SYRACUSE Even the return of star forward Hector Oyola wasn’t enough to help the Liverpool boys basketball team overcome the size of Henninger’s front line as the visiting Warriors dropped Tuesday night’s contest to the Black Knights 66-53.
Liverpool dropped to 10-6 and 5-6 in CNY Counties League play. Henninger, battling it out with Fayetteville-Manlius for the eventual top seed in the Section III Class AA playoffs, improved to 7-2 in the division and 13-3 overall.
Romero Collier and Marquane Silvers paced the Black Knights with 13 points apiece, and Ahmad McKinney scored seven of his 11 points in the first quarter to stake the home team to a five-point lead it would never relinquish.
Sporting a starting lineup with three players taller than the Warriors’ entire starting five, the Black Knights controlled the paint early. Henninger's first basket from outside the paint did not come until Collier hit a 3-pointer with less than a minute to play in the opening period.
“They had to try to spread us out and drive it,” Henninger coach Erik Saroney said. “It was a game of funny matches, so it was a battle of wills, what was going to win out. I thought we did a good job of getting it inside and wearing them out.”
“You've got to do a lot of things right when you're undersized,” Liverpool coach Matt Jacob said. “They go at it. A lot of people forget when there's a rebound, there's a loose ball in the air and Henninger goes to get it.”
Overall, the Black Knights would score 14 second-chance points.
Liverpool forward Caleb Taylor was barely able to put together a full sentence thanks to Henninger’s big men, making him work hard for each of his game-high 19 points.
“It's pretty hard,” Taylor said, “but there's nothing you can do but keep fighting.”