Cazenovia One of the best parts of the Chittenango boys basketball team’s move into the OHSL Liberty division is one guaranteed match-up with Cazenovia, their Madison County rivals down the road.
That came in the opening week of the 2012-13 campaign, as in front of a packed Buckley Gym and Time Warner Cable Sports' cameras Friday night, the Lakers relied on a three-pronged attack to turn back the Bears by a score of 56-41.
In many ways, last season for Cazenovia was ideal, as far as learning went, in that it built a 13-5 mark under first-year head coach Paul Harney, but left feeling hungry after a first-round Section III Class B playoff defeat to Westhill.
Now the Lakers had a chance to do something about that hunger. Facing Chittenango would provide an instant amount of emotion and intensity, since many of the players on the court were also at the Carrier Dome a month earlier, when Cazenovia beat the Bears for the sectional Class B title.
Unlike that title game, though, it didn't take long for these Lakers to seize control. Playing tight, man-to-man defense, Cazenovia limited Chittenango's opportunities and, more importantly, hit baskets on the other end, firing up the home crowd and producing a 16-7 edge.
This trend continued the rest of the half as the Lakers' margin grew to 26-16 at the break. As in a season-opening 48-39 win over Marcellus earlier in the week, Ryman Seeley, Cazenovia’s sixth man, provided the hot hand off the bench, his three 3-pointers clearing the way for his teammates to find some open looks.
Seeley’s work drew defensive attention – and allowed both Kevin Hopsicker and Andrew Vogl to find their open looks.
Hopsicker, quiet in the Marcellus opener, roared back to form with 15 points (including three 3-pointers of his own) and Vogl, with 12 points, reached double figures for the second game in a row.