Dec 07, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
If offered a dream scenario for a game against her alma mater, Skaneateles girls basketball head coach Jill Blasi may have imagined something close to what actually took place Thursday night at Bishop Ludden – but it’s doubtful.
No one, in fact, could have predicted that the Lakers would do close to everything right against the Gaelic Knights, winning by a 79-36 margin and moving to 3-0 on the season.
Any doubts about the Lakers’ ability to rise up and challenge for top honors in a crowded and strong Section III Class B field have to be gone now, replaced by a realization that, in peak form, Skaneateles could beat just about anyone in its path.
And that includes Westhill, whom the Lakers face next Thursday in a huge early-season showdown. Coaches and players from Westhill were on hand at Ludden, and they were treated to quite a show.
First, though, they witnessed Ludden fans giving a warm ovation to Blasi, who remains in second place on Ludden’s all-time list in points and rebounds. After college, Blasi returned to the school and coached both the JV and varsity Gaelic Knights before going to Skaneateles in 2011.
The current Ludden edition had one target in mind – the Lakers’ junior center, Joanna Dobrovosky, who had registered a triple-double in her team’s 49-39 victory over East Syracuse-Minoa two nights earlier.
As it turned out, the plan worked too well. Dobrovosky did go to the bench with two fouls in the first quarter, but all that did was allow the rest of the Skaneateles players to step up in a manner that the Gaelic Knights could not handle.
It was a 9-0 run, spanning the end of the first period and the start of the second, that helped the Lakers take control. Any time Ludden left someone open on the perimeter, a shot seemed to find the net as Skaneateles would drain nine 3-pointers by night’s end.
Brittany Welch set the tone, the senior guard picking up 11 points by the early part of the second quarter. Then Elizabeth Lane chimed in, the sophomore hitting on three 3-pointers before halftime as the margin kept growing, to 22 at one point, before the Lakers went to the break in front 40-23.
Many of those chances came off of Gaelic Knights turnovers. Skaneateles mixed in full-court and half-court traps, and both proved effective, Ludden rarely able to find any free space to maneuver.
Only in the third quarter did the Lakers cool off a bit, going nearly four minutes without a basket. But once Welch hit another 3-pointer, it set off a 12-2 spurt that dashed any Ludden hopes of a rally.
In all, 10 different Lakers got on the board, led by Welch, who put up 22 points. Lane finished with 15 points, while Dobrovosky, even in limited minutes, gained nine points as fellow 6-footers Mary Buck (six points) and Jo Anna Dean (four points) controlled the paint whenever she went to the bench. Nicole Beatson chimed in with seven points.
The Lakers arrived at Ludden fresh off what happened at ESM. Dobrovosky simply did everything in the paint. Aside from her 11 points, the junior center grabbed 13 points and blocked 10 Spartan shots, holding her own against ESM’s star forward, Gabby Eure, who only managed 12 points.
All of this helped Skaneateles break out of a 14-14 first-quarter tie, as Buck flanked Dobrovosky in the paint and brought down 10 rebounds of her own.
ESM couldn’t concentrate on them because Lane was busy doing a bit of everything. Drawing lots of contact, Lane piled up 22 points, 11 of them from free throws, while also getting four rebounds, five assists and three steals. Beatson also reached double figures, earning 10 points.
All of this led to the commanding performance at Ludden, which only adds to the anticipation of this Thursday’s Westhill clash. Before that, though, the Lakers had to negotiate Tuesday’s home game against Chittenango and avoid looking ahead.