Storm hoopers race past Bombers

Saranac Lake’s Landon LaDue dribbles the ball down the court during Tuesday’s game against Lake Placid. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

LAKE PLACID — The Saranac Lake boys basketball team jumped out to an early first-quarter lead over the host Lake Placid Tuesday night and never looked back.

Led by junior Caleb Akey, who scored a game-high 24 points, the Red Storm rolled past the Blue Bombers 73-19 in the season-opener for both squads. The win marked not only Saranac Lake’s first win of the season, but the first win under new head coach Daryl Crist.

Crist, who took over a team that finished with a 13-9 record a season ago, said he was happy with how his team performed but noted that they are still learning.

“It’s my first year and the system is new,” Crist said. “Everything we do, being more comfortable with the defensive schemes, more comfortable with the offensive stuff that we are doing, but with time that will come. Just working on everything that we do to try and get better.”

Lake Placid, a Class D team that competes in the Mountain and Valley Athletic Conference, showed its inexperience early on. The team boasts just eight total players, with five players competing at the varsity level for the first time.

Lake Placid’s Foster Wood looks to make a pass with Saranac Lake’s Brady Owens defending him during Tuesday’s season-opener in Lake Placid. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

“With a big loss, you look for good things and there were some good things that you could pick out from every player and that’s what you hope for,” Blue Bombers head coach Brian Brandes said. “Especially from the kids who didn’t play last year or the year before, or the year before that. They jumped into a varsity situation and played one of the better B schools that are out there. The scheduling is on me, but it was good for them whether they want to believe it or not.”

Right from the top, the Red Storm took control of the game and utilized a full-court press to shut down Lake Placid, before finishing the quarter 33-5 lead. Akey scored 17 of those points, which included three three-pointers.

“We’re going to try and play full-court defense and full-court offense,” Crist said, “and use our athleticism and size and really look to get the ball up and down the floor.”

While Saranac Lake cooled down in the final three quarters, the team was able to cruise past the Blue Bombers to pick up their first win of the season.

Nine Red Storm players put points on the scoreboard, with senior Carter Hewitt chipping in nine points. Juniors Markus Navarra and Brady Owens scored eight points each. Junior Logan Martelle added seven points, which included a three-pointer.

“First game of the year — we had one scrimmage — but were still learning,” Crist said. “I thought we played hard, we did a lot of good things together and obviously, there is a lot of things we still need to work on. But, it was a good opening night.”

Just three players scored for the Blue Bombers. Seb Cecunjanin led the way with 12 points, which included two three-pointers. Junior Talon Jordon added five points and senior Foster Wood had two in the loss.

“There are some definite things we need to work on, but it’s the same things we’ve been working on for the last two weeks,” Brandes said. “We just have to get better at it. I think they needed to see that.”

The Blue Bombers will look to rebound in its next match up, which will be at home Friday against Chazy at 6 p.m. Meanwhile, Saranac Lake is slated to take on Chateaugay Central on the road today at 7 p.m.

Saranac Lake 73, Lake Placid 19

Red Storm 33 14 13 13 — 73

Blue Bombers 5 6 5 3 — 19

Saranac Lake (73)

LaDue 2-0-4, Navarra 4-0-8, M. Cirikovic 2-0-4, Akey 10-0-24, E. Cecunjanin 2-0-5, Owens 4-0-8, Faubert 0-0-0, Martelle 3-0-7, Rivers 2-0-4, Hewitt 4-0-9, E. Cirikovic 0-0-0. Totals: 33-0-73.

Lake Placid (19)

Colby 0-0-0, Cecunjanin 5-0-12, Murphy 0-0-0, Hayes 0-0-0, Wylie 0-0-0, Kondrat 0-0-0, Jordon 2-1-5, Wood 1-0-2. Totals: 8-1-19.

Three-point goals: Saranac Lake (7), Akey 4, E. Cecunjanin, Martelle, Hewitt. Lake Placid (2), Cecunjanin 2.


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