Boys hoops Lakers win tournament title

Weather had kept the Skaneateles boys basketball team idle for 10 days since a Dec. 18 victory over Solvay that had pushed the Lakers' mark to 5-1.

All this led to a small bit of concern about the opening round of the Skaneateles Holiday Tournament, when the possibly stale Lakers would face defending Class C champion Onondaga, who sported a 6-1 record.

As it turned out, those concerns were completely unnecessary. Relying mostly on a fierce, physical defense, the Lakers tamed the Tigers in a 61-32 romp.

At first, it looked to be a high-scoring affair. Skaneateles hit on all kinds of baskets in the first quarter, and OCS kept up enough to only trail 25-16.

All that changed, though, in the second period. With lots of pressure and total domination in the paint, the Lakers forced the Tigers into bad shots -- and that trend would continue for the rest of the night.

Incredibly, OCS got the same number of points in the last three quarters combined (16) than it did in the opening period, a tribute to how much Skaneateles displayed on the defensive side.

Some baskets were needed, though, and sophomore Brandon Barron supplied them, earning 17 points. Kevin Rice added 11 points as Justin Sisson, Tom Schoener and Paul O'Donnell earned six points apiece.

A day later, Skaneateles would meet Moravia in the final, and that wouldn't be a simple assignment, either. Moravia was unbeaten, no. 14 in the state Class C rankings and had just beaten Lansing in the opening round.

All that proved to be, though, was another challenge that the Lakers could conquer, as it fended off a late charge and beat Moravia 71-63 to earn the first-place trophy and run its win streak to five.

Unlike Onondaga, much of the game was fast-paced, and that suited both teams. Skaneateles proved a little more adept at finishing, though, and it inched into a 37-30 halftime lead.

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