Feb 17, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In all, three local girls basketball teams entered the Section III Class B playoff fray last weekend, but none of them would survive the opening round.
It began last Friday night with no. 9 seed Marcellus going to no. 8 seed Skaneateles and finding itself unable to repeat the success of its regular-season encounter with the rival Lakers, knocked out in a 41-23 defeat.
Without question, the fact that Marcellus beat Skaneateles 56-43 in that first meeting on Jan. 22 stuck with every Laker player, and when the Class B playoff bracket revealed a rematch with the Mustangs, Skaneateles knew what it needed to do – namely, play tight defense and force up shots.
That’s exactly what happened. The Mustangs rushed most of its shots, even the wide-open ones beneath the basket. And very few of them fell, especially in a mid-game dry spell that proved decisive.
When Molly MacLachlan, arguably the Mustangs’ top player, picked up her third foul midway through the second quarter, Skanetaeles promptly took charge, closing the half on a 13-0 run to lead 28-11 at the break.
Any chance the Mustangs had of catching up came in the third quarter, when Skaneateles went more than six minutes without a point. Yet the Mustangs missed every shot, both from the field and the free-throw line, only getting three points in that frame, all but deciding the outcome.
MacLachlan, despite her foul trouble, still managed nine points, while no other Mustang managed more than four points. For Skaneateles, Joanna Dobrovosky, Joanna Dean and Mary Buck each had nine points, while Sarah Tomlinson added eight points. Elizabeth Lane managed six points.
Bishop Ludden, the no. 13 seed, faced the tall task of trying to take down no. 4 seed Cazenovia last Saturday night at Buckley Gym, but had great chances to win before the Lakers, aided by timely work from seniors Maggie Carpenter and Kristie Kleine, prevailed 50-40.
Even with a 16-2 record and no. 13 state Class B ranking, Cazenovia was wary of Ludden, mainly due to the familiarity the two had with each other from a Jan. 10 meeting that the Lakers took 50-30.
Kleine, did not start, and the Lakers’ offense suffered for it throughout the first quarter. Ludden, getting a trio of 3-pointers (two of them by Kelly Granteed), gained a 10-3 lead.
And the Lakers were lucky that it wasn’t worse, because the Gaelic Knights missed its first seven free throws in that period and would go seven-for-21 overall at the line. Thus, it could not exploit the two early fouls on Carpenter, and that proved costly.
For when Kleine entered the game in the second quarter, everything changed. Cazenovia’s defensive pressure really started to take hold, and inside Carpenter and reserve forward Maggie Johnson dominated on the boards, getting extra chances as part of an 11-2 run.
Ludden didn’t go away, though. Trailing 20-16 at halftime, the Gaelic Knights again took advantage of Kleine’s absence as Granteed hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Sara Hayes hit a runner to open the third quarter.
Now it was Cazenovia that trailed, 24-20, but again Kleine returned – and again, the Lakers took off, this time on a 13-2 run to move in front for good. Carpenter got it going with three consecutive baskets, and Kleine capped it off with a long 3-pointer.
Though Ludden never stopped battling, an injury to starting forward Nicole Granteed in the middle of that third-quarter Cazenovia spurt hurt its inside play, and the Lakers led by as much as 15 (49-34) in the final period as Kleine added two more 3-pointers to seal it.
Carpenter finished with 21 points, while all of Kleine’s 11 points came in the second half. Kelly Granteed, in defeat, excelled for the Gaelic Knights, earning 20 points.
A night earlier, Solvay, carrying the no. 12 seed, visited no. 5 seed Sherburne-Earlville, and it was close until the second quarter, when the Marauders started to get away en route to eliminating the Bearcats 59-38.
Only trailng by one, 13-12, through one period, the Bearcats cooled off at the wrong time, just as S-E was taking off on a 17-7 run that covered the rest of the half.
Gradually, Solvay had to watch the Marauders get clear behind Savannah Irwin’s 23 points and Lily Berg’s 14 points. In defeat, the Bearcats’ Taylor Guinta led her side with 14 points, while Jackie Gardner had nine points and Julie Gardner contributed six points.