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Boys hoops Lakers crush Bishop Grimes, 73-42

What the Skaneateles boys basketball team delivered on Friday night was far more than just a brilliant and complete performance in its regular-season finale against Bishop Grimes.

By stomping the Cobras 73-42 on Friday night, the Lakers demonstrated that, as the post-season is about to start, anyone who wants the Section III Class B championship will have to play quite well to knock off the Lakers - and even that might not be enough.

It was Senior Night at Skaneateles for the likes of Kevin Rice, Pat Roberts, Paul O'Donnell and Mike Richards. And though the OHSL Liberty division regular-season championship was secure, the Lakers were not about to let down on this occasion.

Fortunately, Grimes appeared to provide a worthwhile opponent, for each of the two previous times these sides had met, they had gone to double overtime. Grimes won in last year's Class B semifinals - but Skaneateles prevailed 95-91 on Jan. 14 in East Syracuse, rallying from a large second-half deficit to pull it out.

Here, no comeback was required. Right from the moment the game tipped off, Skaneateles was in top form, especially on the defensive side as it held Grimes to seven points in the first quarter to take quick control.

Though the Cobras did fare better in the second period, the Lakers still extended the margin to 38-24 by halftime, and it completely shut down Grimes the rest of the way, as no one other than senior Mike Stone (who had 16 points) came close to hurting Skaneateles.

As the game got out of hand, all the main Skaneateles seniors stood out - especially Rice. Already with a state title in soccer and a sectional title in lacrosse to his credit, Rice nearly matched Grimes by himself by pouring in 27 points, 12 of them free throws.

O'Donnell was strong, too, finishing with 13 points as Roberts held Grimes' top forward, Mike Sugamosto, to six points while putting up nine points of his own, the same total as Brandon Barron. And Richards, normally content to be a distributor to his teammates, contributed eight points.

Skaneateles improved to 17-1 and will be favored as the sectional Class B tournament starts. The Lakers drew the top seed in the 15-team bracket and, after a first-round bye, will host either no. 8 seed South Jefferson or no. 9 seed Lowville in the quarterfinals Friday night.

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