Cazenovia Through one week of the regular season, the Cazenovia girls basketball team is 2-0, largely due to its defense.
The Lakers easily won an early-season battle of Class B girls’ basketball unbeatens Friday night, 44-20, over its Madison County neighbors from Chittenango.
Cazenovia was never threatened on this night. The Lakers defense did not let the Bears do much, and the visitors led 12-2 after one quarter, and 23-7 at halftime.
The Bears (2-1) couldn’t overcome their sloppy start.
“We knew there was a chance of that happening,” Chittenango coach Christian Rohrer said. “We knew (Cazenovia) was going to press us the whole game. If we couldn’t break it we knew we were in for it. We couldn’t break it.”
Lakers point guard Kristie Kleine, a big part of her squad's harassing full-court press, keyed Cazenovia’s early offensive surge. Kleine dropped in a pair of first quarter three point field goals.
The lopsided win didn’t mean the Cazenovia players got off lightly when it came to coach Chris Carpenter’s postgame speech.
“The overall effort was good as far as defense,” Carpenter said. “Offensively, (it was) just terrible. We really had a rough time out there getting into anything that we’ve worked on three weeks now. It’s frustrating.”
Kleine led the winners with a game high 16 points. Maggie Carpenter had nine. Taylor Mimms and Maggie Johnson scored seven and five points respectively Kaitlin Antelmi led Chittenango with 14 points.
Chris Carpenter is the Lakers’ third different coach in as many years, and he won his debut last Wednesday night at Buckley Gym, Cazenovia toughing out a 39-33 victory over Marcellus.
Looking to improve on last winter’s 5-13 struggles, Cazenovia went back to emphasizing the tough defensive approach that worked so well in back-to-back sectional title runs in 2010 and ’11.