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.
Following up on nail-biting defeats to OHSL Liberty division leaders Bishop Grimes and Bishop Ludden (the latter lost on a 3-pointer by Cameron Littlejohn at the buzzer), the Warriors stepped out last Tuesday and ripped past Skaneateles 69-46.
These same Lakers had beaten Westhill 58-45 on Dec. 23. Just a month later, though, the equation had changed, especially since the Lakers’ top shooting threat, Jimmy Atkinson, was recuperating from an ankle sprain and only saw one quarter of action in the rematch.
Hot outside shooting helped push the Warriors along, providing answers every time Skaneateles threatened. Westhill’s lead grew to 35-27 by halftime, and it closed the game on an 18-4 spurt to pull further away.
Four players scored in double figures, led by Jake Redmond, whose 16 points included four 3-pointers. Jordan Roland and P.J. Gebhardt each connected three times beyond the arc, both of them finishing with 13 points as Conroy added 10 points.
Jacob Nigolian dominated on the boards, amassing 16 rebounds to go with his eight points, while Meluni nearly got a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.
While all this went on, Westhill’s girls basketball team moved two steps closer to an undefeated regular season.
The state Class B no. 6-ranked Warriors went to Skaneateles and handled the Lakers 59-44 last Tuesday, though it really wasn’t that close. Westhill opened on an 18-7 spurt, and kept adding to the margin until it enjoyed a 48-24 lead at the end of the third period.