Jan 11, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Many area high school sports teams had no choice but to accept long respites between games, either due to the holidays or to weather.
For Cicero-North Syracuse’s girls basketball team, though, the break was deliberate, a 16-day respite built into the schedule following a split of two games in a Dec. 21-22 tournament in Queens. This gave head coach Eric Smith all kinds of time to work on the flaws his young, but talented Northstars showed during a 4-2 start.
A 17th day was added to the break after the 24-hour postponement of last Tuesday’s game at Fayetteville-Manlius. But once the Northstars finally got back into action a night later, it mostly leaned on its defense to turn back the Hornets 48-33.
All-out pressure would cause a rash of early F-M turnovers. And that allowed C-NS (no. 12 in the latest state Class AA rankings) to get some easy baskets and take a 14-6 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Despite some inconsistency on the offensive end, the Northstars stretched that margin to 23-10 by halftime, and though the Hornets would play on fairly even terms with C-NS the rest of the way, it could not get too close either.
McKayla Roberts led the attack, scoring a game-high 15 points. Samantha Roberts had 10 points, while Elizabeth Miles managed eight points. Emilee Norris had seven points and Samantha Tortora got six points from hitting a pair of 3-pointers.
Meanwhile, Liverpool, who had gone 4-1 through the early portion of its schedule to establish itself as a main challenger to C-NS’s long-held Class AA crown, eased into 2014 last Wednesday with a 59-29 romp over Henninger.
With a consistent attack and a defense that never let the Black Knights get comfortable, the Warriors built up a 49-17 lead by the end of the third quarter before its starters went to the bench.
Again, Rachael Windhausen led the way, pouring in 21 points, but she was far from alone. Ten different Liverpool players converted field goals by game’s end, with Drew Dufrane (nine points) offering the most help to Windhausen.
Liverpool was home Friday night to face Oswego, and it proved to be a frustrating affair, but the Warriors still did enough to fight off the Buccaneers 33-29.
When Liverpool ran out to an 18-8 first-quarter lead, all looked fine, but for the rest of the night it went into a cold spell, missing all kinds of shots and giving Oswego ample opportunity to catch up, especially since it was holding Windhausen to a season-low four points.
Incredibly, the Warriors had just two points in the fourth quarter – but gave up just four to the Bucs, allowing it to hang on. Nicole Carey led Liverpool with eight points, while Donyai Starling had six points to go with 10 rebounds, the same total of boards as Windhausen.
And now the Warriors could look ahead to Tuesday night’s clash with C-NS, who had gone to Auburn last Friday and, despite a stubborn resistance from the Maroons, emerged with a 60-48 victory.
Led by Anna Giannone, who passed 1,000 career points in a 39-point effort during a double-overtime defeat to Auburn two nights earlier, Auburn didn’t let C-NS draw away in the first half, only trailing 33-23. But the Northstars caught fire in the third quarter, and by doing so outscored the Maroons 22-8 to get a cushion against Auburn’s late charge.
Outside shooting proved the key as Samantha Roberts led with 18 points, most of it from four successful 3-pointers. Miles, with 15 points, was close behind, while McKayla Roberts delivered 10 points and Tortora had nine points. Giannone led both sides with 19 points.