WG boys rally past B’ville, salvage split

Wildcats lose to Corcoran side it beat by 22 in December

— Though it was guaranteed to be part of the Section III Class AA playoff bracket when tournament pairings were released this week, the West Genesee boys basketball team still had a lot to worry about.

When the Wildcats hosted Corcoran last Tuesday night, an old problem – poor defense – crept up again, leading to a 74-67 loss to the Cougars.

Of all the Class AA sides, Corcoran has enjoyed the biggest in-season turnaround. Once 2-7, it came to Camillus sporting a four-game win streak, combined with a fierce determination to avenge an 82-60 loss to these same Wildcats back on Dec. 20.

WG slumped at the start, only managing six points in the first quarter. To its credit, the Wildcats came to life in a wild second quarter, only to have Corcoran still outscore them 25-22 as the deficit grew to 38-28 at halftime.

Still trailing by double digits, 58-46, going to the fourth quarter, WG made a furious comeback attempt, but the Cougars, led by Torrence Commodore (19 points) and DeVaughn Gainey (16 points), generated enough offense to hold on.

The Wildcats saw Trevor Smith earn 13 of his 19 points from free throws. Phil Allen had 12 points, while Will Watts emerged to get 11 points and Mike Henry contributed 10 points.

Two nights later, WG hosted struggling Baldwinsville and trailed going to the fourth quarter, but led by Allen and Smith, the Wildcats would get what it needed in the latter stages to edge past the Bees 69-67.

From the first quarter onward, WG (9-8) spent most of the game trailing. It was not until the fourth quarter when, still down 51-43, it put all the pieces together for a stirring comeback.

Time and again, the Wildcats broke through the Bees’ feeble defenses, leading to a series of baskets and a late lead that it would protect as time ran out.

Both Allen and Smith came up with 10 field goals and finished with 22 points apiece. Henry and Will Watts each ended up with 10 points in support. B’ville lost despite seeing Tim Marshall put up a career-best 28 points.

One more regular-season game remains, at Central Square on Tuesday, and a victory there will clinch another winning record for the Wildcats, regardless of how the Class AA playoffs turn out.

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