WATERTOWN — By delivering a landmark win, Friday proved to be a memorable night for both Penelope Brown and Jommy Fasehun and their Watertown girls basketball teammates.
Led by this duo, the Cyclones rallied to defeat Fulton, 46-42, in a Section 3 Class A first-round game at Case Middle School.
With the victory, Watertown recorded its first sectional win in girls basketball in 16 years.
It was a split decision on the night for the hosts, as later the Cyclones’ boys basketball team fell to Jamesville-DeWitt, 61-54, also in a Class A first-round game on the same court.
WATERTOWN SCORES COMEBACK WIN
Fasehun scored 22 points and Brown provided leadership down the stretch as the eighth-seeded Cyclones rallied to defeat the ninth-seeded Red Raiders.
“We really wanted to win because like you said, it’s been a while,” Brown said. “And we were tired of it, we didn’t want to be a joke again, we were going to prove ourselves. We were going to do this, we said ‘we got this’ — and we did it.”
Fasehun and Brown combined to score 10 of Watertown’s 11 points in the pivotal fourth quarter.
“It’s just wonderful, it’s been such a long time since Watertown won a sectional game,” Fasehun said. “And I’m just glad we were able to get it done tonight.”
Defensively, the Cyclones (9-12) teamed up to limit the Red Raiders to only three points in the final period.
The victory by Watertown was its first sectional triumph for the girls basketball program since the Cyclones defeated Central Square, 49-46, in a Section 3 Class AA first-round game on Feb. 19, 2007.
“It was very nice,” Watertown coach Ryan Gosson said. “This was Watertown’s first sectional win in (16 years) in varsity girls basketball, so getting that win is a big step for our program. And it was a big step for our girls moving forward. So I’m really proud of the girls.”
The Cyclones trailed by as many as seven points in the third quarter after the game was tied 25-25 at halftime.
Watertown responded with an 8-0 run during the third quarter to grab a 35-34 lead, but trailed 39-35 entering the fourth.
The Cyclones responded with a 7-0 spurt to open the quarter and took the lead at 41-39 on a layup from Fasehun with 4:26 remaining.
Fulton would later tie the game at 42-42 on Kayla McCraith’s rebound and follow-up shot. But Brown put Watertown in front for good as she collected in a rebound of a Fasehun miss and scored on a putback shot with 41 seconds left.
“It was tough, we had a lot of turnovers,” Gosson said. “So it was really tough to overcome those turnovers, the fourth quarter decides games. And the fourth quarter decided this game with us outscoring them, 11-3. We just took care of the ball better. We had less turnovers in the fourth quarter and we finished at the rim — and we got to the foul line, too.”
Watertown bounced back with Friday’s win after losing to Indian River, 53-50, in the Frontier League’s “A” Division playoff final last Saturday.
“It feels great,” Brown said. “We were coming off a big loss to Indian River, so it was time for us to come back and I think we came back really well today.”
The Cyclones now advance to play at top-seeded Indian River in quarterfinal at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
“It shows that after years of frustration, we’ve improved and improved and just seeing the growth of the program is great to see,” Gosson said of the win.
Grace Clary scored 18 points to pace Fulton (7-13), including generating eight points in the third quarter, but was held scoreless in the final period.
J-D RALLIES PAST WATERTOWN BOYS
Anthony Stickle poured in 30 points to fuel the 10th-seeded Red Rams past the seventh-seeded Cyclones in the sectional opener for both teams.
Stickle, a senior guard, scored 21 of his points in the second half, including 12 in the fourth quarter, to complete the comeback for Jamesville-DeWitt (9-12).
After the game was tied 25-25 at halftime, Watertown led by as many as seven points in the third quarter, before the Red Rams started chipping away at the lead.
After the Cyclones led 43-42 early in the period, the Red Rams responded by draining four straight 3-pointers, including two each from Stickle and sophomore Jackson Saroney, with Saroney connecting on pair of deep baskets before Stickle struck for another three to cap a 9-0 run for a 54-47 lead with 2:55 left.
Watertown would never recover as it got no closer than five points the rest of the way.
“I kept talking to the kids, I said ‘it’s going to be one of those games where you don’t want to give up one of those big surges,” Watertown coach Ed Adams said. “They had that one run that got up to six or seven points, so it was tough there. It was tooth and nail the whole way, except for that one run. We kind of got behind a little bit and time ran out on us.”
Stickle was also six of six from the free-throw line — all down the stretch in the fourth quarter — to seal the win.
“We knew Stickle was going to be tough,” Adams said, “Hughes was their best player and I think we did a great job of trying to keep him out of the paint and keep him at bay a little bit. But Stickle hit a bunch of shots and really bailed them out quite a bit.”
Trent Hughes added 11 points for Jamesville-DeWitt, which advances to play at second-seeded Central Square in a quarterfinal on Tuesday night.
“This is really nice,” Jamesville-DeWitt coach Jeffrey Ike said. “We were a little bit down the last couple of games, but they really responded tonight. We had some great senior leadership and we played really, really hard on the defensive end and we preach that. I think overall in the game, our defense was solid from start to finish.”
Seth Charlton scored 21 points to pace Watertown (10-10) and Patrick Duah contributed 14 points.
“They play hard,” Ike said of Watertown. “And this is the first time I’ve ever coached against them, but just knowing them and knowing their background and the way they play, they’re just gritty. They grinded it out and they gave us everything we could handle and then some tonight.”
The Cyclones, who were coming off a 55-42 win over Carthage to claim the “A” Division playoff championship last Thursday, were bidding to return to the quarterfinal round.
Last year, Watertown defeated Carthage in the first round of sectionals before they were ousted at home in a quarterfinal loss to Bishop Grimes.
“What I told them, is ‘you know what, where we were about a month ago, we didn’t have any chance of winning the league or the playoffs,’” Adams said. “I told them ‘you know what, you won the Frontier League and playoffs again, so those were two out of our three goals this season.’ The third goal was to win a sectional game, too, and we came up a little short there.
“But I told them, ‘don’t leave that locker room with your heads low, keep them high, because you’ve accomplished quite a bit this season.”
UTICA ACADEMY OF SCIENCE 89, CARTHAGE 60
Doneilius King Jr. scored 28 points and Jazier Brown contributed 24 points as the eighth-seeded Atoms defeated the ninth-seeded Comets in a Class A first-round game played in Utica.
Wol Machteng chipped in with 24 points for Utica Academy of Science (7-12).
Trenton Walker scored 20 points to pace Carthage (10-11) and Makiah Johnson and Aiden Hicks each generated 12 points.
In Class D first-round play, eighth-seeded Oriskany defeated visiting and ninth-seeded Copenhagen, 51-44; and seventh-seeded Stockbridge Valley edged 10th-seeded and visiting Belleville Henderson, 32-31.
BELLEVILLE HENDERSON 46, CINCINNATUS 26
Neva Bettinger scored 16 points as the seventh-seeded Panthers downed the No. 12 Red Lions (7-11) in a Class D first round at Belleville.
Raegan Riordan totaled nine points while Ever Vaughn added eight points and 13 rebounds for Belleville Henderson (10-9), which travels to second-seeded Poland for a quarterfinal game with a time to be determined.
IHC 69, OTSELIC VALLEY 25
The fifth-seeded Cavaliers raced out to a big lead in the first quarter as they routed the No. 12 Vikings (6-12) in a Class D first round game at Watertown.
Immaculate Heart Central (14-6) will play the winner of fourth-seeded Hamilton and No. 13 LaFargeville on Tuesday.
WESTMORELAND 50, THOUSAND ISLANDS 44
Jenna Pavlot notched 26 points, but the No. 11 Vikings fell to the sixth-seeded Bulldogs in a Class C first-round game at Westmoreland.
Delaney Wiley contributed 14 points for Thousand Islands (10-10). Westmoreland (13-8) will host No. 14 Waterville on Tuesday.
n In other Class C action, No, 9 Port Byron upended eighth-seeded Sandy Creek, 63-53.
MADRID-WADDINGTON 63, ST. LAWRENCE 57
Natalia Pearson scored 26 points and Grace Plumley followed with 19 as Madrid-Waddington held off a St. Lawrence Central comeback to gain the Section 10 Class C semifinal victory in Madrid.
Hailey Marcellus chipped in with nine points for Madrid-Waddington (16-5), which will face Canton in the Class C final Feb. 25 at SUNY Potsdam.
Brionna Foster scored 17 points and Rylie Daoust 15 for St. Lawrence (12-9), which opened the game in a 10-1 deficit. Courtney Moreau added nine points.
CANTON 55, NORWOOD-NORFOLK 14
Ava Hoy scored 10 of her 21 points in the first quarter as Canton took a 22-0 lead en route to the Class C semifinal win in Canton.
The top-seeded Golden Bears (15-6) added eight points from Viv Coburn.
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