No matter what took place during the Baldwinsville boys basketball team’s home game against Liverpool on Friday night, it was a time to celebrate.
That was because the school was officially honoring the B’ville baseball team that won its first-ever state championship last June in Binghamton.
Most of the baseball players were in attendance (a few had to play hockey that night), and they got to see a championship banner revealed in the Baker High School gymnasium, and also picked up state championship rings purchased through funds raised by the program’s booster club.
B’ville, of course, would have liked to win the basketball game, too – but the rival Warriors were in no mood for generosity, overcoming a poor start and pulling away in the second half to defeat the Bees 84-64.
Off back-to-back losses to top Class AA contenders Fayetteville-Manlius and Henninger, Liverpool got into trouble here, too, as the inspired Bees played at a feverish pace and made everything as it raced to a 25-16 lead.
Led by Caleb Taylor, though, the Warriors turned it around, getting its own 25-16 push through the second period to tie it, 41-41, at the break. Then, after the baseball players got their moment of glory, B’ville promptly got stomped as Liverpool outscored them 21-9 in a decisive third quarter.
Battling to the end, the Bees saw Ben DiOrio get 17 points, plus six assists and five steals. Nick Alley had 14 points, while Devyn McLeod had 12 points and five rebounds.
Kyle George (nine points) and Cameron Skipworth (eight points) nearly got to double figures, too, but all of them tailed behind Taylor, who poured in a season-best 30 points to make up for the fact that none of the other Liverpool players scored in double figures.
A few miles down the road, Baldwinsville’s girls team, off its first loss of the season (62-38 to reigning champion Cicero-North Syracuse on Dec. 18), tried to bounce back at Liverpool, but the undefeated Warriors turned them back in a 52-37 defeat.