Whatever else happens to the Skaneateles boys basketball team in what is shaping up as a potentially memorable 2010-11 season, nothing might top the events that unfolded on a frigid Friday night in East Syracuse.
Trailing by 17 points at halftime to Bishop Grimes, the Lakers made it all the way back in the third quarter, then battled through a fourth quarter and two tense overtimes before finally emerging with a 95-91 victory over the Cobras to improve its overall record to 8-1 as it hit the midway point of the regular season.
Incredibly, it was the second straight time Skaneateles and Grimes had played a double-OT game. They had done so last February in a remarkable Section III Class B semifinal at Onondaga Community College, where the Cobras prevailed by a four-point margin, 70-66 - the same margin as would happen here.
Back then, Grimes survived largely because forward Mike Sugamosto had a triple-double of 23 points, 17 points and 10 blocks, making a 3-pointer at the end of the first OT to keep the game going and adding six more points in the second extra period after two Skaneateles forwards, Pat Roberts and Paul O'Donnell, fouled out.
Many of the Laker stars of that sectional semifinal, including O'Donnell, Roberts, Kevin Rice and Brandon Barron, were bent on getting revenge against Grimes. Sugamosto, Mike Stone and the rest of the Cobras were just as bent on stopping them. Together, they produced a classic.
But it didn't seem that way in the first half. Even though Sugamosto would manage just one field goal all night, Stone and Casey Evans would atone for it, hitting a full array of shots in those first two periods to keep Skaneateles off balance. By the time it reached the locker room for halftime, the Lakers were down 46-29, and appeared in serious trouble.