Dec 28, 2011 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
For the Skaneateles girls basketball fans who patiently waited for the Lakers to return home after a 26-day stretch, the reward was a classic that will be remembered for the rest of the winter.
In Tuesday night’s opening round of the Holiday Hoops Tournament, the Lakers and West Genesee battled into overtime before Emily Call’s basket with 11 seconds left gave Skaneateles a 57-56 victory over the Wildcats.
A wild concluding sequence saw the Lakers take a 55-54 lead on Elizabeth Lane’s 3-pointer with 44 seconds left, only to have WG’s Melissa Fumano answer seconds later with a driving lay-up to put her side back in front, 56-55.
Then, with 15.0 seconds left, Joanna Dobrovosky was whistled for a foul after a missed shot. In frustration, WG’s Marissa Hudgins retaliated with a shove that led to a technical foul. Free throws were missed on both ends, but the Lakers had another chance.
With the Wildcats smothering Lane and double-teaming Dobrovosky, the sophomore center managed to spot a cutting Call open underneath the basket and passed to her. Call easily converted, and the Lakers led again.
Still, WG had a chance to win it. After a time-out with 3.9 seconds left, the Lakers made sure that Fumano, who had 28 points, never got close to the ball, forcing Emily Tripodi to take a 3-pointer at the buzzer that went off the rim.
After a season-opening defeat to East Syracuse-Minoa on Dec. 1, the Lakers played six consecutive road games and won four of them, only falling to Cortland and Westhill. The confidence gained from those wins would be needed against WG, off to its own 6-1 start, especially after the Wildcats bolted to a 9-0 lead in the game’s first 90 seconds.
Skaneateles countered with a 12-0 spurt of its own, and the game’s back-and-forth pattern was established. The Lakers led by six in the second quarter (22-16) and by five in the third period (35-30), but both times surrendered those leads.
It happened again despite Lane getting six of her 20 points in the fourth quarter. Skaneateles, up 49-45, did not score in the last 2:18 of regulation, and Dobrovosky, who had 14 points, saw her potential game-winning shot blocked as time ran out, forcing OT.
In that extra period, Lane’s back-to-back 3-pointers helped the Lakers erase a 52-49 deficit, but it was Call who got the decisive points. Mary Buck had 10 points, while Call had six points and Jackie Leslie added seven points.
To some this degree, this big win put some sting out of what happened in Wednesday’s final against long-time rival Marcellus, who beat Clinton 36-20 in the other part of the opening round.
The Lakers beat the Mustangs 61-50 back on Dec. 16 – but in this rematch less than two weeks later, Marcellus had the final say, stunning Skaneateles 42-40.
Perhaps the toll of the West Genesee game carried over, as Marcellus hung right with Skaneateles throughout a close first half, only trailing 21-19 at the break. And once it took the lead in the third period, the Mustangs held off all the Lakers’ late charges and kept Dobrovosky (who had just two points) from being a factor.
Lane led with 11 points, with Call adding 10 points as Leslie and Buck each had seven points. For the victorious Mustangs, who won its second straight game following an 0-2 start, Molly MacLachlan and Lauren Soule produced 13 points apiece.
Now the Lakers have its longest break of the season – 13 days without a game. It allows Skaneateles a chance to refresh itself and work on anything that is wrong before key back-to-back home tests against Bishop Ludden and Jordan-Elbridge on Jan. 10 and 12, respectively.