SYRACUSE Three local high school girls basketball teams found themselves on the big stage at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena last weekend, all of them gathering to raise more than $8,000 for Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in the “More Than A Game” Holiday Classic.
Yet of them, only Christian Brothers Academy could reach the final, having done so last Friday by overcoming a first-quarter shutout to defeat Bishop Grimes 48-39.
Playing without Tina Hoag in the lineup due to a sprained ankle, Grimes turned up the defense in the first quarter, and CBA could not make a single shot.
The only comfort came from the fact that the Cobras were just as cold. Thus, the Brothers only trailed 5-0 when Natalie Nardella’s 3-pointer fell less than a minute into the second quarter.
Once that shot fell, many others followed, and Nardella led the charge, getting seven straight points at one juncture as CBA, once embarrassed, ran to halftime guarding a 19-12 lead.
Grimes did a lot better in the second half, getting within three at one stage, but the absence of Hoag proved important as, other than Jordan Vaught (who had 14 points), no Grimes player scored in double figures. Megan Costello had seven points, with Teresa Shattuck adding six points.
Meanwhile, the Brothers’ Julie Cuomo made sure the Cobras didn’t catch up, scoring 12 of her 16 points in the second half to complement Nardella, who led both sides with 19 points. Both of Nafysa Williams’ baskets in the late going proved important, too.
Just before that, Fayetteville-Manlius took on Rochester Mercy (Section V), and that proved to be a thriller, too, but the Monarchs did just enough to beat the Hornets 63-60.
F-M played a solid first half, steadily making its way to a 28-22 lead. All of that confidence vanished, though, when Mercy put together a 22-13 burst through the third quarter, and held on late despite a Hornets scoring surge.