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Phil Blackwell

Stories by Phil

Roland, Reynolds lead Westhill to state final four

Warriors inch closer to third state title in six years

Passing through the regional portion of the state Class B tournament Saturday at Colgate University's Cotterell Court, perhaps the Westhill boys basketball team remembered how close it came to seeing its perfect 2013-14 season end in this same round in a tense overtime win over Walton, and wanted no part of any kind of tension this time around.

CBA/J-D hockey drops state semifinal to Sknaeateles

Penalties, late surge by Lakers leads to 4-3 defeat

A long, exhilarating odyssey that the CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt ice hockey team hoped would lead to a second state championship in three years ended on Saturday, and it came at the expense of an opponent it had spent the entire winter trying to subdue - but could not in their last and most important encounter.

Girls Warriors lose close Class B regional

Susquehanna Valley overcomes long drought, beats Westhill

Somewhere, the unlikely journey of the Westhill girls basketball team from young upstart to no. 8 seed to a first Section III Class B championship in 12 years was going to end. The Warriors just wished it had a few more chapters to author.

C-NS girls drop regional final to Bethlehem

Hot shooting from field, line end Northstars' season

It would take something exceptional to end Cicero-North Syracuse's run of Class AA girls basketball state final four appearances in Troy - and Bethlehem provided it. Hitting all kinds of big shots from the field and at the free-throw line down the stretch, the Section II champion Eagles defeated the Northstars 59-54 in Saturday's AA regional final at Colgate University's Cotterell Court.

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OT goal sends Bees into state hockey final

Pompo delivers game-winner in 2-1 win over Saratoga

Isaiah Pompo delivered one of the brightest moments in Baldwinsville ice hockey history and pushed his team to the brink of a state championship. With his goal just 33 seconds into overtime of Saturday night's Division I state semifinal at Utica Memorial Auditorium, Pompo pushed the Bees past Saratoga Springs 2-1 and set up Sunday's title game against Rochester McQuaid.

Hockey Lakers top CBA/J-D in state semis

Three goals in third period produce 4-3 win over Brothers

On the fourth try, and when it counted the most, the Skaneateles boys ice hockey team broke through against CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt and earned a chance a its first state championship since 1989. In Saturday morning’s state Division II semifinal at Utica Memorial Auditorium, the Lakers’ trio of third-period goals, two of them 31 seconds apart, was enough to beat the Brothers 4-3.

J-D girls basketball returns to state final four

Red Rams sweep Averill Park, Peru in regional round

Two wins this weekend at Hudson Valley Community College would earn the Jamesville-DeWitt girls basketball team a return ticket to Troy for a second consecutive crack at the state Class A final four - and it got both of them.

J-D's McKenney subject of possible ouster

Coach has led Red Rams to five state Class A championships

As of Wednesday night, the future of Jamesville-DeWitt’s well-regarded and highly-decorated boys basketball coach, Bob McKenney, remained up in the air.

Smith rises to third at state bowling tournament

Chittenango star puts together 1,214 series at Strike-N-Spare

All through the post-season, Chittenango girls bowler Casey Smith showed that she was able to maintain a top form even under the highest amount of pressure. And Smith did so again on Sunday, pulling off the best finish of any Section III individual as she took third place in the sectional team portion of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship tournament at Strike-N-Spare Lanes in Mattydale.

Akinpelu, Basla, Norris share state indoor title

Liverpool, C-NS runners help win distance medley relay

Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse brought more than a dozen of their top indoor track and field athletes to Cornell University’s Barton Hall to participate in last Saturday’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet.

C-NS’s Cloute bowls in state tournament

Section III team finishes sixth; Cloute has high game of 219

Many times this winter, Cicero-North Syracuse’s Josh Cloute had bowled at Strike-N-Spare Lanes, including the Dec. 23 match where he notched a 300 game against Syracuse. But no appearance at Strike-N-Spare compared in importance with Cloute taking part in Sunday’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournament, where tough competition, and tough condition, was the order of the day.

Barber third in 1,000 at state indoor meet

ESM's Marra, CBA's Schug also have top-10 finishes

Just six days after getting nationwide exposure on NBC’s “Today Show”, Fayetteville-Manlius runners were back in the business of trying to win championships.

B’ville’s Watchus bowls in state tournament

Top-20 finish caps stellar season for Bees' bowler

A month after his tremendous regular season ended, Baldwinsville boys bowler Tyler Watchus received his reward by competing in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship tournament at Strike-N-Spare Lanes in Mattydale.

Indoor track Lakers vie for state meet honors

Boys 4x200 relay team gets sixth-place finish

Two of the Skaneateles indoor track and field team’s relay teams would go up against the best competition of the winter during last Saturday’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet at Cornell University’s Barton Hall.

Gugel earns victory at state indoor track meet

J-E junior part of Section III distance medley relay win

Jordan-Elbridge junior Abby Gugel can now call herself a state champion. That’s because Gugel was part of the Section III quartet that prevailed in the distance medley relay during last Saturday’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet at Cornell University’s Barton Hall.

Brothers rip J-D, get first title in six years

CBA takes advantage of Red Rams lineup without DeRegis

Championship ceremonies are part of the post-season routine and ritual, but the Christian Brothers Academy boys basketball team were quite eager to pick up the banner symbolic of earning the Section III Class B title Sunday night at SRC Arena, and for good reason.

Warriors prevail, Ludden falls in sectional finals

Westhill handles SAS; Gaelic Knights stopped by Henninger

Westhill and Bishop Ludden’s boys basketball teams each took separate Section III championship streaks into Sunday’s title games at SRC Arena, but only the Warriors emerged with its streak intact.

CBA/J-D hockey handles Victor in regionals

Brothers meet Skaneateles again in state semifinals

For a few fleeting moments amid the sold-out din of Onondaga Nation Arena on Saturday night, a terrible thought may have crept through the collective minds of players, coaches and fans of the CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt ice hockey team.

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B'ville hockey battles way to state Frozen Four

Bees get past Ithaca 2-1 in regional final

A first-ever Section III Division I championship is nice - but the Baldwinsville ice hockey team knows that a first-ever state championship, if accomplished next weekend at Utica Memorial Auditorium, would be a whole lot nicer.

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Lakers top Pelham, reach state Frozen Four

Skaneateles plays CBA/J-D for fourth time in state semis

Whatever disappointment the Skaneateles boys ice hockey team may have felt leaving Utica's Memorial Auditorium in the wake of its 4-0 defeat to CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt in the Section III Division II final on Feb. 28 was tempered by the knowledge that, if things went as planned, it would not be the last time the Lakers and Brothers would see each other this winter.

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C-NS girls basketball sets sectional record

Northstars beat RFA for seventh straight AA championship

Having already achieved plenty of special feats in the last half-dozen years, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball team now stands alone in a different way. When the Northstars rolled past Rome Free Academy 55-27 Saturday night in the Section III Class AA final Onondaga Community College's SRC Arena, it became the first program, regardless of class, to claim seven consecutive girls basketball sectional titles.

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J-D girls hoops earn fourth straight sectional crown

Defense, timely plays push Rams past Whitesboro again

Jamesville-DeWitt and Whitesboro's girls basketball teams have made post-season meetings an annual event - and recently, that's meant the Red Rams finishing the night with another Section III Class A championship in its possession.

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Westhill girls end 12-year wait for sectional title

Comeback leads to OT victory over South Jefferson

Sure, it took a late-game comeback and yes, it was accomplished by a roster lacking any seniors in its starting five, but the facts are the same - for the first time since 2003, the Westhill girls basketball team has a Section III Class B championship in its possession.

Neidl steps down as Cazenovia football coach

In 25 years, Lakers won 15 league, seven sectional titles

Year after year, as his Cazenovia varsity football teams piled up league and Section III titles, Tom Neidl said that the program's continuity was a primary source of its success, with few changes in staff over the course of a quarter-century. Now, though, it's Neidl himself who is exiting the scene.

J-D, CBA hoops set up sectional finals showdown

Red Rams beat top seed Carthage; Brothers handle Whitesboro

For all of the fun times the Jamesville-DeWitt and Christian Brothers Academy boys basketball teams have shared on the court in the last decade or so, they've never faced each other with a Section III championship at stake, largely because they were placed in separate classes once tournament time rolled around.

Ludden, Westhill reach sectional hoops finals

Gaelic Knights rally for OT win; Warriors whip Cazenovia

In order to still have a chance at maintaining their respective Section III championship win streaks, the Bishop Ludden and Westhill boys basketball teams had to go through very different experiences in their respective semifinal games on Sunday at Onondaga Community College.

Lakers handled by Westhill in Class B semis

Defending state, Federation champs pull away from Caz

What the Cazenovia boys basketball team found out was that having a terrific 2014-15 season was both great and terrible at the same time. The fun was in building up a 16-5 record and advancing to the Section III Class B semifinals. The misfortune was that it came at the same time that Westhill was making a historic run at back-to-back state and Federation championships.

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Burdo medals twice at state swim meet

Liverpool swimmer third in 100, 200 freestyle

Liverpool boys swimmer Nick Burdo has a great sense of timing. All season long, Burdo had put up tremendous times in a wide variety of races, but when he concentrated on the 100 and 200-yard freestyle for last weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association meet at Ithaca College, he really stepped it up.

Liverpool's Carnie, Ashkar wrestle at state meet

Juniors earn victories in first appearance in Albany

David Carnie and Audey Ashkar carried the banner for the Liverpool wrestling team as they both ventured to Albany’s Times Union Center to compete in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet.

Girls Red Rams topple top seed Indian River

J-D to meet Whitesboro again in sectional Class A final

Sometimes, where a team is seeded matters plenty in an event such as the Section III girls basketball playoffs, and sometimes it does not. Jamesville-DeWitt is a clear example of the latter.

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J-D/CBA swimmers dazzle at state meet

Records broken as Knapp, Sawyer lead effort

The Jamesville-DeWitt/CBA boys swim team got just what it wanted out of its efforts at last weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet at Ithaca College.

Broddus, Griffin wrestle at state meet

F-M star again goes 2-2 against top field

In his second chance to earn a New York State Public High School Athletic Association title, Fayetteville-Manlius wrestler Tristan Broddus wanted more than a break-even mark, but could not quite pull it off.

Girls hoops Bees drop close semifinal to RFA

B'ville hurt by Black Knights' Pugh in 53-49 defeat

From the standpoint of the Baldwinsville girls basketball team, a season mostly filled with elation ended in immense frustration. The no. 3 seed Bees went right to the wire with no. 2 seed Rome Free Academy in Saturday night’s Section III Class AA semifinal at SRC Arena, but could not make the baskets it needed at the end and took a 53-49 defeat to the Black Knights.

Spurts help C-NS girls reach sectional final

Northstars beat Proctor, to meet RFA in title game

Those accustomed to seeing the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball team run far away from local opposition ended up pleased by Saturday night's 60-33 victory over Utica Proctor in Saturday night's Section III Class AA semifinal at SRC Arena, but getting to that point of comfort wasn't easy.

Cougars rally in hockey final falls just short

Syracuse falls to B'ville in sectional Division I title game

Despair had turned into hope, depression into aggression, and the Syracuse ice hockey team was about to catch Baldwinsville. Late in the third period of Saturday's Section III Division I final at Utica Memorial Auditorium, the Cougars, who once trailed by four goals, had pulled within one of the Bees and were going all-out to tie the game and attempt to keep its championship dreams alive.

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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.

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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.

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