To cap off this 3-0 week that pushed ESM over the .500 mark (6-5), the boys Spartans went to Sunday’s Pathfinder bank Zebra Classic at Onondaga Community College’s Allyn Hall and, against Fowler, made an impressive second-half comeback to defeat the Falcons 67-64.
An evenly played first half saw the two sides match point totals and go to the break tied, 32-32, but Fowler threatened to get away when it outscored ESM 20-13 in the third quarter. Just as quickly, though, the Spartans made it back and turned to its stars to control the final period, nearly doubling the Falcons’ output, 22-12, and pulling out the victory.
Richardson, named the game’s Most Outstanding Player, worked his total to 24 points, adding 10 rebounds, while Underwood had 16 points and McDuffie picked up 10 points and five blocks. Wil Northcut paced the Falcons with 23 points.
Manlius-Pebble Hill’s boys, with a Section III Class C playoff spot clinched, cooled off a bit last Wednesday in a 66-54 defeat to Pulaski.
The 6-2 Blue Devils broke through the Trojans’ normally stingy defense right from the start, grabbing a 27-21 halftime lead. MPH tried to counter, as Dan Byrnes had another big night, with 30 points, 13 of them from free throws, and Joey Cerio added 10 points, but Pulaski prevailed as Caleb Sedore had 25 points and 12 rebounds, with Cody Mosher adding 16 points.
On Friday night, MPH lost again, 57-51, to the same Tully team it beat 51-49 early in December. A strong first quarter put the Trojans in front, 19-15, but the Black Knights rushed ahead 34-29 by halftime.
Even though MPH cut the margin to 43-42 going to the fourth quarter, Tully got away in the late going, overcoming 17 points from Cerio and 16 points from Byrnes. The Black Knights’ Steve Schoemaker had a big night, pouring in 26 points and adding 10 rebounds.