Top Ten Topics – May 6, 2017

Here are the top 10 topics for the May 6 edition of the McDonald’s Inside High School Sports show.

  1. Less than a month rom now, Section III will have its quartet of boys lacrosse champions. That the crown might return to West Genesee in Class A is a distinct possibility since the Wildcats swept all five of its CNY Counties League opponents and now must face them again, none more important than Tuesday’s game at F-M, a team it beat on April 13. The Hornets, in the last two weeks, have gone up and down, mixing big wins over Syracuse and Baldwinsville with tough road defeats at Skaneateles and, last Saturday, against two-time state champion Victor in a close 9-8 decision. B’ville has the next-best record and takes its turn against F-M in a chance at payback for that earlier rout on Thursday night.
  2. A major development in Class D boys lacrosse had Westhill, the state’s top-ranked team, falling at home to CBA two days after the Warriors won a dramatic come-from-behind 11-10 decision at Skaneateles. Now the Brothers, who have four losses against a brutal schedule (including J-D, West Genesee, Hmoer) have wins over both of the likely Class D sectional top seed. That left Homer, at 10-0, as the lone undefeated Section III team going into May, and the Trojans, because they’re in Class C, will still be major underdogs against J-D, whom it faces on May 11. Homer also has to take on good teams from ESM and Auburn this week as J-D, prior to facing the Trojans, gets to visit F-M on Saturday night.
  3. Maybe the biggest question going into May in girls lacrosse involves the identity of the best local Class D side. Marcellus has a top-five state ranking and beat Skaneateles head-to-head in April, and the Mustangs are on a roll, having last week handed J-D its first defeat of the season and then routed Westhill. However, Skaneateles didn’t have Kyla Sears available for that regular-season meeting with Marcellus, and once Sears returned, the Lakers won four in a row, none bigger than a 14-13 overtime win over F-M last Saturday where Skaneateles gave up 11 goals in the first half, but tightened up on defense and had Sears score seven times, including the tying goal in the last minute of regulation and the game-winner 34 seconds into OT.
  4. When it comes to Class A girls lacrosse, who can really challenge CBA? The Brothers have mostly pummeled local opposition, and will get a challenge on Saturday when it visits West Genesee, yet the Wildcats have lost to F-M and C-NS, while the Northstars, who were undefeated going into last week, took its own defeat to F-M and then got pummeled by Pittsford after a quality win over Baldwinsville. Before it faces CBA, West Genesee would get a chance to avenge its first defeat in 11 years to F-M as B’ville would attempt a regular-season sweep of the Hornets. Even Liverpool can’t be ignored after a good win last weekend over state-ranked Fulton, thought to be F-M’s only real challenger in Class B.
  5. In fact, the new state girls lacrosse rankings pushed Marcellus all the way to the top in Class D, while Skaneateles improved to no. 5. CBA stayed at no. 4 in Class A ahead of C-NS (no. 11) and West Genesee (no. 14), with F-M falling to no. 8 in Class B, three spots ahead of Watertown, and J-D situated at no. 7 in Class C. In the boys lacrosse state rankings, West Genesee moved up to no. 4 in Class A, well clear of other sectional teams. J-D is still at no. 2 in Class C, while Westhill fell out of the top spot in Class D following the defeat to CBA and the Brothers moved up to no. 4, one spot behind the Warriors at no. 3. Then there’s Skaneateles at no. 8 and General Brown, at 8-2 atop the Frontier League, in the no. 10 spot.
  6. As May started, high school baseball teams faced three full weeks of regular-season action, if the weather didn’t further condense the schedule. Last week’s big developments included Westhill and VVS stating their cases as the Class B favorites, the Warriors handling Solvay and the Red Devils staying undefeated in the Tri-Valley League as Liverpool is still unbeaten and holding the best Class AA record. The first state rankings released last week had ESM at no. 6 in Class A, though it promptly lost to Fulton, while Cooperstown was the highest-ranked Class C side at no. 12. Liverpool was no. 10 in Class AA as, in Class D, Oriskany and Brookfield, traditionally strong programs, both made it inside the top 10.
  7. In softball, there was plenty of respect for Liverpool’s 10-0 start and massive come-from-behind win over C-NS last Monday, for it put them at no. 3 in the state Class AA rankings before the Warriors took its first defeat of the season on Saturday against Shaker in the Northstar Classic, but rebounded to beat Fairport. Cortland is still undefeated, too, going into May and looking to improve on a no. 15 state Class A ranking. The Class B battle could end up between Solvay, still unbeaten and no. 4 in the state rankings, and Oneida, right behind them at 12 and 8-0 going into the month. Sandy Creek is already placed in the state Class C top five, while LaFargeville is in the top 10 in the first Class D state rankings of the spring.
  8. The heart of the track and field season got going and featured a full complement of large-scale meets last weekend. None was as big as the Chittenango Invitational, where C-NS, led by Jeremiah Willis and his titles in the 100-meter dash, long jump and 4×100 relay, was victorious in the boys team portion and F-M, again spurred by its distance runners, claimed the girls team title. Sophia Ryan led the Hornets, claiming both the featured race, the Fleet Feet Mile, and the 3,000-meter run and helped win the 4×800 relay. Meanwhile, at the Whitesboro Ed Wadas Invitational, it was New Hartford’s boys team prevailing at the track of its biggest rival, with Rome Free Academy’s girls side also claiming the top spot.
  9. Aside from those track and field meets, there was also the Indian River Girls Invitational, with the host Warriors holding off Beaver River for the top spot, and the Small School Invitational at Morrisville-Eaton that turned into a clean sweep for Sauquoit Valley, in each case with the host Warriors taking second place. Meanwhile, this week’s track meets will include the top girls team going to Rome Free Academy for the Copper City Classic a day after top boys teams compete in the New Hartford Invitational. Also, there is the CBA Brother Basilian Invitational that mostly features a field of small schools, all of it after big league meets that include C-NS against Liverpool and F-M against West Genesee.
  10. Among golf teams, the biggest boys match is an easy one to call – New Hartford, with its win streak nearing 100 in a row, is challenged by its rivals from Whitesboro, also undefeated going into the week. Marcellus is setting the pace among the OHSL spring teams. Meanwhile, in girls golf, reigning state individual champion Lindsay May has come back for Auburn and has helped the Maroons win three straight matches, though it still trails J-D in the Onondaga High School League standings. And no one seems to have an answer for F-M in the CNY Counties league as the Hornets broke two scoring records last week – at Northern Pines in a win over C-NS, and on its home course at Green Lakes while defeating Baldwinsville.

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