Here are the top 10 topics for the May 25 edition of the Inside High School Sports show...
1. When the Section III boys lacrosse championships get decided this week, some epic battles could take place in Class C and D. Four state-ranked teams remain in C, with J-D meeting ESM in one semifinal, the Red Rams having beat the Spartans twice in the regular season, as CBA battles Westhill in the other semifinal, all leading to a title game Friday night at Liverpool, where the Class D championship will also get decided. State no. 1-ranked Skaneateles faces, in the semifinals, the same LaFayette side that it beat a week earlier in the regular-season finale, while General Brown, aiming to get back to the sectional final where it lost to CBA in 2018, must turn back the challenge of state no. 4-ranked Marcellus.
2. Here is a season where the intrigue in Class A and B boys lacrosse might not match the other two classes. In Class A, Baldwinsville is a heavy favorite, having swept sectional semifinal opponent C-NS in the regular season and also twice beaten West Genesee, with the Wildcats facing Liverpool in the other semifinal Tuesday at Bragman Stadium just a week after beating the Warriors in the regular-season finale. F-M’s move from Class A to B this season made the Hornets an overwhelming favorite there, though F-M still had to navigate through a semifinal against Fulton on Tuesday night as no. 2 seed Auburn met Oswego, though these Maroons aren’t as strong as in seasons past.
3. All of the quarterfinals in Section III girls lacrosse playoffs take place on Tuesday night. the Class C games have top seed and two-time defending champion J-D against New Hartford, Cortland against Carthage and Fulton against Watertown, with the winner to face no. 2 seed ESM, who held off Whitesboro 15-10. A quartet of first-round games in Class D all went to the home teams, leading to quarterfinals on Tuesday night where top seed Skaneateles faces LaFayette, no. 4 seed Marcellus hosts General Brown, no. 2 seed and defending champion South Jefferson meets Homer and no. 3 seed Westhill is up agianst Tully. The semifinals for Class C take place Thursday at CBA, while the Class D semifinals are at ESM.
4. Then there’s the Class A girls lacrosse sectional playoffs, just a four-team affair this time that goes directly into semifinals Thursday night at Auburn’s Holland Stadium. State no. 1-ranked Baldwinsville meets Rome Free Academy – who just happens to be coached by Doug Rowe, the long-time Bees mentor. The other semifinal is a rematch of the 2018 title game between West Genesee and CBA, the Brothers winning a year ago and the Wildcats when they met in April. In Class B, F-M again had a bye straight into next Tuesday’s title game at SUNY-Cortland, the Hornets knowing that they are likely to deal with Auburn again in the sectional final, though the Maroons must first beat Central Square Thursday nigha at Liverpool.
5. It is, to put it mildly, a mad scramble to play as much high school baseball as possible before the sectional playoffs start later this week. Baldwinsville is up to no. 3 in the state in Class AA, but it lost two of three games to West Genesee, proving that no favorite is safe there. J-D, CBA and Whitesboro are jostling for who might be the top seed in Class A, while in Class B two showdowns last week between Canastota and Holland Patent were split. Oriskany, who was 14-0, took its first blemish of the season against West Canada, though it might not upset a Class C structure where Oriskany and Beaver River sit at the top. Lyme, McGraw and Brookfield all have state rankings in the Class D ranks.
6. The longer regular season was needed in high school softball, too, with all kinds of games taking place, including doubleheaders. Just one team was left unbeaten heading into this week – LaFargeville, who had risen to no. 4 in the state in Class D. one of six local Class D sides state-ranked. Sandy Creek’s recent struggles has pushed the likes of Port Byron and Oriskany to the top of the area Class C ranks, while in Class B Oneida has its own no. 4 state ranking, with South Jefferson close behind and Cazenovia taking just one loss to CBA. It’s far more clear-cut with the large schools, where J-D is an overwhelming favorite in Class A again and C-NS seems to have too much firepower for the rest of the Class AA sides.
7. There was a long list of league championships in boys track and field laste week. In the SCAC, C-NS edged Liverpol in the Metro division even without Jeremiah Willis, while ESM held off Central Square in the Empire division. Cazenovia was the OHSL Liberty division champions as Beaver River claimed Frontier League honors and Utica Proctor won in the Tri-Valley League. Now they all gather for the Section III championships this week, with the Class AA sides at C-NS, the Class A teams going to ESM, the B-1 teams at Chittenango, the B-2 sides at Canastota, Class C-1 teams going to Sauquoit Valley, Class C-2 teams competing at Waterville and Class D teams making their way to New York Mills.
8. Before girls track and field teams could converge for their Section III championships at the same venues where the boys were going, they had league championship meets, too. It was Liverpool dominating the SCAC Metro meet at home as Central Square was victorious in the SCAC Empire meet. Cazenovia made it a clean sweep in the OHSL Liberty division, while Rome Free Academy was on top again in the Tri-Valley League and the Frontier League title went to South Lewis. Clinton, West Canada, Cooperstown and Poland were all victorious in the four Center State Conference meets that serve as preludes to the seven sectional meets held across Central New York this week.
9. After decades of domination by F-M in area high school boys tennis, West Genesee upended the Hornets twice, first by beating them 4-3 head-to-head last week, and then when the Wildcats won the Section III Class A tournament on F-M’s home courts, winning one singles and one doubles division. In Class B, J-D won four of the five divisions and easily outlasted the likes of Oneida and New Hartford for the crown, while in Class C-1 Cazenovia dominated the event, also prevailing in four divisions as Cooperstown prevailed in Class C-2. Top singles and doubles players now head to the sectional state qualifier, looking to advance to the state championships at the USTA National Tennis Center in Queens.
10. In boys golf, Rome Free Academy ended New Hartford’s long reign in Monday’s Section III East division large-school tournament, while Cooperstown was the small-school champs. Thousand Islands and Alexandria Bay were North division champs, with Marcellus and Bishop Grimes victorious in the West division as top individuals go to this weekend’s state qualifier at Seven Oaks. And in girls golf, the Section III championships got moved back one day to Wednesday and are now at Barker Brook in Oriskany Falls as J-D (SCAC Empire), CBA (OHSL) and Rome Free Academy (Tri-Valley) won league tournament last week, but F-M is still the favorite.