ESM boys finish second at Celi Tournament

Girls Spartans drop games to Auburn, Whitesboro

— As this went on, the ESM girls basketball team, who entered the Celi Tournament with a 3-2 mark, could not win either of its games against a strong pair of opponents.

Like their male counterparts, these Spartans also faced Auburn – but did so in the opening round on Dec. 27, and one big spurt late in the first half made the difference as the Spartans lost to the Maroons 53-41.

Trailing 16-12 after one period, ESM rallied to move in front, 24-23, only to have Auburn go on an 11-0 run in a span of less than three minutes just before the halftime break.

Try as it could, the Spartans could not recover from that surge, seeing the Maroons nurse a double-digit lead through most of the second half, overcoming 12 points from Haley Wise and 10 points from Ashley Scalzo as Danielle Ventrone added eight points. Annie Giannone led Auburn with 21 points, seven assists and six steals.

ESM would meet Whitesboro (who lost 55-47 to Baldwinsville) in the consolation game and got off to a glorious start – but could not follow it up, and it led to a 62-52 defeat to the Warriors.

Hot shooting in the first quarter helped the Spartans streak to a 22-11 lead. Yet most of that margin was gone by halftime, as Whitesboro stormed back and pulled within one, 29-28.

Even though the third quarter was an active one, the Warriors sneaked out in front, and instead of answering, ESM managed just eight points in the final period as a series of free throws helped the visitors put it away.

Edmonds finished with 18 points, half of them from three 3-pointers. Sydni Eure had 13 points, with Scalzo (nine points), Ventrone (eight points) and Wise (six points) close behind. Maria Lapertosa led Whitesboro’s rally, pouring in 29 points.

The championship game followed, and Baldwinsville, led by tournament MVP Hope DeFazio, defeated Auburn 68-54.

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