Caz girls rip Hannibal in playoff opener

To get a shot at the Section III Class B-2 championship, the Cazenovia girls basketball team will need to take out the defending champions from Clinton Saturday at Chittenango High School.

To reach that point, the Lakers put on one more show for the home folks at Buckley Gym -- which it provided Tuesday night when it flattened no. 8 seed Hannibal 72-34.

Working in much the same way it did when it beat the Warriors twice in OHSL Liberty division play, Cazenovia had a slightly sluggish start, leading by just three, 14-11, after one period.

Then the Lakers found a comfortable groove -- and ran all over Hannibal. Forcing turnovers on one end and converting with ease on the other, Cazenovia put together a 23-4 blitz before halftime, ultimately outscoring the Warriors 41-13 in the game's middle stages.

With Hannibal focused on keeping Kiley Evans in check, Molly Dougherty and Carrie Stevens had big outings. Dougherty led with 21 points, 12 of them in the third period to help the Lakers pull further away, while Stevens picked up a season-best 15 points to go with 11 rebounds.

Evans still had 12 points, with Rachel Hardke (nine points) close behind and Ellen Burr coming off the bench to earn eight points and add another offensive threat. Laurel Jicha and Shannon Baker led Hannibal with nine points apiece.

The winner of the Cazenovia-Clinton game will face Bishop Ludden or Sherburne-Earlville in the B-2 finals early next week.

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