SYRACUSE — Forgive the Syracuse girls basketball team if it felt a little snake-bitten earlier in the year, if not just plain unlucky.
But the second half of league play is a good time to figure things out as the Titans make a move get in position for the upcoming 6A state tournament.
Syracuse opened up a comfortable lead in the middle of Tuesday’s game, then withstood a wild Weber rally to take down the Warriors 41-32 in Region 1 action.
“In the first half of region, we lost to Layton on a buzzer-beater and Davis in overtime,” Syracuse coach Braden Hamblin said. “We lost to these guys when we had a lead in the fourth quarter, so we were very hungry to get them a second time around, especially on our home floor.”
The Titans broke out of a 14-14 tie midway through the second quarter with a 14-2 run that lasted into the third period.
“Their 1-3-1 zone gave us fits the first tie we played them, but then we started to knock down some shots and move the ball well,” Hamblin said.
Sophomore guard Baylee Sanders scored eight of the last nine points during the run and finished with nine points on a pair of 3s, adding two rebounds and two assists.
“After I made the first 3, I was just looking to attack and keep the lead,” Sanders said. “It all started on defense and that helped our offense.”
Rachel Godfrey paced Syracuse with 10 points and seven rebounds, and Paityn Williams checked in with nine points and four rebounds.
Syracuse (13-6, 6-4 Region 1) held the Warriors to six, eight and eight points over the last three quarters.
“All year long, that’s kind of been our calling card,” Hamblin said. “After the first quarter, our communication on their shooters was awesome; our rebounding was awesome and I really think that was the strength of the game.”
The Titans held a 24-18 advantage on the boards, including 12 offensive rebounds, and held Weber to 28 percent shooting on the evening.
Weber (13-6, 6-4) guard Ashley Lund scored nine points on a trio of treys (two in the fourth frame) and added four rebounds, while Paige Aardema led the Warriors with a game-high 12 points, four rebounds and four steals.
“Some nights they don’t fall, but tonight was kind of my night,” Lund said. “Especially at the end of the game, we needed points and three is more than two.”
Trailing 28-16 in the third quarter, Weber rallied with an 8-2 run of its own to shrink the gap to six points, but could get no closer.
“One of the big things we had to improve on is finishing games,” Hamblin said. “That’s something we’ve been preaching and our girls responded.
Syracuse has a four-game winning streak and is tied with Weber for third place in Region 1 with two games remaining.