Bombers hoops fall in home opener

Lake Placid’s Talon Jordon looks for an outlet pass during the home-opener against Saranac Lake on Nov. 29. (News 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 and never looked back on Nov. 29.

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.

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.

“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 tip, 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.

Lake Placid’s PJ Colby shoots a free throw during the home opener against Saranac Lake on Nov. 29. (News photo — Parker O’Brien)

“We’re going to try and play full-court defense and full-court offense,” Red Storm head coach Daryl 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 not only their first win of the season, but the first win under Crist.

Just three players scored for Lake Placid. 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.”

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.”

The Blue Bombers will look to rebound in its next match up, which will be at home Dec. 2 against Chazy at 6 p.m. Meanwhile, Saranac Lake was slated to take on Chateaugay Central on the road Dec. 1 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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