C-NS basketball sides reach AA semis

Girls handle F-M; boys fight past West Genesee

— In their own unique ways, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls and boys basketball teams will both head to Onondaga Community College Saturday with clear goals in mind when they enter the Section III Class AA semifinals.

For the girls Northstars, who drubbed Fayetteville-Manlius 60-34 in Tuesday night's AA quarterfinal, it will be payback in mind as it takes on Nottingham, the same team that beat C-NS 56-44 on Feb. 11, causing the shuffle in playoff seeding that ultimately brings these sides back together.

Meanwhile, the boys Northstars, who have the no. 4 seed in its Class AA sectional bracket, earned a shot at toppling top seed F-M after taking over in the second half to oust no. 5 seed West Genesee 68-58, getting its own revenge in the process.

With a first-round bye, the C-NS girls, who had the no. 3 seed, had a week to get over the Nottingham loss, and returned to the court with a whole lot of purpose, determined not to let its five-year sectional title reign end at the expense of F-M, the no. 6 seed, who it had already beaten twice during the regular season.

The Northstars didn't take the lead for good until the second quarter despite nine early points from McKayla Roberts, but then its defense, mixing in all kinds of looks, began to take a toll on the Hornets.

After D'Jhai Patterson-Ricks sank a pair of free throws with 5:18 left in the half to cut C-NS's lead to 18-16, F-M did not score again the rest of the half, thwarted by the Northstars' zone defense as long-range shots flew well off target.

Meanwhile, C-NS's attack diversified. Five different players scored during a 10-0 run that stretched the margin to double digits, and the spurt grew to 20-3 as Elizabeth Miles capped it off with a pair of baskets that made it 38-19 midway through the third quarter.

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