Feb 17, 2013 Kris Russell Uncategorized
Ideally, the Skaneateles boys basketball team would take what it did in Saturday’s opening round of the Section III Class B playoffs and maintain it the rest of the way.
The Lakers were in devastating form from the opening tip in its 79-35 rout of Ilion, which sets up a quarterfinal date Tuesday against Holland Patent.
Skaneateles, the no. 4 seed, never trailed, blasting to a 26-5 lead after one quarter, a 48-18 lead by halftime and a 67-25 margin before Lakers coach Karl Norris pulled his starters at the beginning of the final frame.
“I’m really happy with our performance,” Norris said. “I thought we executed our game plan very well. I think it was one of our better wins this year and a good way to start the tournament.”
Freshman Bobby Leslie jump started Skaneateles with his outside shooting. Leslie hit three successive 3-pointers to give the hosts a 17-3 lead.
“Bobby’s a really skilled kid and a very good shooter,” Norris said. “He’s been working real hard in practice and it showed up today.”
Collin Jones and Austin Gardner dominated underneath in the second quarter. The pair combined for 16 of the Lakers; 22 points.
“Once (Lesley) shot (Ilion) out of their zone they went man-to-man and we got a nice advantage under the basket,” Norris said.
Any thought Ilion had of rallying past halftime ended when the Lakers outscored the Golden Bombers 19-7 in the third quarter.
Norris and Ilion head coach John Wallace both gave credit to the way Skaneateles defended Golden Bombers standout Herschel Ivey. The Ilion senior guard came into the game averaging more than 27 points per game, but finished with only 15 points on Saturday.
“Our game plan was to slow (Ivey) down,” Norris said. “We put Alex Brownlee and (Jones) on him. Those guys did a fantastic job. We provided them with a lot of help. We played good team defense. Without Ivey scoring I think (Ilion) they struggled doing what they usually do.”
“(Skaneateles) set their defense up to stop Herschel,” Wallace said. “They knew he was a large part of our offense. They did a great job doing that. It frustrated him and I think that was the difference. That was the best defense we’ve seen on him all season.”
Leslie led the Lakers with 18 points. Jones finished with 17 points and five assists. Gardner had 14 points and a game high 10 rebounds.
Skaneateles (14-5) next plays Holland Patent, the no. 12 seed. Norris scouted the Golden Knights in its 59-56 first-round win over No. 5 seed Sherburne-Earlville.
“They’ve got a real good big kid and a real good guard,” Norris said. “They’re a team that’s pretty athletic and they really hit the glass hard. It’s going to be a physical game. We’re going to have to control the boards to beat them.”