Though it would sure like to work on finding some consistency, the Skaneateles boys basketball team knows what it is capable of doing when it plays at its peak.
That peak effort was on display Thursday night, when the Lakers outworked 7-2 Bishop Grimes right from the opening tip and recorded an impressive 64-45 victory over the Cobras.
In many ways, the first quarter decided matters. Instead of waiting for the game’s pace to settle in, Sknaeateles dictated matters, zooming right past the Grimes defenders for a series of baskets as it gained a 22-12 lead.
From there, the Lakers cooled off in the next two periods, but maintained its lead because its defense worked well inside and out.
In the paint, Collin Jones, Chris Knupp, Austin Gardner and Luke Drancsak took turns working on Grimes forwards Jon Carnegie and Tom Steinberg, never letting them get comfortable. Meanwhile, the Lakers’ perimeter pressure also paid off as the Cobras only made two 3-pointers all night.
As the Lakers pulled away in the final period, Jones finished off a career-best effort, the senior swingman finishing with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Knupp also recorded a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Ben Eppolito earned 12 points as Gardner, Dranscak and Alex Brownlee earned six points apiece. No Grimes player had more than the 10 points put up by Steinberg and Connor Evans.
Two nights earlier, Skaneateles, mired in a two-game skid, visited Hannibal, and though the outcome was in doubt all the way, the Lakers did enough to edge past the Warriors 58-52.
Held to six points in the first quarter, Skaneateles did not panic. Instead, it started finding open shots and converting them, surging to a 24-23 halftime edge.
From there, it went back and forth until the final minutes, the Lakers never able to get clear because Hannibal teammates Jake Shortslef (20 points) and Billy Skipper (16 points) kept making big shots.
What pulled the Lakers through was a well-balanced attack. Gardner led with 15 points, while Bobby Leslie earned nine of his 14 points at the free-throw line. Knupp hit five foul shots on his way to 13 points as Eppolito converted 10 points.
This pair of wins put Skaneateles at 7-4. Now it hopes that the momentum does not dissipate during an eight-day layoff as the Lakers don’t return to action until next Friday's trip to Phoenix.