Ludden tops Skaneateles in historic Dome debut

Shortly after 1 p.m. on Sunday, Skaneateles senior Pat Roberts and Bishop Ludden freshman Dan Kaigler jumped to receive the tip-off - and the first-ever Section III high school basketball game in the Carrier Dome was underway.

When things were settled an hour and a half later, it was the Gaelic Knights that finished on top, coming back in the second half to produce a 65-59 victory over the Lakers.

Both Skaneateles and Ludden had breezed through their season openers on Friday night - the Lakers taking out Jordan-Elbridge 90-33, the Gaelic Knights shutting down Cazenovia 66-26.

Thus, whoever won this game would have a 2-0 mark, and more importantly, an early leg up in the OHSL Liberty division regular-season race - aside from the warm memories of playing on Syracuse University's grand basketball stage.

Casey Ganley's jumper 1:45 into the game provided the first points of the occasion, and with tight defense Ludden kept the Lakers cold early and jumped to a quick 6-1 lead.

But after Skaneateles head coach Karl Norris used a time-out, the Lakers got comfortable, increasing defensive pressure and converting on the other end, too. And by the time Justin Sisson drained a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the period, Skaneateles had moved ahead, 14-11.

Even though Ganley notched seven straight points for Ludden early in the second quarter, Skaneateles countered with a 15-4 run to close out the half, six of the points coming from Paul O'Donnell. Again, a late basket mattered as Jimmy Atkinson's 3-pointer from the corner helped the Lakers take a 34-25 edge to the break.

To turn it around again in the third quarter, Ludden pounded it inside to Kaigler, Ganley and Corey Hunter, taking advantage of the struggles Roberts was having.

A 16-6 run gave the Gaelic Knights the lead back, and six straight points at the end of the period had Ludden in front, 47-42, with one quarter left.

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