Rising from early struggles, the Marcellus girls basketball team is making a push to get into the Section III Class B playoffs.
The Mustangs, who surprised Bishop Grimes 50-45 on Jan. 20, followed it up by going to Jordan-Elbridge Tuesday night and pulling out a 40-39 victory over the Eagles.
Marcellus trailed, 11-6, after one quarter. Though it could not catch up in the game’s middle stages, the Mustangs played strong defense and didn’t allow J-E to get away, either, despite Molly Hourigan’s 20 points and 19 rebounds.
During the final period, Marcellus did outscore the Eagles 19-14, and edged out in front. Lauren Soule and Meghan Witkowski led the charge, each finishing with 11 points, while Molly MacLachlan and Tessa Mosher each had six points. Grace Dungey, with eight points, and Alexis Rouse, with six points, offered support to Hourigan.
And it didn’t stop there, either, as the Mustangs took on Solvay Thursday night and pulled out its third close win in the span of a week, edging the Bearcats 35-32.
Threatening to run away, Marcellus seized a 17-6 lead by the end of the first quarter. The margin held up until the third quarter, when Solvay, with a 12-4 push, got back into the fight, staying there until the end.
Still, Marcellus held on behind a stellar defense and the work of Lauren Soule, who had 14 points, nearly half her team’s output. Abbey Jones led Solvay’s effort, earning 12 points.
On the boys side, Marcellus beat J-E 65-50 on Tuesday. It was a gradual getaway, the Eagles hanging close for the first three periods before the Mustangs outscored them 21-14 in the fourth quarter to secure the win.
Nick Sinay erupted for 26 points, hitting on four 3-pointers. Kyle Hastings had 14 points, while Garrett Thompson managed 11 points and Duncan Merritt managed 10 points.
J-E lost despite getting Cody Lewis (13 points), Leland Holmes (11 points) and Alex Town (10 points) into double figures as Jared Bard added eight points.
Then the Mustangs ripped past Solvay 69-39 on Friday night, breaking a close contest open with a 26-3 sprint through the second quarter, from which the Bearcats never recovered.
In particular, Hastings tore up Solvay, finishing with 32 points, while Duncan Merritt finished with 17 points and Sinay added nine points. The Mustangs’ playoff hopes hinge on games this week against Bishop Ludden and Westhill.