Camillus With its biggest game of the season looming, the Fayetteville-Manlius boys basketball team did not forget about the immediate task in front of them.
That was much to the detriment of West Genesee, who saw the Hornets unleash an astonishing display of outside shooting Tuesday night that led to an 82-61 victory over the Wildcats.
In the first half alone, F-M connected on 11 3-pointers, and finished with 13 overall. John Schurman sank five of those treys on his way to a game-high 26 points, to go with 12 rebounds.
It turned out to the Hornets' benefit that WG was entering the game on a roll, thanks to impressive wins last week over Utica Proctor and Liverpool. As a result, F-M could not afford to look ahead toward Friday's highly-anticipated home clash with fellow Class AA favorite Henninger.
Fittingly, F-M took the lead for good early in the first quarter on Schurman's initial 3-point connection. Six more successful shots from outside the arc would follow in wild 30-19 first quarter where the Wildcats also found some success penetrating the Hornets' 1-3-1 defense.
But with Jake Wittig pulling off a series of steals in the second quarter, F-M started to get away, continuing to strike with four more 3-pointers - two from Schurman, one each from Louis Avellino and Tomer Nesher.
This created a 52-30 halftime margin. By that point, Schurman had 20 points and Nesher 13 points, and try as it could, the Wildcats could not eat into that margin during the second half, despite 17 points from Mike Henry and 14 points from Phil Allen.
F-M ended up putting all five starters in double figures. T.J. Wheatley had a season-best 11 points and seven rebounds, just behind Nesher (16 points, seven rebounds) and matching Avellino as Wittig finished with 10 points, plus 13 assists and six steals.
So now F-M (9-2) gets ready for Henninger (8-1), who held off Cicero-North Syracuse's late comeback attempt to prevail 74-71 on Tuesday.
Neither the Hornets nor Black Knights have lost to a Section III Class AA opponent this winter, adding to the excitement surrounding this showdown. Also, it's the first time they have met since Henninger eliminated F-M in last year's sectional semifinals.