By Kyle T. Higley, intern
Oswego and Cicero-North Syracuse faced off in the Championship game of the Fulton Savings Bank tournament Monday. C-NS used senior big man and tournament MVP six foot eight Andy Falvey along with six foot five Zachary Coleman to take advantage of an undersized Oswego front line on their way to a 75-68 victory. Falvey scored a game high 19 points and Coleman added 17, to go along with Josh Williams 10 points to lead the Northstars.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a very good basketball team. They are big, they move the ball around and they know how to use their big men. Number one, I have to express my acknowledgment to John Haas who has coached a very good basketball team. They are very good players and they are very well coached,Ã¢â‚¬Â said head Oswego basketball coach Warren Shaw.
Oswego got strong performances from Mac Porter, who had a team high 16 points, Corey Galletta , who sparked the team with 13 points of the bench, and Joe Brown Jr., who poured in 12 points and battled Falvey and Colman all night despite being much shorter.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Joe is our inspirational leader. He has a lot of heart, he plays like he is six inches taller and he gives one hundred percent all the time,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Shaw.
Both Oswego and Cicero-North Syracuse started the game out in a full court press defensively. At first, OswegoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s press seem to work as they jumped out to a 7-3 lead and forced C-NS to call a timeout only two and a half minutes into the game. C-NS, however, would soon figure out the Oswego press and force them to fall back into a 3-2 zone.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our game plan was to use our speed, and pressure them but they handled our pressure pretty well. We had to drop back in a zone to give the guys a breather because we werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t going very deep on the bench,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Shaw.
Mac Porter was able to break the press for Oswego, and by the end of the first quarter C-NS had dropped back into a half court man to man set. Oswego had cooled after its hot start and C-NS led 14-13 at the end of the first quarter. Two minutes into the second quarter junior guard Corey Galletta came off the bench, and hit a key 3-pointer to keep the Buccaneers within one, as they now trailed 17-16. However, C-NS used a 5-0 run with 2:02 left in the second quarter to gain a 31-26 advantage at halftime.
In the second half C-NS began to get their big men more involved, and Oswego had trouble answering. C-NS used good ball movement and their superior size to break down the Buccaneer 3-2 zone. As a result C-NS stared the third quarter with a 9 to 2 run and led 40-28 with 4:30 left in the third quarter. Once again Oswego looked to Galletta, and once again he delivered with some critical three point baskets. Even with Galletta giving them great production off the bench Oswego could not cut into the C-NS lead, and trailed 50-39 when the third quarter ended.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Corey is a great shooter. We try to get some open looks for him, he is someone we try to bring off the bench to give teams a different look. He can sometimes hit a shot, then before you know it he has hit two or three and brought us back into the game like he did tonight,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Shaw.
In the fourth quarter Oswego went back to its full court press, but was never able to apply enough pressure to C-NS. In the end Falvey and company were too much, and pulled out a 75-68 victory. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Falvey is a great player. He has the complete package,Ã¢â‚¬Â Shaw commented.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We had a lot of guys step up and I told them before the game everybody is going to step up and give their best effort, and they did it and I am proud of them for doing it,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Shaw when assessing his teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s effort.
In the consolation game Central Square defeated Baldwinsville 57-48 to claim third place in the Fulton Savings Bank tournament. The Fulton Savings Bank all tournament team was comprised of Chris Thayer (Baldwinsville), Josh William (CNS), Matt Porter (Oswego), Joe Brown (Oswego), Zach Coleman (CNS), and tournament MVP Andy Falvey.