Dec 07, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In both of Dan Hallinan’s seasons at the helm of the West Genesee girls basketball team, the Wildcats have achieved plenty – and have also seen its Section III Class AA championship dreams thwarted each time by powerhouse Cicero-North Syracuse.
A season ago, that defeat came in the AA semifinals, but out of that 60-28 defeat came a renewed determination on the part of WG’s veteran core to take another shot at the big prize in 2013-14.
And it could not have started better. The Wildcats visited Fayetteville-Manlius in last Tuesday night’s season opener and, with the trio of Melissa Bakowski, Melissa Fumano and Jackie Pardee leading the way, WG beat the Hornets 62-50.
F-M, like the Wildcats, was playing its season opener, and was at home. That didn’t matter, though, as the two sides played through a tight first quarter before WG started to assert control, gaining a 31-25 lead by the time they reached the break.
That margin doubled in the third quarter, and with the Wildcats ahead 47-34, it could withstand F-M’s final push as Madison Beck (22 points) and Lauren Getman (16 points) accounted for most of the Hornets’ offense.
Bakowski led the way, gaining all of her 20 points from 10 successful field-goal tries. Fumano finished with 15 points, while Pardee took on a larger role and put in 13 points. Courtney Shoults added six points.
Going for two in a row Friday night against Utica Proctor, the Wildcats made its home opener an enjoyable one, running all over the Raiders in a 65-32 romp.
The getaway didn’t happen early, as Proctor kept the pace reasonable and only trailed 28-22 at halftime. But WG’s pressure took a toll, and it managed to completely dominate the second half, outscoring the Raiders 37-10 in those last two periods.
No single player stood out, either, which made it even more impressive. Fumano led with just 12 points, but Grace Osterdale (nine points), Shoults, Marissa Hudgins (eight points each) and Melissa Moran (seven points) were right behind as Pardee contributed six points.
And this led WG into Monday night’s early showdown with neighbor and Class B power Westhill, who had plenty of its own motivation as a new season got underway.
The Warriors, hungry to get started again after it lost in last year’s sectional playoffs to eventual champion Utica-Notre Dame, faced Skaneateles Thursday night and controlled things most of the way, beating the Lakers in a 60-49 victory that wasn’t nearly as close as how it ended up.
Already in front, the Warriors all but decided matters in a second-quarter blitz where it outscored Skaneateles 23-5 to give itself a 37-12 halftime edge. From there, Westhill eased up, especially on the defensive side in the fourth quarter as the reserves saw action.
Before that, though, the Warriors displayed a deep and diverse attack that went beyond senior stars Sam Peebles, who had 21 points (including four 3-pointers), and Pennsylvania-bound Anna Ross, who had 13 points. Delaney Martin and Mary Kate Washburn showed that they, too, could make major contributions, scoring 11 points apiece.
This came two nights after Bishop Ludden had rallied past Skaneateles 63-44, an impressive effort that had largely eluded the Gaelic Knights the season before, when it went 9-10 and lost in the opening round of the sectional tournament to Cazenovia.
The Gaelic Knights played a rough first half, unable to get much going as Skaneateles took a 28-17 lead to the break. What followed, in the third quarter, was a complete turnaround. Ludden could not miss a shot, and the Lakers kept turning it over, all part of a 25-5 blitz that stunned Skaneateles and pushed the Gaelic Knights to a 42-33 lead.
All told, Ludden outscored the Lakers 46-16 in the second half, and Danielle Rauch led the way, pouring in 21 points.
Sara Hayes, with 16 points, and Stephanie Brazell, with 11 points, both offered plenty of help as Nicole Granteed added nine points and Gemma O’Kane six points. Elizabeth Lane, with 18 points, was the only Laker player to score in double figures.
Ludden also played tough Friday night in a 55-49 loss to Class AA power Corcoran. It only trailed by one, 24-23, at halftime, and the Gaelic Knights matched every Cougar push to keep the game within range all the way to the final horn.
Still, Ludden lost, even though Brazell managed 16 points and Danielle Rauch added 10 points. Granteed (eight points) and Amanda Brogan (six points) were close behind.
Sindaria Hairston led Corcoran with 17 points as Marissa Moreman (14 points) and Tayler Williams (13 points) lay close behind. Brandi Fowler had 10 assists to go with her nine points.