Jan 07, 2007 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
As if maintaining a perfect record was not exciting enough, the Cazenovia boys basketball team dashed toward a milestone in the early days of 2007.
When the 11-0 Lakers, no. 5 in the latest state Class B rankings, traveled to Marcellus last Friday night, it was trying to give head coach Todd Widrick his 300th career victory, combining his Cazenovia tenure with his successful run at Westhill in the 1990s.
But this would not be Widrick’s date with history.
Instead, it turned into an unpleasant dose of the medicine the Lakers had handed out to most of its foes, as the Mustangs put an end to Cazenovia’s unbeaten run in a 48-29 decision.
This was not an enormous upset, since Marcellus (1) was at home in front of a packed house and (2) was riding its own four-game win streak.
What was shocking was the sheer degree to which Cazenovia slumped. It took 38 shots on the night and made just seven of them, 18.4 percent shooting. It also made just 13 of 24 free throws, unusual for a team accustomed to being sharp at the foul line.
Bursting with energy at the start, the Mustangs put the Lakers in a 15-3 hole, and had a chance to get even further ahead, only to have Cazenovia’s defense rise up and make its own stand.
The Lakers held Marcellus without a point for the last 7:38 of the first half, and even took a brief 16-15 lead early in the third quarter of what had turned out to be a physical contest.
Cazenovia remained within sight until the fourth quarter, when Marcellus needed just two minutes to go on a 10-0 run that proved decisive.
Cody Ash led the Lakers with seven points. Peter Lokai had six points and 14 rebounds, while Aaron Burbidge was held to five points. Tom Eschen added seven rebounds.
John Kermes paced Marcellus, earning 11 points, as Nate Sexton and Kyle Blackmer each had eight points and Jeff Watson added seven points.
Widrick’s 299th win had come two nights earlier, at Buckley Gym, where the Lakers maintained its undefeated status (at least for the moment) by rolling past Bishop Grimes 66-53.
That margin was a bit deceptive, for Cazenovia tore through the game’s early stages and put the Cobras in a large hole.
As its trademark defense continued to make life miserable for foes and caused turnovers, the Lakers turned mistakes into points, building a 55-32 lead through three quarters before easing up down the stretch.
On the offensive side, Cazenovia spread things around. Burbidge got half of his 18 points from a trio of 3-pointers, while Ash (11 points) and Trent Widrick (10 points) also reached double figures. Eschen, Lokai and Chris Nourse each finished with eight points.
Following the Marcellus defeat, Cazenovia comes back home Tuesday to face Hannibal, another chance to get Widrick his milestone.