Top Ten January 26, 2019

Here are the top 10 topics for the January 26 edition of the Inside High School Sports show.

  1. What last week offered were plenty of scares to undefeated boys basketball teams. That included Corcoran, who moved to 14-0, but not before F-M, who had not won a league game this winter, and C-NS both had chances in the fourth quarter to beat them, but could not. Those tough wins helped the Cougars crack the state Class AA top 10 for the first time in a long while. West Genesee‘s impressive wins at C-NS and Liverpool means the Wildcats are still the clear second choice in AA as Bishop Ludden, winners of five of six, and Rome Free Academy might find themselves in the best position to knock off these potential top two seeds if they keep playing well down the stretch.
  2. Central Square‘s come-from-behind, 55-51 win over J-D in boys basketball temporarily kept the Redhawks undefeated and may have put them in prime position for the eventual Class A top seed in the sectional playoffs – except that Central Square then had a letdown and lost its first game of the season 51-50 to Cortland later in the week, further complicating matters. There seems to be a big four group of Class A contenders – Central Square and J-D, plus Whitesboro and Bishop Grimes. Having won six in a row, the Cobras saw its MLK Tournament canceled last weekend by the winter storm, but will return to action Sunday against Bishop Ludden as the tail end of a girls/boys doubleheader that should be quite fun.
  3. Now the Skaneateles boys basketball team is in the state Class B top 10, having gone to 14-0 last week following its own scare, a narrow 52-51 win over Jordan-Elbridge where the Eagles had a shot to win it but missed at the buzzer. And the Lakers face J-E again late this week before a tough trip to Bishop Ludden next Tuesday night. Cooperstown endured a scare from Waterville but won with Jack Lambert’s 36 points, the Hawkeyes entering the week 15-0 and still at no.2 in the state Class C rankings, while Utica Academy of Science has climbed to no. 8 in the state with its 13-1 mark. Better yet, Cooperstown and UAS face each other Wednesday night, the Hawkeyes having won the first meeting 65-50 in December.
  4. With a decisive 15-0 run in the fourth quarter, C-NS‘s girls basketball team got even with West Genesee 56-45, the two having now split their regular-season battles as everyone anticipates a third playoff meeting, but now the Northstars on Friday must face a much-improved Liverpool side who nearly upended the Mackenzie Smith-less Wildcats last week. Among the Class A contenders, while J-D keeps pouring past league foes, Bishop Ludden is on fire, having won nine games in a row since late December, including a big tournament sweep in Brooklyn last weekend. The Gaelic Knights take on Bishop Grimes Sunday night on the same weekend that J-D takes on Pittsford Mendon.
  5. It’s difficult to pick a single favorite in Class B girls basketball, with Oneida within the state top 10 and having earned an impressive road win at Marcellus plus a sweep of VVS as Lauren Skibitski passed 1,000 career points. But there’s also Westhill and South Jefferson, who are sweeping through their respective leagues. At least in Class C everyone is chasing after Weedsport, who got all the way up to no. 2 in last week’s state rankings having moved to 15-0 overall after easy wins over Cato-Meridian and Port Byron. Little Falls is close behind, having beat Class B Cazenovia last weekend, while Copenhagen, the Class D front-runners, beat a Class A side, Carthage, last week 28-19.
  6. The wrestling Section III Dual Meets were severely curtailed by the winter weather. Just three teams competed in Division I at Indian River and five did so in Division II at Central Valley, and when it was settled the favorites both won big. Fulton, the top seed in Division I, beat Carthage 55-24 in the finals, winning 10 straight bouts after dropping the first two. And Central Valley won top honors in Division II after sweeping Canastota 79-6 and Beaver River 50-24. Fulton and CVA now both go to SRC Arena for the second edition of the NYSPHSAA Dual Meet, where Long Island’s Massapequa is the top seed in Division I and Tioga owns the top seed in Division II. Fulton is the no. 5 seed in Division I, CVA the no. 6 seed in Division II.
  7. A lot more focus might be found in Division II ice hockey after Tuesday night’s game, where state no. 1-ranked Skaneateles is challenged by Oswego, the closest team to the Lakers in the standings. Last week, Skaneateles held off archrival Auburn 4-3 and then, two nights later, got revenge for its playoff upset to New Hartford, winning 8-2 this time. Up in Division I, very little changed, with Syracuse still no. 3 in the state rankings and still unbeaten after it dropped 20 goals on Ontario Bay, while West Genesee didn’t make any mistakes, wither, shutting out Cazenovia and then CBA/J-D. The question becomes which team, whether it’s Rome Free Academy or F-M or C-NS, offers up a third alternative to the Cougars and Wildcats.
  8. What was supposed to be the last full weekend of regular-season indoor track and field got curtailed a bit by the winter snowstorm. Still, the morning session of the Bob Grieve Memorial Invitational took place at SRC Arena, where the F-M girls won another event and the Liverpool boys finished on top. They had full fields a night earlier at Utica College where the sixth Mohawk Valley ITA meet went to C-NS on both sides. Again, Jeremiah Willis won the long jump and triple jump and missed winning the 55-meter dash by one-hundredth of a second. On Wednesday, Willis announces where he is headed to college – it could be USC, Louisville or Indiana for track, but could he latch on for football, too?
  9. Now we are toward the tail end of the boys swimming regular season. Though Liverpool and Watertown are easily winning their respective league titles and the Warriors have a big meet this Friday agianst J-D/CBA (who did lose last week to a much-improved F-M side), most teams are turning toward post-season meets. The SCAC championships included Baldwinsville qualifying two of its three relay teams for the March state meet, while in diving West Genesee‘s Justin Byrne finished on top. Meanwhile, Mexico dominated the OHSL championships as Tyler Warner led the Tigers, winning both the 100 breaststroke and 100 backstroke, with New Hartford’s Moaz Elizazzi the diving champion.
  10. Moving down the homestretch of winter girls volleyball, Chittenango, Mount Markham and New Hartford sail through with undefeated marks, while Carthage took a rare regular-season blemish earlier this month against South Lewis earlier this month, but has rolled since, including a sweep of Watertown. Then there’s bowling, where New Hartford‘s Robert Tehan got a 300 game laset week in a win over Camden. Finally, in girls hockey Skaneateles lost a rematch of last year’s sectional final with Ithaca, the Little Red prevailing 1-0 with defense and great goaltending, but the two sides face each other again at SUNY-Cortland this week and could have a third encounter in the playoffs, too.

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