When the Section III Class AA girls basketball playoff pairings were announced Wednesday afternoon, Christian Brothers Academy and Fayetteville-Manlius found themselves together in the same bracket.
Indeed, the no. 2 seed Brothers (16-2) and no. 7 seed Hornets (11-7) are set to square off next Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the AA quarterfinals in the wake of an active closing stretch for both sides.
F-M had two regular-season games to deal with before the playoffs started, including Monday’s long-awaited match with Westhill that nearly turned into a grand triumph before the Warriors pulled it out 48-46.
They were supposed to meet way back on Dec. 22 in the Traci Zimmer Memorial Tournament at Central Square, but it got snowed out, as did a second possible meeting in late January.
At last, things cleared out for last Monday’s encounter, and throughout a low-scoring first half F-M’s tenacious defense made a real difference as it inched into a 20-19 lead.
A big performance from Erika Stube, who had 12 points, kick-started the Hornets as Lauren Getman (12 points) and Madison Beck (11 points) also reached double figures.
F-M led, 34-32, with one period left, but could not hold on as junior Anna Ross keyed Westhill’s comeback. Ross scored 16 of her game-high 19 points in the second half, as she and Sam Peebles (14 points) helped the Warriors move to 16-1.
A night later, the Hornets faced Liverpool, who was still scrambling to try and reach the Class AA playoffs. F-M put an end to those chances, though, as it worked its way to a 50-38 victory.
Through a tightly played first half, neither team lit it up. F-M still moved out in front, though, and then expanded on that 21-18 edge by outscoring Liverpool 16-9 in a pivotal third quarter.
The visitors never caught up as, once more, Beck and Getman carried the Hornets’ offense, Beck finishing with 21 points and Getman adding 18 points. Together, the pair accounted for 12 of the Hornets’ 16 field goals.