Cazenovia had a 9-2 mark and was coming off a last-second, 58-55 defeat to unbeaten, state Class B no. 2-ranked Westhill, a game that, even though it snapped a seven-game win streak, solidified the Lakers' status as a Class B title contender.
At least in the early going, though, Steinberg had little trouble finding scoring chances. Working hard inside, Steinberg had 14 first-half points, which was needed to keep his team close. Cazenovia led from the outset, as all five starters got at least two points in the first quarter.
Trailing 17-15 going to the second period, the Cobras watched the Lakers light it up from outside, connecting on five 3-pointers in that frame, and leave Grimes trailing, 39-31, going into halftime.
When the game slowed down in the third quarter and Grimes tried to catch up, the Lakers turned to its defense, who held the Cobras without a field goal for more than nine minutes.
Then, after A.C. Ater made a 3-pointer to break that field-goal drought with 4:50 left to cut the margin to 50-46, the Lakers again clamped down, keeping the Cobras from a field goal until the waning seconds as it used a series of free throws to seal it.
Steinberg was limited to a single free throw in the second half, so he finished with 15 points, just behind Joe Arrigo, who led with 16 points, while Ater had 11 points and was the game MVP. Ross Gerber, with 15 points, and Ryman Seeley, with 14 points, paced the Lakers.
Long before going to OCC, the boys Cobras, still without Steinberg, went to Jordan-Elbridge and climbed back above the .500 mark, beating the Eagles 69-55.
The key to that game was a 21-11 second-quarter run, which put Grimes in front 39-25 at the break. From there, the Cobras withstood all of J-E’s runs, overcoming 22 points from Zach Wagner.