Feb 15, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In their own respective leagues, the Syracuse Academy of Science and Henninger boys basketball teams have risen to the top, which could prove a harbinger of more success in the upcoming Section III playoffs.
With a wild 94-80 victory over Institute of Technology Central Monday night, the SAS Atoms wrapped up the Onondaga High School League Patriot National division title for the second season in a row and moved to 15-2 on the season.
Then the Black Knights took its turn Tuesday night, pulling away from Liverpool 74-59 to lock up the CNY Counties League National division crown, having gone through 10 league games without a blemish (Henninger is 14-3 overall).
SAS had opened the season Dec. 10 against ITC, winning 74-61 on that occasion – though it took a 25-8 fourth-quarter blitz by the Atoms to pull it out. Since then, the Eagles had built a 13-3 mark and found a go-to player in Jahcin Ingram, who was averaging more than 20 points per game.
Ingram would top himself in the rematch against SAS – but only in response to the Atoms’ second-quarter blitz. Slicing right through ITC’s defense, SAS outscored the Eagles 33-11 in those eight minutes, establishing a 58-31 lead going into the break.
Then Ingram began to heat up, carrying the Eagles as it cut into SAS’s margin in a 30-17 third quarter. By the time the night was done, Ingram had amassed 40 points from 12 field goals and 14 successful free throws.
Still, the Atoms had too big of a margin, and more balance on the offensive side. Dakeem McLain finished with 26 points, while DeOndray Tape put in 19 points, Kaleel Johnson added 18 points and Ahmet Tunall contributed 17 points.
As SAS basked in its latest league title, Henninger was basking from a recent strong stretch of play that had included, on Feb. 10, a 79-53 rout of West Genesee where it had blown open a close contest with a big second half.
Against Liverpool, much the same thing happened, but it took the Black Knights sifting through an opening stretch where the Warriors, right behind Henninger in the league standings, hit on all kinds of shots and, early in the second quarter, possessed a 26-18 lead.
Seeing that a man-to-man defense wasn’t working, Henninger head coach Erik Saroney switched to a zone that completely threw Liverpool off its game. Instead of making everything, Liverpool went nearly five minutes without a field goal in that second period.
That gave the Black Knights ample time to grab the lead with a 13-1 run, and while Liverpool recovered enough late in the half to only trail 39-36 at the break, Henninger was poised to take over again.
In the pivotal third quarter, Liverpool struggled even more, only managing a single field goal and four total points. Meanwhile, Tommie Spinner’s six-point outburst early in the period fueled a 14-1 spurt, and the Warriors never got close again.
“This is as physical a team as we’ve had in a while,” said Saroney. “We keep throwing big bodies at people and wearing them down.”
As Liverpool wore down, point guard Tevin Chisholm flourished, his 21 points leading Henninger’s diverse attack. Markell Stith threw in 16 points, while Spinner picked up 14 points. Marquies Young, despite some early foul trouble, contributed nine points as Kavon Delee earned eight points.
Both Henninger, in Class AA, and SAS, in Class C, find out on Sunday where they will be seeded for the Section III playoffs.