Skaneateles Though only a sophomore, Jordan Roland could make himself the key reason why the Westhill boys basketball team challenges Bishop Grimes for supremacy in both the OHSL Liberty division and in the larger Section III Class B ranks.
Roland offered a big hint at what he can do in the Warriors' season opener at Skaneateles Wednesday night, putting together a big, brief outburst that led to a 58-43 victory over the Lakers.
From its back-to-back sectional titles and trips to the state final four that included a state Class B championship in 2010, the Warriors stepped back in 2011-12, going 9-11 and only reaching the sectional quarterfinals before falling to Marcellus.
Now, though, head coach Kevin King's squad has a spicy mix of youth and experience and a roster that goes at least nine deep, all of which saw court time at Skaneateles by the time the first quarter was over.
At that point, Westhill enjoyed a 14-10 lead. Though it never trailed in the game, the Warriors watched Skaneateles catch up at 22-22 late in the second period and only trail by two, 25-23, going to the break.
Yet the Lakers had squandered its best chance to take control, mostly through poor free-throw shooting. Skaneateles sank only three of 10 foul shots in the first half, and it got worse in the last two periods, with the hosts converting just two 13 attempts at the line.
Midway through the third quarter, the Warriors still nursed a slim 29-25 edge, but all of that began to change when Roland, shut out for large portions of the first half, drained a 3-pointer from the corner.
Within the next two minutes, Roland got open for another 3-pointer and, twice, drove to the basket, made shots and drew fouls, completing the three-point play.