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Phil Blackwell has been sports editor of Eagle Newspapers since 1998 and is the co-host of the Inside High School Sports show, Saturday mornings from 10 to 11 a.m. on ESPN Radio 97.7 and 100.1.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tartans avenge 2013 defeat, keep Gaelic Knights from state final four return
Though they were in the same round, playing the same opponent in the same Class A regional final, with the same stakes – a trip to the state final four in Glens Falls – on the line, it was not the same satisfying outcome for Bishop Ludden’s boys basketball side.
Westhill survives Norwich, 56-53, in OT regional classic
Less than an inch of space separated the Westhill boys basketball team from having to endure a second overtime in Saturday's Class B regional final against Norwich at Binghamton University's Events Center. But Zan Stewart's possible tying 3-pointer rattled in and out, and the grateful -and relieved - Warriors held on to beat the Purple Tornado 56-53 to earn a return trip to the state final four.
Gaelic Knights earn rematch with Scotia-Glenville Saturday
Bishop Ludden's boys basketball team found its return to the state Class A playoffs to be a smooth one, at least at the outset. The Gaelic Knights put four players in double figures as it handled Massena, 71-50, Wednesday night at Cicero-North Syracuse High School to set up a highly-anticipated regional final against unbeaten, state no. 1-ranked Scotia-Glenville this Saturday at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.
Westhill/Ludden's Coolican as part of relay team
Eight-hundredths of a second is not a long time. And it’s all that stood between West Genesee senior Laura Leff and the 1,500-meter state indoor track and field championship last Saturday at Cornell University’s Barton Hall.
Hot shooting of Hawk, Hackett spark conquest of J-D
Seeing a 3-point shot fall early in the game is nice. Seeing a flurry of them go through the net can prove quite disheartening to an opponent - especially when the guys taking the shots are not known for outside proficiency. That's what the Bishop Ludden boys basketball team did to Jamesville-DeWitt in Saturday's Section III Class A final at the Carrier Dome, Kyle Hawk and Ben Hackett unleashing an outside barrage that no one anticipated and riding it all the way to an impressive 76-49 victory over Jamesville-DeWitt for its third consecutive sectional championship.
Westhill fights past Utica-Notre Dame 63-60 in Class B final
Jordan Roland got the Westhill boys basketball team started in Saturday's Section III Class B final against Utica-Notre Dame at the Carrier Dome, so it only figured that he would finish the work, too. Roland managed 31 points in yet another star turn to help the undefeated, state no. 1-ranked Warriors hold off the Jugglers 63-60 and repeat as sectional champions.
Utica-Notre Dame defends title, beats Warriors 46-39
What the Westhill girls basketball team lacked, in terms of its ability to convert shots, it made up for with an all-out effort that nearly brought down Utica-Notre Dame in Friday night's Section III Class B final at the Carrier Dome. But that effort did not prove enough as the Jugglers, led by Emily Durr and Jaclyn Hajec, overcame the Warriors’ gritty performance to prevail by a score of 46-39 and repeat as sectional champions.
Ross, Peebles star late to set up Dome clash with Utica-Notre Dame
Though it was, at times, stressful to watch for players, coaches and fans alike, the Westhill girls basketball team has earned the right to play for a Section III Class B championship. Better yet, the Warriors get an opportunity for payback, because waiting for them Friday night at the Carrier Dome is Utica-Notre Dame, the defending champions, who ousted Westhill 60-40 in last year's sectional quarterfinals on its way to the title.
West Genny again denies RFA with championship at stake
Make that seven consecutive Section III Division I championships for the West Genesee ice hockey team, and four consecutive titles won at the expense of Rome Free Academy. The Wildcats' latest conquest of the Black Knights, a 3-1 victory in Saturday's sectional final at Utica Memorial Auditorium, included a crucial second-period scoring outburst and a defense that, once again, protected a lead once it was attained.
Daily helps Roland as Warriors stop ITC, 79-64
Star power, in the form of players like Jordan Roland and Tyler Reynolds, has lifted the Westhill boys basketball team to a perfect 21-0 mark and the top of the state Class B rankings. Yet it was a reserve forward, Brian Daily, that burst into the spotlight Friday night as the Warriors turned back Syracuse's Institute of Technology Central, 79-64, in the Section III Class B semifinal at Onondaga Community College's Allyn Hall.