Mired in a four-game skid, and staring at more tough competition within the OHSL Liberty division when it got back to league play in 2014, the Cazenovia girls basketball team needed a tonic.
And it got that shot of energy in its trip to Cortland Friday night. Despite facing a Purple Tigers side with a 2-0 record, the Lakers, mostly leaning on a revamped defense, took charge in the fourth quarter and produced a 41-31 victory.
Unlike previous games, Cazenovia did not get too fazed when Cortland seized a 12-7 first-quarter lead. Instead, it reversed those results in the second period and, by halftime, was in a 19-19 tie.
Neither side could generate any sort of run again until the fourth quarter. Once there, the Lakers’ defensive pressure wore the Purple Tigers down, holding them to just two points in those last eight minutes as it closed with a 14-2 spurt.
Freshman Danielle Tedesco emerged as Cazenovia’s top scoring threat, converting seven field goals and finishing with 14 points.
Maggie Johnson was right behind, earning 13 points, with Kelsi Fredericks hitting both of her team’s 3-pointers and gaining nine points overall. Abby Hess (nine points) and Jackie Phillips (eight points) set the pace for Cortland.
Off from game action during the holiday week, Cazenovia (2-4) returns to the court Jan. 3 to visit Oswego, and resumes league play on Jan. 7 at Jordan-Elbridge.