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Phil Blackwell

Stories by Phil

C-NS boys lax stopped in sectional semis

Northstars fall to West Genny after road win at F-M

A chance at snaring the biggest victory in program history lay right in front of the Cicero-North Syracuse boys lacrosse team.

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Lacrosse Wildcats give Messere 800th win

West Genny dominates C-NS in Class A sectional semifinal

Post-season games are important, and a Section III Class A semifinal is particularly important, even for someone so used to the stage as the West Genesee boys lacrosse team. Yet something beyond the stakes of yet another berth in yet another championship game drove the top-seeded Wildcats when it beat no. 5 seed Cicero-North Syracuse 13-3 in Saturday night's semifinal at Bragman Stadium.

Westhill lacrosse makes first-ever sectional final

Win over CBA sets up shot at Cazenovia in Carrier Dome

What was already a great season for the Westhill boys lacrosse team crossed into historical territory the moment the Warriors' tense 11-10 victory over Christian Brothers Academy in Saturday's Section III Class C semifinal at East Syracuse Minoa Stadium came to a crashing conclusion.

Skaneateles falls to Caz in Class C semis

Second-half scoring bursts make difference in 11-6 defeat

For a third time in the 2015 season, the Skaneateles boys lacrosse team tried to get the best of Cazenovia, this time with an opportunity to end the reign of those other Lakers as Section III Class C champions. But just like those other two meetings, Cazenovia got the best of the Laker duel, prevailing 11-6 in Saturday night's sectional Class C semifinal at East Syracuse Minoa Stadium.

J-D boys lax beats ESM in sectional semis

Spartans fall after opening win over Watertown

What the East Syracuse Minoa boys lacrosse team got in the Section III Class B playoffs was the ultimate example of a trade-off.

Boys lacrosse Brothers reach sectional semifinals

CBA beats LaFayette, but is ousted by Westhill

Ever since he took over as Christian Brothers Academy’s boys lacrosse coach, Ric Beardsley had fashioned a unit fully capable of lighting up the board, but just as capable of surrendering plenty of goals to the other side.

CBA’s Bellardini reaches state boys golf finals

F-M's Keller misses out in four-way playoff for final spot

All of the area boys golfers that had done well in their respective Section III fall tournaments had to wait until late May to get their chance to advance further. On Thursday morning, 70 golfers teed off at the Seven Oaks Course near Colgate University in the Section III state qualifier.

F-M baseball battles way to sectional berth

Wins over South Jefferson, Westhill help save Hornets' season

When the last week of the regular season began, the Fayetteville-Manlius baseball team had to win three games to make it to the Section III Class AA playoffs. And though it had to wait until the last moment, the Hornets managed to pull it off.

Tennis stars qualify for state tournament

F-M's Druger beats MPH's Mariados in singles final

Top boys tennis players from six different local high schools had opportunities to advance from the Section III state qualifier held Thursday and Friday at Utica’s Mott Courts and Syracuse University’s Skytop Courts, and many would pull it off.

Boleslav brothers win state tennis qualifier

WG's star duo does not drop a set in tournament

Once again, West Genesee’s boys tennis brother tandem of Brent and Garrett Boleslav are making their way to Queens in pursuit of a state championship. The Boleslavs secured their bid through winning the Section III state qualifying tournament, held Thursday and Friday at Utica’s Mott Courts and Syracuse University’s Skytop Courts, proving so tough that, in four matches, they did not drop a single set.

Northstars beat RFA in softball sectionals

C-NS could face Liverpool in Class AA semis

In so many different ways, the Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse softball teams end up drawn to each other – especially at the end of the season, when the stakes are high.

Liverpool sweeps C-NS in league track meet

Akinpelu, Reader each win three individual events

Since just four teams were involved, Thursday’s CNY Counties League National division track and field championship meets at Baldwinsville’s Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium turned into yet another neighborhood duel between Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse.

C-NS girls lacrosse falls in Class A semis

CBA takes out Northstars after shutout of Liverpool

What unfolded Thursday night at Chittenango High School during the Section III Class A girls lacrosse semifinals was guaranteed to be cruel for someone. Cicero-North Syracuse, no. 4 in the state rankings, was facing Christian Brothers Academy, no. 3 in that same state poll, and one of them would see their season end.

Hornets handle field at league track meet

Ezidegwu wins twice for F-M girls at Central Square

What both of the Fayeteville-Manlius track and field teams want the most is a chance to sweep the Section III Class AA championships that takes place next Wednesday at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium. Before that, though, the Hornets ventured to nearby Central Square and, in essence, tuned up by sweeping through last Thursday’s CNY Counties League American division meets, with 205 points to beat the host Redhawks (145 points) on the boys side and 227.5 points to dominate the girls meet.

CBA girls top C-NS, reach Class A final

Brothers to face West Genesee at Carrier Dome for title

Someone quite good, ranked within the state Class A top five for the entire season, was going to see its season end in Thursday night’s Section III Class A girls lacrosse semifinals at Chittenango High School.

J-D girls advance to Class B sectional final

Red Rams topple ESM, Cartahge, to meet Watertown at Carrier Dome

Once proved challenging, and twice proved difficult, but by the third time the Jamesville-DeWitt girls lacrosse team fought past East Syracuse Minoa, it wasn’t close at all – and it served as a harbinger for greater things to come.

Girls lax Bees reach semis, fall to West Genny

B'ville rallies past F-M, but can't hold lead against Wildcats

Baldwinsville’s girls lacrosse team did something remarkable and historic during Thursday’s Section III Class A semifinal at Chittenango High School. For an entire half, the no. 4 seed Bees kept top seed and defending state champion West Genesee off the board, something no one else had pulled off in Wildcats head coach Bob Elmer’s 16 years at the helm.

B’ville third as hosts of CNYCL track meet

Miller, Jaquint both win girls events for Bees

Even though it was competing in familiar surroundings at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium, each of Baldwinsville’s track and field team still found themselves chasing Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse during Thursday’s CNY Counties League National division championship meet.

Lakers rally past Marcellus in Class C semis

Skaneateles, trailing 10-8, scores three in last two minutes

It only figured that the Skaneateles girls lacrosse team would, once again, have to climb over its feisty, hungry neighbors from Marcellus to get back to the Carrier Dome for Tuesday’s Section III Class C title game.

Marcellus girls stunned by Skaneateles rally

Mustangs led for most of sectional Class C semifinal

Many different times in many different settings, the Marcellus girls lacrosse team had tried to conquer its more storied neighbors from Skaneateles in a Section III playoff setting, only to get turned back. Few, if any of those defeats compared, in terms of pain and frustration, to what took place Thursday night at Christian Brothers Academy’s Alibrandi Stadium, a Class C semifinal that the Mustangs led most of the way before it got snatched from them in a cruel 11-10 defeat to the Lakers.

Wildcats rally past B’ville in Class A semis

WG girls lax relies on defense, will play CBA for sectional title

Patience is something not often associated with teenagers, even high school athletes. Yet the West Genesee girls lacrosse team had to employ a lot of patience in order to return to the Carrier Dome for yet another shot at the Section III Class A championship.

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Bees fall to Syracuse in Class A sectionals

Second-quarter run turns game in Cougars' favor

All was going well for the Baldwinsville boys lacrosse team early in Wednesday night’s Section III Class A playoff opener against the Syracuse Cougars at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium. Not only were the Bees out in front, it was doing so with a potent attack that was flustering the Cougars at every turn. One or two more goals, and B’ville might have produced a runaway.

Lacrosse Hornets’ sectional title run ends early

C-NS uses two big spurts to knock out F-M, 14-6

When the Fayetteville-Manlius boys lacrosse team recorded big late-season wins over West Genesee (in overtime) and Cazenovia (in the last seconds), the impression, going into the Section III Class A playoffs, was that the Hornets had a fighting chance to reclaim the title banner that, in 2014, ended a 21-year championship drought.

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McKenney returns as Bishop Grimes coach

Five-time state champ hired two months after abrupt J-D departure

Bob McKenney’s abrupt departure from the Jamesville-DeWitt boys basketball program that he steered to five state championships in 19 seasons did not mark the end of his coaching career. Instead, McKenney is now in charge a few miles down the road, at Bishop Grimes, where his hiring was announced at a press conference Thursday inside the school’s gymnasium in front of family members, friends and approximately 100 students.

Boys Lakers survive South Jefferson in double OT

Major nets game-winner; Skaneateles meets Caz in Class C semis

After a pair of regular-season attempts to upend the reigning Section III Class C champions from its throne, the Skaneateles boys lacrosse team has earned one more shot at Cazenovia.

Lacrosse Wildcats, Warriors sail to playoff wins

Marcellus ousted by Caz in Class C quarterfinal

If the West Genesee boys lacrosse team reclaims the Section III Class A title, it will do so not having to worry about Fayetteville-Manlius standing in the way. As the top-seeded Wildcats dismantled no. 8 seed Utica Proctor 21-3 in Wednesday night's opening-round game in Camillus, the no. 4 seed Hornets saw its title reign come to an end with a 14-6 home defeat to no. 5 seed Cicero-North Syracuse.

Cazenovia lacrosse handles Marcellus

First-half shutout leads to sectional semifinal against Skaneateles

At least through the early rounds of the Section III Class C playoffs, the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team have not run into any serious stress. Following a 21-1 destruction of Clinton in the opening round on May 16, the top-seeded, defending sectional champion Lakers did much the same to no. 9 seed Marcellus in Wednesday’s Class C quarterfinal at the Sean Googin Sports Complex, defeating the Mustangs 15-2.

Schug leads CBA girls track at league meet

Sprint sweep, school records part of third-place finish

Christian Brothers Academy’s track and field teams took part in the Onondaga High School League Liberty division championship meet Wednesday night at Fulton, where it finished third in the girls meet with 84 points behind Skaneatles and Westhill-Bishop Ludden, and took fourth place on the boys side with 59 points.

Westhill-Ludden boys win Liberty track meet

Roland, Remillard lead effort; J-E's Gugel wins girls 1,500, 3,000

Three local track and field teams were part of Wednesday’s Onondaga High School League Liberty division championship meet at Fulton, but Westhill-Ludden enjoyed the most success. In the boys meet, Westhill-Ludden earned 96 points to edge Cazenovia (92 points) for the top spot, while the girls Warriors had 120 points to finish second behind Skaneateles (133 points) as Jordan-Elbridge, led by Abby Gugel, was fifth on the girls side.

Jones, Panasci lead Lakers at tennis sectionals

Skaneateles duo finishes second, advances to state qualifier

An up-and-down season for the Skaneateles boys tennis team culminated in its appearance early last week in the Section III Class C-1 tournament at Syracuse University’s Skytop Courts, which featured a series of top finishes and one run to the finals.

Tennis Lakers get pair of sectional titles

Kmetz, McDonough, Stehle prevail; Romig reaches state qualifier

Cazenovia’s boys tennis team would face major challenges in pursuit of division titles during this week’s Section III Class C-1 tournament at Syracuse University’s Skytop Courts, but participate in five of the finals and win two of them.

Caz boys track finish second in league meet

Lakers get 92 points, four behind Westhill-Ludden

It took two days for the Cazenovia boys track and field team to make it to Fulton for the Onondaga High School League Liberty division championship meet - and ultimately, it took a pairing of two schools to deny the Lakers the top spot.

Skaneateles girls run to OHSL Liberty track title

Lakers hold off Westhill-Ludden, earn 133 points

Though it had to wait a couple of extra days, the Skaneateles girls track and field team didn't mind, given the results. The Lakers claimed the Onondaga High School League Liberty division championship meet on Wednesday at Fulton, earning 133 points to fend off Westhill-Bishop Ludden (120 points) for that top spot.

Big inning pushes baseball Warriors past Solvay

Westhill sweeps regular-season series with Bearcats

Ever since the Westhill baseball team used a seventh-inning run to fight off Solvay 3-2 on April 16, the Bearcats, through a month of superb play, had waited for another shot at the Warriors. But when that chance arrived on a cold, windy Wednesday afternoon, Westhill shut the door in a decisive fourth inning and, by a 10-3 margin, clinched the OHSL Liberty American division regular-season title.

Girls Lakers season ended by General Brown

Caz lax unable to stop Lions' duo of Fazio, Amell

What the Cazenovia girls lacrosse team hoped was that all of the tough battles it went through in the Onondaga High School League would pay off with a deep run in the Section III Class C playoffs.

WG softball rallies, earns playoff berth

10-run sixth inning gets key victory for Wildcats

Most of the area’s softball attention will center around Solvay as, this week, it will begin the pursuit of a third consecutive Section III Class B championship and will try to maintain a perfect record all the way to a first state title in program history.

ESM boys, J-D girls win league track meet

Payne wins four events for girls Red Rams

Following up on their respective regular-season successes, East Syracuse Minoa and Jamesville-DeWitt both earned victories during last Tuesday’s Onondaga High School League Freedom division championships at Fulton.

Liverpool, C-NS tennis stars battle at sectionals

Vogue reached second singles final to lead Warriors

Boys tennis teams from Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse would both try to make deep runs in the three singles and two doubles divisions during this week’s Section III Class A tournament at Syracuse University’s Skytop Courts.

Boys tennis Hornets dominate Class A sectionals

Hornets win four of five divisions; Druger, Ma, Zhang sweep singles

Fresh off yet another undefeated regular season, the Fayetteville-Manlius boys tennis team took aim at claiming Section III Class A team and individual honors early this week – which it did. In the Class A team tournament at Syracuse University’s Skytop Courts, the Hornets won four of the five divisions, and reached the finals in the other, a near-sweep.

Boys tennis Bees play in sectional tournament

Lenkiewicz finishes second; Dukat-Ferrari gets third in doubles

A strong regular season for the Baldwinsville boys tennis team was followed up by its participation in the Section III Class A tournament early this week at Syracuse University’s Skytop Courts.

WG’s Boleslav brothers earn sectional titles

McGuigan, Wierbinski are runners-up in second doubles

West Genesee’s top tennis players, including Brent and Garrett Boleslav, began their post-season odyssey by venturing to Syracuse University’s Skytop Courts for the Section III Class A tournament early this week.

J-D tops CBA in boys tennis sectionals

Dotterer, Cline-Frank win in respective divisions

Given their excellent regular-season marks, it only figured that the Jamesville-DeWitt and Christian Brothers Academy boys tennis teams would dominate most of the Section III Class B tournament at Utica’s Mott Courts.

Marcellus tops Westhill in Class C quarterfinal

Mustangs dominate second half, earn shot at Skaneateles

One big and important rival was cast aside by the Marcellus girls lacrosse team, but an even bigger rival must get conquered if the Mustangs want to get to the Carrier Dome and earn a shot at the Section III Class C championship.

C-NS’s McKie wins playoff, reaches state tournament

Northstars standout beats F-M's Bonomo for final spot

Nessa McKie felt the nerves when she stepped up to the first tee at Kanon Valley Country Club Tuesday afternoon, and she promptly mishit her drive, the ball barely traveling 50 yards. Yet when the playoff for the last Section III berth in next month’s state tournament at SUNY-Delhi was complete, it was McKie smiling as she overcame her rough start to defeat Fayetteville-Manlius’ Maggie Bonomo.

Kim, Jones earn berths in state golf tournament

Bonomo falls in playoff; CBA golfers come close

Every emotion, ranging from excitement to disappointment, was felt by the area’s girls golf teams during last Tuesday’s Section III championship tournament at Oneida’s Kanon Valley Country Club.

Walsh, Monaco earn trips to state golf finals

B'ville stars make strong efforts at sectional tournaments

Throughout the last four years, the one constant on Baldwinsville’s girls golf team has been the excellent work done by Katie Walsh. Now, as a senior, Walsh gets to make one more trip to SUNY-Delhi to compete in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship tournament – and she’ll do so after the Bees’ Matt Monaco makes an appearance in the boys state golf tournament in Ithaca.

C-NS, Liverpool earn big baseball wins

Northstars sweep West Genny; Warriors top B'ville again

Though the Cicero-North Syracuse baseball team was on the road and their Liverpool counterparts were on the road, each of them would emerge with important victories early in the final week of the regular season.

Westhill golfers win pair of sectional titles

Boys Warriors edge Skaneateles; Julia Miesner advances to state tournament

Jacob Van Buren had no idea just how important the modest round of 97 he posted during Monday’s Section III East Division Qualifier at Marcellus Golf Club would prove to be.

Golf Lakers finish second at sectional tourney

Fontana ties for individual honors; McDonald takes third

With a regular-season OHSL Liberty division title already in the books, the Skaneateles boys golf team wanted more honors when it ventured to Marcellus Golf Club for Monday’s Section III West Division Qualifier.

Liverpool, C-NS softball earn tough wins

Warriors shut out B'ville; Northstars get even with Auburn

Nearly getting swept by Cicero-North Syracuse probably did more to motivate the Liverpool softball team than any number of one-sided victories it has recorded in 2015. With the Warriors sitting at no. 14 in the state Class AA rankings after edging the Northstars 5-4 on May 8, it visited Baldwinsville last Tuesday afternoon and relied on early run production to put away the Bees in a 4-0 shutout.

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