As the host of its own Booster Club Tournament, the West Genesee boys basketball team knew that success in that event could generate some much-needed confidence going into 2014 – but it could not quite get the top prize.
In the first round on Friday, the Wildcats took on Ithaca, from the Section IV ranks, and needed a big fourth-quarter surge to get past the Little Red 72-64.
From the start, Ithaca proved troublesome, gaining a 21-20 lead at the end of a wild first quarter. WG’s deficit grew to 37-30 by halftime, but when the Little Red cooled off early in the second half, the Wildcats started to rally back.
That work culminated in a fourth quarter where WG outscored Ithaca 25-16, using late free throws from Shane Temara and Michael Schmidt to put it away. Temara led with 24 points, while Schmidt had a career-best 20 points. Troy Temara contributed 11 points.
In the final on Saturday afternoon, WG would face Utica Proctor, who rallied from its own big deficit in the other opening-round game to defeat Corcoran 74-58 as J’Von Evans (27 points) and Tyvon Reed (25 points) both had big showings for the Raiders.
It proved to be a tight title game that would go back and forth throughout, but the Wildcats lost it, 75-68, to the Raiders because it was unable to recover from a third-quarter knockout.
Trailing 20-13 after one period, WG tore through Proctor’s defenses in the second quarter, outscoring them 21-10 to grab a 34-30 lead at the break.
Just as quickly, though, the Raiders regained control, pushing the tempo even faster during a 27-point third period as it pulled back in front for good. WG was productive, too, but it still couldn’t keep the Raiders from hanging on down the stretch.