Liverpool forward Jacob Works (44) converts a basket in the Warriors’ Dec. 27 game against University Prep. Works finished with 10 points as the Warriors prevailed 62-54, the first of three consecutive victories for the Warriors as it topped Fayetteville-Manlius and Victor in the first week fo 2019.
It was crucial for the Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse boys basketball teams to both hit the new year in winning form before the top Class AA contenders got too far away from them.
C-NS was taking part in the “Hoops for the Hospital” Tournament on Dec. 27 when it took on Shaker, from Section II, and earned a 70-64 victory over the Blue Bison.
Previously this season, when the Northstars were successful, it had come due to defense, but here was a case where the offense showed some much-needed improvement, C-NS working its way in front 47-39 by the end of the third quarter.
Down the stretch, the Northstars hit plenty of free throws to hold off the Blue Bison’s late charge as Justin DelVecchio worked his total to 20 points and Anthony Tricarico earned nine of his 18 points at the foul line. Nick DeMonte had 13 points
Liverpool was 1-6, with its lone victory over C-NS, when it hosted Rochester’s University Prep on Dec. 27 and, getting off to a quick start, rode that early lead all the way to a 62-54 victory.
Alex Ruston had his best game of the season so far, pouring in 21 points as Kyle Butler earned five of his 12 points at the free-throw line. Jake Piseno’s 11 points included a pair of 3-pointers as Jacob Works added 10 points.
A week later, the Warriors visited Fayetteville-Manlius, where it gained back-to-back wins for the first time this winter, largely leaning on its defense to defeat the Hornets 55-45.
Liverpool held F-M to just five points in the first quarter, moving out in front. After the Hornets cut the margin to 25-20 by halftime, it slumped again, the Warriors limiting them to seven points in the third period as it regained control.
Each of the nine Liverpool players that saw action got at least one field goal, Butler leading with 13 points. Ruston earned seven of his 11 points at the free-throw line and Works also had 11 points.
Meanwhile, C-NS visited Henninger, where it again found itself in a low-scoring battle, just where it was most comfortable as it fought to a 47-46 victory over the Black Knights.
All game long, the two sides were within a couple of baskets each other, never able to separate. It came down to C-NS doing just enough down the stretch on both ends to stay out in front.
Tricarico put up 11 points, adding four steals, three rebounds and three assists. Brayden McLean helped out with nine points as Haas continued to stand out with six points and six rebounds. DelVecchio added eight rebounds and DeMonte got five rebounds. Jonah Alston led Henninger with 12 points.
Then C-NS and Liverpool both played Saturday at SRC Arena against Section V opponents – the Northstars facing Edison Tech, the Warriors taking on Victor – and both would win again.
Going first, C-NS pulled away against Edison Tech, prevailing 75-50 as DelVecchio poured in 26 points and DeMonte added 15 points. Tricarico and Noah Wieczorek had nine points apiece.
When it was Liverpool’s turn against Victor, it went all the way to the wire, but the Warriors, without Butler in the lineup, still won 60-59, erasing a fourth-quarter deficit when it outscored the Blue Devils 22-17 in the fourth quarter.
Big baskets down the stretch came from several different players, including Works, who led with 15 points as Ruston gained 13 points and Kyle Caves added 10 points. Ryan Valentine and Matt Senecal had six points apiece.
Three more games await Liverpool this week against Henninger, Nottingham and Rochester McQuaid, with C-NS also playing Nottingham before hosting F-M on Friday.