Top Ten 3/14/20

Here is a top 10 for the Web site for the Inside High School Sports show week of March 14…

  1. Of the five boys basketball Section III championship games last Saturday at SRC Arena, none had more drama than Class A, where CBA took the title from defending champion J-D after losing to them big in early December amid a 1-4 start. The Brothers hit eight of 12 3-pointers in the first half and built a double-digit lead before Payton Shumpert’s big second half pushed the Red Rams in front by four. Down the stretch, though, big baskets from Jason Boule, Colin Kelly and Dan Anderson and clutch defense helped CBA pull it out 63-61. Now the Brothers are in the state tournament, meeting Franklin Academy Wednesday and looking to advance to a regional final Saturday in Troy against Section II’s Mekeel Christian.
  2. For the first time in 20 years, Corcoran is a boys basketball sectional champion, having led most of the way to take out Baldwinsville 70-57. Four Cougars scored in double figures and J.J. Starling was contained until the latter stages, though he finished with 30 points. Corcoran must face Shenandehowa in Saturday’s regional final in Troy. Lowville, still atop the state Class B rankings, repeated as sectional champions, using an 11-0 spurt late in the first quarter to break out in front of Solvay and then, after some stress, pulling away late to win 71-50 led by Aidan Macaulay’s 24 points. The Red Raiders travel to Binghamton to meet Seton Catholic in Sunday’s regional final with a state final four berth on the line.
  3. After a 40-year wait, Weedsport finally won another sectional boys basketball title, rallying from a 13-point deficit in the second half to oust reigning state champion Cooperstown 61-52 as the Warriors got Hawkeyes star John Kennedy in foul trouble and then dominated from there. Weedsport is meeting Section IV’s Newfield in the regional final at SRC Arena Saturday, where DeRuyter will also play after earning the sectional Class D championship. The Rockets jumped all over Lyme in the final, withstood an Indians comeback and battled through the late stages to win 63-54 as four players scored in double figures. Section X’s Chateaugay provides the opposition for DeRuyter in the regional final.
  4. Just as on the boys side, the CBA girls basketball team upended J-D to win the Section III Class A championship. In a tense, close battle at OCC’s Allyn Hall, the Brothers took advantage of an injury that sidelined Momo LaClair, got key points from Emily Hall throughout the game and Brooke Jarvis in the fourth quarter, and shut out the Red Rams over the game’s final 2 1/2 minutes to pull out a 45-42 decision and get its first sectional title since 2007, ending J-D’s eight-year run at the top. Now in the state tournament, CBA would meet the same Averill Park side that J-D so often beat in past regional finals, moving over to SRC Arena for this game Saturday night to see which of them would get to the state final four in Troy.
  5. After a three-year “drought” C-NS climbed back to the top of Section III Class AA girls basketball, handling top seed Baldwinsville 52-37 in the championship game where it hits six 3-pointers in the first half, played effecetive defense all game and got Jessica Cook to net 12 of her 20 points in the fourth quarter to set up a regional final Saturday in Troy against a Shenendehowa team that beat them 80-46 earlier this season. In Class D, Brookfield’s amazing undefeated season continued as the Beavers shut down Copenhagen early and held on late to get a 40-36 victory. Brookfield will, in the regional finals, face Hammond, from Section X, with the whole town sure to turn out at SRC Arena for Saturday’s game.
  6. Two other girls basketball Section III champions repeated. South Jefferson did so in Class B, ending the remarkable run of no. 13 seed Bishop Grimes as Jackie Piddock’s 22 points helped the Spartans pull away late to win 55-43, sending them to Binghamton Sunday for a regional final against Section IV champion Norwich. Meanwhile, in Class C Weedsport took a 21-game win streak into the sectional final, but defending champion Cooperstown dominated the second half and put away the Warriors 58-37 led by Piper Seamon’s 16 points. Having lost in the regional round a year ago, the Hawkeyes look for a different result and a state final four trip Saturday at SRC Arena when it takes on Section IV’s Unatego.
  7. As we head to ice hockey’s state championship weekend at Buffalo’s Harborcenter, Skaneateles looks to repeat its title in Division II, the 22-0-1 Lakers having dismantled Starpoint 6-1 in the regional final and meeting Webster Thomas in Saturday’s semifinal just after Whitesboro, the at-large entrant who lost to Skaneateles in the sectional final, takes on Queensbury, the Warriors having shut out Rye 4-0 in its regional game. Unlike 2019, Syracuse will not claim the state title in Division I, the Cougars having run into Victor in the regional round in Rochester and surrendering three goals in the first period, unable to recover in a 4-0 defeat to the Blue Devils, who join Bethlehem, Massena and Williamsville North in the field in Buffalo.
  8. Section III did bring home some state championships from last Saturday’s state indoor track and field meet on Staten Island. One came from Henninger’s Kwamere White, who in the high jump cleared 6 feet 6 inches with fewer misses than three other competitors to claim the top spot. Also, Section III’s girls distance medley relay team anchored by C-NS sophomore Kate Putman was victorious. There was also some second-place finishes from Sauquoit Valley’s Slater Constantine in the pole vault, where he cleared 15 feet 6 inches, plus from Liverpool’s Jenna Schulz in the girls 1,500-meter run and from F-M’s Peyton Geehrer in the boys 3,200-meter run, with the Hornets’ Harper Stoppacher third in the girls high jump.
  9. When the boys state swimming championships were held last weekend on Long Island, Section III swimmers earned a handful of medals. There was Baldwinsville’s Nick Schultz twice breaking the Section III record in the 100-yard breaststroke and ultimately taking second place, while Watertown’s Nate Carlos capped off his high school career by rising to third place in the 100-yard freestyle and helping the Cyclones to a top-10 finish in the 200 freestyle relay. Liverpool also finished well with top-15 finishes in all three of the relays, doing best in the 200 free right behind Watertown, while Griffin Merkling set a school record in the 200 individual medley, which helped propel him to an eighth-place finish.
  10. This weekend at Strike-N-Spare Lanes, the state bowling championships take place. First, on Friday there’s Division II, where the VVS boys and Camden girls represent Section III against all the visiting sides. Then, on Saturday, the composite All-Star teams from each section battle it out, with Section III mixing in the top individuals in each league with the top two finishers from last month’s sectional shootout. Finally, the large schools take over with the Division I championships on Sunday as surprise boys champion Baldwinsville goes after state honors for the first time and, in girls Division I, Rome Free Academy is present again, hoping that a competition close to home give them an advantage.

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