Jan 24, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Earlier this week, Cazenovia girls basketball head coach Chris Carpenter said that his young team, mired at 4-7 and just coming off a close defeat to Bishop Grimes in the Pathfinder Bank Zebra Classic at Onondaga Community College’s Allyn Hall, was close to a breakthrough.
He wasn’t kidding.
In fact, it took just five days to follow that frustration against Grimes with a signature victory as, in overtime, Cazenovia stunned Skaneateles 54-52 Thursday night at Buckley Gym.
Even with Cazenovia’s gradual improvement, few imagined that Skaneateles would get toppled. Those other Lakers were riding a 10-game win streak that included, on Dec. 12, a 60-29 decimation of Cazenovia, and had emerged as a favorite in the deep, tough Section III Class B title race.
None of this history mattered, though, once the ball tipped off in the rematch. Cazenovia showed, in the early going, that it could at least hang around, only trailing 10-9 after one period. Things got easier when Skaneateles’ top forward, Joanna Dobrovosky, went to the bench with her third foul early in the second quarter.
At first, the visitors weren’t affected, building a 24-17 lead, but Cazenovia closed the half fast, with Kelsi Fredericks’ 3-pointer capping a 9-1 run that created a 26-25 halftime lead. Before the night was done, Fredricks would be heard from again.
Again, Skaneateles tried to take control during the third period, going up by six, 39-33. Again, Cazenovia made its way back, turning to its defense to frustrate the Lakers throughout the final quarter.
With less than two minutes left, Cazenovia reclaimed the lead, 43-42, and then the two sides traded points in the homestretch of regulation. They were tied, 45-45, when Dobrovosky, who had just seven points for the night, fouled out with 21 seconds left.
Given a chance to move ahead, Audrey Burbidge missed both free throws, but again Cazenovia’s defense made up for it, preventing Skaneateles from a winning basket, so at 45-45 the two Laker rivals took their battle to overtime.
Right away in the extra period, Cazenovia went in front with a pair of Fredericks free throws, but the key sequence came when Danielle Tedesco made a basket and was fouled. Tedesco missed the free throws, but Lizzie Bigsby put home the rebound, and suddenly the host Lakers had a 51-45 lead.
Not giving up, Skaneateles tried one more comeback, only to see Fredericks put home three more free throws that would provide the winning margin. All told, Fredericks had five of her 11 points in the OT.
Yet it was Maggie Johnson leading Cazenovia’s offense, the junior forward taking advantage of Dobrovosky’s foul trouble to earn 16 points, while Burbidge returned to form, too, earning 14 points. For Skaneateles, Elizabeth Lane led with 15 points, while Nicole Beatson added 14 points.
Right after the Grimes loss, the Lakers, confident that things would be fine once the offense got on track, the Lakers went to Phoenix two nights later and, with a big third quarter, took control and ended up beating the Firebirds 59-46.
By halftime, Cazenovia already enjoyed a 24-20 lead, but it really took off after the break, managing 26 points in a fast-paced third period, or two fewer points than it got in the entire game against Grimes.
That helped the Lakers get away, and Johnson had the best showing of her varsity career, pouring in 27 points. None of her teammate reached double figures, but Kaylee Cunningham offered seven points as Tedesco got six points. Burbidge and Kate Sullivan each had six points. Samantha Doupe, in defeat, led Phoenix with 17 points.
A much bigger victory would follow, and Cazenovia, at 6-7, could now feel more confident about reaching the sectional Class B tournament, as it makes up its postponed Jan. 3 game with Oswego on Tuesday before hosting Altmar-Parish-Williamstown next Friday.