Some tough results in December, including defeats to Baldwinsville and Liverpool, had left the West Genesee girls basketball team in need of some quality wins.And the Wildcats got them in the More Than A Game Tournament, starting Dec. 27 at SRC Arena with a 59-46 victory over Section V’s Fairport.The game was close until the Wildcats outscored the Red Raiders 17-7 in the fourth quarter. Meredith James earned 12 of her career-high 20 points at the free-throw line as Catie Cunningham had 15 points, with Molly Coyne getting seven points and Ellen Kearney six points.Far more important, in the long-term, was WG’s 53-40 victory over Rome Free Academy in the Dec. 28 final, since it matched up two area Class AA sides.A low-scoring first half saw the Wildcats gradually overcome the Black Knights’ early 14-8 lead. Then WG decided matters by dominating on both ends in the third quarter, stunning RFA with a 20-4 push.Cunningham led this time, pouring in 20 points as Molly Benetti stepped up with 13 points. Julia Logana added eight points as Tailyn Frost paced RFA with 14 points.Skaneateles played in the Chittenango Holiday Tournament and, after falling 66-51 to the host Bears in the opening round, recovered to beat Auburn 45-35 in the consolation game.Maddy Ramsgard (13 points), Kate Aberi (10 points), Tatumn Pas’cal (nine points), Lexi Cotttrill (eight points) and Maeve Canty (seven points) all scored well against Chittenango, but no one broke out the way Sarah Lanphear did for the Bears as she earned a game-high 18 points.Defense was the story against Auburn, with the Lakers limiting the Maroons to four points in the fourth quarter to gradually draw clear. Canty, with 18 points, and Ramsgard, with 12 points, accounted for most of the Skaneateles attack as Cottrill added eight points.Bishop Ludden was 5-1 and no. 13 in the state Class A rankings when it took on Class AA no. 15-ranked St. Mary’s, from the Buffalo area, last Saturday afternoon.The Gaelic Knights lost, 61-56, to the Lancers, who broke out of a 22-22 halftime tie by outscoring Ludden 23-16 in the third quarter. In defeat, Amarah Streiff had 21 points, with Lauren Petrie adding 17 points.That same day, Jordan-Elbridge was back on the court, seeking its first win of the season against Canastota, but took a 51-44 defeat to the Raiders.The Eagles led 34-32 going to the fourth quarter, only to have Canastota go in front, carried by Jessica Evans, who poured in 30 points, more than half her team’s outputNo one on J-E got close to Evans’ totals, though Kaley Jackson did have 13 points, with Mollie Yard adding 12 points as Gabby Smart finished with eight points.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story Tags: Bishop Luddengirls basketballJ-EskaneatelesWest Genesee
Comments On April 5, 2016, Syracuse played Connecticut in the program’s first ever national title game appearance. The contest, an 82-51 beatdown by the Huskies, drew a total television audience of nearly 3 million viewers.Syracuse was on the biggest stage in program history. And although it may not have been a moral victory, the loss benefitted the Orange in the form of eight players — three transfers and five recruits.Since that national title loss, SU has seen an influx of talent. After the 2015-16 season, guard Isis Young, forward Miranda Drummond and guard Jasmine Nwajei, who led all of Division I in points per game that season, all transferred to Syracuse.At the same time, five then-high school juniors — Nikki Oppenheimer, Amaya Finklea-Guity, Digna Strautmane, Maeve Djaldi-Tabdi and Marie-Paule Foppossi — took favor to Syracuse and eventually committed.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLast season, the Orange graduated four of its five starters including program greats Alexis Peterson and Brittney Sykes, and the team now leans on these eight new players to replace lost production. None of the new faces have played a minute together in a Division I basketball game, but with the three transfers having a year to learn the system and three five-star freshmen on the roster, SU feels this team can reach the game that brought these players to central New York in the first place.“Coach Q took a team of great talent and brought it to that next level where it hadn’t been before,” Young said. “Then, to know that this coach is looking at you to recruit you and think that he can obviously use you to get the next level and get to the national championship is amazing.”The national championship game isn’t the direct reason Oppenheimer chose SU, because she was already committed, but when the Chicago native found out SU would be playing in the Final Four just a few hours away in Indianapolis, she knew she had to go. Attending the game, she said, only deepened her desire to come to Syracuse. Young, Nwajei and Drummond looked on from afar.Andy Mendes | Digital Design EditorAll three of them finished their respective seasons by the time Syracuse and UConn squared off, Nwajei at Wagner and Drummond and Young both exiting the NCAA tournament in the first weekend at St. Bonaventure and Florida, respectively. With no basketball to be played, their eyes turned to the Final Four.“It impacted my decision in a major way,” Nwajei said. “When … I watched the game, I felt like I could play in that system.”Of the five incoming freshmen, three were five-star recruits ranked inside the top 40 of espnW’s HoopGurlz 100 player rankings. The lowest of the three, Fiklea-Guity, will be the starting center for the season-opener on Nov. 10 against Morgan State, Hillsman said. The SU head coach also praised Strautmane and how she can play three positions on the floor.“Digna has been fantastic,” Hillsman said. “She’s been playing really well for us.”As for transfers, Syracuse brings in proven scoring in Nwajei. In her junior season at Wagner two years ago, Nwajei led the entire country with 28.7 points per game.Young and Drummond don’t bring as much scoring — both averaged fewer than 10 points a game at their stops prior to SU — but both had decorated high-school careers, and Young was the No. 12 guard in her recruiting class.The inherent advantage all three Division I transfers wield is the year spent on the bench learning SU’s system. Young, Nwajei and Drummond have all had a chance to build bonds with other players. They have learned the intricacies of the press and fast-paced offense the Orange will run this year.“We’re growing into the identity Syracuse has birthed already,” Nwajei said. “In due time, it will come together.”Another critical component is communication on defense when SU full-court presses its opponents. A major tactic SU is deploying, Oppenheimer said, is a call-and-response whenever Hillsman calls for an adjustment. He barks an order to one player who will relay it to the other four players. Then, everyone responds to ensure there’s no confusion.Outside of basketball, every player has made an effort to get close as a team. In October, Strautmane said, the team had a book club meeting where players recited their favorite quotes from books. Other times, they watch movies as a team. Young and Abby Grant are roommates, and Young dubbed the duo “Sniper Gang” because of their shooting prowess.Now, on a run of four-straight NCAA tournament appearances, the new faces are embracing the chance to make it five. Doing that, players said, would cement the winning culture they all saw in 2016.“Our expectation is to go to the Final Four and win a national championship,” Young said.If Syracuse does make the Final Four again in 2018, it’s likely that other prospective players around the country will be watching too.Banner photo illustration by Josh Shub-Seltzer | Staff Photographer Published on November 5, 2017 at 11:48 pm Contact Andrew: email@example.com | @A_E_Graham,Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.
Related Articles The Football Association has confirmed its Chief Executive Officer Martin Glenn will stand down at the end of this season.During Glenn’s four year tenure at the FA, the governing body ended its ‘official betting partnership’ with Ladbrokes just one year into its four-year contract with the betting operator, which was reportedly worth £4 million per year.The decision came after an internal management review, in which the FA deemed the sponsorship to be inappropriate as the body has to act as supervisor for the sport’s integrity and its player behaviour.Glenn also sought to spearhead the controversial sale of Wembley to Fulham owner Shahid Khan, citing the once in a lifetime opportunity to fund grassroots football, before the sale eventually fell through due to Khan withdrawing the offer.On the pitch, Glenn oversaw an immense amount of success with both the men’s and women’s teams reaching a World Cup semi-final.Departing the role, Glenn commented on the FA’s official website: “When I accepted the role of CEO at The FA, I was tasked with improving the effectiveness of the organisation and making it financially secure.“I also joined with the strong belief that the England team’s performance in tournaments could and should improve, and that the experience of the millions of people who play football could be a better one.“I will leave feeling proud of the success of the performance of all the England teams. I am confident that we have established in St. George’s Park, a world class centre which will ensure that the teams will continue to build on their current successes. I hope that The FA will be able to build on this by accelerating the breakthrough of English qualified players into the first teams.Glenn continued: “Running The FA has been a huge honour and a privilege but I have only been able to achieve what I have been able to thanks to everyone who works here. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my staff for their commitment and dedication to running our national game.“Football has a role in society far bigger than the game itself and undeniably makes us richer on many levels whether it be mass participation for both men and increasingly women, or the tremendous global appeal of our professional game. It has been a pleasure playing a part in this wonderful game.”FA Chairman, Greg Clarke, added: “On behalf of the Board of The FA, I would like to thank Martin for building and leading a senior management team that has transformed our organisation.“His integrity, commitment, energy and passion for football has underpinned the improvements on and off the pitch. The resulting commercial success has funded hugely significant change in the women’s game, St. George’s Park, the FA Cup and the national teams.“Martin leaves as his legacy an organisation that is fit for purpose, more diverse, internationally respected and ready to progress to the next level.“I and the organisation will miss his effective, principled and compassionate leadership and wish him well.” English football suspension extended until 30 April March 19, 2020 UEFA confirms indefinite Finals postponement March 24, 2020 Submit Premier League looks to broadcast every behind-closed-door fixture August 28, 2020 Share Share StumbleUpon