Tame winter weather meant that all of the area’s high school girls basketball teams could get started, and the results within the OHSL Liberty division proved quite fascinating.
Marcellus, who went 12-6 a season ago before a first-round Section III Class B playoff defeat to Skaneateles, had no trouble in its season opener against Jordan-Elbridge, rolling to a 56-14 victory over the Eagles.
J-E never got into the argument as the Mustangs led 19-4 after one period and continued to extend the margin from there. By game’s end, all nine players that saw action scored at least one point.
Tessa Mosher and Nicole Wynne led Marcellus with 11 points apiece. Molly MacLachlan and Morgan DeLand were close behind, each getting eight points, while Meghan Witkowski picked up six points. Leah Wright led the Eagles, earning seven points, half her team’s output.
Solvay, coming off last year’s 9-10 campaign that, like Marcellus, ended in the opening round of the sectional tournament (it lost to Sherburne-Earville), struggled again when it began last Monday at Cazenovia, falling to the Lakers 59-39.
Under relentless defensive pressure, the Bearcats found itself trailing 19-10 by the time the second quarter. And that deficit kept growing, especially in a 20-7 third-quarter charge by Cazenovia that all but put the game away.
Chelsie Delperuto still finished with 13 points, while Jackie Gardner and Kelly Nolan each had eight points. Kara DeGonzaque contributed six points. For the victorious Lakers, Audrey Burbidge (17 points) and Maggie Johnson (16 points) led the way as Jocelyn Golden (10 points) also hit double figures.
Then Solvay and J-E faced each other on Wednesday night, and the Eagles showed vast improvement, more than tripling its point output, even though the Bearcats still prevailed 60-49.
In fact, the Eagles nearly matched its entire game total from Marcellus in the first quarter alone as it battled to a 13-10 lead. Startled by this, Solvay streaked out in front in the second period, eventually gaining a 30-24 halftime lead.