For one West Genesee basketball side, beating Central Square on Friday night amounted to another small step in a larger championship quest. The other band of hoops Wildcats, though, had a different take.
When the WG boys went north and beat the Red Hawks 45-41, it broke a three-game skid, and pushed the Wildcats back to the .500 mark (3-3) in time for its own holiday tournament, which was staged in the weekend between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
What had made WG particularly angry was the way it had rallied from a big early deficit at Cicero-North Syracuse on Dec. 17, only to lose a narrow 70-69 decision. If nothing else, the Wildcat defense resolved that things would not get out of hand the next time it took the court.
Sure enough, WG clamped down against Central Square, allowing just a handful of baskets in an effective first half as it gradually made its way to a 21-13 lead.
At no time did the attack ever gain consistent traction, though, which allowed Central Square to hang around and make a fourth-quarter run, only to come up just short.
With brothers Shane Temara (six points) and Troy Temara (two points) occupied by the Red Hawks’ defenders, Nick Cunningham flourished, pouring in a game-high 17 points, while Sam Brown added nine points. Central Square lost despite Cory Rogers getting 18 points to lead both sides.
Back in Camillus, West Genesee’s girls basketball team was undergoing no similar crisis. Instead, it jumped all over Central Square in a first-quarter blitz, and basically cruised from there to beat the Red Hawks 51-50.
Eight minutes was all it took for the Wildcats to seize control. Constant defensive pressure, and constant Central Square turnovers, led to a string of baskets, the Red Hawks managing just a single free throw as WG sped out to a 25-1 lead.