Feb 11, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Little about the Marcellus girls basketball team’s encounter with Bishop Ludden last Tuesday night was aesthetic or fancy.
It was, instead, a matter of two sides grinding out every single possession in search of an important victory – which the Mustangs would attain in a 29-26 decision.
The tough tone was set in a first quarter where both teams managed just three points. It improved for the rest of the half, with the Mustangs inching out in front, 15-14, by the time they reached the break.
As it turned out, the third quarter was crucial, even though Marcellus only outscored the Gaelic Knights 10-6. With no one putting together any kind of scoring run, the Mustangs could endure its own late slump (just four points in the final period) and, because of defense, still hang on.
Meghan Witkowski led Marcellus with eight points, with Morgan DeLand (seven points) and Molly MacLachlan (six points) also finding modest success. All but one of Ludden’s field goals came from Nicole Granteed, who had 14 points, and Kelly Granteed, who added seven points.
What made the Mustangs’ win more remarkable was that, just 24 hours earlier, Marcellus had a tense non-league game at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, again relying on defense in the late going to rally past the Red Devils 48-47.
The Mustangs trailed most of the night, but started to eat into a 30-23 halftime deficit during the third quarter. However, the Marcellus resistance really kicked up in the final period, holding VVS to seven points as it inched in front and held on.
MacLachlan, with 11 points, led a well-balanced attack. Nicole Wynne managed nine points, while Witkowski got eight points and Erica Balman stepped up for six points. The Red Devils’ Codie Bayeur led both sides with 18 points.
More excitement awaited the Mustangs Saturday in its regular-season finale at Bishop Grimes, where it had a chance to win in the stretch but could not quite pull it off in a 45-43 defeat.
In fact, Marcellus (12-6) led most of the game, holding Grimes to five points in the first quarter and staying in front through the middle stages even as the Cobras started to hit baskets with regularity. Witkowski, with 12 points, and MacLachlan, with 11 points, led the way as Nicole Wynne and Shelby Nye each had six points.
With all that, Marcellus still only led, 43-41, when, with 18 seconds left, Jordan Vaught sank a 3-pointer, her fifth of the game (she finished with 17 points), to push Grimes in front by one. Still with a chance to win, the Mustangs were stopped by the Cobras’ defense, and a free throw created the final margin.
Solvay did not have an easy time of it during the week, starting last Tuesday with a 43-23 loss to Skaneateles where it only scored eight points in the entire first half and were unable to recover.
Julie Gardner still managed eight points, while Chelsie Delperuto finished with seven points and Taylor Guinta added six points. Skaneateles saw Joanna Dobrovosky (13 points) and Elizabeth Lane (11 points) lead the winning effort.
And two days later, the Bearcats met those other Lakers, from Cazenovia, who had just handed Westhill its first loss of the season.
Solvay was tough, staying within single digits until the fourth quarter, but still lost 56-44 because it could not stop Cazenovia forward Maggie Carpenter, who carried her side with a career-best 34 points, disguising the fact that no other Laker reached double figures.
For a long while, the Bearcats managed to stay within range, thanks to Taylor Guinta’s 13 points and Delperuto’s 12 points as Nicole Antonacci added eight points.
But Solvay still lost and fell to 7-9 on the season, still unsure whether it would make the Class B playoffs – at least until Saturday, when a 48-36 victory over Hannibal erased any possible concerns.
Down 18-16 at halftime, the Bearcats more than doubled its output during an 18-10 third quarter and moved ahead for good. Essentially, it was a three-player effort as Guinta put up 15 points, Delperuto contributed 13 points and Nicole Antonacci stepped up for 12 points.
Ludden took one of its worst losses of the season that night, falling to Chittenango in a 44-38 decision. Despite its 5-12 record, the Bears would contain the Gaelic Knights throughout the first half and inch into a 19-14 lead. That deficit swelled to 33-21 before Ludden’s offense finally going in the fourth quarter, though it was too late.
Nicole Granteed stepped up for 20 points, while Gemma O’Kane had eight points. None of that was enough as Sierra Shafer led Chittenango’s side with 15 points.