Amid fierce competition in the OHSL Liberty division, the Jordan-Elbridge boys basketball team began its 2012-13 season.
And the Eagles, beaten up for a long time both inside and outside league ranks (it went 4-14 a season ago), may finally be turning a corner toward success, as it pulled away from Marcellus for a 58-43 victory in Friday night’s home opener.
J-E outscored the Mustangs in every quarter. As the pace quickened, so did the Eagles, who stretched out its lead to 29-22 by halftime and never let Marcellus put together a sustained run.
A lot of that was due to Colyn Hanley, who nearly had a triple-double as he backed up his 14 points with a career-best 17 rebounds and nine blocks, plus four steals.
Zach Wagner led with 18 points, while Kyle Matousek picked up 12 points and Jared Bard added nine points. Marcellus, who fell to 0-2, saw Duncan Merritt earn 12 points as Mike Hastings and Ben Powers got 11 points apiece.
Before this, J-E nearly pulled off a miraculous victory at Chittenango in last Tuesday night’s opener, erasing a big fourth-quarter deficit before taking a 51-46 overtime loss to the Bears.
For three periods, nothing worked for the Eagles, as it trailed 37-23. But in those last eight minutes of regulation, the Eagles got hot just as the Bears went cold, as 3-pointers from Bard (who finished with 15 points) and Wagner (who got 14 points overall) helped forge a 41-41 tie.
But the magic ran out in OT as Chittenango outscored J-E 10-5, led by Devin Phelps, who got 20 points, and Sean Cliff, who added 14 points. Phelps and Cliff both hit on three 3-pointers.s
On that same night, Marcellus dropped its opener to Cazenovia 48-39. Fast out of the gate, the Lakers had a 19-9 lead through one quarter. After cooling off the rest of the half, the Lakers had a similar hot streak in the third quarter, expanding its lead to 41-24, out of the Mustangs’ reach.