Dec 07, 2013 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Even before the first week of December was done, the Marcellus boys basketball team had a chance to open some eyes among followers of the OHSL Liberty division – but it only got half the task accomplished.
The Mustangs, who didn’t even make the Section III Class B playoffs a season ago, ventured to Buckley Gym Friday night to face Cazenovia, each side having won their season openers – Marcellus over Jordan-Elbridge 89-71, Cazenovia over Solvay 58-47.
At the very least, Marcellus had to feel good about the way it played in the opener against Jordan-Elbridge, taking command at the outset and not letting go.
Setting a quick tempo and making plenty of defensive stops, Marcellus grabbed a 21-6 lead by the end of the first quarter. A wild second quarter followed, with J-E erupting for 27 points – and still losing ground as Marcellus got 34, meaning that it had a 55-33 lead at the break.
Though it could not maintain that torrid pace, Marcellus still expanded its lead to 74-46 by the fourth quarter, and cruised the rest of the way.
Mike Hastings, with 17 points and 13 rebounds, led an attack where nine different players got at least one field goal. Jordan Bandera had 15 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists, while Wyatt Stehle managed 15 points and eight rebounds. Mike Melnyczuk had nine points, with Mike Dillon (seven points) and Cole Walsh (six points) close behind.
On J-E’s side, Ryan Matousek picked up 20 points, leading both sides. Ryan Cooper and Kyle Matousek each had 12 points, while Jake Melfi (seven points) and Brandon Macvicz (six points) followed.
Shaking this off, J-E returned home on Thursday night and, in an impressive effort, earned its first victory of the season, pulling away late to beat the Solvay Bearcats 73-56.
Strong on both ends of the court, the Eagles led, 17-9, after one period, only to see Solvay pull within two, 30-28, by halftime. As the second half wore on, though, the Eagles gradually built back its margin and then used strong free-throw shooting to erase any doubt about the outcome.
Kyle Matousek’s 28 points included 10 successful foul shots, along with four 3-pointers. Melfi had 10 points, with Cooper and Kyle Humberstone each getting nine points. Zach Wagner managed eight points and Brandon Macvicz contributed seven points.
Tyler Cardinell paced Solvay with 22 points as Jon Scutt added 13 points. John Dippold and Alex Dantauno had six points apiece.
Solvay had opened its season against Cazenovia earlier in the week, and despite a series of comebacks, it could not answer the Lakers’ final push.
Throughout the first half, Solvay kept answering the Lakers’ runs. That led to a 15-15 first-quarter deadlock, and the Bearcats got even again, 34-34, by draining a half-court shot at the halftime horn.
That was Solvay’s last field goal for a while, though, as Cazenovia opened the second half on a 10-0 run, only to see the Bearcats counter again with a 10-0 push of its own to make it 44-44 with one period left.
Both teams were cold early in the fourth quarter, but the Lakers inched in front again, this time for good. Ryman Seeley’s 3-pointer with three minutes left opened up the game as Solvay managed just one field goal in that final period.
Cody Pucello, with 18 points, was the only Bearcat to score in double figures. Dantauno and Cardinell both had seven points as Davis Kippen contributed six points. Seeley paced the Lakers with 19 points as Ross Gerber contributed 11 points.
And Cazenovia wasn’t done hurting the local sides, as it showed Friday by beating Marcellus 66-49, a game where the Mustangs could not recover from a first half where it fell behind 41-28.
Even when the Lakers cooled off in the third quarter, Marcellus managed just five points in that frame. By the time it was done, Hastings did have 15 points, with Dillon (11 points) and Bandera (10 points) also in double figures, but Cazenovia had more depth, six players earning six or more points as Seeley, with 16 points (seven of them free throws), again set the pace.