In a very high-profile manner, the Skaneateles girls basketball team entered a new season, only to find itself at 0-2 by the time it was done.
The Lakers went 14-6 a season ago, falling in the Section III Class B quarterfinals to South Jefferson. From that side, standouts like Brittany Welch, Joanna Dean and Mary Buck graduated, but head coach Jill Blasi returns a slew of talent that includes Elizabeth Lane, Joanna Dobrovosky and Nicole Beatson.
Thus, Skaneateles carried high expectations into last Tuesday’s opener at Blasi’s alma mater, Bishop Ludden, and did quite well for a half – only to see it come apart in the third quarter of a 63-44 loss to the Gaelic Knights.
With Lane hitting outside shots and Dobrovosky controlling the paint, the Lakers steadily built a double-digit lead by the time they reached the second quarter. At the break, Skaneateles was up 28-17, hardly imagining all that would go wrong once the third quarter got underway.
During those eight minutes, the Lakers continually missed shots and got forced into turnovers. And Ludden seemed to take advantage of every one of those mistakes as, led by Danielle Rauch (21 points) and Sara Hayes (16 points), it outscored Skaneateles 25-5 in that frame.
Never recovering, the Lakers saw the deficit continue to grow in the fourth quarter. Lane, after her quick start, cooled down, but still finished with 18 points, half of them from three 3-pointers, while Dobrovosky had nine points. Varsity newcomer Shannon Foehl managed six points.
This was not the result Skaneateles hoped for going into Thursday’s home opener against Class B powerhouse Westhill, who would further the Lakers’ troubles by taking over in the second quarter, leading to a 60-49 defeat.
Trailing 14-7 after one period, Skaneateles watched as Westhill all but decided matters in a 23-5 second-quarter blitz to give itself a 37-12 halftime edge.