Jan 28, 2012 Kris Russell Uncategorized
West Genesee’s boys basketball team won a game of spurts, 58-47, Friday night over visiting Nottingham and, in the process, insured that it will return to the Section III Class AA playoffs.
The host Wildcats used a 14-0 run at the end of the second quarter to take a 33-21 edge at halftime. The Bulldogs responded with an identical 14-0 spurt midway through the third quarter to pull even.
As it turned out, though, no spurt was bigger than West Genesee’s 8-0 effort to close the third quarter. It gave the Wildcats a lead (45-37) they wouldn’t relinquish.
WG head coach Fred Kent credited his reserves for the second-quarter run.
“That was from our bench,” he said. “We got some nice contributions from Christian Schmidt, Adam Wierbinski, Jim Cunningham (and) Will Watts. They did a really nice job.”
The hosts looked like blowing Nottingham out of the building early in the third quarter. West Genesee held a 37-23 edge and was looking for more.
But Nottingham had other ideas. Keyed by a pair of Derrick Giore bombs and six inside points from Kamron Davis, the Bulldogs turned the game on its ear. A Davis layup with 2:56 left in the third tied the game at 37-37.
Davis’ basket proved to be Nottingham’s last of the quarter. A Matt Naton 3-pointer and an in-traffic basket from Trevor Smith almost immediately gave the Wildcats a 42-37 edge. The hosts extended their advantage to 45-37 after three quarters.
Kent was pleased at how well and how quickly his team responded to the Bulldogs run.
“We came through (and) we made the big shot,” Kent said. “We’ve really been talking about the process all year. We’re going to get better at the end of the year. Tonight was part of that process.”
The Wildcats didn’t yield their fourth quarter lead, but Nottingham never gave up. The Bulldogs got within five (50-45) midway through the frame, only to see Naton score five successive points. From then on all WG had to do was make enough free throws to keep the visitors at arm’s length.
Nottingham coach Greg Jones had high praise for the victors.
“I don’t want to talk too much of what we did wrong. That would take away from what West Genesee did,” Jones said. “(West Genesee) deserved to win the game. They played harder. Executed their stuff better. And defended better.”
Phil Allen led West Genesee with 16 points. Allen had 11. Cunningham chipped in with six.
Davis paced Nottingham with 13 points. Tyquan Rolon notched 12. Jones finished with eight.
The win lifted the Wildcats’ record to 7-8, and, more importantly, secured that all-important sectional berth.
“It’s huge,” Kent said. “And now it’s about seeding, positioning. We have three tough games left (Fayetteville-Manlius, Utica Proctor, Central Square). There’s no easy outs there.”
Earlier in the week, WG moved closer to that playoff spot with last Monday night’s 61-48 home victory over Baldwinsville.
Overall, it was the Wildcats’ defense that stood out, perhaps more here than at any other time this season. Not content with building a 26-16 halftime lead, WG held the Bees to four points in the third quarter, expanding the margin to 41-20 in the process.
True, B’ville would produce a lot in the stretch, but the Wildcats kept control, even if Allen only managed six points. Smith, in particular, stepped up his production, earning 17 points, while Naton had nine points. Mike Henry earned eight points as Scott Sidnam joined Allen with six points.
West Genesee’s girls basketball team, given a week to recover from its 89-31 loss to Cicero-North Syracuse on Jan. 20, returned to action Friday, at Nottingham, and had to sweat hard for a 33-27 victory over the Bulldogs.
The Wildcats squandered an early 14-3 lead, Nottingham zooming out in front 26-24 by the end of the third quarter. However, WG’s pressure took a toll and the Bulldogs did not manage a single field goal in the final period.
Claire Kelley and Marissa Hudgins led the Wildcats with nine points apiece. Having improved to 12-3, WG played a crucial game Tuesday against Fayetteville-Manlius in what amounts to a possible playoff preview before the Wildcats host Utica Proctor on Friday night.