Jan 19, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Passing the halfway point of the regular season, the West Genesee girls basketball team owned the best overall record of any Section III Class AA side, but had to work hard to maintain it.
For example, in last Tuesday’s game against visiting Fayetteville-Manlius, the Wildcats went through a painful first half, but turned things around in the third quarter and went on to beat the Hornets 48-39 for its sixth consecutive victory.
These same two teams had met in the Dec. 3 season opener at F-M, with the Wildcats prevailing 62-50, but the Hornets were a more confident unit going to the rematch, having knocked off two-time defending Class A champion Jamesville-DeWitt on Jan. 10.
Both sides struggled to earn baskets until the second quarter, when F-M rose up, outscoring WG 17-10 in that frame to take a 23-18 lead to the break.
Fuming at this, the Wildcats smothered the Hornets in the third quarter on the defensive end, forcing all kinds of rushed shots and turnovers. At the same times, its offense clicked in, too, resulting in a decisive 16-5 spurt.
WG hung on down the stretch with a well-balanced attack. Melissa Fumano had 13 points, while Grace Osterdale managed 12 points and Melissa Bakowski added 10 points. Marissa Hudgins contributed eight points and eight rebounds as F-M’s Lauren Getman led both sides with 16 points.
On Friday night, the Wildcats met Baldwinsville and put together its best all-around effort of the season, smashing the Bees 77-30.
Ignoring B’ville’s 9-3 record going into the contest, the Wildcats attacked hard from the start, tearing through the defense for a series of baskets that made it 29-6 at the close of the first quarter.
The Bees could not recover from that surge, and the lead would double as Bakowski, with 17 points, and Fumano, with 16 points, led the effort. Delaney Nolan, with nine points, almost hit double figures, while Osterdale had eight points, Melissa Moran seven points and Brigid Regin six points.
West Genesee’s boys team started the week 6-4 and had a chance to get payback, only to see that opportunity slip away last Tuesday night in a 73-49 loss to F-M.
Remembering how the Hornets used a 3-point barrage to bash them 76-42 on Dec. 10, the Wildcats played a solid first half in the return engagement, trading baskets and only trailing the Hornets 33-30 as they went to the break.
But F-M’s 1-3-1 defense took a gradual toll, and WG started to go cold in the third quarter. Led by John Schurman, who piled up 24 points and 20 rebounds, the Hornets outscored the Wildcats 20-10 in that pivotal period and pulled further away down the stretch.
Shane Temara, fueled by a trio of 3-pointers, led WG with 22 points, while Troy Temara had 10 points and Sam Brown added nine points. To help out Schurman, Jake Wittig (14 points, nine assists), Mike Hoalcraft (12 points) and Louis Avellino (11 points) also reached double figures.
Now the Wildcats turned to Baldwinsville on Friday, and appeared to be in trouble until a fourth-quarter outburst turned possible defeat into a comfortable 68-51 victory.
They began that final period with the Bees in front, 45-42, but that didn’t last long. WG’s cumulative pressure took a toll and led B’ville to turnovers, which the Wildcats converted into plenty of key baskets.
Again, Shane Temara led WG as he produced 20 points, while Troy Temara and Nick Cunningham gained 12 points apiece and Joey Ulrich, with 10 points, also hit double figures. B’ville got 15 points from Nick Alley and 14 points from Cameron Skipworth.
Key games await both sets of Wildcats this week, from Tuesday encounters with Oswego to a pair of Friday-night matches against Liverpool.