F-M boys hoops stopped again in Class AA semis

C-NS topples top-seeded Hornets 69-63

— That set the stage for C-NS's decisive 11-0 run early in the fourth quarter, and the spark was Bishop Grimes transfer Connor Evans, who struck for back-to-back 3-pointers that erased the Hornets' 46-45 lead.

Ronnie Williams followed with consecutive inside baskets, the latter of them a three-point play, and just like that C-NS was up 56-46, never to trail again.

F-M didn’t go away, battling to the final seconds, but it never got closer than a five-point margin again as Evans and Troy McIntyre sank the free throws in the final minute that sealed the Northstars' win.

Schurman struggled in his last high-school game, only managing 11 points. Louis Avellino led with 20 points, including five 3-pointers, while Jake Wittig had 12 points and David Stegemann 10 points. Evans scored 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter as Williams managed 18 points

It all looked fine for the Hornets during last Tuesday night’s AA quarterfinal against no. 9 seed Liverpool, a team F-M had beaten twice in the regular season, including a close 68-63 decision on its home court back in December.

Remembering that game well, F-M didn’t let the Warriors hang around this time, getting as well-balanced an effort as it has put together all season in an 82-65 victory.

A week off did little to cool down the Hornets, who in the first quarter made plenty of baskets and darted out to a 26-11 lead. By halftime, the margin was 49-26, and it allowed F-M to shed some of its margin in the second half without feeling any real stress.

The scary part, for future opponents, was that this was achieved without big production from Schurman, who still managed 15 points and nine rebounds, but was surrounded by teammates who were just as efficient.

In all, five F-M players hit double figures, led by Wittig, who augmented his seven assists and three steals with 18 points. Louis Avellino did a bit of everything, earning 15 points, six assists, five steals and five rebounds, while Mike Hoalcraft had 14 points and six rebounds. Stegemann added 10 points and five rebounds.

No one following F-M could imagine that this would be the Hornets’ last win of the season, that a 17-3 mark would have to do and that now the Hornets would have to imagine how things would go without Schurman, Avellino, Hoalcraft and Brown, a large task that will define 2014-15 and F-M’s latest quest to end it long sectional title drought.

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