An eventful week for the East Syracuse-Minoa basketball teams started with a confrontation against a reigning state champion with a no. 1 ranking, included two thrillers against Fulton and ended with the school honoring its latest class of Athletic Hall of Fame inductees.
The girls Spartans reached the .500 mark on Thursday night, at Fulton, where it overcame a slow start to pull out a dramatic 54-51 victory over the Red Raiders.
Through one period, ESM trailed, 13-6, and despite seeing its attack pick up in the second period, the Spartans still were down 28-20 at halftime.
Then, in the third quarter, ESM made up most of the deficit, putting together one of its best sustained runs of the season as it reduced Fulton’s lead to one, 42-41.
It remained tense and tight all the way to the waning moments. With the score tied, 51-51, Danielle Ventrone flashed open and, from beyond the 3-point arc, drained what proved to be the game-winner with just one second to play.
Gabby Eure proved tough to stop in the paint, finishing with 16 points, while Nicole Cassella hit three 3-pointers to account for most of her 13 points. Stephanie Edmonds finished with eight points.
All of this led to the boys game between ESM and Fulton, and providing the perfect touch for the Hall of Fame festivities, the Spartans won its own thriller over the Red Raiders, nearly matching the girls game right down to the point total in a 53-51 decision.
Much like the girls, ESM trailed early, but erased a first-quarter deficit and were even, 27-27, before a third-quarter slump helped Fulton go back in front 39-34.
Somehow, the Spartans played its best down the stretch and pulled it out, overcoming the 22 points from Cody Green and 13 points from Mark Pollock that led the Red Raiders’ efforts.