Jan 12, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Still at no. 2 in the state Class B rankings, the Westhill boys basketball team is finding places where it can improve, especially since it faces a big test Tuesday night when it goes to Buckley Gym to take on the 9-1 Cazenovia Lakers.
It was the Warriors’ defense that was on full display in last Wednesday’s game against Syracuse Academy of Science, as it stifled the Atoms from start to finish in a 69-33 romp.
Trademark man-to-man pressure took time to settle in – but when it did, SAS was in trouble, managing just six points in the second quarter as Westhill took a 30-16 lead to halftime.
A 23-11 third-quarter burst settled matters, as Jordan Roland, adding to his defensive output, earned 23 points to lead both sides. Fellow junior Tyler Reynolds contributed 16 points, with Mike Burton adding nine points and Ryan Roland six points.
Marcellus also maintained good form on Wednesday, going to Solvay and, with a big late surge, turning a close contest into a romp as it defeated the Bearcats 69-50.
Essentially, two surges won this game. Up just 19-17 after one period, the Mustangs outscored Solvay 20-9 the rest of the half to gain a comfortable advantage.
When the Bearcats tried to rally in the second half, Marcellus answered again, closing on a 21-9 run that, by the end, helped put four players into double figures.
Jordan Bandera led with 22 points, including seven successful free throws. Mike Hastings, with 19 points, was close behind, while Mike Dillon managed 11 points and Wyatt Stehle managed 10 points. Solvay had no one get close to Bandera’s totals, though Tyler Cardinell led with 14 points and Doug Smith contributed 13 points. Cody Pucello managed eight points.
When Westhill took its turn against Solvay Friday night, it was much the same story as with SAS, the Warriors routing the Bearcats 73-39 as it started the game on a 25-7 run and kept pulling further away from there, leading 59-28 by the end of the third quarter.
Each of the 12 Westhill players that saw action got at least one point. Jordan Roland, with 17 points, set the pace as Burton improved to 12 points and Jeff Lobello got 11 points, plus five assists. Reynolds added nine points as no Solvay player scored in double figures, though Cardinell (nine points), Pucello and Jon Scutt (seven points each) got close.
Marcellus, who had a rematch with the Skaneateles team it beat on Dec. 28 Tuesday night, went to Phoenix last Friday and ended up as the latest victim of the surprising Firebirds, who improved to 6-3 by rallying to beat the Mustangs 53-52.
It looked good for Marcellus when it outscored Phoenix 17-6 in the second quarter. But its 31-21 halftime lead could not hold as the Firebirds surged to tie it, 42-42, by the start of the final period, and then fought through a tense homestretch to pull it out.
Hastings led with 18 points, with Bandera adding 13 points and Dillon again getting 11 points, but the rest of the team had just four field goals combined. Phoenix, by contrast, had five players score six or more points, with Dylan Doupe (13 points) and Bryce Plante (11 points) setting the pace.
Just before the deep-freeze delay, Jordan-Elbridge did play, trying to slow down Cazenovia, but unable to do so in last Monday’s 74-63 defeat to the Lakers.
J-E had a potent attack that Cazenovia had to deal with, and it did so by playing at a fast pace throughout the first quarter and easing its way to a 22-16 lead.
Not backing off, the Lakers expanded that margin to 40-29 by halftime. Then it spent the rest of the game protecting the lead against all sorts of Eagles charges as Kyle Matousek, with 20 points, and Zach Wagner, with 17 points, led the resistance. Jake Melfi added nine points.
Andrew Vogl made sure the Lakers were successful, leading both sides as he scored a season-best 24 points, and he had plenty of help as two other Cazenovia players reached double figures (Ryman Seeley and Kevin Hopsicker, with 10 points apiece) and three others nearly did.