Dec 08, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
With steadiness and patience, head coach Tim Solomon and his staff has worked toward making the Baldwinsville boys basketball team something more than a nuisance for opponents in the hyper-competitive Section III Class AA ranks.
Whether the 2013-14 season marks the Bees’ arrival as a contender remains a mystery, but a busy opening week would go a long way to determining if B’ville could, at the very least, get into the playoff conversation.
This included the annual Kiwanis Club Tournament, held last weekend at Baker High School’s revamped gymnasium. The Bees made it to Saturday’s final against West Genesee, but a poor second quarter ended up dooming B’ville as it lost, 79-69, to the Wildcats.
A night earlier, in the opening round, the Bees faced Oswego, and played near-perfect basketball in the first half, rendering the rest of the game a formality as it defeated the Buccaneers 68-56.
Oswego, who had lost in two overtimes to Corcoran earlier in the week, got overwhelmed in the first quarter, B’ville using a lethal all-around game to sprint ahead 23-5.
That margin kept growing, the Bees gaining a 40-14 halftime lead. Finally, some shots for the Bucs fell in the third quarter, but even that surge only made it 52-38, and sufficiently alarmed, B’ville played a steady final period to get the win.
Ryan Kohutanich emerged as a force for the Bees, earning 22 points, four rebounds and two assists. Ben DiOrio put together 16 points, eight assists and five rebounds, while Cameron Skipworth, Kyle George and Devyn McLeod each had eight points. Sam Thurston contributed six points.
In the other opening-round game between West Genesee and Auburn, the Wildcats won big, 74-51, setting the template that B’ville would later follow against Oswego by roaring out to a 22-4 first-quarter lead and 44-15 halftime edge to erase all the suspense early.
Now came the final between the Bees and Wildcats, and the decisive spurt would take place in the second quarter.
Tied at 15-15, WG started to force the Bees into all kinds of mistakes, leading to plenty of scoring opportunities on the other end – and plenty of conversions, too.
All told, the Wildcats outscored B’ville 22-6 in that frame, and from there it turned into a chase, B’ville never letting WG get too far away, but not catching up, either, as the teams combined for 58 points in a wild final period.
DiOrio had 20 points as Cameron Skipworth (15 points), John Brecht and Kyle George (10 points each) also hit double figures. WG’s Shane Temara managed 27 points, nearly double his total from the Auburn game, to lead both sides. Nick Cunningham contributed 13 points, while Troy Temara picked up 10 points.
Before all that, B’ville opened its season last Tuesday night with a visit to Rome Free Academy, where a diverse attack was put on display throughout a 67-55 victory over the Black Knights.
RFA kept right with the Bees throughout the first half, neither side able to make a serious move as they went to the break tied, 29-29. But in the third quarter, B’ville outscored the Black Knights 17-11, and then used solid free-throw shooting to get further away.
DiOrio led with 18 points, but he was just one of four Bees to score in double figures. Brecht hit a trio of 3-pointers to account for most of his 13 points, while McLeod threw in 12 points and Skipworth added 11 points. Each of the eight B’ville players in the scoring column scored at least two field goals.
At 2-1 following the loss to West Genesee, the Bees mostly rest and practice this week, but are back in action Friday night, when it hosts Central Square.