WG girls basketball reaches sectional AA semis, falls to C-NS

first_imgDown three, 40-37, F-M worked it to the outside where Lexi Kellish, scoreless to that point, drilled a 3-pointer with 2.0 seconds left, tying the game and sending it to overtime.Somehow, WG regrouped from this blow, scored the first six points of the four-minute extra period and never got caught, led by James, who earned 12 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter and OT.Cunningham had to work hard for her 15 points as Molly Benetti put in 13 points, while no other F-M player other than Fish hit double figures, Ava Angello getting nine points and Kendra Broddus eight points.Having worked so hard to reach the semifinals, WG, the no. 3 seed, now looked to turn around two regular-season defeats to no. 2 seed C-NS.The latter of those two games, a 60-52 decision in early February, had the Wildcats put a scare into the Northstars, who needed 36 points from its star junior forward, Jessica Cook, to pull through.With a berth in the sectional final against top seed Baldwinsville at stake, C-NS swarmed the Wildcats from the outset. In the first 90 seconds alone, the Northstars forced two turnovers and converted baskets off them.WG grabbed a pair of slim leads during that first quarter, but it didn’t faze C-NS, and that proved true even when Cook picked up two early fouls and went to the bench.While Cook sat during the second period, C-NS held the Wildcats without a point for more than six minutes, the relentless pressure more than atoning for some struggles on the other end.Trailing 20-11 at halftime, WG then saw Cook return in the third quarter and proceed to take the Wildcats apart with a series of powerful moves to the basket.By the time this surge was done, Cook had 16 points in that period, on her way to 23 points overall, and the game was far out of WG’s reach.No Wildcats player scored in double figures as Cunningham led them with eight points. Meredith James had seven points, with Molly Coyne getting six points and Mollie James five points.Given that it had to replace the incomparable duo of Mackenzie and Madison Smith, the fact that WG went 15-7 this winter was a tribute to how many different players stepped up their games, and kept on playing well even after point guard Erin DiPaola went to the sidelines with a late-season injury.In 2020-21, Meredith James will be gone, as will Julia Logana, Abby Bednarski, Emma Garvey, Ellen Kearney and Grace Miller, but having Cunningham, Coyne, Benetti, DiPaola and Mollie James should keep the Wildcats as contenders.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story Even though it lost twice to the Wildcats in the regular season and did not have its leading scorer, Lexie Roe, in the lineup, F-M relied on tough half-court defense to force a string of Wildcats turnovers in the first half.Meanwhile, Lily Fish picked up nine of team-high 15 points in the second quarter, and the Hornets led through much of the game’s middle stages, stretching that margin out to five twice in the third period.WG fought back, and it remained tight through the homestretch. They entered the final minute tied, 37-37, but WG appeared to put it away with a Catie Cunnigham basket, defensive stop and Meredith James free throw. Each of the last two years, the West Genesee girls basketball team extended its reign as Section III Class AA champions at the direct expense of Cicero-North Syracuse.So it only figured that the Wildcats’ title run would end at the Northstars’ expense in Sunday’s sectional semifinal at SRC Arena, its offense not able to generate much in a 57-32 defeat to the Northstars.Just getting to this game was tough enough, WG getting pushed to overtime in last Tuesday’s sectional quarterfinal by no. 6 seed Fayetteville-Manlius before defeating the Hornets 53-46.center_img Tags: girls basketballWest Geneseelast_img read more