The Class B Liberty division showdown at the 'Deep End' between the Skaneateles Lakers and the Marcellus Mustangs boasted everything a great rivalry game should encompass: an electric crowd, hard play, and a close battle with a exciting finish.
In the regular-season finale for both squads, the home-team Lakers played strong down the stretch and came out with a hard-fought 56-54 victory against cross-town rival Marcellus Friday night.
Skaneateles (6-6, 13-7), displayed an inspiring effort on Senior Night and came out with perhaps the biggest win of the seniors' varsity careers.
"The seniors on this team have been waiting for this game," said senior guard Jake Tracy who dropped in a game-high 19 points. "It was our last home game and we hadn't beaten Marcellus since our freshman year. It feels great to win on such a big night for all of us. I can't even tell you the feeling."
After an evenly played first half that saw the Lakers go up by 10 and the Mustangs answer with a 12-2 run, it was clear that the crowd was in for a classic contest. The defensive effort from both teams was strong, too, as the Lakers took a 29-25 lead into halftime.
The two teams played a very close second half. It got physical in the paint and the fans from both sides really got into the game. Skaneateles took a one-point lead (40-39) into the final period, but Marcellus controlled most of the fourth quarter.
With the Mustangs (7-5, 15-5) holding a three-point edge, 50-47, with two minutes to play, the Lakers were in desperate need of a basket.
Skaneateles floor general and leading scorer Eric Richards drove into the lane, drew the defense and kicked it to the corner to a wide open Tracy. He hit the three-pointer and tied the game at 50-50.