Manlius Though it was John Schurman closing in on membership to an elite club of 1,000-point scorers, it was sophomore point guard Jake Wittig who set the tone Tuesday night for the Fayetteville-Manlius boys basketball team in a comfortable 79-65 home win over division foe Oswego.
The Hornets, ranked no 27 in Class AA, improved to 12-2 and stayed perfect in CNYCL league competition (7-0), improving its chances to land the top tournament seed in Section III.
“It would be awesome,” F-M coach Tom Blackford said. “It's never happened before.”
Despite contributing eight points in the first half, Schurman struggled early from deep, making just one basket from behind the arc.
Wittig, averaging just under eight points per game on the season, had seven in the first quarter, and assisted on four of the team’s other five baskets as the Hornets opened a 22-13 lead over the Buccaneers after one period. He finished with 16 points and 12 assists, plus five steals.
“Jake is smart,” Schurman said. “He realizes when his teammates are hot he's going to give them the ball; but he realized I wasn't having my best night tonight and he took the scoring load on himself.
"That's what a heady player does, that's what a really good player does, and that's him. He realized the team needed him and he got it done.”
What Wittig started in the first half, Schurman and the rest of the Hornets finished in the second half. He and senior forward Tomer Nesher extended a nine-point halftime lead to 51-35 in the opening minutes of the third quarter, each dropping in seven points before letting any of their teammates join in on the scoring.
Louis Avellino opened the fourth quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers to help keep the Bucs at arm’s length. Though Oswego cut the lead from 23-14 behind seven points from forward Dustin Sands, it would not get any closer.