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.