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.