Girls hoops Northstars seek more titles

C-NS starts 2-1, is second at Oneonta Tournament

This is the part of the story where the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball team, after soaking in continual championship glory, starts to make its way back to Earth, making Section III Class AA competition a bit closer.

And that part might end up true – except that the Northstars have no intention of surrendering any bit of its power, even as new players emerge in the spotlight.

Following the back-to-back state Class AA titles Breanna Stewart helped earn in 2011 and ’12, Stewart went on to earn an NCAA championship and Final Four Most Outstanding Player honors at Connecticut, and some sort of a letdown was expected.

But with the likes of Abbey Timpano, Sarah Bowles, Cara Gannett, Hannah Nichols and Kelly Corbin still on hand, C-NS made it back to the state final four again in 2013. Now they have graduated, too, so certainly the road will be tougher, right?

Yet here is where the long-term work done by head coach Eric Smith and his staff might start to pay off, as a new set of players inspired by their predecessors arrive on the scene, bound and determined to continue the Northstars’ championship run that, at the moment, stands at five straight sectional crowns.

C-NS began the 2013-14 season with three consecutive road games. It all started last Wednesday night, at Utica Proctor, where the new-look Northstars rolled past the Raiders 58-41.

And even that margin was a bit deceptive. C-NS, after a modest start, took over in the second quarter, outscoring Proctor 23-5 as its all-out pressure led to plenty of turnovers and easy baskets on the other end.

By the time the third quarter was done, the margin was 50-22, and the Northstars could rest its starters. McKayla Roberts set the pace with 17 points, hitting a trio of 3-pointers, while Beth Bonin also converted three times beyond the arc on her way to 12 points. Emilee Norris matched Bonin’s total of 12 points as Samantha Tortora contributed six points.

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