C-NS girls get late surge, defeat Baldwinsville
1/10/2018 6:08 AM

Down two starters, trailing for most of the first half, every excuse was lined up for the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball team to suffer its first defeat of the season at the expense of Baldwinsville Tuesday night.  Except that, when it counted the most, the Northstars’ defense played at its best, and big production from sources likely (Amani Free) and unlikely (Alexandra Miller) keyed a 58-43 victory over the Bees.  C-NS entered the night 7-0 and no. 5 in the state Class AA rankings. B’ville was 8-0 before taking a 57-49 defeat to Nottingham Jan. 3, and the Northstars knew the Bees would, in response, play with energy and fire.  Already, C-NS was without an injured Aniah Ingram, but things got worse when 6-foot-2 freshman forward Jessica Cook, the Northstars’ most dangerous inside presence, went down with an injury midway through the first quarter.  Though Cook left the court without assistance, and was walking afterward, she did not play the rest of the game, forcing C-NS to go deeper into its bench than usual.  Meanwhile, the Bees attacked hard. Thanks to 10 first-half points from Claire McAllister and nine points from Katie Pascale, B’ville kept the lead and was up, 27-23, going to the break.  Two things happened to change the course of events. C-NS got a boost from reserve guard Alexandra Miller, whose four 3-pointers led to a career-best 14 points that took pressure off other players.  At the same time, the Northstars’ defense picked up its intensity, sparking a 12-0 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters as B’ville went without a point for more than eight minutes.  Free finished things off, notching 19 of her 29 points in the second half. Mackenzie White finished with seven points.


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