Cicero-North Syracuse forward Julia Rowe (42) works past Baldwinsville's Sydney Huhtala during Tuesday night's game. Rowe had 17 points in the Northstars' 76-50 win over the Bees.
One game, no matter how impressive or comprehensive, is not enough to indicate that a full season of similar performances are in store.
Yet what the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball did on Tuesday night, venturing to Baldwinsville and putting together a 76-50 victory over the Bees, served as an encouraging sign for Northstars fans bent on seeing their program return to the top of the Section III Class AA ranks.
And it gave C-NS plenty of confidence going into next Tuesday’s home opener against West Genesee, who denied them the sectional title last March in a title-game thriller at the Carrier Dome.
From that Northstars team, Amani Free graduated and is now a freshman at Quinnipiac University. Other than Free and Julianna Vasallo, though, everyone else from 2017-18 returned for this winter.
What that gives head coach Eric Smith is a deep, experience lineup that can hurt an opponent several ways, either by going inside to sophomore forwards Jessica Cook and Julia Rowe, or through a rotation of fine all-around perimeter players.
Against Baldwinsville, who was off to a 3-0 start that included back-to-back wins over Rome Free Academy, the Northstars’ all-around game was on display, complementing a defense that, anchored by point guard Morgan Siechen, rarely gave the Bees any open shots, inside or outside.
The takeover began with Rowe netting seven consecutive points in the first quarter to help C-NS to an 18-9 lead. Then it expanded that margin until Mackenzie White’s 3-pointer at the horn established a 35-20 halftime margin.
Cook took over in the third quarter, scoring most of her 12 points in this frame. At one point, the Northstars reeled off 11 straight points in just two-plus minutes to make it 55-27, putting things out of reach.
Rowe led with 17 points as 11 different players recorded at least one field goal. White had nine points, all from three 3-pointers, while Brandi Feeney and Aniah Ingram had seven points apiece.