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Girls hoops Lakers escape Hannibal

An attention-getting victory over undefeated Westhill was intended to point the Cazenovia girls basketball team toward a surge in the second half of the regular season.

But the Lakers came awfully close to a letdown at Hannibal Friday night, needing a big play on defense at the end to pull out a 42-41 victory over that other group of Warriors.

Poor free-throw shooting hurt Cazenovia all night. And when the Lakers missed more foul shots in the closing seconds and trailed, 42-41, Hannibal looked to be in good shape.

Cazenovia regrouped, then applied pressure on the inbounds pass, forcing Hannibal to use a time-out.

When the Warriors tried to get the ball in again, Caroline Franz stepped in front of the pass, then alertly passed it to Ashley Stec, whose basket with less than a second to play gave the Lakers a dramatic win.

Stec, overall, had 16 points, and her steady work in the paint allowed Cazenovia to work toward a 21-16 halftime lead.

Hannibal rallied, though, in the second half behind Taylor Sorell, who hit on five 3-pointers to account for most of her 18 points. To counter, the Lakers saw Taylor Malmsheimer earn 14 points and Raeanne Clabeaux add 11 points.

As the girls Lakers approved to 7-3, the Cazenovia boys team defended its home court at Buckley Gym with a 58-32 romp over Hannibal.

Far removed from the team that won three straight Section III Class B titles, Hannibal, with a new lineup and a new coach, has struggled all season. Cazenovia did not make things easier.

A 15-6 domination of the first quarter put the Lakers in control, and its spent the rest of the night building that margin, doubling the Warriors' output (30-15) in the second half.

Chad Dorrance led the hosts with 17 points. Zack Golden earned 11 points, while Cody Whiteman got eight points, Max Kellish seven points and Trevor Smith six points.

The boys Lakers (4-5) visit Camden and Bishop Grimes next week, while the Cazenovia girls try to avenge its season-opening loss to Bishop Ludden next Friday in Geddes.

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