A trio of local high school boys basketball teams had great chances to earn OHSL Liberty division victories Thursday night – but only one of them, Solvay, actually followed through, and did so with spectacular ease.
Up against a Hannibal side that had put a scare into Westhill just a week earlier, the wide-awake Bearcats delivered a superb all-round effort and flattened those other Warriors 75-45.
At first, it was Solvay’s defense taking charge, holding Hannibal to seven first-quarter points. Then the Bearcats took off on the offensive end, making everything in a 26-point second quarter to snag a 40-18 halftime edge.
From there, Solvay (8-6) just kept adding to the margin, led by Nick Filippi, who had 10 assists to go with his 23 points and made three 3-pointers.
Dan Fantacone, with 12 points, and Brandon Pelose, with 10 points, also reached double figures. John Savo, Tyler Cardinell, Davis Kippen and Cody Pucello had six points apiece.
As this went on, Jordan-Elbridge hosted Cazenovia, and almost made it back to upend the Lakers before taking a 51-49 loss.
The Eagles’ defense, holding Cazenovia in check in the early going, helped produce a 12-9 first-quarter lead. But the Lakers came to life, inching in front 26-24 by halftime, and the deficit inched up to 43-38 before J-E tried to rally late.
Kyle Matousek finished with 15 points, with Jared Bard adding 11 points and Zach Wagner adding nine points. Still, Cazenovia hung on thanks to having a bit more depth as Andrew Vogl and Ryman Seeley led with 13 points apiece, while Kevin Hopsicker (nine points) and Ross Gerber (seven points) closely followed.
Marcellus, meanwhile, took a frustrating 39-38 defeat to Chittenango, unable to capitalize on a stellar first-half defensive effort where it held the Bears to 15 points.
Through three periods, the Mustangs were still in front, 31-27, but that margin dissipated as the Bears, led by Sean Cliff and Jordan Sass (11 points each), grabbed the lead and kept it.
By doing so, Chittenango negated a fine effort from Mike Dillon, who led Marcellus with 15 points. But no other Mustang player was close to that mark, as Mike Hastings and Jordan Bandera were next in line, with six points apiece.