Cazenovia boys’ basketball shows improvement in last two games of 2021 – Eagle News Online

CENTRAL NEW YORK – All it takes is one positive result and a season can change.

The Cazenovia boys’ basketball team attempted such a result in their Dec. 23 game against Phoenix, pushing the Firebirds into overtime before losing 57-46.

Phoenix came into this game with a 5-2 record. Cazenovia, meanwhile, was 2-5, but had lost four in a row, most of them off balance.

Right away, however, things were tight and the Lakers used a strong second quarter to take a 27-25 halftime lead, limited to five points in the third period.

So despite a strong defensive performance, Cazenovia found herself unable to get the baskets she needed down the home stretch and, at the end of regulation time, she was tied 42-42.

Phoenix then took over in the extra four-minute period, with Ian Burgett and Nick Sisera each making their way to 17 points as Johnathan Dion had 15 points.

The bulk of the Lakers’ production came from AJ Rothfeld, who led all individuals with 23 points. Matt Compeau and Peter McCole had seven points each, Tom Insel adding six points and Ben Bianco five points.

At South Jefferson a week later, Cazenovia improved in attack and, taking over midway through the game, clinched a 70-58 victory over the Spartans.

Most of the first half went back and forth, but the Lakers took a 31-30 advantage at the break and then outscored South Jefferson 17-9 in the third quarter to gain control.

An effective three-pronged attack featured Rothfeld again in the lead scoring 22 points, while Jack Byrnes tallied 16, a total tied by McCole in large part thanks to nine successful free throws. To lead the Spartans, Curtis Staie won 26 points.

Now at 3-6 overall, the Lakers challenge traditional power Westhill next Wednesday in its only game of the first full week of 2022.

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