On many different fronts, the Cazenovia girls basketball team's quest for a second Section III Class B championship in three years took a major boost on Saturday.
In its own weather-delayed Class B quarterfinal at Buckley Gym, Cazenovia, the no. 2 seed, put on a frightening display of defense to wipe out no. 10 seed Skaneateles 51-10, the third time it has beaten that other group of Lakers this winter.
As this was going on, top seed and defending South Jefferson got taken out, 56-50, by no. 8 seed Westhill, which gave long-time Warriors head coach Sue Ludwig her 400th career win. More importantly, that upset opened up the Class B bracket on top, as Westhill will play no. 5 seed Utica-Notre Dame in the semifinals Tuesday at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill.
As that goes on, Cazenovia (18-1) has a chance to avenge its only loss of the season to no. 3 seed Jordan-Elbridge in the other semifinal, which tips off at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Onondaga Community College. The winners meet this Sunday at 1:45 at Utica Memorial Auditorium for the sectional title.
All of the events in Adams overshadowed Cazenovia's own impressive effort. For more than a week, the Lakers had stewed about the 50-40 defeat to J-E on Feb. 17, the lone blemish in its run to the OHSL Liberty division regular-season title.
Someone had to pay for that defeat - and it turned out to be Skaneateles, who had only made the playoffs because weather kept those Lakers from meeting Westhill in the Feb. 19 regular-season finale, when a loss would have kept Skaneateles out of the sectional tournament.
Given a reprieve, Skaneateles ousted no. 7 seed General Brown 39-36, but from the moment the game tipped off at Cazenovia, it was clear which Laker side would keep on playing.