Baldwinsville No one knows, at this point, whether the Baldwinsville girls basketball team can parlay a successful start to the 2013-14 season into larger accomplishments down the road.
But what can be said for sure is that the Bees got off to the ideal start, winning its own Bill Middleton Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday afternoon when it defeated Rome Free Academy 45-42 in the championship game.
This tournament was the first varsity basketball games played in Baker High School’s revamped gymnasium. It also gave B’ville a chance to prove that, with numerous players back from 2012-13, it could get back into the realm of Class AA title contenders.
The Bees had no trouble in Friday’s opening round, cruising past Homer 53-34. Applying all kinds of defensive pressure, B’ville held the Trojans to four points in the first quarter and extended its margin throughout the early portions of the game.
By the fourth quarter, the Bees led Homer 44-24, and could breeze the rest of the way. Emily Pascale, with 11 points, seven steals and three rebounds, led the well-balanced effort as nine of the 10 players that saw action got at least two points.
Rachael Miller picked up 10 points, working well in the paint as she added five rebounds and five blocks. Hope DeFazio had eight points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals, while Riley Carlucci had six points and five rebounds. Sarah Abraham also had six points.
This brought B’ville into Saturday’s tournament final against Rome Free Academy, who had routed Watertown 69-28 in the other half of the opening round. Both sides would find the title game to be a lot closer than the preliminaries.
They went back and forth in the first half. The Bees led, 11-8, after one period, only to see the Black Knights fight back and pull even, 23-23, going into halftime.