SYRACUSE For its 2012-13 season opener, the West Genesee boys basketball team chose the same Carrier Dome court that it hopes to return to later this winter with a championship on the line.
Here, though, it merely encountered Rochester's School of the Arts, which proved to be an easy conquest as the Wildcats rolled past the Silver Hawks by a score of 83-41.
A long time spent among the middle or lower ranks in the CNY Counties League ranks have made head coach Fred Kent's Wildcats a hungry group, and the pre-season buzz surrounding WG had been mostly good. Now it was time to see if that optimism was accurate - or misplaced.
It took just 12 seconds to get an answer. After 6-foot-7 junior center Shane Temara won the opening tip, he flashed open on the wing, took a pass - and slammed it home, a dunk that set the game's tone.
WG had a 10-3 lead before the game was three minutes old. Temara showed his range with a 3-pointer late in the first quarter and added a three-point play, his eight points producing an 18-14 lead by the end of the period.
Strong rebounding helped the Wildcats cover up for a series of missed shots from up close, and senior Phil Allen's quartet of baskets keyed a second-quarter surge that included another slam from Temara. By halftime, both Temara (12 points) and Allen (10 points) were in double figures, and WG's advantage had grown to 38-24.
to make sure that the Silver Hawks didn't come back, WG stepped up its game in the third quarter on both ends. A string of 3-pointers by Allen, Jimmy Cunningham and Michael Henry, plus baskets off SOTA turnovers, stretched the margin to 65-34 and allowed the Wildcats to use much of its bench in the final period.