Dec 19, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
True, the Skaneateles boys basketball team’s 65-59 defeat to Bishop Ludden in the Dec. 12 Holiday Classic at the Carrier Dome did not sit well, and may have hurt the Lakers’ long-term chances to win the OHSL Liberty division.
But Skaneateles got little time to fret about it – which may have proved valuable, for it went to cozy Buckley Gym last Tuesday night and won its battle of the Lakers with Cazenovia by a solid margin of 65-49.
Both teams pushed the tempo early, and Cazenovia was not far off, only trailing 22-20. But Skaneateles made timely defensive adjustments and, over the course of the next two periods, only allowed 13 total points, allowing for a clean getaway.
Up 59-33 going into the fourth quarter, Skaneateles could relax and rest its starters. Pat Roberts reclaimed his usual form, the senior forward leading both sides with 20 points, while Kevin Rice got 16 points. Brandon Barron earned nine points and Jimmy Atkinson added seven points. Tanner Whiteman led Cazenovia with 15 points.
Then came Friday’s game against Westhill, the reigning state Class B champions. But things were different now, as Skaneateles had played three times while the Warriors, replacing most of its lineup from 2009-10, still hadn’t taken the court yet (two games had been snowed out).
What happened on the court only confirmed where both teams stood. Skaneateles, experienced and game-tested, toyed with the new-look Westhill lineup and did not stop until it had produced a 75-49 victory over the Warriors.
Pushing the pace early, Sknaeateles led 22-14 after one quarter. The margin remained steady until the third quarter, when the Lakers decided matters by nearly doubling Westhill’s output in a 23-12 surge.
Four Lakers hit double figures, led by Roberts, who had his way against the smaller Warrior lineup and finished with 18 points. Rice, with 15 points, hit on three 3-pointers as Barron and Paul O’Donnell both finished with 12 points. Westhill’s Nathan Nigolian led both sides with 22 points.
At 3-1 on the season, Skaneateles would host Hannibal on Tuesday before a rest period that, including the holiday break, will cover two weeks.
Moving to the girls side, Skaneateles seemed to catch a break in facing Cazenovia – but still watched that other group of Lakers prevail 62-38.
Cazenovia was playing without Ashley Stec, its Manhattan College-bound senior forward. Stec had sprained her ankle in Cazenovia’s season-opening win at Bishop Ludden on Dec. 10.
Trying to take advantage, Skaneateles pushed the early tempo and found some success against Cazenovia’s defense. Yet it still trailed 23-15, and when the attack cooled off, Cazenovia got away, eventually building its margin to 52-28 by the end of the third quarter.
Elizabeth Lane had 13 points, including a trio of successful 3-pointers. Ashley Sheldon had seven points, while Jackie Leslie produced six points. Cazenovia featured Raeanne Clabeaux, who had 21 points, and Ellen Burr, who added 16 points.
The Lakers then visited Westhill on Friday night and got an up-close glimpse of a lethal scoring combination during a 73-33 loss to the Warriors.
Westhill, who went 17-3 a season ago (losing in the Section III Class B semifinals to Jordan-Elbridge), got a major boost when Ashley Cianfriglia, who starred at Bishop Ludden, arrived as a transfer, giving the Warriors one of the area’s top outside shooters.
Both Cianfriglia and freshman Anna Ross proved unstoppable on this night. Ross nearly matched Skaneateles by herself, earning 32 points as Cianfriglia sank four 3-pointers and had 26 points overall. In defeat, Leslie had 13 points, with Lane getting seven points and Emily Call adding six points.
Skaneateles would visit Hannibal on Tuesday, then rest a week before playing in the Wayne Tournament on Dec. 28 and 29.
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