Trying to get its season kick-started, the Solvay girls basketball team won its own holiday tournament on Thursday and Friday, beating the likes of Jordan-Elbridge to get there.
In the opening round, the Bearcats earned a 50-38 victory over the Eagles. The key stretch came in the third quarter, when Solvay, ahead 9-7, outscored J-E 17-10 in that frame, establishing a margin that the Eagles would spend the rest of the game trying to erase.
Alexis Rouse did her best for J-E, earning a game-high 24 points. But none of her teammates had more than Leah Wright’s total of six points, and Solvay had more contributors.
Chelsie Delperuto managed 11 steals to go with 17 points, five assists and three rebounds. Jackie Gardner had 11 points, with Courtney Napolitano adding 10 rebounds and seven points.
In the finals, Solvay met a Henninger side that beat city rival Fowler 63-48 to get this far. But the Bearcats never let the Black Knights get to even half that amount in the title game, relying on its defense to prevail by a 47-29 margin.
What made that game more remarkable was the fact that Solvay trailed, 13-4, through one period. But once Henninger went cold, Solvay gradually caught up and then, in the third quarter, used a 16-3 spurt to grab the lead, a run from which the Black Knights could not recover.
Outscoring Henninger 31-8 in the second half, the Bearcats saw Delperuto again lead the charge, earning 17 points, three rebounds, three steals and four assists. Gardner and Kelly Nolan had seven points apiece, with Napolitano dominating on the defensive side with nine rebounds and eight blocks as Gianna Pennisi managed eight rebounds, plus six points.
J-E lost the consolation game to Fowler, 53-38, outscored in each period as the Falcons led 19-13 by halftime and kept pulling further away. Alexis Rouse, in defeat, had 17 points, while Morgan Conroy had seven points. Samantha Palermo paced Fowler with 20 points.