An odd seeding turned out to be the primary downfall of the Baldwinsville girls basketball team in its return to the Section III Class AA playoffs.
Even with a 13-5 regular-season mark, the Bees only earned the no. 9 seed for the AA tournament, and while it did get past Liverpool 48-39 in the Feb. 13 opening round, it led them to a much larger obstacle in the next round.
And when B’ville did take on top seed West Genesee in Tuesday’s AA quarterfinal, it started cold and never could heat up, leading to a 64-34 defeat to the Wildcats.
B’ville knew, quite well, that West Genesee has run all over them 77-30 in early January, and was determined to at least make the playoff reunion a far more competitive encounter.
Yet it started just as that previous game did, with the Bees unable to make any shots in the first quarter and turning the ball over, too, helping WG gain a 16-2 lead.
Briefly, B’ville would rise up in the second period, limiting the Wildcats and erasing some of that deficit so that, at halftime, it faced a less imposing 25-15 margin.
Quickly, though, WG regained control in the third quarter, nearly doubling its point total and increasing the margin to 46-27, taking away the Bees’ best chance at catching up.
Rachael Miller still managed 16 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks, but other than Emily Pascale, who had seven points, no other B’ville player had more than one field goal. WG’s defense did an effective job, in particular, shutting down Hope DeFazio, holding her to a season-low two points.
Meanwhile, Melissa Fumano, WG’s 1,000-point senior, added to that total in a big way, leading her side with 26 points and seven rebounds, with Marissa Hudgins adding 10 rebounds.
Having finished at 14-6, B’ville could now look ahead to 2014-15 with a lot of enthusiasm. Only two seniors – Sarah Abraham and Emily Buis – graduate, with DeFazio, Miller and Pascale leading a large group of returnees that could make the Bees a real championship threat next winter.