Feb 16, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Now the West Genesee boys basketball team found itself in the same spot as a season ago, with a spot in the Section III Class AA quarterfinals and a chance to go even further.
In last Friday night’s opening-round game, the no. 5 seed Wildcats had to fight hard to beat no. 12 seed Rome Free Academy 77-67 in its opening-round contest.
Throughout a steady first half, the Wildcats flew through the Black Knights’ defenses, establishing a 36-26 lead that it took to the break. When that margin stretched out to 54-40 by the fourth quarter, WG had a cushion against RFA’s late charge.
Showing nice inside-outside balance, the Wildcats had Shane Temara put in 21 points, including three 3-pointers, while Nick Cunningham worked in the paint for 20 points.
Troy Temara gave WG a third option as he poured in 16 points, with Rob Pocyntluk and Michael Schmidt getting six points apiece. Brooke Haga (19 points) and Tyrone Cowell (18 points) led RFA’s efforts.
Now the Wildcats could look ahead to a Class AA quarterfinal Tuesday at no. 4 seed Cicero-North Syracuse, a team it beat 64-46 back on Feb. 4. Two weeks later, the rematch will determine who gets Fayetteville-Manlius or Liverpool at SRC Arena in next Saturday’s AA semifinals.
WG may have seen its playoff seeding hurt by last Tuesday’s game at Henninger. Though it played well for long stretches, the Wildcats’ mid-game struggles would prove costly in a 62-44 defeat to the defending AA champion Black Knights.
Down 15-14 after one period, Henninger outscored the Wildcats 19-8 in the second quarter to take a 33-23 halftime lead, and it kept stretching out the margin in the third quarter, out of WG’s reach despite Cunningham and Shane Temara earning 15 points apiece. Henninger got 15 points from Keisean Schott, 14 points from Terrence Walker and 12 points from Romero Collier.
While all this went on, West Genesee’s girls basketball team sat back and relaxed, having finished a 15-3 regular season that gave them a no. 3 Class AA seed and a bye straight into the quarterfinals, where it would face no. 9 seed Baldwinsville Tuesday night after the Bees beat Liverpool 48-39 in the opening round.
Having lost two in a row to Cicero-North Syracuse and Jamesville-DeWitt, the Wildcats were glad to see 1-16 Henninger last Tuesday night, and used a big third quarter to put the game away, even if the final score of 54-47 looked closer.
It was the last regular-season home game for WG seniors Melissa Fumano, Marissa Hudgins, Jackie Pardee, Melissa Bakowski, Melissa Moran and Delaney Nolan, and they all saw significant playing time.
After an uneven first half where it only gained a 24-17 lead, WG stopped messing around in the third quarter, outscoring Henninger 23-4, which allowed it to ease up in the latter stages.
Fumano, in particular, made her Senior Night memorable, pouring in 24 points and adding five steals, getting help from junior Grace Osterdale, who had 12 points. Hudgins added six points and eight rebounds. Courtney Welch led Henninger with 22 points, including four 3-pointers.