This was a stretch in the schedule where the West Genesee girls basketball team had to take full advantage, and started to do so following a tough defeat at the end of the 2012 portion of its schedule.
All the Wildcats could manage was a third-place finish from its appearance in the Dec. 27-28 Rome Free Academy Holiday Tournament.
That was because of an opening-round classic where WG faced fellow Class AA contender Christian Brothers Academy and could not hang on to a late lead, falling to the Brothers 51-50.
CBA had roared out to a 6-0 start, but had done so against Class A opponents in the OHSL Freedom division. This was the first AA foe the Brothers had faced, and for a while, it looked like WG would brush off the challenge.
Strong on both ends, the Wildcats roared to an 18-7 lead by the end of the first quarter. Yet it could not pull further away, and CBA gradually ate into that margin during the game’s middle stages.
With one period left, WG still clung to a 41-38 lead, but the Brothers would get out in front and hang on, making the Wildcats for the attention it gave to CBA’s leading scorer, Marisa Romeo.
Every time she had the ball, Romeo was roughed up, and she only managed two field goals. It took seven free throws to give Romeo 11 points overall, but teammate Julie Cuomo made up for it as she got 16 points, while Alyssa Pitonzo got nine points and Maria Pitonzo added eight points.
Too much of the Wildcats’ production depended on Vicki Graveline and Melissa Fumano. Graveline led both sides with 18 points and Fumano contributed 14, but no other WG player had more than one field goal.
So WG had to face Utica Proctor in the consolation game. Quickly putting the disappointment of CBA behind them, the Wildcats, mostly through Fumano’s strong work on the offensive side, defeated the Raiders by a 59-46 margin.