POPLAR RIDGE — Despite an illness sweeping through their lineup, the Chiefs didn't show any lack of energy.
The Southern Cayuga girls basketball team took control with a 19-2 run in the first quarter and cruised to a 67-37 victory over Onondaga at Southern Cayuga High School Tuesday.
"We've been sick and some of the girls' legs aren't where they normally are. It's not that they haven't worked hard, it's just we've been sick," Chiefs coach Ed Heslop said. "So being able to back off a little bit, rotate and get down the bench a lot more was really nice and it helped everything."
Despite it being Senior Night, Southern Cayuga was without three-year starter Aimee Kreydatus.
Catie Kopp nearly recorded a quadruple-double for the Chiefs. The junior finished with 21 points, nine assists, eight steals and six rebounds.
Lauren Sherman added 21 points, with 19 coming in the first half. She added four steals, three boards and two assists.
For Heslop, the most telling stat was the Chiefs had 16 assists on 28 field goals.
"Lauren had a tremendous shooting day," Heslop said. "The other part is the girls did a really good job today of finding each other. We had a lot of assists, and when you're shooting uncontested shots because somebody found you open, it's a lot easier to shoot well. We found people and they shot well."
Southern Cayuga's Brooke Walter had nine points, two rebounds and two steals, while Emma Myers chipped in six points and seven rebounds.
The teams went back and forth in the first few minutes, but the Chiefs surged ahead with a 19-2 run and led 27-10 at the end of the first quarter. Onondaga almost matched Southern Cayuga bucket-for-bucket in the second quarter, but the Chiefs outscored the Tigers 14-3 in the third.
"A couple things happened. One, we got the momentum and felt good about shooting and that spread throughout all the girls. We had more than one girl shooting well," Heslop said. "The second part is they were demoralized a little bit and when we came out in the third and jumped a couple of them real quick, I think that took a little wing out of their sails."
With a 58-28 lead heading into the final frame, the Chiefs were able to empty their bench. Kopp and Sherman briefly re-entered the game late in the fourth quarter only to make a feed to Amanda Hall, who scored her first varsity basket to spark a loud cheer from the crowd.
Southern Cayuga wraps up the regular season with a 14-6 record, with the Section IV, Class D seeding meeting set for Wednesday night. Heslop expects to be seeded No. 2 or 3.
"We always feel good about the girls and things, but this team has overachieved our expectations," Heslop said.