Boys hoops Lakers shut down Solvay, go to 3-0

Lakers also claimed Sherburne-Earlville Tournament title

So far at least, the Cazenovia boys basketball team has found nothing but success.

Fresh off winning the Sherburne-Earlville Tournament on Dec. 2-3, the Lakers entered OHSL Liberty division play last Tuesday night, going to Solvay and taking over in the second half to beat the Bearcats 52-34.

Neither side could make any sustained run until the second quarter, when Solvay used a series of timely baskets to put Cazenovia behind 25-19 as they went to halftime.

After the break, though, the Lakers’ defense hit another gear. Mounting all kinds of pressure, it forced the Bearcats into a series of rushed shots, turnovers and other mistakes. Meanwhile, the Lakers turned those mistakes into baskets on the other end, outscoring Solvay 33-9.

Andrew Vogl got most of his team-high 14 points in the second half, leading a balanced attack where eight different Cazenovia players got at least one field goal.

Kevin Hopsicker had nine points, followed closely by Darian Smith (seven points) and David McEntee (six points). Chad Warren and Oliver Gates had five points apiece.

All this followed the efforts at Sherburne-Earlville. Just after the Lakers toppled the host Marauders in the opening round, it met Unadilla Valley in the finals and, with a late surge, claimed a 63-53 victory.

Strong on both ends, Cazenovia held UV to six points in the first quarter and carried a healthy 29-18 lead to the break. However, the Storm surged in the third period, cutting the margin to 43-41. But the Lakers got the first eight points of the fourth quarter and never got seriously threatened again.

Hopsicker earned tournament MVP honors by getting 11 of his 15 points in that final period, while Whiteman also had 15 points. Warren put up 11 points, while Vogl (eight points) and Smith (seven points) trailed close behind.

Cazenovia, after a week of rest and practice, will head back on the road Tuesday to play Skaneateles before a Dec. 16 trip to Bishop Ludden.

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