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Skaneateles boys earn split, end four-game skid

Lakers fall to Hannibal before easy win over APW

— Before it hit the holidays, the Skaneateles boys basketball team found itself mired in an early-season slump, knowing it had to quickly turn things around since the schedule in 2014 wasn’t going to get much easier.

The Lakers, who hadn’t won since its last-second decision over Syracuse Academy of Science in the Dec. 3 opener, saw its skid hit four games last Tuesday night, against Hannibal, where a mid-game crisis and a big night from the Warriors’ Billy Skipper led to a 62-49 defeat.

Hannibal came into the game with an 0-3 record, but played Skaneateles to a 17-17 first-quarter draw and then, led by Skipper, moved out in front, gaining a 34-28 halftime edge.

Trying to rally, the Lakers instead went cold in the third quarter, held to eight points. Only in the final minutes did the Skaneateles offense roar back to life, but that proved too late as Skipper, with 30 points, accounted for nearly half of the Warriors’ output.

No one on the Lakers got close to Skipper’s total, though Chris Knupp did pick up 17 points. Bobby Leslie had 12 points, while Collin Jones managed nine points. Pete Knupp (six points) and Jake Peterson (five points) got the rest of the baskets as Trevor Alton, with 12 points, gave Skipper ample support for Hannibal.

From this, the Lakers turned to Thursday’s game against an Altmar-Parish-Williamstown team still shell-shocked after Cazenovia demolished them 99-17 two nights earlier.

While there was no way Skaneateles could even approach the absurd margin of that contest, it did break its losing streak, turning back the Rebels by a more reasonable 64-38 margin.

Skaneateles did score plenty in the first quarter, gaining a 24-10 lead, but APW at least matched its Cazenovia total before halftime and even cut the Lakers’ lead to 34-23.

But a 16-4 third-quarter surge helped Skaneateles relax, as it put four players in double figures. Bobby Leslie, with 15 points, led the way, with Jones adding 12 points. Chris Knupp managed 11 points and nine rebounds as Peterson finished with 10 points.

The Lakers are back in action next Saturday at 4:30 for a non-league game against neighbor and rival Marcellus, to be played at Onondaga Community College.

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