Jan 14, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
To be completely accurate, the Cicero-North Syracuse boys basketball did not just head into its most important week of the regular season – it charged into the fray, displaying top form as it has won six of its last seven games.
C-NS already has shown it can win in a hostile environment, as it did last Tuesday night by going to Baldwinsville and, sparked by Mike Tricarico’s big second-quarter surge, beating the Bees 80-69.
Unlike some seasons past, B’ville was not a pushover, having won three in a row entering this game, and it threatened to make it four straight, battling its way to a 31-24 lead on the Northstars by the middle of the second quarter.
It turned around for two reasons. First, Tricarico caught fire, sinking three 3-pointers in the second period as part of a 13-point performance in that quarter. Overall, C-NS connected five times beyond the arc as it moved ahead for good, 37-36, by halftime.
The other reason was that C-NS tightened up its interior defense. Even as top forward Xavier Brown got into foul trouble in the third quarter, Vince Mallaro and Deshawn Stevens picked up the duties and contained B’ville’s top forward, Kevin Drain, who managed just two field goals in the second half despite finishing with 21 points.
C-NS used a 10-0 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters to establish a 68-53 lead, and B’ville never got closer than eight points again.
Overall, Tricarico produced 25 points, but had lots of help. Mike Lumia finished with 15 points, while Brian DeMonte finished with 13 points. Stephens and Mallaro provided timely contributions, too, managing six points apiece, the same as Brown.
Back home Friday night to face Central Square, the Northstars this time did not wait to take control, immediately jumping all over the Red Hawks on the way to a 64-51 victory.
C-NS hounded Central Square on the defensive end, forcing lots of first-quarter turnovers that led to baskets and a quick 19-7 edge. That trend continued the rest of the half as the Northstars’ margin grew to 40-19, too much for the Red Hawks to overcome in the second half.
Brown didn’t have any foul trouble this time, amassing 19 points, while Tricarico stayed hot with 15 points and DeMonte assumed a larger role, earning 14 points. Lumia added seven points as Central Square’s Malcolm Anderson led both sides with 27 points in a futile effort.
And this leads to the pair of big road games, starting Tuesday with a visit to Class AA favorite Henninger and continuing Friday with a rematch against the same Liverpool side it lost to during the Dec. 28 final of the C-NS holiday Clasisic.