Cazenovia 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.