Raiders are champions

The Fulton varsity girls basketball team poses with the championship trophy Saturday after winning the Fulton Tip-Off Tournament at G. Ray Bodley High School.

FULTON — The Fulton varsity girls basketball team defeated Phoenix 65-41 in Saturday’s championship game of the Fulton Tip-Off Tournament.

Claire Broderick paced the Red Raiders with 12 points. Joann LeVea chipped in nine points, and Mackenzie Miner added eight points.

Devon Nicholson, Madison Gilmore, Ashley Jackson, and Gabriella Raponi each tossed in six points.

For the Firebirds, Taylor Petrie poured in 19 points, 17 in the second half. Maddy Grover had nine points, and Laila Jones contributed five points.

Gilmore and Petrie were named the tournament’s most valuable players. Broderick and Grover received alternative MVP honors.

With two dominant victories in the tourney, first against East Syracuse-Minoa (44-27) on Friday and then Saturday against Phoenix, Fulton coach Derek Lyons gave credit to his players.

The rotation includes two groups each with five different players. Lyons’ approach is to give most of his players’ quality playing time.

“It’s almost like we’re making full-team subs,” he said. “Our first team did a good job, but our second team gave us a little spark today. They come out and fly around.”

Fulton found itself up 4-0 through the first three minutes of the first quarter. A minute later, Gilmore made a layup to make it 6-0.

Emma Clark got Phoenix on the boards with less than three minutes left in the first quarter. Broderick nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner to bump Fulton’s lead to 9-2.

The Raiders were up 11-2 further into the quarter. Jones then hit a long 3-pointer for Phoenix to slice the deficit to 11-5. Fulton led 13-5 going into the second quarter.

Jackson grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to start the second quarter for Fulton. Phoenix stayed within striking distance thanks to buckets by Petrie and Jones, but the Raiders extended their cushion later in the quarter. Baum scored and Broderick drilled a 3-pointer from the corner to make it 28-14.

The Raiders continued their offensive attack near the end of the quarter with a three from Lexi Patterson, and then a floater from Miner. It was 33-16 at halftime.

LeVea drained a trey and Gilmore scored off a rebound early in the third quarter. Fulton pulled away to a 40-18 advantage.

In the middle of the third quarter, Broderick tacked on another 3-pointer for a 44-25 cushion. It was Broderick’s seventh 3-pointer of the tournament.

“We went on a little run with Claire hitting threes,” Lyons said. “Momentum can go up and down, but Claire kept us in it for the most part.”

Fulton went on a 5-0 run at the end of the third quarter to take a 49-25 lead. The Raiders cruised to the title from there.

Aside from Fulton’s offensive effort, Lyons also praised the defensive performance in each game.

“They’ve played well both games this week,” he said. “We played unbelievable defense. They’re able to switch off from zone to man. They do a wonderful job with that. They were locked in.”

Fulton has hosted the early season tournament occasionally over the past decade. Lyons said he’d like to bring it back next season.

“We’re hoping to keep it going,” he said.

Fulton hosts Whitesboro on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.


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