Little in the Solvay boys basketball team's first three games, all of them defeats, indicated that it would turn things around in such a complete manner as it did in Tuesday night's home battle against Cazenovia.
Ignoring the Lakers' 2-0 mark and its own struggles, the Bearcats played a flawless first half, then withstood a late surge to pull off a 59-50 victory.
Having faced such tough competition (Bishop Grimes, Marcellus and Westhill) at the start, Solvay found Cazenovia an easier target and played its best defense of the season in the first half, limiting the Lakers to a handful of field goals.
Meanwhile, steady production on the other side led Solvay to a 34-16 halftime advantage, and the margin grew to 49-28 before a fourth quarter where the Lakers finally started to hit baskets on a consistent basis.
Still, the Bearcats would prevail, led by Dan Aiello and T.J. Fazio. Aiello had 16 points, while Fazio had 15 points, and the pair combined to make 13 free throws. R.J. Lostumbo had eight points. Cazenovia, in defeat, got 13 points from Chris Schaffner and 10 points from Doyle Judge.
As this went on, Bishop Ludden rebounded from Dec. 11 home defeat to Cortland by going to Chittenango and producing a 53-40 victory over the Bears.
Not getting caught looking ahead to its first "Holy War" showdown with CBA later in the week, the Gaelic Knights worked its way to a 30-24 halftime lead.
Chittenango stayed close most of the way, but Ludden turned up its defensive pressure, holding the Bears to just four points in the fourth quarter as it got away.
Jared Littlejohn made Chittenango pay for its attention to John Rooney, setting a new season mark with 19 points. Rooney and Corey Hunter each had nine points, while E.J. Beauford had seven points and Mark DeAngelis earned six points. Mike Scott led Chittenango with 11 points.