Jan 24, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Due to a single game that was twice pushed back, the Skaneateles boys basketball team had to make an important tweak to its schedule.
Instead of the Lakers playing Bishop Grimes in a first-place duel last Wednesday night, the game will now take place on Feb. 1, in East Syracuse, and it might have a lot more meaning if the Lakers can knock off first-place Westhill at home Thursday prior to the trip to East Syracuse.
As events unfolded, though, the meaning would come from the fact that it would have to beat Westhill to climb back to the top of the OHSL Liberty division — this after it slipped from its share of first place Saturday in a 63-56, double-overtime loss to archrival Marcellus in the Coaches vs. Cancer Challenge at Onondaga Community College.
In their first meeting Dec. 11, the Lakers came from 10 points down with less than two minutes left to stun the Mustangs 59-57. No doubt, the Mustangs wanted revenge, and would get it — though it would take a while.
They traded runs throughout the first half, the Lakers leading 7-2 before the Mustangs went on a 10-0 run, seven of the points coming from Will Fiacchi. Marcellus led by as many as five in the first half and took a 25-22 edge to the break.
Throughout an uneven second half, neither team would trail by more than three points, thereby avoiding the extremes of the first meeting as the lead switched hands 12 times.
Another turnover by the Mustangs set up Kevin Rice for a pair of tying free throws with 38.1 seconds left in regulation to make it 43-43. And that’s where the crazy stuff started.
Will Nolan’s possible go-ahead shot in the final seconds flew long and missed the rim, causing a shot clock violation. With 1.6 seconds left, the Lakers threw a long pass – but it hit the OCC gym roof, giving the Mustangs a chance to inbound from that same spot near the basket. Fiacchi got a shot in the corner – but it also flew too long.
So it went to overtime. Both sides hit one field goal and one free throw in that first extra period, and it went to 46-46, setting up another climax that would not settle anything.
With 8.2 seconds to play, Fiacchi was fouled, but he missed the front end of a one-and-one, and the Lakers rebounded with its own chance to win it. Paul O’Donnell shot too soon, though, and from long distance missed as the buzzer signaled double overtime.
They were still even, 49-49, in the second OT when Nolan, left alone on the right wing, hit the game’s biggest shot, a 3-pointer with 2:02 left that finally put Marcellus ahead for good.
That basket, plus Fiacchi’s runner 40 seconds later, gave the Mustangs a bit of a cushion – and when the Lakers went cold, Marcellus clinched the victory by making nine of 10 free throws in the final 1:05, four each from Fiacchi and Steve Raven.
Overall, Fiacchi had 29 points, while Raven finished with 13 points. For the Lakers, Rice had 18 points and forward Pat Roberts added 17 points despite struggles on the free-throw line.
Prior to all this, Skaneateles finally had its home date against Cazenovia last Tuesday night and won by a score of 68-46.
Following the Dec. 23 snow postponement and Jan. 4 fire in the school’s boiler room, Skaneateles was all too glad to get the hurdles out of the way and finally get around to playing Cazenovia. And in the middle stages, Skaneateles took command, outscoring Cazenovia 33-16 in the second and third periods.
All game long, Roberts proved unstoppable in the paint, working his way to 25 points as O’Donnell (11 points) and Justin Sisson (10 points) offered help. Skaneateles overcame the fact that Rice managed just one field goal all night.