It was the misfortune of Chittenango’s boys basketball team to have to face two local superpowers - Bishop Ludden and Jamesville-DeWitt - in a four-day span while still attempting to secure its first victory of the season.
But once those ordeals were over, the Bears met Indian River on Saturday and, at long last, broke into the win column, riding the hot hand of Jordan Sass to a 47-40, double-overtime conquest of the Warriors.
Chittenango hung around in the first half, only trailing IR 18-16 when it was done, and when Sass started making some shots in the third quarter, the Bears seized a 29-24.
That didn’t hold up, though, as the Warriors rallied to tie it and force overtime. A low-scoring first OT period saw both sides manage just two points, but in the second OT the Bears went back in front and somehow held on.
Sass finished with 24 points, more than half his team’s output, connecting on five 3-pointers, while Tim Jaquin helped out, earning 10 points.
Back on Tuesday night, the Bears met Bishop Ludden, atop the state Class A rankings all season, and the Gaelic Knights proved as overwhelming as advertised, prevailing by a score of 71-29.
Wasting little time, Ludden led Chittenango 22-4 by the end of the first quarter. Somehow, the Bears limited the Gaelic Knights to eight points the rest of the half, but still remained cold as the margin grew to 30-7, and a 24-11 third-quarter spurt settled matters.
Dan Filsinger, with nine points, was the lone Chittenango player to record more than two field goals as Jordan Sass and Bill Strodel both earned five points. Ludden’s star tandem of Ben Hackett and Dan Kaigler didn’t disappoint, as Hackett produced 21 points and Kaigler contributed 16 points.
Then, on Friday night, Chittenango was the guests as another power, Jamesville-DeWitt, attempted to give long-time head coach Bob McKenney his 500th career win and see its Robert Morris-bound senior star, Jafar Kinsey, earn his 1,000th career point.