Cicero Another week for the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball team, and another chance for a high-quality opponent to offer a challenge to the defending state Class AA champions.
This time it was West Genesee, sporting a 10-2 record, making the visit to the Northstars’ gym to get, as it turned out, a full blast of the state Class AA no. 1-ranked Northstars’ power.
What marked C-NS’s 89-31 destruction of the Wildcats was not so much the margin (similar as it was to many other routs this winter), but the way that Breanna Stewart and her teammates snuffed out WG’s best intentions.
Unlike some foes, the Wildcats did break the Northstars’ vaunted press and got offensive opportunities in the early minutes. All that did, though, was cause C-NS to revert to a method that WG could not handle.
Simply put, Stewart and Brittany Paul took over. Whether it was inside baskets, deft passes, rebounding or hitting a pair of 3-pointers, Stewart did it all and registered 37 points – before halftime. She finished with 39 points before sitting in the third quarter.
As if that wasn’t enough, Paul drained a trio of treys and finished with 20 points overall. The score was 60-22 at halftime as C-NS set a season mark for points in the first half and kept on adding to the margin, even after the starters were long gone.
Prior to this, C-NS played at Utica Proctor last Tuesday night. In a game far removed from their high-intensity showdown in the 2011 Section III Class AA final at Utica Auditorium, the Northstars easily handled the Raiders 58-29.
Since that sectional title game, Proctor star Brianna Kiesel had moved on to the University of Pittsburgh. Kiesel’s remaining teammates met the same wall of C-NS resistance as others had faced, only getting 11 points in the first half.
Meanwhile, the Northstars methodically built its margin, led by Stewart, who had 24 points, and Paul, who finished with 19 points. Combined, they easily outscored Proctor, where Kierra Arthur led the way with nine points.
This mostly serves as a week of rest for C-NS, who only plays Friday against Auburn.