Dec 29, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Though it possessed a 6-0 record, the Christian Brothers Academy girls basketball team would learn a lot about where it stood once the Rome Free Academy Tournament was completed.
It started with Thursday’s opening-round game against fellow Class AA contender West Genesee. With a spirited comeback and a more diverse attack than it has shown at times this winter, the Brothers fought past the Wildcats 51-50.
Not once this season had CBA started poorly, but it did so here, WG jumping out to an 18-7 edge. For the next two periods, the Brothers slowly ate away at that deficit, and two things happened.
First, CBA’s defense kept WG’s supporting cast quiet. Other than Vicki Graveline (18 points) and Melissa Fumano (14 points), no other Wildcat player had more than one field goal.
Second, the Brothers made WG pay for the way they went after Marisa Romeo. Of Romeo’s 11 points, seven of them came at the foul line, so other players had to step up – and they did.
Julie Cuomo would produce 16 points, while Alyssa Pitonzo managed nine points and Olivia Pitonzo added eight points. Together, they helped CBA erase a 41-38 deficit in the final period, grabbing the lead and hanging on.
For Friday’s final, CBA met host Rome Free Academy. Perhaps the battle with West Genesee took a toll on the Brothers, who could not replicate that effort against the Black Knights and, by a 46-38 margin, took its first defeat of the season.
RFA slowed things down, especially after it doubled CBA’s total and took a 16-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. Over the course of the next two periods, the Brothers had many chances, but could not convert, so it was still behind 29-27 going to the fourth quarter.
Once there, the Black Knights would pull clear, led by Kristen Anken, who finished with 17 points. RFA also took a different defensive approach, mostly leaving Romeo alone as she got 21 points, but shutting everyone else down. Neither of the Pitonzo sisters made a basket, and Cuomo only managed one field goal.
CBA had made it six in a row on Dec. 21, hosting Mexico and mostly relying on a first-half offensive blitz to zoom past the Tigers 57-33.
As usual, the Brothers ran from the start, steadily gaining a 17-10 first-quarter edge. But CBA saved its real surge for the second period, turning every Mexico mistake into a basket on the other end during a 26-7 domination of that period.
From that 43-17 halftime deficit, the Brothers relaxed a bit, and could afford to. Marisa Romeo again set the pace, putting in 21 points and adding seven rebounds, while Julie Cuomo stepped up for 15 points. Natalie Nardella managed eight points and six rebounds as Olivia Pitonzo contributed seven points.
Before all this, Fayetteville-Manlius had played in Central Square’s Traci Zimmer Memorial Tournament, which got truncated by the first serious winter snows of the season.
The Hornets met host Central Square in the opening round on Dec. 21, and strong defense throughout the night made the difference as it earned a 43-30 victory over the Red Hawks.
A last-second loss to Jamesville-DeWitt had motivated F-M, but also left a lingering effect as the Hornets could only manage a 7-7 tie with Central Square in the first quarter.
But when the Hornets outscored the Red Hawks 14-6 the rest of the half, it took the lead for good, the margin going to double digits (32-22) by the end of the third quarter.
Lauren Getman led the way, piling up 17 points, including seven successful free throws. No one else had more than D’Jhai Patterson Ricks’ total of seven points, but all eight F-M players that saw action got at least one field goal. Claudia Stirpe, with 17 points, earned more than half of Central Square’s output.
This led to a scheduled final against undefeated Class B power Westhill, who beat Liverpool 58-38 in the other half of the opening round. But the game on Dec. 22 got postponed by weather.