Already struggling to get enough wins for post-season qualification, the Baldwinsville boys basketball team would not see the road get any easier.
The Bees hosted defending AA champion Henninger last Tuesday night and put up a superb effort, keeping the game in doubt until the fourth quarter before the Black Knights got away late and prevailed 66-56.
B’ville did have some good timing in its favor, since Henninger was coming off a tense, emotional 58-54 win at F-M on Jan. 17, and the Bees figured that it might catch the Black Knights in a letdown.
That didn’t happen in the first half, B’ville steadily settling into a 38-25 deficit. However, in the third quarter Henninger slumped – and the Bees pounced, outscoring the visitors 18-9 to make things quite close.
But B’ville could not complete the rally, Henninger showing its late-game poise and getting clear behind 23 points from junior guard Romero Collier as Marquane Silvers added 12 points.
In defeat, Nick Alley and Kyle George led a balanced Bees attack with 11 points apiece. Devyn McLeod, with 10 points and seven rebounds, was close behind, while Ben DiOrio had nine points, seven assists and four steals. Cameron Skipworth contributed eight points.
Getting a chance to rebound on Saturday in the makeup of a snowed-out Dec. 13 game against Central Square, the Bees did so, playing terrific defense in the second half to key a 60-45 victory over the Red Hawks.
During a back-and-forth first half, B’ville gained an early cushion, only to see Central Square pull back within three, 30-27, by the break. For the rest of the game, though, the Red Hawks went cold as the Bees’ pressure led to a series of rushed shots and turnovers.
Meanwhile, B’ville got big games from George, who mixed in 20 points with eight rebounds, and McLeod, who added a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Skipworth improved to 12 points as DiOrio managed four steals and seven assists.
With a 5-8 mark, B’ville knows that this week is important, as it would stay at home to face Auburn on Tuesday and then Cicero-North Syracuse on Friday night.