Before a bit of holiday rest, the Skaneateles boys basketball team took a giant and confident step forward.
The Lakers went to Hannibal last Tuesday night and pushed the two-time defending Section III Class B champions into overtime before taking a 72-68 loss to the Warriors.
Even with a solid 3-1 start, Skaneateles was not expected to give Hannibal any kind of scare, and when it fell behind 21-11 in the first quarter, no one was too surprised.
What was surprising, though, was the way Skaneateles fought back in the second quarter behind hot outside shooting, and it only trailed 32-31 as the two teams hit the halftime break.
All through the second half, the Lakers and Warriors traded runs, neither side getting away. At the end of regulation, they stood in a 60-60 tie, Skaneateles now possessing the chance to earn a season-altering win.
Throughout the overtime, the Lakers would convert, yet Hannibal kept answering, enough to edge in front and stay there.
Paul O'Donnell stepped up for Skaneateles with a career-best 20 points, including three 3-pointers. Will Polacheck had 13 points, while Tom Schoener and Kevin Rice each had nine points. Brandon Barron earned seven points and Jon Chapman gained six points.
Hannibal, to win, needed Brenden Nollet to score 20 points, as Jeff LaMont (13 points) and Tyler Baker (12 points) also broke into double figures. Ed Goritski (nine points) and Brian Trinder (eight points) were close behind.
So the Lakers were 3-2 going into its own holiday tournament, which began Monday with Skaneateles hosting Onondaga and Solvay taking on Moravia. Both the consolation and championship games are Tuesday night.