Six days passed from the time the Skaneateles boys basketball team absorbed its first defeat of the season at Bishop Ludden to its return in last Monday’s game at Hannibal.
And it nearly turned into back-to-back defeats for the state Class B no. 13-ranked Lakers as the Warriors, proving that its solid 2018-19 season was far from a fluke, kept the game in doubt until the final possession before Skaneateles pulled it out 56-54.
Hannibal entered the night at 10-7 overall, having won four in a row. And it didn’t get rattled one bit when the Lakers shut them down early and led 14-7 after one period.
Instead, the Warriors pulled within three, 23-20, by halftime, and then essentially traded baskets and runs with Skaneateles the rest of the way, making things quite nervous.
In large part, that was due to James Somers, who had more than half of Hannibal’s production, pouring in 29 points as Zach Shortslef added 12 points.
To hang on, the Lakers needed its usual scoring balance. Nate Fouts had 14 points, with Jack Canty getting 13 points .Tommy Reed had 10 points as Andrew Neumann and Jack Whirtley gained eight points apiece.
Glad to get out of Hannibal, Skaneateles returned home 24 hours later and romped past Altmar-Parish-Williamstown 72-46 on a successful Senior Night.
Prior to the game, the Lakers honored its senior quartet of Canty, Reed, Josiah Jensen and Frank Schmeling, Better yet, Jensen and Schmeling both got extended playing time and flourished, Schmeling earning six points and Jensen adding three points.
It was also fitting that Reed and Canty had big nights, too, Reed getting 19 points and Canty adding 17 points as a17-6 push through the second quarter allowed Skaneateles to take control, and it outscored APW 29-15 in the third quarter to pull further away. Fouts had eight points and Whirtley got six points.
This set up Friday night’s game at archrival Marcellus, a team the Lakers beat 58-46 at home early in December. But this game was on the Mustangs’ home court and figured to be tougher
As it turned out, it was a whole lot more difficult, with an inspired Mustangs team taking charge early in the second half and not letting up until it had stunned Skaneateles 55-44.
With an overflow crowd on hand and the home side pumped up to win on Senior Night, Marcellus, ignoring its modest 8-9 record, hit shots in the early going to keep the noise level high as it went out in front.
Still, Skaneateles only trailed 27-25 at halftime, but it could not recover from a third quarter where it could not make anything in the face of a tough Mustangs defense, who limited them to six points.
Try as it could, the Lakers could not catch up late, even with Fouts earning 14 points as Reed and Canty had 11 points apiece.
For the victorious Mustangs, Luke Ingianni had 18 points, half of it from three 3-pointers. Rogalia and Matt Kershaw each had nine points as Tristan Jarvi contributed 10 points.
Another big test would face Skaneateles Monday at Central Square, and then it would find out Wednesday what its tremendous regular season would mean in terms of a Section III playoff matchup.