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.