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.