Before it returns to Buckley Gym on the first night of February for a key late-season test against Skaneateles, the Cazenovia boys basketball team had to go through three straight road games, a chance to build upon its pivotal Jan. 17 win over Bishop Grimes.
The Lakers’ road swing commenced last Tuesday night, at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, where the Lakers, even without Kevin Hopsicker in the lineup, showed little pity on the struggling (1-11) Red Devils, prevailing by a score of 67-42.
Both sides were cold at the start, but it was the Lakers starting to take control during the second quarter as it moved to a 26-20 edge.
But the real getaway came in the third quarter during a 22-9 spurt where every shot seemed to fall and Cazenovia got nice inside-outside balance.
Ryman Seeley, whose 12 fourth-quarter points keyed the Grimes win, piled up 22 points on this night, connecting on three of his team’s five 3-pointers. Andrew Vogl, with 18 points, was close behind, while Matt Bonavita, taking on a larger role in Hopsicker’s absence, picked up 11 points.
Going to Jordan-Elbridge two nights later, the Lakers welcomed back Hopsicker and were given a big scare from the 4-9 Eagles, but showed enough variety in its attack to hang on for a 51-49 win.
Cold at the start and trailing 12-9 after one period, Cazenovia woke up in the second quarter and fought its way in front, 26-24, at the break. That margin extended to 38-33 before a final period where it needed every basket to fend off J-E’s late charge.
Seeley and Vogl led the way, with 13 points apiece, with Hopsicker contributing nine points and Ross Gerber contributing seven points. In defeat, the Eagles’ Kyle Matousek led both sides with 15 points as Jared Bard added 11 points.
Now the Lakers (9-5) need a win at Hannibal Tuesday night to clinch a winning record and have that out of the way as it comes back home for the Skaneateles encounter.