Here are the top 10 topics for the November 9 edition of the Inside High School Sports Show…
1. Historic and remarkable comebacks marked the Section III football semifinals. There was Auburn, in Class A, 32 points down to Indian River in the second half but somehow rallying and beating the Warriors 61-59 in double overtime, setting up this Friday’s sectional final at the Dome between the Maroons and Carthage, who handled Whitesboro. Then, in Class AA, C-NS was down 28-7 to Liverpool at halftime but made it all up and won 35-28, giving itself a chance at a third consecutive sectional title, though doing so requires the Northstars turn around a 32-0 regular-season loss to Utica Proctor, who routed Baldwinsville 55-14 to earn its first-ever sectional finals berth, the Raiders going there with a 9-0 record.
2. Whoever wins the sectional Class B football title will do so for the first time in a while. Oneida got there 9-0 by coming back from a 28-13 third-quarter deficit to outscore Marcellus 41-34, a late touchdown on a kick return by Jordan Clark winning it. The Indians face Solvay, who is also 9-0 but had to hold off New Hartford 42-39 in the other semifinal, helped by three interceptions from Justin Scott. The Class C sectional final also is a clash of two 9-0 teams, Lowville and Cato-Meridian. They got there in varying manners, the Blue Devils’ defense shutting down Herkimer 15-0 in the semifinals as the Red Raiders continued its season-long scoring barrage, getting most of the points in the first half while routing Canastota 49-15.
3. The football Class D sectional finalists got there in contrasting manners. Frankfort-Schuyler exploited a series of Dolgeville turnovers to win 45-20 and get to the title game for the first time in more than 20 years. Awaiting the Maroons Knights are the Waterville Indians, who claimed a tense 7-6 semifinal over Beaver River. They’ll kick off Saturday at the Dome after the eight-man sectional final gets thing going bright and early at 8:30 a.m. Weedsport will be there, the defending champions absolutely running over APW 68-0 in the semifinals last weekend. The Warriors will face South Lewis, who had to wait until Monday to play its semifinal with West Canada, but the Falcons prevailed.
4. Girls soccer sectional champions included F-M, repeating in Class AA as it blanked West Genesee 3-0, the Hornets now involved in a regional final rematch from 2018 with Bethlehem. J-D now has won 11 straight sectional Class A titles after avenging a regular-season defeat to Central Square, also 3-0. Central Valley Academy won a first-ever sectional title in Class B with two late goals to upend Westhill 3-1 after it took out defending champion Holland Patent in the semifinals. Little Falls and Waterville shared the sectional Class C title, but it was the Mounties claiming penalty kicks to move into the state tournament, and Poland, no. 1 in the state in Class D, cruised to the sectional title, handling Copenhagen 4-1 in the title game.
5. J-D also won the boys soccer sectional Class A championship, knocking off the three top seeds, capped by 2-1 overtime wins over both Whitesboro in the semifinals and PSLA-Fowler in the championship game. Skaneateles dethroned three-time champion Westhill in another 2-1 decision to take the Class B title, Brendan Powers scoring late in regulation to win it, while Baldwinsville repeated in Class AA, ending Liverpool‘s unlikely run with a 3-0 shutout. In Class C, Bishop Grimes rallied and won 2-1 over Westmoreland-Oriskany, with Byam Mugushu putting in the game-winner, while in Class D an overtime goal allowed Poland to turn back Fabius-Pompey and win the sectional title, again the final 2-1.
6. In the field hockey sectional championship games, Baldwinsville got two late goals from eighth-grader Julia Schultz to top Rome Free Academy 2-0 and reclaim the title after upsetting top seed F-M in the semifinals. Dominating Class B, Holland Patent, who has allowed just one goal all season, rolled past ESM 4-0 to repeat as champions, having also knocked off the Spartans in the 2018 finals. Camden repeated, too, in Class C, easily turning back Clinton 5-0 as, in Class D, Port Byron/Union Springs upended top seed Weedsport and then beat Little Falls 2-0 for its first sectional title since 1991. Camden then topped the Panthers to advance to the state tournament, with regional rounds taking place this week.
7. This Saturday brings up the Section III girls cross country championships, held once again at VVS. Even with cold temperatures expected, plenty of top teams, including the state no. 1-ranked teams of F-M (Class A) and Tully (Class D), and the no. 2-ranked South Lewis girls of Class C, are favored, with Class B potentially wide-open. All of the boys sectional races will get run first, though, and here F-M is an overwhelming Class A favorite as it also its atop its state rankings. Class B has all kinds of contenders with no one state-ranked this week, while in Class C CBA and Skaneateles should duel after the Brothers won last week’s OHSL Liberty meet. State no. 1-ranked Beaver River expects to lap the other Class D sides.
8. This week also brings us decisions in the Section III volleyball playoffs. The shock in Class AA girls will be if anyone comes close to stopping Baldwinsville‘s long reign on top, while J-D awaits a Class A final against Oswego or Fulton. Can Westhill repeat as both sectional and state champions in Class B? The Class C final is set as the two Lakers, Skaneateles and Cazenovia, will go at it, while in Class D LaFayette, Living Word, Bishop Grimes and Bishop Ludden fight for top honors. There’s also boys volleyball, with C-NS having completed its first-ever undefeated regular season at 19-0 and expected to roll through Division I as the Division II crown should come down to J-D up against Oswego.
9. We also have, on this incredibly busy weekend, the Section III girls swimming championships. In Class A at Nottingham, F-M is favored to defend the team title, with individual honors spread out among several swimmers from places like Oswego and Watertown, too. The Class B meet follows on Friday, where CBA with its strong core of individuals is challenged by strong teams from J-D and Mexico, who features Alexa von Holtz. Then there’s the Class C meet at Skaneateles, where the host Lakers should be favored. All of the teams gather Sunday at Nottingham for the state qualifying meet and to determine the George Falwell Cup before they get read for the state championships at Ithaca College two weeks later.
10. In last weekend’s state girls tennis championships, all three doubles teams from West Genesee (Angelina Llanos-Katie Viau), F-M (Anna Manta-Phoebe Wang) and J-D (Mona Farah-Tara Pollock) won first-round matches before losing in the round of 16, while none of the three singles players from Section III -Gieselle Vlassis, Grace DelPino (both CBA) and Ellen Lyga (Utica-Notre Dame) – were able to make it out of the opening round. And of course, Cicero-North Syracuse graduate Patrick Corbin made locals proud by pitching three scoreless innings of relief in Game 7 of the World Series and earning the win for the Washington Nationals as it rallied to oust the Houston Astros for the franchise’s first-ever title.