Though the West Genesee boys basketball team is on its way to the Section III Class AA playoffs, it still has found difficulty gaining wins against top-level opponents.
Such was the case again in last Tuesday’s game at Cicero-North Syracuse, where the Wildcats’ inability to stop Northstars guard Mike Tricarico had a lot to do with a 70-56 defeat.
Coming off narrow defeats to the likes of Nottingham and Henninger, WG looked like it had a good chance to find its winning form as it traded baskets with C-NS in the first quarter and inched into a 19-18 lead.
But the Northstars controlled the rest of the half, outscoring the Wildcats 20-9, and for the rest of the night WG was in catch-up mode, taking some bite out of that deficit in the third quarter to close within 49-43, but not able to make it all the way back.
Just four Wildcat players had baskets – Phil Allen, Shane Temara, Mike Henry and Brett Colvin. Allen led with 20 points, with Temara working inside for 17 points and Henry adding 14 points. Combined, the trio made seven 3-pointers.
Yet all of that wasn’t enough as C-NS guard Mike Tricarico broke out for 27 points, adding 10 rebounds. Brian DeMonte (18 points) and Mike Lumia (14 points) offered plenty of support, too, as Xavier Brown pulled down 10 rebounds.
All of this made the Wildcats’ Saturday game at Oswego nearly a must-win situation in order to restore some kind of good feeling – which WG got as some clutch baskets from Allen keyed a come-from-behind 74-71 victory over the Buccaneers.
It didn’t look good at the start, Oswego doubling WG’s production in a 22-11 first quarter. And the deficit grew to 43-31 at halftime before the Wildcats started to rally. It helped to have Trevor Smith back in the lineup as he made three 3-pointers, accounting for half of his 18 points.