Feb 02, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
With the school’s all-time scoring record secure, John Schurman and his Fayetteville-Manlius boys basketball teammates could turn to the latter part of its busiest stretch of the season, which included five games in an eight-day span.
Easy wins over Central Square and Hilton (where Schurman broke the school mark) began the stretch, and it continued last Tuesday at Liverpool, where the Hornets had a far easier time handling the Warriors the second time around, prevailing by a score of 80-56.
Back on Dec. 13, in its home opener, F-M had escaped Liverpool, 67-62, the Warriors doing a superb job containing Schurman, who had just 13 points that night, but watching three others (Louis Avellino, Jake Wittig and Mike Hoalcraft) score in double figures to make up for it.
In the rematch, Schurman produced from the start, helping F-M grab a 20-12 edge by the end of the first quarter. From there, the two side exchanged baskets until the third period, when the Hornets stretched out the margin to 56-43, and then dominated down the stretch.
Though he hit just one 3-pointer, Schurman, settling for shorter, more high-percentage shots, finished with 27 points, more than double the output of the first Liverpool game, and also did well on the boards, too, earning 13 rebounds.
Wittig set a season mark with 15 assists, to go with 11 points and four steals, while Hoalcraft managed 13 points and five rebounds. Cormac Bettinger joined Avellino, each of them getting eight points, while David Stegemann had six points. Liverpool, in defeat, got 15 points from Jaydakis Scott and 11 points apiece from Sean Dillon and Tyler Sullivan.
A night later, F-M was back home, making up the snowed-out Jan. 3 game against Rush-Henrietta, and Schurman was sharp again, pushing the Hornets to an easy 89-58 victory over the Royal Comets.
Just as with Liverpool, the points came quickly, Schurman and his teammates constantly finding open outside shots and burying them as it built a 32-13 lead before the first quarter was done.
That pace was impossible to maintain, but F-M kept Rush-Henrietta from pulling closer, and it put together a 23-point third quarter to extend the margin to 70-46, far out of the Royal Comets’ reach.
All told, F-M made 15 3-pointers, seven of them from Schurman as he finished with 29 points in just 20 minutes of court time, to go with six rebounds. Avellino hit three 3-pointers to account for most of his 14 points, while Stegemann stepped up with 13 points and four rebounds. Wittig managed 12 assists and six steals as Hoalcraft had eight points and Alex Leuze made a pair of 3-pointers.
This stretch concluded Friday night, against visiting Oswego, where the Hornets got more players involved and proved just as effective, roaring past the Buccaneers 84-45.
F-M’s offense was so effective that, of its first 15 baskets in the game, 13 of them featured assists. Wittig was responsible for most of them, anchoring the Hornets as it built a 43-22 halftime edge and then doubled up Oswego 22-11 in the third quarter to put the game away.
Not only did Wittig have 12 assists and five steals, he also led with 15 points. Schurman only had 12 points, but Avellino got 14 points (most of it from four 3-pointers) and Hoalcraft also had 12 points. Nick Quilty-Koval got eight points off the bench as Sean Brown hit a pair of 3-pointers, too. All told, 11 different Hornets notched at least one field goal.
On Tuesday night, the 13-2 Hornets go on the road one more time, trying to deny Baldwinsville a playoff-clinching victory, before returning home for its remaining regular-season games against Nottingham on Friday and Auburn on Feb. 11.