Week by week, the Canastota boys basketball team is leaving years of poor play behind them and are becoming a force again.
On its way to two more wins, the Raiders displayed different methods of success, from steady control to late excitement -- and all the while, Joe Jacuk proved quite difficult to stop.
Hosting Oriskany last Tuesday night, the Raiders outscored the Indians in each quarter and had near-perfect offensive balance as it earned a 62-52 victory.
Canasota clung to a 31-26 edge at halftime, then used its defense to keep that lead, holding Oriskany to just nine points in the third quarter.
On the other end, five players hit double figures. Joe Jacuk led with 17 points, with Dan Campanaro adding 12 points. Mickey Rouse, Kyle Savage and Matt Ghezzi each gained 10 points.
Thursday's game with Adirondack had a different character, with a back-and-forth second half -- but in the end, Canastota again prevailed, edging past the Wildcats 54-53.
Down 24-21 at halftime, the Raiders appeared to take charge by outscoring Adirondack 20-12 in the third quarter, but the Wildcats staged its own rally in the final period.
Understandably, Canastota turned to Jacuk -- and his basket with less than 30 seconds left proved to be the game-winner, just part of a career night where he poured in 30 points, more than half his team's output.
Mostly, Jacuk's Raider teammates enjoyed the show, but Ghezzi did earn seven points, with Savage and Rouse each earning six points. Desmond Williams (17 points) and Matt Caido (11 points) led the Adirondack attack.