SYRACUSE For the Baldwinsville boys basketball team, Friday night’s game against Cicero-North Syracuse at Onondaga Community College's SRC Arena was a must-win if it wanted a shot at the postseason.
And from the tip-off, the Bees used that mindset to push them past the Northstars 69-58, improving its mark to 7-8 and winning its third game in a row after it had fallen to 4-8 at one point this winter.
“We had to win two out of four,” B'ville head coach Tim Solomon said. “We’re really starting to peak at the right time. I’m really proud of the kids. Now we have to win one out of three.”
Each quarter saw B'ville pull further away from C-NS. But the Northstars refused to go down without one last comeback late in the fourth quarter.
After switching to a full court press, C-NS forced the Bees into four quick turnovers and came to within four, 61-57, with 1:21 left.
“The press got to us,” Solomon said. “We knew C-NS was going to come back.”
But that’s where the Bees' stingy defense came back, limiting the Northstars to a single free throw the rest of the way as it ended the game on a 7-1 run.
“I was telling the kids (that) good teams find way to win,” Solomon said. “The boys responded (and) made enough plays down the stretch.”
B'ville opened the game up hot from behind the arc, using three 3-pointers to lead C-NS 11-4 midway through the first quarter. The Northstars cut the margin to one, but the Bees replied with a 7-0 run to go up 18-10 after one quarter.
In that first quarter, it was all about Ben DiOrio, who scored nine points. But the second quarter was all about Jordan Skipworth, who made all three of his shots from the field to extend B'ville’s lead back to 34-26 going into halftime.