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Caz boys basketball rallies for OT win at Westhill

Defense helps Lakers in comeback; Whiteman 3-pointer forces extra period

Cazenovia senior forward Tanner Whiteman (10) pulls down an offensive rebound as David McEntee (13) and Joe Romagnoli (23) box out opponents during the Lakers’ match against Bishop Grimes, Jan. 24.

Cazenovia senior forward Tanner Whiteman (10) pulls down an offensive rebound as David McEntee (13) and Joe Romagnoli (23) box out opponents during the Lakers’ match against Bishop Grimes, Jan. 24. Photo by Pierce Smith.

— They traded foul shots until, with four seconds left, Westhill's Joe Meluni sank two of them to cut the margin to 47-46. Immediately fouled, Kevin Hopsicker made one of his two free throws, and the Warriors' last desperation attempt fell short.

Whiteman, overall, led both sides with 19 points. Hopsicker matched Warren with 12 points of his own. Ryan Conroy paced Westhill with 14 points as Meluni contributed 10 points.

Back on Tuesday against Bishop Grimes at Buckley Gym, the Lakers slumped at the start and never could fully recover in a 58-46 defeat to the Cobras.

Cazenovia was trying to avenge a 59-54 defeat at Grimes on Dec. 22, but at least in that contest the Lakers got some early points and remained within range.

In the rematch, the Cobras seized control in the first three minutes, mainly due to Gai Ater, who recorded 10 points as the Lakers fell behind 12-0.

For the rest of the game, Cazenovia found itself in a frustrating chase. The Lakers moved within 16-11 late in the first quarter, only to see Grimes stretch it out to double digits before a strong push late in the half made it 29-23 at the break.

David McEntee’s basket early in the third quarter made it 29-25, but once again the Cobras got away, outscoring Cazenovia 17-5 the rest of the period.

The only glimmer of hope came late in the fourth quarter, when Grimes’ Casey Evans fouled out and drew a technical foul. Hopsicker made four straight free throws to slice the margin to 50-40, but it missed on the ensuing possession, and Ater drained a 3-pointer with 2:30 left to seal it.

Whiteman led with 15 points, with Hopsicker adding 13 points, but no other Laker had more than two field goals. Ater paced Grimes with 21 points as forward Jon Carnegie contributed 13 points.

Cazenovia will return home Tuesday night to face Skaneateles before going to Jordan-Elbridge next Friday.

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