Cazenovia Either the Cazenovia boys basketball team was going to let another big-name opponent get away, or it was going to hang on and get a season-changing win.
The Lakers ended up with the latter - and happier - fate on Thursday night at Buckley Gym, leaning on clutch free-throw shooting to push past Bishop Grimes by a score of 67-62.
In the previous nine days, Cazenovia had lost three times, blowing a big lead late in an overtime defeat to Solvay on Jan. 9, dropping a narrow home decision to Syracuse Academy of Science on Jan. 11 and, back on Tuesday, falling 59-39 to Westhill.
The prospect of a four-game skid was very real against Grimes, especially after the Lakers squandered a 56-48 lead, the Cobras going on a 10-2 run to pull even, 58-58.
Then, with 1:25 to play, Ryman Seeley got fouled, and stepped to the line. He sank both free throws, and after both sides missed multiple shots, Seeley was fouled again with 30.5 seconds left. Again, both foul shots swished.
Grimes cut the deficit to 62-59, and with 19.8 seconds to play Seeley was fouled one more time. Showing remarkable poise, Seeley made it six-for-six from the line in the clutch.
Still, it wasn't over. Connor Evans' 3-pointer cut the Cobras' deficit to 64-62, and Andrew Vogl was fouled with 5.0 seconds left. He made the first and missed the second, but Ross Gerber tracked down the rebound, got hacked, and made both of his free throws with 3.6 seconds left to play, clinching the victory.
All told, Cazenovia went nine-for-10 in foul shots in those last 85 seconds of regulation. And Seeley did most of it, adding to the back-to-back 3-pointers he made earlier in the period to give him 12 points in the fourth quarter and 19 points overall.