So much for the brief skid that the Fayetteville-Manlius boys basketball team encountered early in January, when it lost back-to-back games at Henninger and Oswego.
The Hornets promptly responded with three wins in the span of a week, moving to 11-2 and increasing the possibility that it will have one of the top seeds when the Section III Class AA playoffs start late next month.
At the center of this string was Friday night's 65-44 romp over Notttingham in front of an overflow crowd of 1,000 at the "Hornets' Nest", where the sentiments went well beyond the contest on the court.
F-M chose this night to honor 2010 graduate Matt Murphy, who was team manager for three years. Murphy passed away Oct. 10 from leukemia while attending Syracuse University.
The team came up with black T-shirts, featuring Murphy's favorite quote, "Impossible is Nothing," on the back, and sold more than 400 of them, encouraging fans attending the game to wear those T-shirts. Those sales, along with other donations, added up to $4,500, with all proceeds benefiting the Golisano Children's Hospital.
With that as a backdrop, F-M tore into Nottingham, who entered the game at 7-3 and had, the week before, knocked off Oswego and Cicero-North Syracuse.
A combination of balanced scoring on the offensive end and a 1-3-1 zone defense that thoroughly baffled Nottingham led to a dominant first half on the Hornets' part. By the time they reached the break, F-M enjoyed a 41-15 advantage.
Though it could not maintain that lopsided a margin, the Hornets still cruised through the rest of the night, putting four players in double figures.
Tomer Nesher led with 15 points, five rebounds and three steals. T.J. Wheatley got a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, adding three steals of his own, while John Schurman got 12 points and 12 rebounds. Zach Tucker starred off the bench with 11 points and three rebounds.