Finally caught up with its schedule, the Cazenovia boys basketball team could turn to the regular-season homestretch and still carry hopes of reaching the Section III Class B playoffs.
The cause wasn't helped by last Tuesday's game at Skaneateles, which went the way of the hosts as those other Lakers prevailed by a score of 68-46.
Twice, this game had been postponed -- on Dec. 23 due to weather, then Jan. 4 when a boiler-room fire at Skaneateles High School forced a building-wide evacuation, and the school to be closed the next day.
All was clean and in working order for this third try, and Cazenovia only trailed 13-12 after one period. But in the course of the next two quarters, Skaneateles outscored them 33-16 and got clear.
Zack Golden still had a big night for the visitors, earning 18 points, with Eric Janovsky and Max Kellish earning six points apiece. Cazenovia held Skaneateles' top scorer, Kevin Rice, to a single field goal, but Pat Roberts made up for it with 25 points as Paul O'Donnell (11 points) and Justin Sisson (10 points) also reached double figures.
Returning to the road Friday night to face Phoenix, the Lakers had much more success, controlling most of the game and beating the Firebirds 63-54.
Right from the time it opened with an 18-8 sprint through the first quarter, Cazenovia was intent on keeping things moving. And it did so again in the second period, not stopping until it enjoyed a 43-21 advantage.
Phoenix would rally in the second half, but the Lakers' cushion proved too much. Golden worked his way to 21 points, while Kellish stepped up in a big way, hitting a trio of 3-pointers on his way to 17 points for the night. Cody Whiteman and Chris Schaffner earned eight points apiece. Martin Felicia led the Firebirds with 16 points.
At 6-7 (3-6 league), Cazenovia still needs one or two more wins in its remaining five games to earn a playoff spot, and Friday's home date with Solvay is crucial if the Lakers want to reach that goal.