Feb 13, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
On a busy Wednesday, each of the area’s girls basketball teams headed to the Section III playoffs learned about where there were going – and who they would be playing.
Westhill’s 17-1 regular season meant that it earned the no. 2 seed in Class B and a first-round bye, which was the good part.
The bad part is that the state no. 6-ranked Warriors, in next Tuesday’s quarterfinal, could face another state-ranked team, Utica-Notre Dame, who has the no. 7 seed and faces Clinton in Friday’s opening round.
The Jugglers feature All-State star junior Emily Durr, whose last regular-season game saw her score 37 points in a win over Whitesboro.
Each of the other local Class B sides play in the first round this weekend. Marcellus, the no. 9 seed, meets its main rival, no. 8 seed Skaneateles, on Friday, just as no. 12 seed Solvay visits no. 5 seed Sherburne-Earlville and a night before no. 13 seed Bishop Ludden goes on the road to meet no. 4 seed Cazeonvia.
Up in Class AA, West Genesee’s 13-5 record means that it draws the no. 4 seed. The Wildcats host no. 5 seed Nottingham in next Tuesday’s AA quarterfinal and stares at a possible semifinal with two-time defending state champion Cicero-North Syracuse, who is the top seed again.
All of this followed a flurry of activity in the two days leading up to the playoff announcements, much of it from Westhill and West Genesee.
For nearly two months, Westhill had to wait for its game against Fayetteville-Manlius – and when it finally did take place Monday night, it took every bit of the Warriors’ toughness to get a 48-46 victory over the Hornets.
They were supposed to meet way back on Dec. 22 in the Traci Zimmer Memorial Tournament at Central Square, but it got snowed out, as did a second possible meeting in late January.
At last, things cleared out for last Monday’s encounter, and throughout a low-scoring first half F-M’s tenacious defense made a real difference as it inched into a 20-19 lead.
A big performance from Erika Stube, who had 12 points, kick-started the Hornets as Lauren Getman (12 points) and Madison Beck (11 points) also reached double figures.
F-M led, 34-32, with one period left, but could not hold on as junior Anna Ross keyed Westhill’s comeback. Ross scored 16 of her game-high 19 points in the second half, as she and Sam Peebles (14 points) made the key baskets down the stretch. Maggie Tripodi offered support with eight points.
That win, combined with a 57-25 romp over visiting Hannibal a night later, locked down that no. 2 playoff seed.
For Westhill’s quartet of seniors – Tripodi, Kelly Mascari, Paige Rogers and Mariah Pierce – it was their last regular-season home game, and like each of the others in the last two seasons, it ended on a winning note.
Outscoring Hannibal in each quarter, Westhill took a 30-12 edge to halftime and kept pulling further away. And Tripodi led the way, draining five 3-pointers to account for most of her 21 points as Ross contributed 12 points and Peebles added eight points.
Also on Tuesday, West Genesee’s girls hosted Central Square, hardly tearing it up on the offensive end, but making up for it with fierce resistance as it beat the Red Hawks 45-32.
This was a steady effort on WG’s part, as it built its winning margin over the course of the first three periods, gaining a 34-23 edge. No Central Square player would score in double figures, Claudia Stirpe leading the visitors with just eight points.
Marissa Hudgins, with eight rebounds and three steals, set the defensive tone and allowed the Wildcats to work through an uneven effort on the other end. Only Vicki Graveline, with 15 points, and Melissa Fumano, with 11 points, produced with any consistency.