continued For the entire night, the Lakers and Cobras went back and forth. Cazenovia trailed, 17-10, in the first quarter, only to seize three different small leads in the second period before Grimes regained a 31-29 edge at the half.
The game's first major turning point came late in the third quarter. Still down 43-41, the Lakers closed the period on a 7-0 run, sparked by back-to-back baskets from forward Matt Bonavita.
Then Seeley, who battled foul trouble all night, made his pair of 3-pointers just 17 seconds apart early in the final period, pushing the Lakers' edge to 56-48 before the Cobras fought back one more time.
A big key to the outcome was the way Cazenovia's production was spread around. Just behind Seeley, Vogl and Kevin Hopsicker both finished with 13 points, while Berger, with his clinching free throws, also moved into double figures with 11 points as Bonavita added six points.
Grimes, in defeat, saw Connor Evans get most of his 16 points in the second half, while Casey Evans added 14 points and Jon Carnegie added 10 points.
That sort of lift was not achieved in last Tuesday’s game at Westhill, where the Warriors, fast evolving into the Class B sectional favorites, applied plenty of defense to beat the Lakers.
This was a Westhill side vastly improved from the one that took out Cazenovia 45-41 in last February’s opening round of the Section III playoffs, having beaten the likes of Bishop Ludden, Bishop Grimes and Phoenix, all on the road.
Against the Warriors’ man-to-man defense, the Lakers were unable to put together any kind of sustained run. Only Vogl, with 19 points, was consistently productive as Hopsicker and Seeley were held to six points apiece, a total that Gerber would match.
Meanwhile, Cazenovia did a solid job of containment on Westhill’s top player, Jordan Roland, holding him to 14 points. But the Warriors helped Roland out as Tyler Reynolds also scored 14 points and Jeff Lobello added 11 points.
Cazenovia (7-5) now plays three straight road games, including visits next week to Vernon-Verona-Sherrill and Jordan-Elbridge.