As it enters Tuesday’s home showdown with two-time defending state Class AA champion Cicero-North Syracuse, the West Genesee girls basketball team is displaying some of its best form of the season.
No doubt, the Wildcats (10-3) also paid attention to the fact that the Northstars (also 10-3) trailed Nottingham in the fourth quarter of last Friday’s game before a late 21-2 run produced a 56-38 win, another sign that, in the post-Breanna Stewart era, C-NS is still quite good, but a bit more vulnerable.
A pair of impressive wins provided an ideal lead-up, starting with last Tuesday’s home game against Auburn, where Melissa Fumano and Marissa Hudgins owned the paint in a 53-38 victory over the Maroons.
It still took a while for WG to establish full control, as a 14-8 first-quarter lead eroded enough to give the home fans some concern, Auburn only trailing 25-22 at halftime.
But with Fumano and Hudgins getting all kinds of boards, the Wildcats outscored the Maroons 19-8 in the third quarter to get clear.
Fumano excelled on both ends, pouring in 20 points to go with her 14 rebounds, while Hudgins pulled down 12 rebounds. Vicki Graveline provided inside-outside balance as the guard finished with 16 points.
It proved a bit easier in Friday’s game at Henninger, where the Wildcats took out the Black Knights by a 63-42 margin.
Unlike with Auburn, WG unleashed lots of offense early, grabbing a 20-9 first-quarter lead and continuing to produce the rest of the half until it had a 40-22 edge at the break.
One big difference on this night was the play of Grace Osterdale, who gave the Wildcats another offensive option as she recorded a season-best 12 points, matching Fumano’s total as Graveline led all scorers with 15 points. Courtney Shoults stepped up, too, earning six points.