By saving some of its best work for the end, the Cazenovia wrestling team now has command of the OHSL Liberty division regular-season championship race.
In a showdown for that top spot with Hannibal last Tuesday night at Buckley Gym, the Lakers won the last four matches of the night and rallied to beat the Warriors 33-21.
Going into the meet, Cazenovia and Hannibal were both 3-0 within the league, making this meet vital, since just three league meets remained after this night.
They started at 119 pounds, where Jose Wells and Kirk Kinville engaged in an active match with lots of momentum shifts before Wells, in the end, won a 14-8 decision.
Hannibal's Josh Sheldon got a pin at 125 pounds, but Alex Petroff answered at 130 pounds by pinning Ricky Blais in just 43 seconds to put Cazenovia back in front. Adam Lockwood (135 pounds) followed by shutting out Blair Taylor 11-0.
Trailing 13-6, Hannibal rebounded with three straight wins to go back in front. Two of them were close decisions, as Noah Shephard (140 pounds) fell to Joe Lewis 4-2 and Dylan Perry (145 pounds) absorbed a 5-1 defeat to Joel Kinville.
In all, Hannibal got four wins in five matches, culminating with Josh Lewis (171 pounds) beating Sam Taylor 11-7. Only Phil Kugler, at 160 pounds, broke the string for the Lakers, beating Ed Hatten 11-6.
So with four matches to go, the Warriors were in front, but from that point forward, Cazenovai would dominate.
Cody Foster, at 189 pounds, ignited this run when he pinned Nick Williams at 3:19, and Clancy Kemp (215 pounds) further delighted the home crowd by needing just 19 seconds to pin Kyle Deloff.
When Brad Nardella won an exciting 103-pound match over Matt Duval 15-10, the Lakers had clinched victory, but Jake Wilson (112 pounds) added three more points with a 10-4 decision over Dan Wyman.
Having finished 2008 on a perfect note, the Lakers got some rest and will be back in action on Jan. 3 at the Port Byron Invitational.