodi hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie it yet again, 76-76.
Staggered by that shot, Liverpool slumped in the fourth OT, unable to get a point, while WG went on a 10-0 run to finally end it. The Wildcats’ deeper bench proved enough in a contest where both teams saw three starters foul out.
It took a game and a half to settle matters, but when it was done, WG’s Vicki Graveline had earned 10 of her 20 points at the foul line, while Marissa Hudgins had a career-best 19 points. Melissa Fumano put up 13 points (seven at the free-throw-line), while Claire Kelley had 11 points.
Tripodi managed nine points, none bigger than that 3-pointer that prolonged the contest, and her defensive work in 46 minutes of game action, including five steals, helped cause many of the Warriors’ turnover problems.
Liverpool’s Lyteshia Price led both sides with 23 points, including 15 successful free throws. Jacy Kocan had 15 points, while Shannon Seymour hit a trio of 3-pointers to account for most of her 13 points. Mackenzie Chase (10 points) and Rachael Windhausen (eight points) were close behind.
What makes it worse for the Warriors was that, on Saturday and Sunday, it has to turn around and play two more games in the Juggler Classic at Utica-Notre Dame.
The Warriors lost in the opening round to Albertus Magnus 50-43. Perhaps still tired from the events of Thursday, Liverpool fell behind 31-18 by halftime, but made a third-quarter charge to pull within 37-36 before stumbling late. Price led with 20 points, while Kocan and Seymour each had nine points.
Somehow, Liverpool turned around on Sunday to win the consolation game over Utica Proctor 38-37.
After gaining a 26-21 halftime advantage, the Warriors slumped the rest of the way, only getting a handful of baskets, but its defense still allowed them to hang on. Price and Kocan each had eight points, with Windhausen adding six potns.