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Phil Blackwell

Stories by Phil

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B'ville wins first-ever sectional hockey title

Offensive flourish by Bees buries Syracuse

A long, frustrating wait for the Baldwinsville ice hockey team to snare a Section III championship is finally at an end. In a hard-fought effort Saturday at Utica Memorial Auditorium, the Bees upended Syracuse 7-4 in the Division I sectional final, scoring goals in well-timed bursts to build a big early lead, and then fending off the Cougars' furious late charge.

Hockey Lakers fall to CBA/J-D in sectional final

Skaneateles to go on road for state tournament

A defeat for the Skaneateles ice hockey team in Saturday's Section III Division I final against CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt would not mean the end of its season. Still, when it lost, 4-0, to the Brothers, it meant that the state no. 1-ranked Lakers would have to win a state tournament game on the road if it wanted to come back to Utica for the March 14-15 state championships.

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CBA/J-D blanks Skaneateles in sectional hockey final

Taylor nets hat trick, Vinal 25 saves in 4-0 win

Bring the CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt ice hockey team to Utica Memorial Auditorium, and great things tend to happen. Two years after claiming both Section III and state titles on Utica ice, the Brothers reclaimed the sectional Division II championship Saturday afternoon with a 4-0 victory over state no-1-ranked Skaneateles.

West Genny’s Elias wrestles at state meet

Wildcats senior drops pair of bouts at 182 pounds

Dalton Elias described the New York State Public High School Athletic Association wrestling championships as a “gladiator-like competition” before heading to Albany’s Times Union Center to take part in the winter’s biggest meet.

Girls Lakers fall to Westhill in Class B semis

Lane scores 25 points in her Skaneateles finale

Amid all the youth on hand for Friday night's girls basketball Section III Class B semifinal at SRC Arena, Skaneateles senior Elizabeth Lane stood out in many different ways - and she was determined to bring her team to the brink of its first sectional championship in 33 years.

Westhill girls top Skaneateles in Class B semis

Warriors beat Lakers for third time this season

Twelve years have passed since the Westhill girls basketball team last won a Section III Class B championship, during which time a string of great players have passed through the Warrior program, getting close to the prize, but denied again and again.

Warriors, Northstars shine at state qualifier

McCarthy wins mile; Fanizzi second in two events

From relays to sprints to field events, indoor track and field teams from Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse found plenty to be happy about during Wednesday night’s Section III state qualifier at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena.

CBA/J-D hockey secures state tournament berth

Brothers beat Whitesboro, will face Skaneateles in sectional final

At least one mission is accomplished for CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt's ice hockey team. By defeating Whitesboro 6-1 in Wednesday night's Section III Division II semifinal at Onondaga Nation Arena, the Brothers assure itself a place in the state tournament, regardless of what happens in Saturday's final against state no. 1-ranked Skaneateles at Utica Memorial Auditorium.

Track athletes sweep to state qualifying meet wins

F-M's Millar, Barber, Ryan, Ezidiegwu earn first-place finishes

The quartet of area high school indoor track and field teams will all have representation when the top athletes gather at Cornell University on March 7 for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet.

Bees’ Wicks, Lathrop go 1-2 at state qualifier

Kellner third in 600, also advances to compete at Cornell

An exciting 600-meter run that featured a sweep of the top two spots from Katie Wicks and Marissa Lathrop highlighted the Baldwinsville indoor track and field team’s efforts during Wednesday night’s Section III state qualifying meet at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena.

Syracuse Cougars reach sectional hockey final

Shutout of RFA sets up title game against Baldwinsville

Someone - either the Syracuse Cougars, or the Baldwinsville Bees - will emerge from Saturday's showdown at Utica Memorial Auditorium with its first-ever Section III Division I ice hockey championship. A day after the Bees brought West Genesee's seven-year title reign to an end, the Cougars got a scare from Rome Free Academy in its Division I semifinal Wednesday night at Meachem Rink, but got the goals it needed down the stretch to beat the Black Knights 2-0.

Benson, Monds earn wins at state qualifier

Lee sets Solvay school record in boys triple jump

Each of the area’s indoor track and field teams had athletes with top finishes and school marks set during Wednesday night’s Section III state qualifier at SRC Arena. With berths in this Saturday’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association meet at Cornell University on the line, West Genesee freshman Carly Benson and Westhill-Bishop Ludden senior Tatiana Monds each secured wins on the oval.

Hill leads Lakers to wins at state qualifier

Skaneateles girls win 4x200 thriller over B'ville

When Section III sends its top indoor track and field athletes to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet at Cornell University on March 7, Skaneateles will have a lot of representation.

Skaneateles boys fall to Caz in sectionals

Second-half comeback falls just short in 63-58 defeat

For a brief moment in Wednesday night’s Section III Class B quarterfinal, the Skaneateles boys basketball team experienced a flashback.

Caz indoor track stars compete at state qualifier

Nichols third in boys 55-meter hurdles, long jump

One last time this winter, Cazenovia’s top indoor track and field athletes made it to Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena for Wednesday night’s Section III state qualifying meet.

Hockey Lakers beat Auburn in sectional semifinal

Late goals send Skaneateles into state Division II tournament

True, the Skaneateles boys ice hockey team liked beating its main rival, Auburn, twice in the regular season as a response to last year's painful defeat in the Section III Division II title game at Utica Memorial Auditorium, but real satisfaction would only arrive with a third win over the Maroons - which it got.

J-D, CBA boys advance to Class A semifinal

Red Rams survive Cortland in OT; Brothers bash Oneida

As they moved toward a possible championship showdown, the Jamesville-DeWitt and Christian Brothers Academy boys basketball team had vastly different experiences in their respective Section III Class A quarterfinals on Tuesday night.

Boys basketball Bees stopped by Henninger

Top-seeded Black Knights prevail in AA quarterfinal

With the confidence gained from a 6-1 stretch at the end of the regular season and an impressive first-round playoff win over Liverpool, the Baldwinsville boys basketball team sought something much bigger when it ventured to face top seed Henninger in Tuesday night’s Section III Class AA quarterfinal. Just as the year before, though, the Bees’ run would end here.

Wildcats ousted by Ludden in AA playoffs

Westhill starts post-season run with rout of South Jefferson

West Genesee’s boys basketball team did itself proud during the second half of Tuesday night’s Section III Class AA quarterfinal at Bishop Ludden, outscoring the Gaelic Knights and getting a big effort from senior guard Nick Cunningham. It was just the first half that ultimately proved the Wildcats’ undoing.

Hornets drop close AA quarterfinal to Proctor

Wittig sees high school career end in 55-52 defeat

Jake Wittig had two chances, in the waning seconds of Tuesday night’s Section III Class AA quarterfinal, to keep his high school career going. With the Fayetteville-Manlius boys basketball team trailing Utica Proctor by three, the Hornets had possession, and as everyone expected, the ball was in Wittig’s hands. Make a 3-pointer here, and the game would go to overtime, and from there, who knew what could happen.

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Hockey Wildcats’ title run ended by B’ville

WG shut out, 5-0, after 23 straight sectional playoff wins

From 2008 until Tuesday night, the West Genesee ice hockey team had not lost a single game in the Section III playoffs - a streak that reached 22 consecutive victories, more than the length of a full regular season. True, there were close calls from time to time, but in each case the Wildcats emerged with more goals and, as a result, brought home seven consecutive sectional championships.

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Hockey Bees end West Genny sectional title run

B'ville blanks Wildcats, 5-0, in Division I semifinal

By the dozens, they streamed into the Baldwinsville ice hockey dressing room Tuesday night at Lysander, students and other supporters who were not just celebrating a return to the Section III Division I title game for the first time since 2010, but the fact that the Bees brought a dynasty down.

Hockey Warriors, Northstars ousted in sectionals

Liverpool edged 3-2 by West Genny; C-NS falls to Corcoran

An historic opportunity presented itself for the Liverpool ice hockey team went it went to Shove Park Saturday night to face West Genesee in the opening round of the Section III Division I playoffs. Since 2007, no one had beaten the Wildcats in sectional play as it had earned seven consecutive championships. The Warriors had a chance to end that run, and got a remarkable effort in goal from Steven Kozikoski, but still lost a 3-2 decision.

Hockey Wildcats hold off Liverpool, 3-2

WG to face B'ville in sectional semifinal at Lysander

Aiming to defend a Section III Division I championship it has won each of the last seven years, the West Genesee ice hockey team found itself nearly upended in Saturday night's opening round of the sectional tournament. Liverpool came to Shove Park and, bolstered by the hot goaltending of Steven Kozikoski, were in it until the final horn before the Wildcats held on for a 3-2 victory over the Warriors.

C-NS girls win AA quarterfinal over Liverpool

Northstars to face Utica Proctor in sectional semifinal

For all the work it had to do just to get into the Section III Class AA playoffs, and then win an opening-round game over Corcoran, the Liverpool girls basketball team's "reward" was nothing less than a short trip to its neighbors from Cicero-North Syracuse in Friday night's Section III Class AA quarterfinal, as the top-seeded Northstars would begin its quest for a sixth straight sectional title and, it hopes, a lot more.

Boys Warriors drop playoff opener to B’ville

Even at full strength, Liverpool stopped by Bees

Once surrendered, all the momentum that the Liverpool boys basketball team gained early this season could never get recovered. Even when the no. 9 seed Warriors’ full roster returned in time for Friday night’s Section III Class AA opening-round game at no. 8 seed Baldwinsville, it could not slow down a red-hot Bees side that put five players in double figures and prevailed 77-64.

Grimes girls stunned by Westhill, 45-43

Warriors eliminate top-seeded Cobras in Class B quarterfinals

When the Bishop Grimes girls basketball team got a look at the Section III Class B playoff bracket, it saw all kinds of familiar faces standing in the way of a trip to the March 7 finals at SRC Arena, with four members of the OHSL Liberty division positioned in the bracket. But no one could have dreamed that the first of these league foes would bring the championship dreams of the state no. 3-ranked Cobras crashing down.

Red Rams rip Homer in sectional opener

ESM, Bishop Grimes, MPH all see seasons end

A quartet of area boys basketball teams would climb into the Section III playoff fray during Friday night’s slate of opening-round games – and only one made it out.

J-D girls reach sectional Class A semis

CBA edged by top seed Indian River; ESM falls to Camden

Though it had to wait through plenty of nervous moments, the Jamesville-DeWitt girls basketball team made it through to get a shot at top seed Indian River in next Saturday’s Section III Class A semifinal.

Skaneateles hockey reaches top of state rankings

Lakers blank Oswego, to face Auburn in sectional semis

Just in time for the Section III playoffs, the Skaneateles boys ice hockey team climbed all the way to the top spot in the state Division II rankings. A loss by St. Lawrence, the top-ranked team the previous week, allowed the Lakers to ascend from no. 2 to the top, but that would matter little unless it won twice in the sectional tournament to assure itself a shot a the state championship.

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Girls Lakers beat Ludden, reach sectional semis

Skaneateles to play Westhill, who upset top-seeded Grimes

In the span of less than two hours Friday night, the Skaneateles girls basketball team saw its course through the Section III Class B playoff take an unexpected turn. But it had little to do with what the no. 4 seed Lakers did by itself, knocking out no. 12 seed Bishop Ludden 55-43 in its sectional quarterfinal game, and a lot to do with what was going on in East Syracuse.

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Skaneateles boys hoops handles Holland Patent

Playoff wins sets up Class B quarterfinal against Cazenovia

A Lakers boys basketball team was guaranteed to reach the March 1 Section III Class B semifinal at Onondaga Community College’s Allyn Hall. Whether it’s Skaneateles or Cazenovia remains an open question, but when it came down to Friday night’s opening round of the sectional tournament, Skaneateles, holding the no. 5 seed, did quite well, pulling away to beat no. 12 seed Holland Patent 76-57.

Caz boys survive playoff scare from Phoenix

Henderson scores 31; quarterfinal clash with Skaneateles next

A Lakers boys basketball team is guaranteed to reach the March 1 Section III Class B semifinal at Onondaga Community College’s Allyn Hall. Whether it’s no. 4 seed Cazenovia, or no. 5 seed Skaneateles, will get determined by next Wednesday night’s quarterfinal showdown at Buckley Gym, which followed Friday’s opening round where Cazenovia needed Ryan Henderson’s hot hand to fend off the no. 13 seed Phoenix Firebirds and prevail by a 52-49 margin.

Westhill girls stun top seed Grimes

Warriors meet Skaneateles in Class B sectional semifinal

Without a senior in its starting lineup, and staring down an 18-1, state no. 3-ranked opponent on its home floor, the Westhill girls basketball team found itself in a very unfamiliar situation Friday night, expected to bow out at Bishop Grimes in the Section III Class B quarterfinal, consider it a learning experience and get ready for next season. But the Warriors had other ideas.

Balance pushes boys Bees to playoff win

B'ville tops Liverpool, gets shot at top seed Henninger

A year of hard work, and a furious scramble through the latter stages of this season, has put the Baldwinsville boys basketball team in the exact same spot that it was in 12 months ago - part of the Section III Class AA quarterfinals, but knowing it will have to take down a long-time powerhouse to go any further.

Girls hoops Bees advance in AA sectionals

B'ville stops Central Square, will face RFA in semifinals

Just at the right time, the Baldwinsville girls basketball team is whole again, and that simple fact might create an opportunity for the program's first Section III title in two decades.

Cougars subdue C-NS in playoff opener

Syracuse, no. 4 in state poll, faces RFA in sectional semifinal

The season-long rise of the Syracuse Cougars ice hockey team, from loads of promise to a league title and a no. 4 state ranking, will reach its apex next week, one way or another.

Liverpool’s Carnie earns state tournament berth

Warriors' 285-pound star joins Ashkar in trip to Albany

Audey Ashkar will have some company as two Liverpool wrestlers will make their way to Albany’s Times Union Center for this weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet.

Tretowicz leads hockey Bees to playoff win

Hat trick helps B'ville get away from IHC, 6-2

For a brief moment Wednesday night at Greater Baldwinsville Ice Arena, an unthinkable scenario presented itself. Despite its 14-4-2 record, despite its no. 5 state ranking and despite its National Conference regular-season title, the Baldwinsville ice hockey team found itself tied with 3-16 Watertown IHC in the first period of its Section III Division I quarterfinal.

CBA/J-D hockey reaches sectional semis

Brothers rout Clinton, are one win from state tournament berth

One more victory separates the CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt ice hockey team from a return to the state Division II tournament that it conquered two winters ago. This is the case even though the Brothers have only reached the semifinals of the Section III playoffs, doing so Wednesday night with a 9-2 romp over Clinton on home ice at Onondaga Nation Arena.

Liverpool girls top Corcoran in playoff opener

Patulski leads Warriors to quarterfinal clash with C-NS

It’s proved to be an exciting time for the Liverpool girls basketball team. First, the Warriors had to wait until the last game of the regular season against Henninger, and then get a school-record seven 3-pointers from Drew Dufrane in that victory, just to get a Section III Class AA playoff berth.

Girls hoops side sweep Class A opening round

ESM, J-D, CBA all reach sectional quarterfinals

Three girls basketball teams from East Syracuse Minoa, Christian Brothers Academy and Jamesville-DeWitt all entered the Section III Class A playoffs on Tuesday night - and all of them won.

Warriors make statement, roll past CBA

Reynolds nets 23, atones for struggles against Henninger

If any single person out there doubted about the Westhill boys basketball team’s resolve to defend the Section III, state and Federation Class B titles it earned a year ago, all they had to do was watch Tuesday’s game at Christian Brothers Academy, and those doubts would go away fast.

Ludden, Westhill girls win playoff openers

Gaelic Knights get even with Caz; Marcellus ousted by CBA

True, the task is tall, but if the Bishop Ludden and Westhill girls basketball teams can prevail once more, they'll square off with a berth in the March 7 Section III Class B championship game at stake. To do that, of course, the Warriors would have to reverse two regular-season defeats to top seed Bishop Grimes, and the Gaelic Knights would need to go on the road and spring another upset against no. 4 seed Skaneateles.

Caz girls fall to Ludden in Class B sectionals

First-round defeat contrast to earlier win over Gaelic Knights

What a difference seven days can make, especially when the pressure of the post-season is brought into the equation.

Boys swimming Warriors retain George Falwell Cup

Burdo, Miller lead Liverpool at sectional state qualifier

Having the Section III Class A championship was nice, but for the Liverpool boys swim team, total satisfaction would only derive from beating everyone else, too.

Ashkar powers to sectional wrestling title

Liverpool third in team standings; Carnie, Nash drop close finals

Thanks to the dominance of Audey Ashkar, the Liverpool wrestling team is assured of having one representative at Albany’s Times Union Centter on Feb. 27-28 for the state championship meet. Ashkar won the 120-pound title during last Saturday’s Section III Division I tournament at SRC Arena, the only Warriors wrestler able to get to the top spot on the podium despite having three finalists.

Liverpool girls hoops make it to sectionals

C-NS rips Auburn, is top AA playoff seed again

While the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball team could comfortably prepare for its latest Section III Class AA title defense, Liverpool just wanted to be part of the sectional tournament – and had to wait until the last game of the regular season to secure its playoff spot.

Evans suits up, gets basket in final C-NS game

Liverpool plays without Sullivan, loses twice

Connor Evans wanted one more chance to play high school basketball, one more opportunity to step on the floor and score a basket. To its everlasting credit, the Cicero-North Syracuse boys basketball team gave it to him.

F-M’s Broddus repeats as sectional wrestling champ

CBA/J-D's Murphy, Kellison, ESM's Legro reach finals

As a junior, Fayetteville-Manlius wrestler Tristan Broddus reached a new pinnacle in his career when he won the 2014 Section III Division I championship at 145 pounds. Now, as a senior, Broddus wants more – and will have a chance at it when he returns to Albany’s Times Union Center on Feb. 27-28 for his second crack at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournament.

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