Feb 20, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
West Genesee’s basketball programs may have never enjoyed a night better than the one it had Tuesday during the Section III Class AA quarterfinals.
Both of the Wildcats’ teams prevailed over Nottingham, with WG’s boys going to the city’s east side to gain a 73-61 victory as, back in Camillus, the girls won by a score of 60-46.
Now they’ll both get to go to the AA semifinals at Le Moyne College this weekend. On Friday, the WG girls face two-time defending state champion Cicero-North Syracuse, while on Saturday night the boys Wildcats square off with no. 2 seed Henninger.
In order to get a third shot at a Black Knights team that beat them twice in the regular season, the WG boys, with the no. 6 seed, first had to topple a no. 3 seed in Nottingham that also beat the Wildcats this winter.
But that narrow 55-53 verdict on Jan. 18 gave the Wildcats a reason to think that the playoff rematch would be different, even if it was missing junior forward Shane Temara due to injury.
A fast start was the key, and WG delivered it, jumping on the Bulldogs 19-11 in the first quarter and continuing to pile up points in the second period, too, not stopping until it had a 41-29 halftime edge.
The Wildcats’ three stars all had a big say, especially Phil Allen, as he drilled all kinds of shots, including four 3-pointers, on his way to 29 points for the night.
Nottingham couldn’t concentrate on Allen, either, since Mike Henry and Trevor Smith both were busy driving to the basket and converting. Henry finished with 16 points, while Smith chimed in with 15 points.
All of them were needed as Nottingham tried, throughout the second half, to eat away at WG’s margin, led by Marty Clanton (19 points) and Tyquan Rolon (18 points). But the Wildcats kept answering, and Allen hit key free throws down the stretch (he finished with nine in all) to put it away.
Back home, the WG girls had the no. 4 seed going into its sectional quarterfinal against a no. 5 Nottingham side it beat 48-39 on Jan. 17. Here, it would get even more points, largely because the Bulldogs had no answer for Vicki Graveline early or Melissa Fumano late.
Graveline owned the first half. Pushing her side to a 23-12 first-quarter edge, Graveline made everything from lay-ups to three 3-pointers to five free throws. She had all of her 22 points in the first two periods, and needed them to counter Nottingham’s efforts as WG led 36-26 at the break.
Fumano got 10 first-half points. And when Graveline cooled off in the second half, it was Fumano, working hard on both side, helping WG out-score Nottingham 14-7 in the third period to all but put the game away as she finished with 21 points overall.
And now the Wildcats get C-NS, whom it lost to 66-50 on Jan. 29 in a game that was close going to the fourth quarter. Of course, the Northstars also beat WG in last year’s sectional final at the Carrier Dome, to where the Wildcats want to return and face Corcoran or CBA in the Feb. 28 title game.