Less than two minutes remained in the fourth quarter of Friday night's game, and the Skaneateles boys basketball team trailed Marcellus, by 10. Yet another defeat to a bitter rival seemed imminent.
But in one of the most remarkable single-game turnarounds in the program's history, the Lakers reeled off the game's last 12 points and stunned the Mustangs 59-57 as Kevin Rice sank the game-winning basket with 14 seconds left.
Marcellus still had two good chances to tie it - but close-in shots by Niko Wagner and Will Fiacchi both rolled off the rim, setting off a wild scene as Skaneateles students spilled onto the court to celebrate with the players.
"It's always nice to beat Marcellus," head coach Karl Norris said. "And it was a nice comeback."
That would be an understatement.
Skaneateles arrived at the game coming off a 71-62 home loss to Bishop Grimes two nights earlier, a game where the Lakers' defense struggled, especially in the first half, and allowed Cobras star Mike Stone to put up 30 points.
Now came Marcellus, a team the Lakers lost to in both of last season's regular-season meetings. A full house in the Skaneateles gym would witness one of the most memorable chapters in this long-time rivalry.
The two sides stayed close throughout much of the first half until Marcellus, using a 12-4 run, sped out to a 30-21 advantage at the break, with Fiacchi getting 17 of those points on everything from runners to 3-pointers.
Actually, the second half would feature two comebacks. Skaneateles would trail by as much as 12 before a 10-2 run in the third quarter, and it remained tight, 49-47, before the Mustangs appeared to put the game away midway through the fourth quarter.
Between a Fiacchi lay-up and 3-pointers from Steve Raven and Will Nolan, Marcellus put Skaneateles in a 57-47 bind. With time winding down, the Lakers' only chance lay in (1) hitting some outside shots and (2) having the Mustangs miss free throws.