Dec 21, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
On the last Friday and Saturday of 2013, each of East Syracuse-Minoa’s basketball teams will continue the decade-long tradition of hosting the Vince Celi Memorial Tournament.
And they both enter the tournament off wins on Friday night, the boys Spartans turning back Homer 65-55, while the girls went to Fowler and, with strong starts to each half, defeated the Falcons 55-33.
Just 1-2 going into its game, the ESM boys knew that Homer was far from the pushover of seasons past, the Trojans having started 3-0 before a 67-59 defeat to Mexico on Dec. 18, two days before it faced the Spartans.
And ESM would jump all over Homer, doubling up the Trojans 20-10 in a pivotal first quarter. From there, the Spartans kept pulling further away, using an 18-9 push through the third period to make it 51-29 before easing up on the defensive side in the late going.
Sean Richardson torched Homer for 25 points, a season high, while Eyan Underwood had 13 points. Brandon Breen, with nine points, got close to double figures, as did Jah-Meer McDuffie and Corey Beeles, with seven points apiece. Rex Ryan (17 points) and Jayden Gavidia (16 points) accounted for most of Homer’s offense.
As that went on, the girls game saw ESM hold Fowler to four points in the first quarter. That helped the Spartans get away with a modest pace of production, as it only carried a 20-13 lead to halftime.
Just to make sure Fowler didn’t get too interested, ESM put up lots more points in the second half, outscoring Fowler 35-20 as it improved to 3-2 on the season.
Ashley Scalzo and Stephanie Edmonds led the charge, as Scalzo finished with 16 points and Edmonds chimed in with 15 points. Sydni Eure added eight points and Haley Wise managed six points. Samantha Palermo paced Fowler with 10 points.
Meanwhile, the strong start by Manlius-Pebble Hill continued, the Trojans hosting Faith Heritage on that same Dec. 20 and fighting its way to a 40-29 victory over the Saints.
Even though both teams struggled for baskets in the first half, Faith had far more trouble, MPH holding them to three points in the second quarter as its lead grew to 18-11.
Then the Trojans went cold, getting just four points in the third period. But Faith could not take full advantage, and MPH used a series of late free throws to put things away.
Dan Byrnes continued to flourish, earning 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Jon Cerio had 10 points and four rebounds. Rex Lin had nine points and Duncan Morrison contributed five rebounds.
In contrast to MPH’s surge, Bishop Grimes was going in the other direction, and unbeaten, state Class B no. 4-ranked Westhill maintained the Cobras’ misery, beating them 61-45.
Grimes was already short-handed, as star senior forward Tom Steinberg was still recovering from an ankle injury suffered a week earlier in an overtime loss to Solvay. Without Steinberg, the Cobras, once 5-0, had lost back-to-back games, also falling to Marcellus Dec. 17.
Still, Grimes was up for Westhill, hanging close early before Jordan and Ryan Roland, exploiting the Cobras’ zone defense, combined for 10 quick points that stretched the lead to 23-11 early in the second quarter, a margin that mostly held until halftime.
Up 35-24 at the break, the Warriors all but sealed matters with an 18-8 domination of the third quarter, constantly going to the foul line – and constantly converting, going 21-for-22 on free throws by night’s end.
Joe Arrigo (15 points) and Johnny Wike (12 points) led Grimes’ efforts, with Akol Ater adding six points. Westhill’s Jeff Lobello sank all 10 of his foul shots as the junior managed 19 points overall. Jordan Roland got 16 points, with Ryan Roland adding 11 points.