Burned on two previous occasions, the Marcellus girls basketball team was not going to let Skaneateles cook them again.
Going to overtime last Tuesday night, the Mustangs continued its strong late-season push, beating the archrival Lakers 50-43.
They had met Dec. 2, in the championship game of Phoenix Tournament, and again a month later in Skaneateles. Both times, the Lakers came out in front, by scores of 48-34 and 36-28.
But that was before Marcellus had turned a confident corner with its upset at Cazenovia on Jan. 23, and that momentum would spill over to this third regular-season clash with the Lakers.
All through regulation, the two rivals exchanged the lead and engaged in numerous ties, neither side budging much at all. Sarah Holden was pacing Marcellus, earning 20 points, while Caryn Crary gained 18 points to lead the Skaneateles push.
With all this tension, it was fitting that the fourth quarter ended in a 43-43 tie. The surprise was that, in the four minutes of overtime that followed, the Lakers could not register a point against the Mustangs' zone defense.
Holden got help from two sources, as Leanne Falge stepped up for a season-best 12 points and Rachel Farneti added 11 points. For the Lakers, Lauren Adams, with 10 points, and Staci Dudden, with seven points, gave Crary some assistance. In a small bit of irony, Marcellus meets Cazenovia on Friday, as the Lakers bounced back from that Jan. 23 defeat to the Mustangs by upsetting Westhill 10 days later - the Warriors' first league loss since 2003.