Skaneateles rips Solvay, closes in on league title

Now it's 14 wins in a row for the Skaneateles boys basketball team as it moved closer to clinching the OHSL Liberty division regular-season championship.

The Lakers, who continue to move up the state Class B rankings (no. 15 as of last week), improved to 15-1 and clinched a share of the league title by going to Solvay Thursday night and dominating the Bearcats in a 73-39 romp.

Solvay entered the game at 6-9, still needing two wins to get into the Section III Class B playoffs. And the Lakers could not take them lightly, since the Bearcats had beaten Westhill a week earlier and featured a strong inside presence in 6-7 senior Dan Aiello, who had torched the Warriors for 29 points and 14 rebounds.

From the opening tip, though, Skaneateles center Pat Roberts stayed right with Aiello, never letting him get free room in the paint. Aiello would only manage eight points on this night.

Meanwhile, the Lakers pushed the tempo to its own liking, grabbing a 23-11 lead by the time the first quarter was done. The margin stayed the same until a third quarter where Skaneateles used a 20-9 spurt to pull further away.

Kevin Rice finished with 18 points, half of them from three 3-pointers. Paul O'Donnell was close behind, earning 15 points as Roberts and Brandon Barron each got nine points. Mike Richards posted seven points as reserves Craig Pille and Ryan Coye both had six points.

The Lakers have a chance to clinch the outright league title next Tuesday against rival Marcellus before a Feb, 18 showdown with second-place Bishop Grimes, whom it rallied to beat in double overtime a month ago.

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