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Phil Blackwell

Stories by Phil

Softball, baseball Northstars have big Monday

C-NS sides both gain wins over Class AA favorites

Forget the gloomy skies that hung over Central New York - this Monday was as bright as possible, at least for Cicero-North Syracuse's varsity softball and baseball teams.

Tease photo

Liverpool softball gains top state ranking

Warriors blank B'ville, take loss to Bethlehem

Before the weather cut into its schedule, the Liverpool softball team again established its superiority over the challenging pack in the CNY Counties League. And it did so with added pressure created by the fact that, when the first state Class AA rankings of the spring were released, the Warriors were on top, a rare honor that would make them an even bigger target of every future opponent.

C-NS girls lax goes 2-1, defeats Liverpool

Northstars stop B'vile, take loss to Skaneateles

Even as it garnered the no. 2 spot in the first state Class A rankings of the spring, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls lacrosse team could not revel in it.

C-NS baseball beats Liverpool in 11 innings

Northstars still unbeaten in league play

The wet and cold weather caused havoc with the baseball schedule, postponing, among other games, one between rivals Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool. But it would get made up on Saturday afternoon, and would last 11 long innings before the Northstars pulled it out, 4-2, over the Warriors.

Track Warriors, Northstars shine at meets

C-NS boys second to F-M at Chittenango Invitational

Right after facing each other and splitting those showdowns, Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool’s track and field teams had more business at hand. C-NS and Liverpool both ventured Friday to the Chittenango Invitational, where the boys Northstars nearly won it, finishing with 86 points, one less than Fayetteville-Manlius (87 points) as the girls Warriors were third with 51 points behind F-M and Rush-Henrietta.

C-NS boys lacrosse hits mid-season skid

Defeats to F-M, West Genny halt April momentum

Excitement was building, anticipation had grown, and the Cicero-North Syracuse boys lacrosse team was ready for its biggest home game in years with unbeaten West Genesee paying a Friday-night visit to Bragman Stadium.

Liverpool lax beaten by Auburn, F-M

Warriors may need fast finish to reach playoffs

As the calendar inched toward the end of April, the Liverpool boys lacrosse team continued to meet with its own frustrations, going to Holland Stadium last Tuesday night and taking a 10-9 double-overtime defeat to Auburn.

Liverpool, C-NS split track showdowns

Boys Warriors, girls Northstars emerge victorious

No matter what took place in the annual track and field clashes between Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse on Wednesday afternoon, the home teams ended up happy.

Theetge carries C-NS baseball past B'ville

Ace throws one-hitter, drives in lone run in 1-0 decision

Safe to say, Cicero-North Syracuse baseball pitcher Steven Theetge had a good day. Theetge kept the Northstars undefeated in the CNY Counties League by pitching a one-hitter, striking out 11, and also producing the game's lone run at the plate, as the Northstars defeated Baldwinsville 1-0 Monday afternoon at the Gillette Road complex.

Liverpool boys lax runs into WG, B’ville

Pair of defeats precede hard-earned win over Essex

In a four-day span, the Liverpool boys lacrosse team played three times, but only could win one of those games This was a stretch full of high-profile competition, starting with last Wednesday night’s visit to West Genesee, where the Warriors stayed close for a long while before falling to the Wildcats by a score of 14-8.

Girls lax Warriors take home loss to F-M

Liverpool goes 1-1 before facing C-NS Tuesday

While the excitement in local girls lacrosse is mostly centered around Cicero-North Syracuse (especially after its win at West Genesee), Liverpool is quietly putting together a strong season of its own.

C-NS softball beaten by Central Square, B’ville

Liverpool maintains unbeaten mark in league openers

Everyone was in anticipatory mode for the April 27 softball showdown between Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse at the Gillette Road complex, but a pair of defeats by the Northstars in the first full week of league competition tempered the hype.

Northstars win twice; Liverpool baseball goes 1-3

C-NS battles to wins over Syracuse, Central Square

A split of early-season non-league games could not, in any way, prepare Cicero-North Syracuse’s baseball team for the excitement once CNY Counties League play started.

C-NS boys lax gets even with Syracuse

Red-hot Northstars have won seven straight games

Perhaps it is time to state that the Cicero-North Syracuse boys lacrosse team has gone beyond the realm of good and could, perhaps, turn into something great.

C-NS track sweeps B’ville; Liverpool falls to F-M

Reader wins high jump, triple jump, long jump for boys Northstars

At the start of a tough slate of CNY Counties League meets, the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool track and field teams had completely different results. While the Northstars dominated against Baldwinsville on Wednesday afternoon, the Warriors were swept by Fayetteville-Manlius, including a 94-47 decision in a hotly contested boys meet.

Girls Wildcats stunned by late C-NS comeback

WG takes 12-11 defeat to Northstars at home

In the span of less than half an hour Tuesday night on the Wildcat Stadium turf in Camillus, the girls lacrosse season, especially in the Class A ranks, got a whole lot more interesting.

RANDOM THOUGHTS: The glorious cruelty of it all

In two nights, in two aftermaths, in vivid images of victory and defeat, the wonder and pull of sports was bared right in front of us, personified by the Wisconsin Badgers.

C-NS girls lax rallies, beats West Genesee

Four-goal deficit erased; Havens scores game-winner with 4.0 seconds left

To most girls lacrosse teams in Central New York, the prospect of staying close to West Genesee, much less beating them, remains ridiculous and far-fetched - but not to Cicero-North Syracuse. Trailing the Wildcats by four goals late in Tuesday night's game in Camillus, the Northstars made it all the way back and won it, 12-11, when Hanna Haven pushed home the game-winning goal with just four seconds left.

Kline named new C-NS football coach

New boss led Henninger to 2014 state AA semifinal

With the turmoil and questions that surrounded Joe Sindoni’s departure as Cicero-North Syracuse varsity football coach, it was imperative for the district to handle the hiring of his replacement well. And from the sense of what Dave Kline has accomplished, the Northstars may have nailed this.

Baseball Warriors, Northstars get underway

Liverpool tunes up at Myrtle Beach; C-NS splits opening games

Depending on the timing of Easter and the adjacent school break, the Liverpool baseball team has, in years past, managed to take the field before making its annual pilgrimage to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for a week of games and fine-tuning.

Liverpool softball starts strong at Myrtle Beach

Warriors sweep tournament; C-NS handles West Genny

As was the case for so many others in Central New York, Liverpool’s softball team had to wait until the April school break, and a trip south to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to get underway.

Boys lacrosse Northstars beat trio of foes

Liverpool upended by unbeaten Westhill

From the time the Cicero-North Syracuse boys lacrosse team edged past Liverpool 10-9 on March 31, each side had handled their separate affairs in different manners, with the Northstars going 3-0 during the week of the school break.

C-NS, Liverpool girls lax earn tough wins

Northstars hold off B'ville; Warriors top Auburn, ESM

In their own ways, the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool girls lacrosse teams picked up a series of impressive victories during the school break.

Track teams open at C-NS Relays

Northstars second in boys, girls divisions behind Rush-Henrietta

Just before they could both enter the cauldron of the CNY Counties League, the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool track and field teams first had to see each other during last Saturday’s season-opening C-NS Relays at Bragman Stadium.

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Stewart, UConn snares another national title

C-NS great is Final Four MOP for record third time

Breanna Stewart was already in elite company long before she led the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team to a 10th NCAA championship, and third in a row. Now, she stands alone in one specific way, and could set herself further apart as a senior next season.

C-NS wins boys lacrosse clash with Liverpool

Warriors rebound with big road win at F-M

Records hardly matter when rivals are on the field, and that was proven again when Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool clashed in boys lacrosse last Tuesday night at Bragman Stadium. Even though the Northstars had lost its season opener to Syracuse on March 27 and the Warriors had ripped Central Square, it was C-NS emerging on top on this night, doing just enough to fend off Liverpool by a 10-9 margin.

C-NS girls lacrosse handles F-M

Liverpool falls to Carthage, defeats Ludden-Grimes

Even though it was early in the season, and despite the fact that plenty of time remains to work on things that aren’t going well, the Cicero-North Syracuse did not like the taste of defeat one bit.

C-NS girls start 1-1; Liverpool edges Westhill

Northstars have dropped sectional finals in 2013, '14

In each of the last two seasons, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls lacrosse team has made it to the Section III Class A championship game, only to get turned back – by Baldwinsville in 2013, and by West Genesee in 2014.

Liverpool, C-NS boys lax start seasons

Northstars fall to Syracuse; Warrior rout Central Square

It would not take long for the Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse boys lacrosse teams to get a look at each other in this 2015 season. The two neighbors and rivals square off Tuesday night at Bragman Stadium after each of them played last Friday night, with varying results – the Warriors routing Central Square 21-4, the Northstars falling to the newly combined Syracuse squad 10-8.

C-NS announces spring sports schedule

Lacrosse teams set to open late this week

Cicero-North Syracuse High School’s 2015 spring sports schedule, with all dates and times subject to change.

Liverpool announces spring sports schedule

Softball Warriors try to follow run to 2014 state AA final

Liverpool will try and see its softball team repeat its run to last year’s state Class AA championship game as its season starts April 1 against Fayetteville-Manlius, weather and conditions permitting. Here is the 2015 spring sports varsity schedule, with all dates and times subject to change.

Sindoni out as C-NS football coach

Northstars decide to make change at top after two seasons

An off-season full of coaching turnover in Section III football has spread to Cicero-North Syracuse, who again is searching for a new head coach. The district announced on Tuesday that it was not retaining Joe Sindoni, who had coached the Northstars in 2013 and 2014 and brought the program back to the sectional playoffs after a long absence.

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.

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.

Tease photo

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.

Tease photo

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Evans suits up, scores in final C-NS game

Knee injury sidelined Northstars guard for season

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.

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