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Phil Blackwell

Stories by Phil

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Cougars hold off Wildcats in hockey clash

Syracuse gets hat trick from Eccles in 5-4 win

Over the course of eight days, the West Genesee and Syracuse ice hockey teams would settle matters in the Division I American Conference against each other. But even the participants had no idea just how intense the battle would get once they squared off.

Paul Muench returns as F-M football coach

Former F-M mentor led program from 2000 to 2012

The new head varsity football coach at Fayetteville-Manlius is the old one. Paul Muench, who guided the Hornets for 13 seasons before stepping at the end of the 2012 season, was named Monday to return to the helm to replace Damien Rhodes.

C-NS girls beat Seton Catholic, Horseheads

Roberts net six of 12 points in homestretch to beat Blue Raiders

A change in the schedule meant that the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball team would go up against state-ranked section IV opponents twice in a 48-hour span. And while neither game proved easy, the Northstars won them both.

Girls Red Rams avenge state final defeat

J-D defense smothers Pittsford Sutherland

More than 10 months had passed, and the stakes and venue were quite different. But the Jamesville-DeWitt girls basketball team still remembered what Pittsford Sutherland had done to them, ending the Red Rams’ dream of a first-ever state Class A championship one victory short of the summit in March 2014.

Hornets have wild week, rally past C-NS

F-M comeback follows road loss at Proctor

Following a week where it lost on the road and nearly suffered a devastating defeat at home before making a miraculous recovery, the Fayetteville-Manlius boys basketball team now turns its attention to a punishing regular-season homestretch.

J-D win streak ended by McQuaid at buzzer

CBA boys rolls to wins over C-NS, Fulton

Jamesville-DeWitt’s boys basketball team has waited since Dec. 29 to get another shot at Christian Brothers Academy, and it will arrive next on Feb. 3 – but only after some tough preliminaries both sides had to negotiate.

Wrestling Bees compete at sectional Dual Meet

Camden ousts B'ville, 47-16, in opening round

Baldwinsville’s wrestling team, due to its sustained excellence through the years and decades, have proven a regular visitor to the Section III Dual Meet. So it was again on Saturday at Cicero-North Syracuse, where the Bees again joined the top 16 teams in the area battling it out for local bragging rights.

B’ville boys basketball beats Auburn

Bees end victory drought after loss to Ludden

It was about time that the Baldwinsville boys basketball team see its months of hard work lead to a satisfying victory against a quality opponent. That moment arrived on Friday night, when the Bees hosted Auburn and, in a game that was tense from start to finish, held on for a 55-53 victory over the Maroons.

Hockey Bees earn much-needed wins

B'ville ends skid by stopping IHC, Liverpool

Consecutive January weekends where the Baldwinsville ice hockey team went a combined 0-3-1 against West Genesee, Fairport, Syracuse and Rochester McQuaid, and consequently fell from no. 3 to no. 10 in the state Division I rankings, had taken a toll.

Wrestling Lakers win home dual meet

Skaneateles goes 19-3 in superb regular season

Though 16 wrestling teams vied for top honors in the Section III Dual Meet at Cicero-North Syracuse on Saturday, Skaneateles was not one of them. Instead, the Lakers were busy hosting its own dual meet that same day, welcoming Auburn, Cato-Meridian, East Syracuse Minoa and Oneida for four rounds of competition - and it would win each of them to claim the title at the Laker Duals and finish a superb 19-3 regular season.

Skaneateles girls hockey busy at end of regular season

Lakers 5-1 in nine-day stretch, only loss to Potsdam

When the Skaneateles girls hockey team took to the ice at Allyn Arena on Jan. 16 against Massena, it began a crowded regular-season homestretch that would feature six games in nine days – and it would only taste defeat once.

Girls Lakers give unbeaten Grimes a scare

Skaneateles impressive in home win over New Hartford

While the Skaneateles girls basketball team left Bishop Grimes last Wednesday night on the wrong end of a 49-36 decision, it also had to feel proud about its effort. Against the unbeaten, state Class B no. 2-ranked Cobras, the Lakers did not flinch one bit, keeping the game close most of the night and proving that a possible post-season rematch might not prove that easy for Grimes.

Skaneateles boys go 1-1, top Grimes again

Lakers recover quickly from loss to ITC

Opponents from the city of Syracuse have not proven kind to the Skaneateles boys basketball team this winter. First, it was Syracuse Academy of Science twice beating the Lakers. Then, in last Tuesday night’s visit to Institute of Technology Central, Skaneateles found itself in a fast-paced affair that it could not get control of, falling 83-74 to the Eagles.

Marcellus wrestling competes in sectional Dual Meet

WG falls to Central Square; J-E holds reunion

The terrific season put together by the Marcellus wrestling team, which is likely leading to an Onondaga High School League Liberty division regular-season title, has drawn some attention. And no better signal of that attention was the Mustangs getting invited to last Saturday’s Section III Dual Meet at Cicero-North Syracuse, a gathering of the top 16 teams in an elimination tournament.

WG, Syracuse hockey set for showdowns

Wildcats win big; Cougars topple Liverpool, Skaneateles

Twice on consecutive Wednesday nights – this week at Meachem Rink, next week at Shove Park – the West Genesee and Syracuse ice hockey teams will settle the Division I American Conference regular-season title and, at the same time, shape the bracket for the Section III playoffs.

Girls basketball Wildcats win twice

Marcellus impressive in road win at Cortland

A 4-8 start had the West Genesee girls basketball team concerned that, after recent runs to the Section III Class AA final, it might not get into the post-season at all this time around.

WG boys hoops splits with Henninger, Corcoran

Marcellus, Solvay both take Friday-night defeats

It’s amazing what a couple of days of rest can do. West Genesee’s boys basketball team went to Henninger last Wednesday night and pushed the Black Knights all the way to the final buzzer before taking a 63-61 defeat, and then went on to play another city foe on Friday and returned to the win column, beating Corcoran 65-55.

Girls Warriors win streak ended by Cazenovia

Ludden ends long slump with pair of victories

Westhill’s girls basketball team thought it had all the momentum it needs for its rematch this Saturday against unbeaten, state Class B no. 2-ranked Bishop Grimes – until a late-game rally by Cazenovia in last Friday night’s 40-39 defeat changed matters.

WG swimmers go 1-1, beat New Hartford

Wildcats drop league showdown to Auburn

Two high-level boys swimming programs that are long-time rivals had their annual showdown last Wednesday night, and West Genesee did not get the better of it. Auburn, improving to 7-1 on the season, won each of the first five individual races, plus two of the three relays, and would pull away, the Maroons defeating the Wildcats 91-75.

Caz wrestlers win showdown with Chittenango

Lakers fall to Central Valley Academy in sectional Dual Meet

It proved quite a memorable 48 hours for the Cazenovia wrestling team, who got bragging rights in a local rivalry and then went up against one of the best high school teams in the area as part of Saturday’s Section III Dual Meet at Cicero-North Syracuse.

Chittenango boys volleyball takes pair of losses

Girls Bears roll past ESM, CBA to stay hot

Even as the Chittenango girls volleyball team winds toward the end of its successful regular season, the boys Bears are just getting into the heart of its season, finding similar success to be a bit elusive.

Wrestling Warriors make run at sectional Dual meet

Liverpool makes semifinals, stuns no. 2 seed General Brown

While the rise of the Liverpool wrestling team was well-known long before Saturday's Section III Dual Meet, what the Warriors did on the mats at Cicero-North Syracuse was show everyone on the local scene just how far it had come.

Caz girls hoops ends Westhill win streak

Tedesco, Fredericks lead fourth-quarter rally against Warriors

More than a week after its tough Jan. 13 win over Skaneateles, the Cazenovia girls basketball team had another chance to earn a signature victory – and got it.

Boys hoops Lakers overwhelmed by Westhill

Caz still 9-3 after loss to defending state Class B champs

All that the Cazenovia boys basketball team had done, racing to a 9-2 start and sneaking into the no. 24 spot in the latest state Class B rankings, had led to Friday night’s clash with Westhill at Buckley Gym.

Westhill boys hoops runs away from Cazenovia

Roland nets 22; Reynolds nears 1,000 career points

In years past, the Westhill boys basketball team had not found much peace or quiet in its trips to Cazenovia, twice having to rely on last-second shots from Jordan Roland to pull it out. So when the state Class B no. 1-ranked Warriors returned to Buckley Gym Friday night, it wanted things settled long before the final buzzer - and it was, Westhill handling the Lakers 70-36.

Girls Warriors lose 3-OT epic to Central Square

Liverpool falls after skid ends with win over Marcellus

When the Liverpool girls basketball team paid a visit to Central Square on Thursday, three years and 10 days had passed since that famous night where the Warriors and West Genesee played four overtimes before the Wildcats prevailed 86-76.

B’ville girls basketball sweeps Auburn

Bees improve to 13-1; Miller has 19 points, 17 boards, seven blocks

Though it dare not look ahead, the Baldwinsville girls basketball team’s marvelous regular season continues to build toward a climactic Feb. 6 showdown with Cicero-North Syracuse.

Skaneateles boys hockey has 1-1 week

Lakers win at Oswego, drop thriller to Syracuse

With that single overtime defeat to New Hartford on Jan. 14, the Skaneateles boys ice hockey team fell from no. 2 to no. 7 in the state Division II rankings, a fall that did not sit well.

CBA/J-D hockey blanks Whitesboro

Brothers sit at no. 8 in state Division II rankings

With its long road swing in the books and plenty of big games ahead, the CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt ice hockey team, who sat at no. 8 in the latest state Division II rankings, had to avoid the trap of looking past the opponents in front of them.

Caz hockey sweeps Whitesboro, Ontario Bay

Lakers move back to .500 mark

One big motivating factor for the Cazenovia ice hockey team, entering the regular-season homestretch, is the chance to finish in the top two of the Division II National Conference and, as a result, secure a first-round Section III playoff home game at the Morrisville State IcePlex.

Liverpool indoor sides second at Kirschenheiter meet

Petrella, Hentges, Mathewson, Akinpelu among individual winners

Indoor track and field teams from Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse now are closing in on the post-season, which starts in a big way with the Section III Class AA championships on Feb. 4. In the meantime, both sides sought more wins during the Fred Kirschenheiter Memorial Invitational, which took place Wednesday and Thursday at SRC Arena.

Indoor track Bees battle at Kirschenheiter meets

B'ville girls win 4x400; Donhauser second in boys 55 hurdles

With the Section III championships looming on Feb. 4, the Baldwinsville indoor track and field teams still had some regular-season work left to do. Each of the Bees’ sides took part in this week's Fred Kirschenheiter Memorial Invitational, getting to fifth place on the boys side and sixth on the girls side on consecutive nights.

WG girls finish third at Kirschenheiter meet

Benson takes girls 1,500; Westhill-Ludden's Kiley wins on boys side

This was the last week of twin boys and girls indoor track and field events at SRC Arena prior to the Section III championships on Feb. 4 and 5, so the area’s local teams wanted to make a good showing during the Fred Kirschenheiter Memorial Invitational.

Indoor track Lakers win season debut at SRC Arena

Caz girls join other MVITA teams at sectional venue

Just as they had done all winter, the Cazenovia girls indoor track and field team prevailed over challengers from the Mohawk Valley Indoor Track Association Thursday night - only this time, it wasn't at Colgate University. The scene, for one night, shifted to Onondaga Community College's SRC Arena, which will host the Section III championships on Feb. 4-5, and the Lakers, getting a sneak preview of the venue, won - like it had multiple times this winter at Sanford Field House.

Swimming Warriors claim duel with J-D/CBA

Burdo wins 200, 500 freestyle; Petit, Henry, Miller also victorious

Intense practices had marked the Liverpool boys swim team's lead-up to its biggest regular-season meet of the winter. And when the Warriors made that trip to face the combined Jamesville-DeWitt/CBA side on Thursday night, it was ready, saving its best work for the latter stages of the competition and pulling away for a 99.5-86.5 victory over the Red Rams.

J-D/CBA swimmers duel with Liverpool

Knapp, Potocki, divers stand out in loss to Warriors

Having rampaged through their respective leagues, the Jamesville-DeWitt/CBA and Liverpool boys swim teams met up with each other, head-to-head, on Thursday night at J-D Middle School. Together, the two powers put together some of the season's fastest times, and the Red Rams more than held its own, even in a 99.5-86.5 defeat to the Warriors.

Grimes girls blitz Phoenix, survive Skaneateles

Cobras now no. 2 in state Class B rankings for first time

Now the Bishop Grimes girls basketball team might have a bit more than the Section III Class B and state titles down the road on its agenda. There’s a real chance the Cobras could sit atop the state Class B rankings at some point before the season ends. A steady climb up the state poll has now put the Cobras in the no. 2 spot, trailing only Irvington, who won four consecutive state titles from 2010 to 2013.

Boys indoor Lakers shine at Kirschenheiter meet

Lawson wins 300 sprint; Goodell, Hagen, Schneider also stand out

Now the Skaneateles indoor track and field team might be as strong, overall, as it’s been in a long time, thanks to the rapid rise of the boys program this winter. The boys Lakers, led by Griffin Lawson, earned the most points among small schools in Wednesday night’s Fred Kirschenheiter Memorial Invitational at SRC Arena.

F-M sweeps to Kirschenheiter meet titles

Hornets' runners lead way; J-D girls finish fourth

Exactly two weeks before the Section III championships get decided at SRC Arena, the Fayetteville-Manlius indoor track and field team made a bold statement at at that same Onondaga Community College facility, sweeping both sides of the Fred Kirschenheiter Memorial Invitational.

Grimes girls basketball maintains perfect mark

CBA returns key player, splits with ESM, Indian River

Moving up to the no. 3 spot in the state Class B rankings, and still undefeated after its narrow 50-49 escape against Bishop Kearney on Jan. 10, the Bishop Grimes girls basketball team looked forward to less stressful encounters against OHSL Liberty division foes.

CBA/J-D hockey smashes Oswego, Ontario Bay

Brothers return home after eight straight road games

Even though no one thought the CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt ice hockey teams’ 2-1 defeat to New Hartford on Jan. 7 was a bad loss, it still cost the Brothers a bit. When the next state Division II rankings were released, CBA/J-D found itself at no. 7, down from its high point of no. 3.

Westhill boys roar to Juggler Classic title

Warriors dominate second half of final with Utica-Notre Dame

One defeat, in one tournament, did not make the Westhill boys basketball team any less imposing. If that message hadn’t gone through prior to last weekend's Juggler Classic at Utica-Notre Dame, it sure did in those pair of games as the state Class B top-ranked Warriors blitzed through the weekend and made sure a particularly challenging opponent didn’t scare them again.

J-D girls basketball has 3-1 stretch

Red Rams fall to Troy, finish third at Juggler Classic

Those struggles of December for the Jamesville-DeWitt girls basketball team move further and further into the past, replaced by the top form showed by a unit with every intention of maintaining its league and Section III crowns.

Wrestling Warriors beat B’ville at home duals

Liverpool to compete in sectional Dual Meet at C-NS on Saturday

Liverpool’s wrestling team would get the showdown with Baldwinsville it wanted so much, only it had to wait a week and a half for it. Having seen their meet on Jan. 7 postponed, the Warriors and Bees waited to square off until both were in the LHS gymnasium for Saturday’s Liverpool Duals, and Liverpool won it, 43-33, beginning a clean sweep of the day’s events.

Liverpool, C-NS hockey swept by West Genny

Warriors recover with 7-0 shutout of Fulton

Hockey teams from Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse both found themselves right at the break-even mark entering last week’s action, but would not stay there, thanks to the presence of the seven-time defending Section III Division I champions from West Genesee.

C-NS girls roll past Nottingham, Henninger

Northstars remain in state Class AA top 10

With their first head-to-head meeting in the books, the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool girls basketball teams went in separate directions – and had separate results.

F-M wins, CBA beaten at Zebra Classic

Hornets avenge season-opening defeat to West Genesee

Nearly 11 months after its last visit to SRC Arena ended in a painful Section III Class AA semifinal defeat, the Fayetteville-Manlius boys basketball team had a far happier time of it when it returned Sunday night for the Pathfinder Bank Zebra Classic - a feeling that Christian Brothers Academy could not equal, despite the nostalgic feel of its latest "Holy War" with Bishop Ludden.

Ludden shuts down CBA in Zebra Classic

Tired West Genny unable to keep up with F-M

Whatever the name on the scoreboard and regardless of the colors of the jerseys worn, Bishop Ludden's boys basketball team may get its greatest satisfaction from earning a win over Christian Brothers Academy. And when the "Holy War" came to Sunday night's Pathfinder Bank Zebra Classic at SRC Arena, the Gaelic Knights were the ones on top again, using a third-quarter surge to take control and beating the Brothers 59-46.

Liverpool stops C-NS in Zebra Classic

Cutler brothers, Sullivan lead Warriors in 63-44 win

By the time they arrived at Onondaga Community College's SRC Arena Sunday afternoon for the Pathfinder Bank Zebra Classic, the Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse boys basketball teams both were in need of a victory, and not just because temporary bragging rights in this long-time rivalry were at stake.

Tease photo

B’ville wrestlers fall to Liverpool, 43-33

Showdown part of Warriors' dual meet, where Bees go 3-2

Having missed the chance to square off with Liverpool on Jan. 7 due to a weather postponement, the Baldwinsville wrestling team would do so when the Warriors hosted its own dual meet last on Saturday afternoon. And in the very first round, B’ville and Liverpool squared off. Unable to put its best lineup together, the Bees kept up on the mat, but still lost, 43-33, to the Warriors.

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