Jan 09, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In ways both stressful and otherwise, West Genesee’s basketball teams each engineered important victories over Nottingham in their respective 2014 debuts.
For the girls Wildcats, it was a particularly important result as it won the clash of prime Class AA contenders 51-48 over the Bulldogs Wednesday night, but not without a massive scare at the end.
Through a low-scoring first half, both defenses generally controlled matters. WG, off since a Dec. 27 win over Rome Free Academy, grabbed an early lead, only to have Nottingham step up in the second quarter and inch ahead, 22-20, by the time they reached the break.
In what looked to be a pivotal third quarter, the Wildcats started to produce on a consistent basis, fighting its way back in front, 38-34. And that carried over into the final period, too, WG calmly turning back all of Nottingham’s pressure.
So when Grace Osterdale scored off a fine feed from Melissa Fumano with little more than a minute to play, the Wildcats expanded its lead to 48-39. And then it nearly fell apart.
Applying all-out pressure, Nottingham forced three consecutive turnovers, converting each of them into points on the other end. By the time WG could regroup, the Bulldogs had pulled even, 48-48, on Shauntesha Bryant’s pair of free throws with 21.1 seconds left.
At last, WG broke the pressure, leading Nottingham to foul Courtney Shoults with 9.4 seconds to play. Shoults, who had just one field goal to that point, had two free throws and made one of them to put WG back in front, 49-48.
With a chance to pull off an improbable comeback victory, the Bulldogs instead turned it over again, and Fumano’s free throws created the final margin.
All told, Fumano had 19 points and six rebounds. Osterdale impressed, too, with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Marissa Hudgins had 12 points. Bryant, with 11 points, and Necedah James, with 13 points, led Nottingham’s effort.
Back in Camillus, WG’s boys basketball team, who was coming back from its own 10-day layoff, had a much easier time earning its win over Nottingham, putting away the Bulldogs 76-59.
A key to this was the way the Wildcats started the game, making close to everything as it jumped on Nottingham and led 28-12 by the end of the first quarter. That gave the Wildcats a cushion against a drought late in the half that cut the margin to 34-28.
Gradually, WG settled down and, in the fourth quarter, outscored the Bulldogs 23-10 to pull away. Nick Cunningham produced a season-high 22 points, with Shane Temara adding 18 points and Sam Brown adding 14 points. Will Randall finished with seven points.
They both played Corcoran Friday night – and both won here, too, as WG’s boys outscored the Cougars 74-65 and the girls Wildcats prevailed in a 59-40 decision.
Not looking ahead to its trip to Fayetteville-Manlius on Tuesday, WG’s boys, who improved to 6-4 on the season, ran at will in the first half, and that led to plenty of baskets as it steadily worked its way to a 43-32 lead at the break.
The entire second half was spent by the Wildcats protecting that margin, as four players reached double figures. Temara led with 19 points, while Michael Schmidt stepped up for 15 points. Cunningham managed 12 points and Sam Brown contributed 11 points.
For WG’s girls, it was close most of the night. Despite a 23-20 halftime lead, the Wildcats only started to get away in the third quarter, and then used a 21-9 closing surge to settle matters.
There was near-perfect offensive balance as Hudgins, Melissa Bakowski and Jackie Pardee managed 11 points apiece. Osterdale, with nine points, and Fumano, with eight points, were close behind as Shoults added six points.
With its 7-1 mark, the girls Wildcats would also play F-M on Tuesday, and both of WG’s sides are in action Friday against Baldwinsville.