With steadiness and patience, head coach Tim Solomon and his staff has worked toward making the Baldwinsville boys basketball team something more than a nuisance for opponents in the hyper-competitive Section III Class AA ranks.
Whether the 2013-14 season marks the Bees’ arrival as a contender remains a mystery, but a busy opening week would go a long way to determining if B’ville could, at the very least, get into the playoff conversation.
This included the annual Kiwanis Club Tournament, held last weekend at Baker High School’s revamped gymnasium. The Bees made it to Saturday’s final against West Genesee, but a poor second quarter ended up dooming B’ville as it lost, 79-69, to the Wildcats.
A night earlier, in the opening round, the Bees faced Oswego, and played near-perfect basketball in the first half, rendering the rest of the game a formality as it defeated the Buccaneers 68-56.
Oswego, who had lost in two overtimes to Corcoran earlier in the week, got overwhelmed in the first quarter, B’ville using a lethal all-around game to sprint ahead 23-5.
That margin kept growing, the Bees gaining a 40-14 halftime lead. Finally, some shots for the Bucs fell in the third quarter, but even that surge only made it 52-38, and sufficiently alarmed, B’ville played a steady final period to get the win.
Ryan Kohutanich emerged as a force for the Bees, earning 22 points, four rebounds and two assists. Ben DiOrio put together 16 points, eight assists and five rebounds, while Cameron Skipworth, Kyle George and Devyn McLeod each had eight points. Sam Thurston contributed six points.
In the other opening-round game between West Genesee and Auburn, the Wildcats won big, 74-51, setting the template that B’ville would later follow against Oswego by roaring out to a 22-4 first-quarter lead and 44-15 halftime edge to erase all the suspense early.