Feb 18, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Maybe the only logical destination for the Skaneateles girls basketball team, in this turnaround 2011-12 campaign, is a Section III Class B-2 title.
The no. 5 seed Lakers are now just two wins from that destination, having upended no. 4 seed Jordan-Elbridge 58-49 in Friday night’s B-2 quarterfinal.
What made this effort even more impressive was that the Eagles were back at full strength. It had lost to Skaneateles 54-44 in the Feb. 10 regular-season finale, but that had come with senior star Molly Hourigan on the sidelines with an injured left knee.
Hourigan was back now. Though she didn’t start, the center entered the game in the first quarter and, soon enough, would start to pile up her numbers in the paint.
Skaneateles didn’t mind, though, because it had jumped out to a fast start, steadily building a 14-6 lead by the end of the opening period based on full-court defensive pressure that led to J-E turnovers and baskets on the other end.
Over the course of the next two periods, the Eagles chipped away at the Lakers’ margin, and early in the fourth quarter J-E even sneaked in front, 38-37, but Skaneateles did not panic.
Instead, the Lakers drained back-to-back 3-pointers to assume the lead for good, and from there J-E was forced to foul, leading to a series of successful foul shots. In fact, all the points Skaneateles scored in the second half were from 3-pointers or made free throws.
Overall, the Lakers connected nine times beyond the arc, four of them from Jackie Leslie, who had one of the best games of her high school career, leading all scorers with 22 points – those four treys, plus 10 successful free throws.
Emily Call had 11 points, while Elizabeth Lane and Joanna Dobrovosky each hit on a pair of 3-pointers, Lane getting 10 points and Dobrovosky adding eight points.
All of this negated the gritty work of Hourigan, who overcame her injury to post 18 points and 15 rebounds in her last high-school game before heading to Division I basketball at Holy Cross.
Kelsey Soderberg added 17 points and five assists, but Lane helped on the defensive end, holding J-E’s Grace Dungey to just five points, far below her season average. Blasi also praised Dobrovosky and Joanna Dean for their work trying to contain Hourigan.
Skaneateles, who improved its record to 11-8, will face top seed Sherburne-Earlville in the B-2 semifinals Tuesday night at 8 p.m. at Chittenango High School. The winner gets Hannibal or Adirondack (who precede the Lakers and Marauders at Chittenango) in the championship round.