Spartans Fall To Panthers In MSAC Play

Brynanh Sledge led the Spartans with 15 points against North Country Community College.
Brynanh Sledge led the Spartans with 15 points against North Country Community College.

Stiff competition and fatigue took their toll on Cayuga's Women's Basketball Team in recent contests, as the squad lost three games, including two against Mid-State Athletic Conference opponents.

Playing three games in four days, the Spartans fell to Tompkins-Cortland Community College and nationally-ranked teams from North Country Community College and Onondaga Community College. The losses drop the Spartans to 5-9 on the season and 0-4 in conference play.

"We're still battling. We went through stretches in each game where we just couldn't get shots to fall. Playing that many games in just four days, when our roster is short on numbers at the moment, makes it even harder for everyone to stay as fresh as possible," said Coach Jim Alberici. "We have plenty of conference games coming up, and getting a win will put us back on track."

One bad quarter sank the Spartans in their game at Tompkins-Cortland. Cayuga started out slow, falling behind by 17 in the first quarter, only to play the Panthers evenly for the next three quarters.

"We just couldn't score in that first quarter. After that we played great. For 35 minutes, we played them evenly. We just couldn't make up that deficit," said Alberici.

Erica Helzer led the Spartans with 21 points, also grabbing 11 rebounds and 6 steals. Loren Clifford and Hanna Keyser added 18 and 14 points, respectively, while Breayle Williams scored 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

In the next two games, the Spartans were unable to get their offense going, falling 83-41 to North Country, who is ranked 7th nationally by the National Junior College Athletic Association, and 109-36 to 5th-ranked Onondaga Community College.

Against North Country, Brynanh Sledge led the Spartans with 15 points, while Clifford led Cayuga's rebounding efforts with 9 boards. Helzer and Clifford led Cayuga with 15 and 10 points against Onondaga, respectively, with Helzer recording 4 steals and Clifford 9 rebounds.

Alberici said despite the tough opposition, the team continues to play hard.

"We didn't stop playing, no matter what the score was. It can be hard to do that, but our players did, and I'm proud of that. They're playing hard right to the end. We need to get a win and turn things around, and I think we'll have opportunities to do that," he said.

The Spartans host Corning Community College at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, before traveling to Corning for a rematch on Monday, Feb. 4.