Up until Friday night, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball team had not received a serious challenge from a Section III Class AA foe.
All of that changed against Nottingham, though, as it trailed the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter before an overwhelming burst helped rescue a 56-38 victory over the Bulldogs.
Of course, the result in no way reflected the struggles of this night. Unafraid of C-NS’s defensive pressure, Nottingham traded baskets during the first quarter and inched into a 13-12 lead.
What also separated the Bulldogs was the fearless away it kept attacking during the game’s middle stages. With speed and courage, Nottingham matched everything the Northstars threw at them, and when the fourth quarter, C-NS found itself still trailing 36-35.
All of that pressure and work took a toll, though, and Nottingham felt it during the fourth quarter. Sensing this, C-NS finally started turning the Bulldogs’ mistakes into baskets on the other end, all part of a closing 21-2 push that made the final result far less indicative of the battle that took place.
Sarah Bowles, with 20 points, would lead the way, while Abbey Timpano threw in 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Cara Gannett added nine points as Marcelina Wade (13 points) and Chyanna Canada (12 points) led Nottingham’s valiant effort.
As this went on, the C-NS boys basketball team went to Nottingham and earned one of its best wins of the season, holding off the Bulldogs 75-72.
Defeats to Henninger and Liverpool the week before had dulled the Northstars after a mid-season run of six wins in seven games. And now it was facing a Nottingham side that had rolled past them 69-58 back on Dec. 8 in the Peppino’s Invitational played at Henninger’s gym.
Unlike that first meeting, when the Bulldogs built a big early lead and never got caught, C-NS played Nottingham on even terms throughout a tight first half, and they went to the break in a 30-30 deadlock.