To say that the Cicero-North Syracuse boys basketball team’s 2013-14 regular-season schedule was front-loaded might prove more than a slight understatement.
Before it even hits the middle of December, the Northstars will have played five games against, in order, Christian Brothers Academy, Nottingham, Utica Proctor, Liverpool and Henninger, all in a span of just 11 days.
The season began with a lot of new faces, none of them as important as junior point guard Connor Evans, a transfer from Bishop Grimes who gave head coach John Haas a proven floor leader to complement the likes of Brian DeMonte and Ronnie Williams.
All of this started last Tuesday night, against CBA, where Evans, with timely big plays, turned the game in his new team’s favor and sparked a late surge as the Northstars beat the Brothers 67-47.
Evans had six points as the Northstars shook off a cold start to grab an early 11-4 lead. But led by Charlie Russo and Dylan Lambert, CBA countered with an 18-4 spurt that carried deep into the second quarter.
Then Evans ended that string with a rare four-point play (made 3-pointer, plus foul shot) late in the half that helped the Northstars close within two, 27-25, by halftime.
They went back and forth in the third quarter before Evans and DeMonte hit back-to-back 3-pointers late in the period to put C-NS ahead for good. Though it only trailed 45-41 going to the final period, the Brothers managed just two field goals the rest of the way, and the Northstars got clear.
Other than Russo, who finished with 23 points but struggled with late foul trouble, and Lambert, who got 14 points, no other CBA player had more than two field goals.
By contrast Evans led the Northstars with 24 points and got support from DeMonte, who had 13 of his 15 points in the second half, and Williams, who added 12 points.