Feb 08, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In a matter of days, the Cicero-North Syracuse boys basketball team went from a low point of its season to a high one.
Held in check during a 64-46 defeat to West Genesee last Tuesday night, the Northstars came back home Friday and hit all the shots that it missed in Camillus, leading to an impressive 68-53 victory over defending Section III Class AA champion Henninger.
“That’s a real big win for us,” said head coach John Haas.
Though it was Senior Night, it was a junior, Connor Evans, that produced the most excitement for the home fans. In the span of less than a minute late in the second quarter, Evans, all by himself, turned a close game that had featured 12 lead changes into a one-sided affair.
With C-NS, who lost to Henninger 67-57 back on Dec. 13, trailing 28-27 in the rematch, Evans began his big move with a 3-pointer. Seconds later he got the ball back, was fouled and made both free throws.
Then, on C-NS’s next possession, Evans was fouled again taking a 3-point shot from the corner, and that led to two more successful free throws. Finally, Henninger turned it over and Evans converted a driving lay-up.
All told, Evans had scored nine points in 45 seconds, and the Northstars led 36-28 at halftime. Maintaining that momentum, C-NS torched Henninger for four more 3-pointers early in the third quarter – two of them from Evans, one each from Brian DeMonte and Troy McIntyre.
By the time the Black Knights could process what had taken place, C-NS had completed a 30-8 run, and Evans had half of those points, 15. For good measure, Evans tossed in back-to-back baskets in the fourth quarter to thwart Henninger’s late comeback bid, and he finished with 26 points, plus six steals.
DeMonte made sure that the Black Knights didn’t give all of its attention to Evans, earning 17 points. Ronnie Williams had eight reobunds, while Nick Antonello contributed eight points off the bench and McIntyre finished with seven points, four assists and three steals.
Throughout the game, the Northstars’ physical defenders frustrated Henninger. Other than Keisean Scott, who had 17 points, none of the Black Knights scored in double figures as Marquane Silvers was held to nine points and Romero Collier had just six points.
Before the game, a moment of silence was held in memory of John Unger, a coach and teacher in the North Syracuse School District for more than 30 years who was the first coach of the combined C-NS boys basketball team in the early 1980s. Unger passed away last Wednesday at age 65. Several members of Unger’s family were in attendance for the game.