Girls basketball Lakers earn split

What is already apparent is that the Cazenovia girls basketball team's defense of both league and Section III Class B honors will be an adventurous one.

More than a week removed from its season-opening Dec. 1 defeat to Bishop Ludden, the Lakers went to Jordan-Elbridge Wednesday night and again met with disappointment, falling to the Eagles 53-51.

Cazenovia, in this case, paid a steep price for a poor first half. Perhaps rusty after the eight-day break, it could not find the basket in the first two periods, with J-E's stingy defense a contributing force in that equation.

By halftime, the Lakers trailed 24-13, and even when its offense picked up in the third quarter, J-E kept matching it. Thus, even a furious rally in the final period left the Lakers a basket short of forcing overtime.

Ashley Stec had 14 points, with Raeanne Clabeaux and Ellen Burr each getting 13 points. Taylor Malmsheimer added seven points. J-E saw nice balance between Liz Caspari (13 points), Kali Davis (12 points), Molly Hourigan (10 points) and Grace Dungey (eight points).

On Friday, the Lakers took a longer road trip, to Phoenix, but met with far more success as it pounded the Firebirds 66-36 to earn its first win of the season.

Control was established quite early, as Cazenovia roared out to a 21-7 lead by the end of the first quarter. The rest of the night was spent enhancing that margin while still playing the kind of lockdown defense so prevalent in last season's championship run.

Burr led this time with 22 points, and while Stec had a relatively quiet outing (nine points), Clabeaux did not, setting a new career mark with 20 points, including a pair of 3-pointers to give the Lakers a new outside threat. Malsheimer added six points.

Cazenovia comes back home Tuesday to meet Solvay, but faces another road test Friday night at Marcellus.

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