Here are the top 10 topics for the April 13 edition of the Inside High School Sports Show.
1. It turns out to be a big week in high school boys lacrosse, at least among the large schools. F-M is at the center of it, still facing Class A opponents despite its move to Class B for the post-season. The Hornets host Baldwinsville Tuesday night and then play the Bees again on Saturday at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium – with a Thursday trip to West Genesee in between. Oh yes, and also C-NS is facing Liverpool after both won last Saturday – the Northstars over LaFayette, the Warriors holding off Watertown. B’ville, meanwhile, gave a good battle to four-time state finalist Victor last weekend and, though it took a 9-7 defeat, still has reason to feel confident entering this tough stretch.
2. And all of this followed a wild week that J-D boys lacrosse owned in a big way thanks to the teams it beat. First, the Red Rams handled its neighbors from ESM in the first of two between these sides now both involved in Class C. Then J-D erased a four-goal deficit at West Genesee in the second half, tying it 7-7 with back-to-back goals in the last two minutes and then scoring 14 seconds into overtime on Connor Durkin’s goal straight off the face-off. Clearly the Red Rams are very motivated after dropping last year’s sectional semifinal to Westhill, and with the firepower it is showing, J-D might think beyond sectional honors to add to its long legacy of state championships before it’s all done.
3. Marcellus is on quite a roll in boys lacrosse, too. The Mustangs last week knocked off Skaneateles right after the Lakers gave long-time coach Ron Doctor his 500th career win when it beat Homer earlier that week. Then, on Saturday, Marcellus withstood a furious late comeback from Westhill to win 7-6 and remain undefeated. Skaneateles shook off that defeat to Marcellus by beating General Brown on Saturday, this after the Lions beat Westhill a week earlier. Again, the competition among the top Class D sides is quite close, with Westhill, Marcellus, General Brown and Skaneateles all striving to claim the throne CBA, who has started the season 1-1, is leaving behind as it moves to Class C once the playoffs start.
4. Among large-school girls lacrosse teams, it was West Genesee enjoying the most dramatic action last week. The Wildcats took over late to defeat reigning state champion CBA at Alibrandi Stadium in a rematch of last year’s sectional final. Then it withstood a furious comeback by J-D on Saturday afternoon and won 11-10 in overtime on Emily Stratton’s goal. Watching all this, Baldwinsville and F-M, perhaps the area’s top teams, are both off to great starts – the Bees at 4-0, the Hornets at 2-0. These two powers face each other on Tuesday night at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium, the first of two battles between these sides, and then F-M is home to face West Genesee in another big game Thursday night.
5. Remarkably, in the same week that Skaneateles boys lacrosse coach Ron Doctor got to 500 wins, Lakers girls lacrosse head coach Bridget Marquardt got her 300th career win when her team routed Cazenovia. In 17 seasons, Marquardt has won 12 sectional titles and four state championships, marks few programs can match. One that will try, for sure, is Marcellus, who has won its first two games and prevailed at Byram Hills last weekend during a New York City trip. Then there’s South Jefferson, who has proven quite competitive against large-school foes, playing F-M tough and defeating C-NS, knowing that the competition won’t be as heavy once they get into the Frontier League.
6. Yes, baseball season is underway, and the best story probably came from the north country last weekend. Thousand Islands did not even field a varsity team in 2018, but is returning this spring, and in its first game back, the Vikings not only won, but in defeating Sandy Creek 8-1 pitchers Connor MacKay and Wyatt Parliament combined on a no-hitter. That wasn’t the only no-hitter as Skaneateles, helped by five no-hit innings from Cregg Scherrer, beat Cazenovia 10-1 that same day. West Genesee got a 5-4 win at defending Class A champion ESM as C-NS blanked Syracuse 5-0 and Baldwinsville, the reigning champions, head to a tournament at the Disney Wide World of Sports complex in Florida this weekend.
7. Top softball teams got underway, too, starting with C-NS, who return most of its roster from last year’s sectional Class AA champions and promptly went 5-0 at a tournament in Tennessee, with a couple of shutouts from pitcher Ariana Corasaniti and Brandi Feeney hitting four home runs, three of them in a single game. CBA, the defending Class B sectional champions, were 2-0 before defeats to Oneida and Whitesboro on Saturday at Carrier Park. And in its quest to dominate Class C again, Sandy Creek had roared out of the gate, the Comets scoring 28 combined runs in easy wins over Ogdensburg and Saranac Lake as Fabius-Pompey, the Class D sectional champs, scored 25 against Bishop Grimes.
8. Track and field also got underway last week. There was a series of meets, including those among OHSL Liberty division sides, which included a sweep by Westhill over Marcellus and Cazenovia over Jordan-Elbridge. Though it wasn’t a league meet in its entirety, Baldwinsville’s boys were impressive sweeping F-M and ESM, with the girls Hornets topping B’ville head-to-head as Liverpool wiped out a very good J-D team. Everyone else gets started this week, a full complement of league meets, including C-NS against F-M in a marquee match-up, and then there’s the first set of Saturday large-scale meets that include the Tully Girls Invitational before Tully and Westhill host events during next week’s April school break.
9. They’ve even started high school boys tennis. Aside from the long win streaks put together by the likes of F-M and CBA, we’ll see how other leagues do, including the OHSL Liberty, where Cazenovia is already 2-0, having handled LaFayette and Chittenango, and Homer could contend, too, with a win over Skaneateles in the books. There’s also a smattering of high school boys golf teams that could start with all of the snow melted and the courses pretty close to playable, a rarity in Central New York this early. Girls golf teams are, for the most part, waiting to get underway until after the school break, but then it’s a rush of nine-hole matches over the ensuing four weeks until mid-May.
10. It was awfully fun to read, on syracuse.com, a list they put together of the top 100 high school athletes that Central New York produced. No. 1 on the list was Breanna Stewart, whose list of accomplishments in high school, college and the pros has no equal among those local greats. The top five also included Dorsey Levens, from Nottingham, Tim Green, from Liverpool, Mike Hart, from Onondaga, and Greg Paulus, from CBA. The rest of the rankings includes so many familiar faces, none more so than all three Powell brothers – Casey ranked highest, but also Ryan and Mike. Plus another Carthage’s great, Josh Coffman, who now coaches the Comets after Kirk Ventiquattro stepped down.