Things did not look good early, with the Warriors jumping out to a 21-12 lead, fueled by a trio of 3-pointers from Zach Brown, the lone holdover from Westhill’s last state championship team in 2017.Yet after Brown picked up his second foul, Cazenovia’s defense picked up, and over the last 6 1/2 minutes of the half the Lakers held the Warriors without a field goal, ultimately gaining a 31-24 lead early in the third quarter.Not going away, Westhill hung close until a surge early in the final period where eight consecutive points from James Kelley inched the Warriors in front 43-42. But that may have proven a spark for the Lakers’ fast finish. Countering with an 11-3 run to take the lead for good, Cazenovia got key baskets from Alex Moesch and Patrick Linck, and found itself carrying a 53-46 advantage with less than two minutes left.Getting to the end wasn’t easy, with missed free throws in the final minute allowing Westhill to climb back within three, 57-54, before a Moesch free throw. Then, on the ensuing possession, senior Ryan Romagnoli got a big steal and, when fouled, sank the ensuing free throws.Even a Liam Sanborn 3-pointer with 3.7 seconds left could not save the Warriors as Moesch, with two more successful foul shots, sealed it.Romagnoli, who hit big outside shots throughout the night, led the Lakers with 16 points. Moesch earned 11 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter as Linck had 13 points and Ty Freyer got nine points. Kelley (19 points) and Brown (14 points) paced Westhill.Two days later, Cazenovia watched as Lowville took apart Camden 77-36, which only emphasized the challenge the Lakers faced as it tried to pull off a shocker and move on to Saturday’s semifinal at SRC Arena against Marcellus or Mount Markham. Tags: boys basketballCazenovia Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story In the course of conquering a long-term nemesis, the Cazenovia boys basketball team earned an opportunity to go after another opponent that is just as imposing.The no. 8 seed Lakers held off no. 9 seed Westhill 62-57 in Thursday night’s opening round of the Section III Class B playoffs at Buckley Gym, avenging a regular-season defeat to the Warriors and earning a likely trip to meet top seed and defending champion Lowville in next Tuesday’s quarterfinals.Both Cazenovia and Westhill had 12-8 overall records, and the Warriors had prevailed 52-48 when they went head-to-head on Dec. 23. Still, the playoff rematch was on Cazenovia’s home floor because the Lakers had more ranking points accumulated during the season.