At least at the start, the Skaneateles boys lacrosse team is on top. It's a place where it wants to stay for two more months.
When the first state Class C rankings were released early last week, the Lakers held the no. 1 ranking, just ahead of Long Island power Cold Spring Harbor. Cazenovia, whom Skaneateles beat 10-8 on April 8, holds the no. 3 spot, its highest-ever ranking.
Now with that top spot, Skaneateles steeled itself Thursday night for the first of two meetings in as many weeks against archrival Marcellus, who started 4-0 before a loss to CBA.
Thanks mostly to another stellar performance from senior All-American candidate Kevin Rice, the Lakers knocked out the Mustangs early in a 16-7 victory.
Whether through his own charges to the net, or through deft passes that led to easy goals, Rice seemed to do everything right in the first half. Skaneateles was up 7-1 through one period, and grew the margin to double digits, 11-1, by halftime.
It eased up in the second half - but not before Rice had finished with four goals and six assists, a 10-point effort that mostly benefited Mike Richards, who managed four goals and two assists, and Paul O'Donnell, who found the net three times. Connor O'Hara scored twice as Brenden Major and Zach Ross also had goals. Alex Brownlee, Brady Hueber and Nate Scuderi earned assists.
All this part of a stretch where Skaneateles played three OHSL Liberty division opponents in five days, winning them all by sizable margins.
Just before this, the Lakers set out last Tuesday to face Jordan-Elbridge, and a solid effort produced an 18-9 victory over the Eagles.
Fast starts to each half made the difference. Skaneateles roared out to a 6-1 lead by the end of the first quarter, then pulled off a similar 7-1 surge through the third period to put things away.