The final night of the Section III high school basketball regular season saw Fayetteville-Manlius fall short after putting up a fight against Liverpool.
Though the Hornets ended up losing the game 73-50, they gave maximum effort from the opening tip-off and were energized by the enthusiasm of the crowd, especially the section of the audience that sat behind their bench.
Because of the crowd, the gymnasium was very loud and active. Liverpool’s student section was encouraging their team throughout the night and F-M’s spectators found a way to battle them when it came to noise level.
Charlie Josephson, brother of F-M’s center, Henry Josephson, was the ring leader and teamed up with a few players from F-M’s junior varsity team and gave F-M’s bench a spark with his enthusiasm.
And it was working at the start of the game.
F-M (4-16) began the game with optimism and made Liverpool nervous in the first and second quarter, as they found a way to carry a six-point lead with them into the locker room at the half.
They outscored Liverpool by nine points in the first quarter, which is when their offense was looking good. But, when head coach Jason Dudzinski decided to allow the seniors the opportunity to make the most of their final game as high school students, Liverpool began to chip away at F-M’s lead and eventually turned the game around.
In the third quarter, Liverpool continued to take it one possession at a time, which ended up hurting the Hornets, who would go on to lose the quarter 19-6.
The separation that Liverpool created in the third quarter had a lot to do with Nahjeir Johnson and Charles Pride, who consistently took advantage of their size and talents.
Johnson finished the game with 19 points while Pride was right on his heals with the 18 points that he recorded.
However, some of F-M’s seniors tried to silently unite and put up a fight in the game that saw their high school basketball career come to an end. They wanted to lead their team to a positive end to the season.
Nick Goodfellow and Timmy Zapisek are the two seniors who expressed that the most. They combined for over half of F-M’s points and were productive from the three-point line, as Zapisek made four shots from long range and Goodfellow connected on three of the same type of shots.
Good shooting nights from a pair of seniors weren’t enough to carry F-M passed Liverpool and their valuable assets.