No one had any idea how the Baldwinsville girls basketball team would react to a long break from game action, a long trip to the Washington. D.C. area and the absence of one of its best players.
These were what faced the Bees as it ventured to the Joe Cascio Basketball Tournament in Falls Church, Virginia, just outside the nation’s capital, in the days after Christmas.
When B’ville took to the court in its Dec. 27 opening-round game against Potomac School (Virginia), it had not played a full game in 11 days, its Dec. 18 game at Nottingham stopped in the second quarter after the injury scare to junior guard Katie Pascale.
To everyone’s relief, Pascale was expected to make a full recovery. Still, she did not make the trip with the team to Virginia, leaving the Bees short-handed.
But B’ville still beat Potomac School 46-44 in that opening-round game, clamping down on defense in the first half as it limited the Panthers to a handful of field goals and built a 26-12 advantage.
That double-digit lead held until the fourth quarter, when Potomac made a furious charge. The Bees held on, though, as Sydney Huhtala finished with 14 points and Jordan Roy had 10 points, with Alex Bednarczyk getting eight points and Megan Brecht adding six points.
In the semifinal on Dec. 28, B’ville took on West Potomac, who had routed Dominion 67-29 in its first-round game.
The Wolverines then did the same to the Bees, 71-29, taking charge with a 27-5 second-quarter push. Bednarczyk still managed 10 points, with Roy adding six points and Mary Young getting four points.
B’ville was now in the third-place game on Dec. 29 against Mount Vernon, another Virginia school. Here, the Bees would close the trip on a strong note by defeating the Majors 47-30.
Stingy on defense throughout the game, B’ville held Mount Vernon to just 11 points in the first half, and got away late with plenty of free-throw conversions from the likes of Bednarczyk and Young.
Bednarczyk led the way with 11 points, while Young improved to 10 points. Helping them, Courtney Clute got eight points and Huhtala gained six points.
After all this was done, B’ville’s first game back in league play was against reigning sectional Class AA champion West Genesee on Friday night at Baker High School.
And reality hit hard on this night as the Wildcats handled the Bees 71-39, the matter settled early as WG led 40-17 by halftime and extended that margin to 62-27 before the starters rested in the fourth quarter.
Again, Bednarczyk was B’ville’s top scorer, earning 10 points. Roy and Brecht had eight points apiece as Susanne Johnson got six points. Five Wildcats scored in double figures as Mackenzie Smith had 17 points. Kaitlyn Walker (12 points), Catie Cunningham (11 points), Madison Smith and Aleysha Castanon (10 points each) were close behind.
A day later, the halted Dec. 18 game with Nottingham was resumed, with Bulldogs players greeting Pascale and giving her flowers as she returned to the court where she was hurt.
Nottingham ended up winning that game 48-43, mostly on the strength of Jakiya Howard’s 21 points as it outscored B’ville 19-8 in a pivotal third quarter to erase the Bees’ 21-12 halftime lead. Young led her side with 11 points.
So the Bees were now 6-5 on the season, traveling Tuesday to Fayetteville-Manlius before hosting Corcoran Friday night.