28 points in the fourth quarter wasn’t enough to compensate for Fayetteville-Manlius’ early mishaps that ultimately led to the 77-64 road loss to Liverpool that eliminated it from playoff contention.
The Hornets (5-13, 1-11) outscored Liverpool (18-0, 13-0) 48-38 in the second half, when they were playing some pretty good basketball, and had cut the deficit to 12 with five minutes left, a goal that head coach Jason Dudzinski had challenged his team to accomplish at halftime.
In the locker room during the break, Dudzinski addressed a bunch of problems at once when he told his team that it was going to have to be more competitive than it was in the first half.
But, as has been the case throughout the season, the problems that F-M was having were rooted from the two things that dictate how successful any basketball team is. It turned the ball over. It missed shots. And it had one of the worst starts of the season.
The Hornets had seven turnovers in the first quarter alone, but they were able to clean it up as time passed and had just 10 turnovers over the final three quarters.
Even with the reduced number of turnovers and the good basketball that F-M played in the second half, it couldn’t overcome all of the easy baskets that it surrendered to Liverpool in the first half, something that has happened to it throughout the season.
Still, Dudzinski insisted that his team improved in the second half. Going into the halftime break, it was on the verge of getting crushed, but it regrouped and denied that from happening and just took the game one possession at a time.
Despite all that, F-M did have four players reach double-figures in scoring. Khai Pugh led the way with his 20 points, Chris Lubrino had 11, making this his first game of the year with more than 10 points, and then Tyler Schneider and Cade Collum had 10 each.
Next up for the Hornets is Senior Night, against West Genesee, on Friday. Liverpool visits Baldwinsville Friday.