Jack Andrejko, Josh Foley, Brandon Nguyen, Ian Denny, Julien Brownlow, Curtis Merrick, Griffin Merkling
R.J. Romeo, Luke Valenti, Chris Catalano, Colin Kelly, Will Mackenzie, Jason Boule
Here is the top 10 for the Web site for the Inside High School Sports show for the week of June 18, presented by Holbrook Heating & Air Conditioning…
1. The last day of the high school sports season was triumphant for Baldwinsville lacrosse as it swept both of the state Class A championships. The boys Bees’ first-ever state title was earned with an impressive 10-7 victory over Northport at Hofstra University on Long Island. Having routed Fairport in the state semifinals to avenge a 2019 defeat to the Red Raiders in that same round, B’ville jumped out to a 4-0 lead on Northport in the first quarter before and after a weather delay and never got caught, the Bees getting three goals from Carson Dyl and two goals from Keegan Lynch and Ryan Hollenbeck. That, plus a defense that mostly shut down Northport after a third-quarter surge, helped the Bees complete a 19-1season with the biggest victory in program history.
2. This came just a few hours after the Baldwinsville girls lacrosse team earned a second state championship at SUNY-Cortland to go with the one it earned back in 2000. Meeting the same Northport team it lost to in the last state title game in 2019, the Bees had a spectacular all-around performance, with seven first-half points from Brianna Peters, four goals from Carlie Desimone and two goals each from Sara Hunter and Mia Pozzi, who dominated on draws. This followed a tense 7-6 state semifinal win over Rush-Henrietta where the game was tied going into the last 30 seconds, but Pozzi hit the go-ahead goal on a free position and goalie Sam Tanguay made a spectacular last-second point-blank stop, the pivotal moment in what turned out to be a state championship run for the Bees.
3. There were also many state championships earned in track and field during the state meet at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium. On the girls side, Utica Proctor’s Tamiah Washington managed to sweep to victories in both the long jump (19 feet 4 ½ inches) and triple jump (41 feet 8 ¾ inches) in Division I, while C-NS’s Hannah Boyle and Kate Putman, following up their indoor state titles earned in March, went 1-2 in Division I in both 800 and 1,500-meter races on their home track. Then there was Central Square’s Ella Dolce victorious in the Division I pole vault, clearing 12 feet 6 inches, and over in Division II (small schools) Skaneateles’ Kyla Palmer, who transferred from Idaho last summer, went 1-2 with Westhill’s Ashley Bolesh in the 400-meter dash.
4. Moving to boys track and field, there was also some state championship glory attained on several fronts. Baldwinsville’s Owen Weaver won the Division I pentathlon with 3,205 points, rallying in the long jump and 1,500-meter run to finish on top. There was also Liverpool’s Ryan Hagan winning the NYSPHSAA title in the 1,600-meter run in 4:11.76 in addition to a medal at 800 meters, with B’ville’s Sam Mellinger earning medals in the 100 and 200-meter sprints. Beaver River’s Colton Kempney was the NYSPHSAA Division II champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 3,200-meter run, a remarkable double, while in the Division II 400-meter dash Cazenovia’s Andrew Kent emerged victorious with a school-record time of 50.14 seconds.
5. Two other lacrosse teams got close to state championships. In Class C boys, Westhill routed Lake Shore in the state semifinals, but just couldn’t keep up with Long Island Power Manhasset in a 13-5 defeat, the Warriors’ second state finals appearance to go with the one it earned in 2018. In Class D girls lacrosse, Skaneateles dominated Palmyra-Macedon in its state semifinal, only to run into a talented Bronxville side that had lost each of the previous three state title games from 2017 to 2019, including one to the Lakers. Here, though, the Broncos’ speed and skill were too much for Skaneateles, who lost 15-8, but still felt pretty good about a season where it achieved so much and only has a handful of seniors graduating, which means it could be poised to win it all in 2023.
6. In baseball, a sub-.500 Fayetteville-Manlius team nearly won the state Class AA championship in Binghamton. A close state semifinal had the Hornets defeat Pine Bush 2-1 behind tremendous pitching from Max Danaher, and in the final against reigning champion Rochester McQuaid, the Hornets were tied 2-2 before the Knights scored twice in the fifth inning and held on to win, 4-2. Two other baseball teams from Section III fell in the state semifinals as Westhill could not hold on against Section II’s Schuylerville, who prevailed in another 4-2 decision. In Class C, Adirondack, a sectional champion despite a double-digit seed, lost in the semifinals 5-0 to Chatham. Averill Park took the state Class A title after it claimed an extra-inning classic over Cortland in the regional round.
7. In softball, two Section III teams reached the state finals. Liverpool continued its remarkable run in Class AA by defeating Massapequa 6-1 in the semifinals and, in the title game, led Monroe-Woodbury 2-0 in the sixth inning, only to have the Crusaders take advantage of Warriors mistakes for four runs in the sixth inning, going on to prevail 5-2. Oriskany matched that finish in the Class D state tournament, scoring seven runs in the fourth inning of the state semifinal against Argyle to prevail 8-3, Megan Wright’s bases-clearing triple the big blow. Advancing to the championship game against Deposit-Hancock, Oriskany saw its dreams of a state title denied as, with runs in each of the first four innings, Deposit-Hancock claimed the ultimate prize by an 8-1 margin.
8. Three Section III lacrosse teams lost in the state semifinal round. In Class B boys, West Genesee had no answers for a ferocious Canandaigua defense who controlled matters from start to finish, the Braves prevailing 5-1 before dropping the championship game to Garden City three days later. Over in girls lacrosse, Fayetteville-Manlius just ran into a superb opponent in Victor in the Class B state semifinal, the Hornets falling 15-7 to a Blue Devils side that would win its first-ever state title a day later. Fulton, an unlikely sectional and regional champion in Class C, met the same fate, the Red Raiders taking a 16-7 defeat to Honeoye Falls-Lima, who fell in the state final to Manhasset.
9. Waterville’s Gabe Williams went from a fifth-place finish in the NYSPHSAA boys golf tournament to winning the Federation championship held a week later at the famed Bethpage Black course on Long Island. Williams shot a one-over-par 72 and was three shots better than anyone else on a venue that has hosted a pair of U.S. Opens along with a PGA Championship. Speaking of famous venues, Cazenovia’s boys tennis team was part of the state Division II final four at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center last Friday, where the Lakers fell to Long Island’s Wheatley 5-0 in the state semifinals, Wheatly going on to beat Byram Hills for the state championship.
10. Another legend of Section III high school sports passed away earlier this month. Willetta Spease, who was just short of her 84th birthday, coached Nottingham girls basketball for 21 seasons, winning 408 of the 471 games she coached, seeing her Bulldogs teams with 12 sectional titles and a remarkable five state Class B titles within a span of 10 years from 1981 to 1990, including three in a row from ’88 to ’90. Among the dozens of great players she helped send to the college ranks was one Felisha Leggete-Jack, who ultimately went to SU – and now is the Orange’s head coach after a successful stint at the University at Buffalo. So Spease’s towering legacy endures to this day, as no other Section III girls coach has ever reached the consistent heights that Spease’s Nottingham teams did.