Jan 18, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Two games between the Fayetteville-Manlius and Henninger boys basketball teams are in the books, and they’re on equal terms, right down to the point totals.
More than a month after the Hornets prevailed at the Peppino’s Invitational, the Black Knights got payback right on F-M’s home floor Friday night, scoring the game’s last eight points to prevail 58-54.
“We were mentally and emotionally prepared to play the whole 32 minutes, and we did that,” said Henninger head coach Erik Saroney.
A lot had changed for Henninger since F-M beat them 62-58 in that Dec. 6 encounter. Three players on the Black Knights’ squad at the time were no longer there, and a talented sophomore, K.J. White, was now in the starting lineup.
F-M head coach Tom Blackford said the difference between this current Henninger roster and the one it played early in the season is that it’s more perimeter-oriented, and that would be a factor, especially on defense, where the Black Knights would hold senior John Schurman to just one 3-pointer for the night.
Henninger looked to spoil F-M’s “Pink Out” celebration. An overflow crowd, many of them wearing pink T-shirts, helped raise more than $12,000 for the “More Than A Game” Foundation, which benefits Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.
The home crowd was quite happy when Schurman, who had 15 of his 17 points in the second half, hit a jumper with 2:52 left to extend the Hornets’ lead to 54-50. But those would be F-M’s last points of the night.
Marquane Silvers cut it to 54-52 with an inside basket. Then, with 1:04 left, Henninger point guard Romero Collier, who had seen a 3-point attempt slip out of his hands (much to the home fans’ delight) seconds earlier, quieted them by sinking another 3-point attempt with 1:04 left that put the Black Knights ahead for good, 55-54.
“Romero is the best at forgetting the last play, good or bad, and moving on,” said Saroney.
In the last minute, F-M got two chances to move in front. But Jake Wittig missed a jumper on one possession and, after Keisean Scott missed the front end of a one-and-one with 25.4 seconds left, Schurman turned the ball over.
Fouled with 12.3 seconds left, Silvers, who led Henninger with 18 points, hit both of his free throws to extend the Black Knights’ lead to 57-54, and after Henninger’s defense forced yet another Hornets turnover, Collier’s free throw with 5.6 seconds left sealed F-M’s defeat.
Feeding off the home crowd’s energy, F-M roared out to a 16-7 lead late in the first quarter, using its 1-3-1 defense to force a series of Black Knights turnovers. But Henninger caught up in the second period, led by Silvers, who had 10 first-half points.
Up 32-31 at the break, the Hornets again threatened to get away when Schurman, quiet in the early stages, got six quick points in an 8-2 run. Again, the Black Knights rallied, with eight straight points to tie it, 41-41, and from there it would go back and forth until the wire.
Wittig finished with 16 points, seven assists, four rebounds and four steals. Louis Avellino had eight points, while David Stegemann had seven points. For Henninger, Collier had 14 points as Justin McGann (seven points), White and Terrence Walker (six points each) helped out. Henninger improved to 9-3, while F-M fell to 8-2.
This was the second part of a girls/boys doubleheader, with the F-M girls side having little trouble defeating Henninger 63-35 to move back to the .500 mark (5-5) for the season.
It was 11-0 before the game was three minutes old, and the Hornets kept going until it led 26-6 at the end of the first quarter. That margin grew to 38-15 by halftime, and F-M cruised from there.
Madison Beck, with 20 points, and Lauren Getman, with 19 points, combined to outscore the Black Knights by themselves. Erica Assimon added seven points.