Liverpool When the Liverpool boys basketball team pulled away from Cicero-North Syracuse and won their first head-to-head encounter earlier this season, someone was missing.
And that someone – specifically, Connor Evans – had a lot to do with the Northstars getting even with the rival Warriors Tuesday night during a tense 65-62 overtime victory.
In each instance, the road team won, but this came with both rosters at full strength. That wasn’t the case back on Dec. 10, when Liverpool prevailed 77-63 by pulling away in the second half while Evans, sitting out with a concussion, watched from the bench.
Now, though, Evans had recovered, and so had the Northstars, who had moved above .500 while Liverpool, after a hot start, had fallen backward with back-to-back defeats to Henninger and Oswego.
Evans’ desire to make a difference, and the Warriors’ need to end its skid, led to a tense and terrific battle, one where C-NS played terrific defense in the first half, steadily working its way to a 28-20 lead by the break.
In the fourth quarter, Liverpool still trailed 47-41, but it staged a furious comeback, forging a 59-59 tie as neither team was able to decide it at the end of regulation.
During the four-minute OT period, points were precious, but C-NS got out in front. As he has done so many other times this season, Troy McIntyre played big down the stretch with key steals to keep the Warriors from another comeback.
But it was Evans at the forefront, doing a bit of everything. He scored 22 points, including three of C-NS’s eight 3-pointers, blocked five shots, dished out three assists and added four rebounds, but also had plenty of help from his Northstars teammates.
McIntyre had 14 points, adding five assists, four blocks and three rebounds, while Brian DeMonte also managed 14 points, plus six rebounds. Ronnie Williams worked inside for 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Liverpool, in defeat, also had four players score in double figures, though no one got close to Evans’ total. Instead, Caleb Taylor, Matt Hunter and Justin Capoto put up 12 points apiece, with Tyler Sullivan adding 10 points. Bobby King had seven points and Brandon Derouchie got six points.