Manlius Braving the winter snows, Fayetteville-Manlius boys basketball fans again packed the 'Hornets Nest' Friday night for a game against Baldwinsville that proved special on two fronts.
Not only was it the 'Pink Out' benefit for Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital, it also was the occasion that F-M's star junior, John Schurman, earned his 1,000th career point as the Hornets beat the Bees 75-51.
Ever since 2008, a night each season is devoted to the 'Pink Out'. Organized this year by F-M senior Josh Pulver, the event each year raises thousands of dollars, mostly through the sale of pink T-shirts, for the 'More Than a Game' foundation, along with Golisano Children's Hospital and its Upstate Cancer Center.
And the show went on this time despite bad weather that forced the postponement of numerous games across Central New York. As it started, Schurman, the leading scorer for the state Class AA no. 27-ranked Hornets, was 14 points short of 1,000, a rare mark for an underclassman to reach.
F-M quickly took charge against 5-10 B'ville, taking an 18-12 first-quarter lead, even though Schurman didn't have a point. Then it really took off in the second period, outscoring the Bees 27-10 to drain most of the suspense out of the outcome.
Along the way, point guard Jake Wittig handed out 10 assists and grabbed five steals, to go with 12 points. Tomer Nesher would produce 15 points and seven rebounds, while Louis Avellino got 11 points.
Schurman, shaking off his dearly drought, was in double figures by the third quarter, but had not yet made it to 1,000. Late in the period, though, he flashed open on the right side and, off a pass from Wittig, took a signature 3-pointer and swished it to reach the mark.
Briefly, the game was stopped as F-M head coach Tom Blackford presented Schurman with a commeorative basketball autographed by the entire Hornets team, to the cheers of the pink-clad crowd that inlcuded a student section holding up 1,000-point signs made for the occasion.
For the night, Schurman would get 20 points as 10 different players would earn at least one field goal by game's end. F-M improved its record to 13-2, and also improved its chances of gaining the top seed for the Section III playoffs as regular-season games remain against Central Square, Utica Proctor and Liverpool.