Jan 24, 2014 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Just when folks were starting to notice that the Skaneateles girls basketball team was as sharp and strong as any unit in all of Section III, much less Class B or the OHSL Liberty division, its 10-game win streak ground to a halt.
And it happened in, of all places, Buckley Gym, against a Cazenovia team Skaneateles had routed earlier this season. The rematch Thursday night turned out different, though, as the visiting Lakers could not hold a lead late in regulation and lost, 54-52, in overtime.
Even with Cazenovia’s gradual improvement, few imagined that Skaneateles would get toppled, especially since that 10-game win streak included, on Dec. 12, a 60-29 decimation of Cazenovia.
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 worse for the visitors when Skaneateles’ top forward, Joanna Dobrovosky, went to the bench with her third foul early in the second quarter.
At first, Skaneateles wasn’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 once more 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 period.
Elizabeth Lane led Skaneateles with 15 points, while Nicole Beatson added 14 points. Dobrovosky had seven points in her limited minutes, with Molly Wood and Shannon Foehl managing six points apiece. It was Maggie Johnson leading Cazenovia’s offense, the junior forward taking advantage of Dobrovosky’s foul trouble to earn 16 points, with Burbidge earning 14 points.
Two nights earlier, Skaneateles saw its win streak climb into double digits with an outstanding defensive effort at Solvay, where the final 52-28 margin, convincing as it was, understated how much the Lakers dominated.
Having surrendered 58 points to Marcellus in its last outing on Jan. 15, Skaneateles had spent much of the ensuing week working on defensive pressure, knowing how it can often lead to plenty of baskets on the other end.
Solvay just happened to be in the way, and the Lakers had a 17-4 edge on them before the second quarter, where Skaneateles, with Molly Wood again serving as the defensive anchor, held the Bearcats to a single free throw and continued to throw away.
By the start of the fourth quarter, it was 43-9, and only when head coach Jill Blasi put her starters on the bench did things get a bit closer.
Dobrovosky led a well-balanced attack, scoring 12 points. Right behind her, Beatson managed 10 points, while Lane managed nine points and Sarah Tomlinson added eight points.
The win streak would end at Cazenovia, though, leaving the Lakers at 10-3, but looking to start another string of wins when it hosts Hannibal and Fulton next week.