Cicero A season ago, the West Genesee boys basketball team saw a successful campaign end in a defeat in the Section III Class AA quarterfinals against Nottingham.
This time around, while the opponent changed, the round, the result – and the disappointment – remained the same as the no. 5 seed Wildcats fell to no. 4 seed Cicero-North Syracuse 68-58 in Tuesday night’s AA quarterfinal.
While the Wildcats had beaten the Northstars 64-46 two weeks earlier, on Feb. 4, that came at home, and C-NS firmly believed that things would turn around now that it was back on friendlier ground.
It didn’t help WG’s nerves, either, that the game’s start was delayed by 20 minutes as the C-NS gym had to be cleared for a fire alarm in the school building.
Neither side gained much traction in an active first quarter where WG led four times, but could not expand on it as C-NS kept answering and inched out in front, 17-16.
After Shane Temara’s 3-pointer briefly gave the Wildcats a 19-17 lead early in the second period, the Northstars went back in front for good, pushed there by Connor Evans and his 11 first-half points. At one point, the margin got to six, but Temara's 3-pointer at the buzzer cut WG’s deficit to 36-33 at halftime.
After WG pulled within one, 40-39, early in the third period, the Northstars responded with a 9-0 run, launched by Brian DeMonte's 3-pointer, and were threatening to get away before Troy Temara's 3-pointer at the end of the period made it 51-44.
Again, the Wildcats, sparked by that timely basket, moved closer, cutting the lead to 53-50 with mroe than five minutes to play. Again, C-NS had an answer, with DeMonte's steal and lay-up, followed by a big 3-pointer and a key rebound basket from Ronnie Williams, got it back to 60-53.