Cazenovia boys hoops falls to ITC

Lakers cannot secure league title against short-handed Eagles

— Home at last, one big obstacle stood between the Cazenovia boys basketball team and its appointment with the Onondaga High School League Liberty American division championship.

And that was Syracuse’s Institute of Technology Central, who arrived at Buckley Gym Tuesday night with a 10-3 league record (11-4 overall) and a desire to avenge a 66-55 defeat to Cazenovia on Dec. 19.

With a chance to put the league championship away, the Lakers underwent a cold mid-game stretch and could not quite recover from it, unable to take advantage of a short-handed ITC lineup and falling by a score of

This was just Cazenovia’s second home game in 2014 and its first in three weeks since that 58-55 defeat to unbeaten, state Class B no. 1-ranked Westhill on Jan. 14.

It looked promising at the start. Despite some short misses early, it did push its way to a 16-13 lead on ITC by the end of the first quarter. Even better, the Eagles’ leading scorer, Rensey Chandler, was on the sidelines, having injured his ankle less than three minutes into the game, and would not return for the rest of the night.

Despite all this, Cazenovia struggled to move the ball in the fact of ITC’s full-court pressure, and even when it did get open looks, nothing fell. Cazenovia only had 14 total points in the second and third periods, not even matching what it got in the first quarter alone.

This allowed the Eagles to grab a 37-30 lead, but it wasn’t over. Clawing back, Cazenovia got within four, 41-37, with less than three minutes left, and still only trailed by four in the final minute before ITC used a series of free throws to put it away.

Kevin Hopsicker led the Lakers with 16 points, while Ryman Seeley managed 11 points. Andrew Vogl had seven points, but Ross Gerber, normally a double-digit scorer, got shut out.

ITC’s James Walker led both sides with 17 points as Algernon Torrence (nine points) and Mark Westbrook (eight points) helped out.

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