Jan 16, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Perhaps the Skaneateles girls basketball team can get held down for a while, as Marcellus managed to pull off early in Wednesday night’s game. But once the Lakers start to put things together and play at the fast, frenetic tempo it wants, it can prove impossible to contain.
With a 20-point outburst that consumed less than three minutes of clock, Skaneateles turned the game around against one of its biggest rivals, leading to a 75-58 victory over the Mustangs.
That makes it nine consecutive wins for the Lakers, and while it still hasn’t led to a state Class B ranking, it served as another signal to the rest of the contenders that putting Skaneateles away will require quite an effort for four quarters.
What is scary is that, according to head coach Jill Blasi, “we have yet to play our best basketball.”
Marcellus had fought its way to a 5-3 record mostly without the services of 6-foot-4 junior center Erica Balman, who dislocated her knee early in December. Balman could be cleared to play later this week, but she wasn’t available for this game.
Still, the Mustangs got eight first-quarter points from Meghan Witkowski, and took a 14-5 lead late in the first quarter. But things would soon turn around.
And the catalyst for the Lakers wasn’t a starter. Sophomore Shannon Foehl, coming off the bench after Joanna Dobrovosky picked up two early fouls, hit a pair of 3-pointers late in the period, and then added another 3-pointer and an old-fashioned three-point play early in the second period.
“Shannon can do that all the time,” said Blasi. “She’s a dead-eye shooter.”
All of this was part of a 20-5 run that covered three minutes of clock and put Skaneateles ahead for good. Foehl earned all of her 12 points in that sequence, but her spark ignited the rest of the Lakers – particularly Nicole Beatson, the senior that has emerged, in the last month, as one of her team’s prime offensive options.
Blasi said that she talked to Beatson early in the season, emphasizing to her that, as a senior, she needed to take on a larger leadership role. Ever since, Beatson has stepped up her game, and against Marcellus she notched 13 first-half points, capped by a 3-pointer just before the horn, that gave the Lakers a 41-29 halftime lead.
All through the second half, the Mustangs remained in the game, as Shelby Nye, who had 23 points, led her side’s effort, at one point moving within six, 63-57, with more than two minutes to play.
But the Lakers closed with one more burst, 12-1, and it was Elizabeth Lane in the lead role. All game long, Lane had contributed in numerous ways, and the junior didn’t stop until she had compiled 24 points, nine assists and six steals.
And as she has done all season, senior forward Molly Wood proved a defensive bedrock, putting away 14 rebounds and adding four points as Sarah Tomlinson contributed 10 rebounds and six points. Dobrovosky, despite her foul trouble, earned eight points.
About the only thing Skaneateles had to worry about in last Monday’s game against visiting Phoenix was getting caught looking ahead to Marcellus – and that didn’t turn out to be a problem.
The Lakers smashed past the Firebirds 67-30 to run its win streak to eight games, making most of its shots in a 23-7 first-quarter blitz and extending the margin to 45-18 by halftime.
With the score 60-21 going to the fourth quarter, the Lakers’ starters rested. By then, Beatson had picked up 20 points, hitting on four 3-pointers, while Dobrovosky earned 14 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks. Tomlinson managed 12 points and Lane gained five steals to go with 11 points.
Skaneateles has a good chance to stretch the win streak into double digits next week as it stays on the road for games against Solvay on Tuesday and Cazenovia on Thursday night.