Feb 04, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In vastly different settings and in vastly different manners, the Fayetteville-Manlius basketball emerge from Friday night’s festivities with strong wins over Corcoran and continue to move toward high Section III Class AA playoff seeds.
The boys Hornets, improving to 13-3, nearly got to the century mark in outscoring the Cougars 96-78, but the F-M girls needed to fight through overtime to top Corcoran 50-47 and move its mark to 14-2.
At home, the boys Hornets were host to its annual “Pink Out”, with players, fans and coaches decked out in special pink T-shirts to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and breast cancer awareness. In all, approximately $20,000 has been raised in the four-year history of the event.
For this version, the Hornets were meeting a Corcoran side eager to avenge an 86-45 defeat to the Hornets back on Dec. 17. And the usual standing-room-only crowd inside the “Hornets’ Nest” had to worry for a while before the hosts took control.
A wild first quarter saw F-M, fueled by four 3-pointers (two of them from Jake Wittig), grab a 16-4 lead, but Corcoran countered with an 18-1 spurt in a four-minute span before the two sides ended the period even, 22-22.
They stayed much closer in the second quarter, neither side getting any real advantage as fouls mounted up on both teams. F-M only had a 44-42 lead going to the break.
But the Hornets broke it open early in the third period with a 10-2 run, which included Tomer Nesher’s steal and dunk in the middle. Just as devastating was the 11-2 spurt near the end of the period, which made it 72-55, and Corcoran never got closer than 11 points again.
All the while, John Schurman hurt the Cougars in multiple manners, not stopping until he had posted 34 points, plus nine rebounds and three steals. Wittig was spectacular, the freshman point guard landing 15 points, 11 assists and six steals, while Nesher also had 10 points. Freshman T.J. Wheatley managed 14 points and nine rebounds.
Corcoran, in defeat, also put four players in double figures, as Shakem Buckmon led with 19 points, with Chris Putnam and Henry Sullivan each managing 15 points and Jaaron Cole managing 10 points.
As this went on, F-M’s girls team, no. 17 in the state Class AA rankings, was at Corcoran. The Cougars gave the Hornets one of its two defeats this season, prevailing 38-36 on Dec. 2 in the first round of the Oswego Tournament, when Kiley Shoemaker was out with a stress fracture.
Having long since returned, Shoemaker’s presence helped, but even in this situation, with Corcoran missing three players that were part of that first meeting, F-M found out again how difficult it is to beat them.
The Hornets’ defense dominated early, holding Corcoran to six points in the first quarter. And even when the Cougars shook itself out of that slump, F-M expanded the margin to 28-20 by halftime.
Now, though, it was the Hornets’ turn to go cold. Shots went off target, and the Cougars’ defensive pressure forced a rash of second-half turnovers.
This gave Corcoran time to rally, and it did. Led by Mary Morgan, who hit five 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 19 points, the Cougars forged a 41-41 tie. An exchange of baskets shortly followed, but both sides squandered chances to end it in regulation.
They were still tied, 47-47, when Charlotte Beers converted with 30 seconds left in the OT period, putting her side in front to stay.
With 10.6 seconds to play, Corcoran’s LaBreya Stewart saw her front end of a one-and-one opportunity go off the rim. Immediately fouled, Beers hit the first free throw and missed the second, but Lauren Getman picked up a crucial rebound and also got fouled.
Unable to make either of her free throws, Getman had to watch Morgan try a 3-pointer to force a second overtime – but it missed, and F-M had held on.
Overall, Getman had 16 points and Beers had nine points. Close behind them, Madison Beck put up eight points, with Shoemaker contributing seven points and Erica Assimon adding six points. Alexis Rios had another strong showing at the point guard spot, too.
Lauren Getman, with 16 points, led the way for the Hornets. Charlotte Beers had nine points, just ahead of Shoemaker (seven points), while Madison Beck (eight points) and Erica Assimon (six points) both made strong contributions off the bench.
The win did something else – it clinched, for F-M, the CNY Counties League American division regular-season championship, a title Corcoran held for many years, often at the Hornets’ expense.