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Phil Blackwell

Stories by Phil

Girls Northstars return to action with home win

C-NS pulls away from Catholic Central after 12-day break

More than a month had passed since practices got underway for the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball team, and it had just one game in the books - a Dec. 6 win at Bishop Kearney. Weather (thanks to the snowout of a Dec. 10 game with Liverpool), and a schedule with big tournaments on the horizon, had limited the Northstars' game activity, and head coach Eric Smith said his players were tired of facing each other and wanted to get back into game action.

Liverpool, C-NS go 1-2 at Morse Kickoff Meet

Warriors get wins from Mayfield, McCarthy

A mere 11 days after they ran in the Nike Cross Nationals in Oregon, Liverpool's Dylan McCarthy, Connor Buck, Ty Brownlow and Nick LeClair were part of a winning effort when the boys indoor track season got underway at SRC Arena with the Jack Morse Kickoff Meet.

Liverpool girls third at Norwich Tournament

Warriors get last-second win over Utica-Notre Dame

On the surface, a third-place finish, as the Liverpool girls basketball team attained during last weekend’s Norwich Tournament, didn’t seem that impressive. But the Warriors’ victory in Saturday's consolation game was quite good, as it went up against reigning state Class B champion Utica-Notre Dame and, with some big plays in the final seconds on both ends of the floor, knocked off the Jugglers 41-40.

C-NS boys take losses to Henninger, F-M

Northstars drop to 1-2 after opening win over Nottingham

What the Cicero-North Syracuse boys basketball team demonstrated, in beating Nottingham in its Dec. 6 opener, was that it still had the goods to win plenty of games, even with Connor Evans forced to the sidelines for the winter. But that didn’t mean the Northstars were free and clear, by any means.

Wrestling Warriors rout West Genesee

Liverpool gains fourth-place finish at Herkimer Invitational

Whether the matches were quick and one-sided, or long and tough, the Liverpool wrestling team had all the answers to the questions West Genesee provided.

C-NS boys bowlers edged by Auburn

Northstars sweep West Genny; Liverpool gets first win

Due to the big numbers posted by the likes of Nick Joss early this season, the Cicero-North Syracuse boys bowling team had risen to the top of the Onondaga High School League standings. But that lead only lasted until last Thursday’s match against Auburn at Falcon Bowl, where two 5-0 teams went at it and the Northstars could not quite keep up in a 2-1 defeat to the Maroons.

Liverpool hockey defeats C-NS in overtime

Warriors finish third at Ontario Bay Tournament

What the Liverpool ice hockey team taught Cicero-North Syracuse in last Monday night’s game at Lysander Arena is that the dynamic of a come-from-behind, overtime victory can work both ways. The Warriors, having seen the Northstars benefit from such a rally in the Nov. 21 Frozen Dome Classic against Baldwinsville, did close to the same thing in this game, only this time rallying from a two-goal deficit to prevail 5-4.

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Warriors stop Central Square, move to 4-0

Sullivan helped by late points from Cutler

In racing out to a 3-0 start and winning its division at the Cataract Classic in Niagara Falls, the Liverpool boys basketball team had established that it had a dependable star in junior Tyler Sullivan and the kind of depth that most opponents could envy.

Warriors runners rise to fourth at Nike Nationals

Liverpool makes grand final statement on national stage

All season long, the Liverpool boys cross country team knew how good it was, that it ranked among the best squads in the United States. Then, in the biggest meet of their careers, the Warriors went out and proved it.

Liverpool boys hoops roars to 3-0 start

Warriors edge Corcoran, sweep tourney in Niagara Falls

Between a laundry list of fouls, a superb effort from Marquis Gilbert and even a question about the score of the game, the Liverpool boys basketball team had a lot to overcome in last Tuesday night’s season opener at Corcoran.

C-NS girls stop Kearney; Liverpool starts 1-1

Northstars return plenty of talent in latest title quest

With the count standing at six consecutive Section III Class AA championships, a pair of state titles and five straight trips to the state final four, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball team can safely call itself a dynasty.

Boys hoops Northstars battle past Nottingham

C-NS to miss Evans for season with knee injury

Everything that happened to the Cicero-North Syracuse boys basketball team in the off-season following a narrow, 83-79 defeat to Utica Proctor in last March’s Section III Class AA final at the Carrier Dome suggested that getting back to the title game in 2014-15 was going to be quite difficult.

Hockey Warriors get first win over Mohawk Valley

C-NS, in first game after Dome win, ties Raiders 4-4

Now the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool ice hockey teams have both gone through encounters with Baldwinsville – in vastly different circumstances, and with vastly different results, though their meetings with Mohawk Valley would also prove divergent.

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C-NS wrestler Barber headed to Maryland

Northstars, Liverpool open season at Andersen Invitational

This time around, the Cicero-North Syracuse wrestling team made the annual Andersen Tournament its starting point for the season. And as 2014-15 got underway, the Northstars could celebrate the fact that its most recent Section III champion was heading into the college ranks.

Liverpool boys swimmers roll past C-NS

Burdo leads returning cast for Warriors

Nick Burdo, Connor Thiel and Matt Petit were at the forefront for a Liverpool boys swim team that offered a rousing start to its 2014-15 season at the expense of its neighbors from Cicero-North Syracuse.

Joss nearly perfect in C-NS sweep of Liverpool

Northstars also beat B'ville, lead CNYCL race

Eleven straight strikes were in the books. All that Nick Joss needed was one more to earn a perfect game and offer an exclamation point to the Cicero-North Syracuse bowling team’s sweep of Liverpool last Tuesday afternoon at Strike-N-Spare Lanes.

Liverpool boys hoops survives Corcoran

Fourth-quarter comeback produces 83-82 win

Between a laundry list of fouls, a superb effort from Marquis Gilbert and even a question about the score of the game, theLiverpool boys basketball team had a lot to overcome in Tuesday night’s season opener at Corcoran.

Cross country Warriors advance to Nike Nationals

Liverpool finishes strong third at New York Regionals

A season spent in the national rankings, but in the long shadow of a local powerhouse, will end for the Liverpool boys cross country team in the one place it wanted to get to all along.

Northstars rally, win in OT at Frozen Dome Classic

Donegan goal beats B'ville after Northstars tie late in regulation

Sutter Donegan had a proper description for the emotions he felt after putting in the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Cicero-North Syracuse ice hockey team a dramatic 3-2 victory over Baldwinsville in Friday night's Frozen Dome Classic at the Carrier Dome. "I feel like it's the NHL," said Donegan. "It's unreal."

C-NS announces winter sports schedule

Girls basketball Northstars look for another state final four run

Cicero-North Syracuse High School’s 2014-15 varsity winter sports schedule, with all dates and times subject to change.

Liverpool announces winter sports schedule

Boys basketball Warriors open Dec. 2 at Corcoran

Liverpool High School’s 2014-15 winter sports schedule, with all dates and times subject to change.

Petrella takes second at state cross country meet

Liverpool boys trio each posts top-20 finishes

Though the Liverpool boys cross country team, as a whole unit, could not make it to last Saturday’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A championship meet at SUNY-Canton, Ben Petrella went there – and nearly brought home a state title of his own.

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Liverpool overwhelmed by Henninger in second half

Football Warriors fall in first sectional final since '98

In reality, the Section III Class AA football championship game, played between Liverpool and Henninger Sunday night at the Carrier Dome, was two games rolled into one outcome.

Girls soccer Warriors fall in regional final

Bethlehem rallies past Liverpool, 2-1, in OT

Having prevailed by 2-1 margins twice in order to claim the Section III Class AA championship, it only figured that the Liverpool girls soccer team's regional final Saturday against Section II champion Bethlehem at Fulton would also end with a 2-1 score. But this time, it was the other side finishing on top.

Murphy, Sovinsky, Rolf win at sectional swim meet

Liverpool, C-NS stars both prevail amid tough competition

Whether with lots of experience, like Liverpool’s Sydnie Sovinsky and Madeline Murphy, or full of youthful promise, like Cicero-North Syracuse’s Jamie Rolf, local girls swimmers found lots of success during Friday night's Section III Class A championship meet at West Genesee.

C-NS, Liverpool volleyball falls in sectional finals

Boys Northstars, girls Warriors swept by B'ville sides

From Cicero-North Syracuse on the boys side to Liverpool on the girls side, area volleyball teams had a chance to prevent Baldwinsville from pulling off a sweep of Wednesday night’s Section III championship matches at the C-NS gym – but neither would succeed.

C-NS field hockey falls in Class A regional

Saratoga Springs uses late goal to end Northstars' season

Having waited eight years to get back into the state tournament, Section III Class A field hockey champion Cicero-North Syracuse was eager to do something big. And there was some precedence from which to draw some inspiration. The last time the Northstars made it this far, in 2006, it advanced all the way to the state championship game at what is now NBT Bank Stadium before falling to Lakeland.

Boys Warriors finish second at sectional meet

Petrella, Buck, McCarthy, McNamara qualify for state meet

All through the 2014 season, the Liverpool boys cross country team held the no. 2 state Class A ranking and a national top 10 ranking, honors that, in most places, would lead to a slew of meet victories and championship honors.

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Warriors stop B'ville, reach AA title game

Liverpool to face Henninger in first sectional final since 1998

Many times since 1998, the Liverpool football team has made trips to the Carrier Dome for various games. But they never took place in November. Now, at long last, the Warriors are back in the Dome just when it wants to be there, with a Section III Class AA championship at stake.

Warriors upend C-NS, reclaim sectional AA title

Defense, goals from O'Neil propel Liverpool past defending champs

Once again, a well-established power with lots of recent success brought home the Section III Class AA championship - only it wasn’t the one that many people expected. Two goals by Meagan O’Neill, along with a defense that stepped up when it was needed, helped Liverpool knock off defending champion Cicero-North Syracuse 2-1 in Friday night’s AA title game at SUNY-Cortland.

C-NS boys fall to F-M in sectional semifinal

Northstars battle to end in 2-1 defeat to Hornets

Right to the end, the Cicero-North Syracuse boys soccer team was in the battle, making the state’s top-ranked team sweat and worry. But when all was finished in Thursday night’s Section III Class AA semifinal at Liverpool High School Stadium, the no. 4 seed Northstars had taken a 2-1 defeat to top seed Fayetteville-Manlius, the third time it had lost to the Hornets this fall, each of them one-goal decisions.

Volleyball sides split sectional semifinals

C-NS boys, Liverpool girls advance to finals against B'ville

The neighborhood rivalry between Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse turned up in several different spots during the Section III playoffs, from early-round football to championship games in girls soccer and field hockey.

Girls soccer Northstars, Warriors win AA semifinals

C-NS to face Liverpool for sectional title Friday

One last blast of summer warmth hit Central New York Tuesday as the four Section III Class AA girls soccer semifinals teams gathered at Christian Brothers Academy's Alibrandi Stadium. And with their victories, Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool earned the right to go to SUNY-Cortland Friday night and battle freezing temperatures - not to mention each other - with a sectional championship at stake.

C-NS, Liverpool field hockey to battle for sectional title

Northstars topple F-M; Warriors run away from B'ville

For the first time since 2008, the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool field hockey teams will settle the Section III Class A championship among themselves. The two neighbors and rivals got to this showdown through impressive finishes to their respective sectional semifinals, with the top-seeded Northstars getting away from Fayetteville-Manlius 3-1 and the Warriors unleashing its attack on no. 2 seed Baldwinsville to win by that exact same margin.

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Liverpool handles C-NS again in sectional clash

Warriors draw Class AA semifinal against B'ville

Maybe it was supposed to turn out this way for he Liverpool football team - that, in order to end a 16-year wait of returning to the Section III Class AA championship game, it would have to conquer both of its neighborhood rivals in consecutive weeks, and in consecutive playoff rounds.

C-NS, Liverpool girls soccer get playoff wins

Northstars rout Central Square; Akinpelu gets hat trick against Auburn

Whether it was an entire unit, or just an individual standing out, the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool girls soccer team inched closer to a possible showdown for the Section III Class AA championship.

C-NS girls soccer gains AA sectional top seed

Liverpool finishes strong, holds no. 3 seed

Having endured its toughest week of the season, with three close contests (one of which went to overtime), the Cicero-North Syracuse girls soccer team still won them all and locked down the top seed for its Section III Class AA title defense.

Boys soccer Northstars take late-season loss to West Genny

Liverpool surges ahead of playoff meeting with Wildcats

Though both the Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool boys soccer teams are headed toward their annual appearances in the Section III Class AA playoffs, they both got there facing different questions about whether they had the goods for a championship run.

C-NS field hockey roars into playoffs

Northstars, Liverpool could meet once more in sectional final

A pair of victories, attained in very different manners, has the Cicero-North Syracuse field hockey team well-placed as the team to beat in the Section III Class A playoffs.

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Warriors go to 7-0, will meet C-NS in secitonals

Liverpool beats West Genny; Northstars edged by B'ville

Having just finished off its first undefeated regular season in 16 years, the Liverpool football team finds that it still has to hold on to neighborhood bragging rights against Cicero-North Syracuse if it wants to go anywhere in the Section III Class AA playoffs.

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Warriors go to 6-0; Northstars clinch playoff spot

Liverpool assured of AA-1 division top seed

There's a real chance that the Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse football teams could meet up in the opening round of the Section III Class AA playoffs. For now, though, both teams are quite content with what they've accomplished, whether it's the Warriors assured of the top seed from the AA-1 division or the Northstars just making it back to the post-season after a prolonged absence.

C-NS girls soccer holds off B'ville, 3-2

Back-and-forth battle could provide playoff preview

Can a game with a 3-2 score be considered a win for both sides? Perhaps so, in the case of Thursday night's girls soccer battle between Cicero-North Syracuse and Baldwinsville, for though the Northstars prevailed by that 3-2 margin, the Bees could leave Archie Hall Stadium convinced that, if they met again in the Section III Class AA playoffs, the result could prove different.

C-NS, Liverpool boys soccer sides sweep

Northstars top Nottingham, Henninger; Warriors earn playoff spot

Going into the final week of the regular season, there was little doubt that the Cicero-North Syracuse boys soccer team was primed for a championship push – and Liverpool wanted those same good feelings, too, before it got too late.

C-NS, Liverpool golfers advance from AA sectionals

Boys Northstars finish third to F-M, Auburn in team tournament

For a few brief moments, members of the Cicero-North Syracuse Blue boys golf team carried the notion that it could go all the way to the top and earn the Section III Class AA championship. But while that dream fell just short, the Northstars, along with the Liverpool Warriors, saw several standout performances in Wednesday's sectional tournament at the Links at Sunset Ridge.

C-NS field hockey blanks Liverpool, 1-0

Northstars win in long-awaited return to home field

Much of the Cicero-North Syracuse field hockey team's 2014 season was spent traveling elsewhere, as it played 10 consecutive road games while waiting for the new Field Turf at Bragman Stadium to get finished. At last, though, the turf was ready, and on Monday night the Northstars came back home in the sweetest way possible, recording a 1-0 victory over its neighbor and rival, Liverpool.

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Late rally gives Warriors big win over CBA

Liverpool scores twice in final 5:31, go to 5-0

Even at this stage at what is shaping up as a memorable and possibly magical season, it's too early to say if the Liverpool football team will cast aside its 16-year sectional championship drought. But if it does, the Warriors are sure to look back to what happened late Friday night at Alibrandi Stadium as the pivot point where a good team showed something deeper.

C-NS swimmers drop showdown to West Genny

Murphy, Sovinsky lead Liverpool past CBA

In many ways, the Cicero-North Syracuse girls swim team’s season peaked on Sept. 25, when it went to Liverpool and stunned the Warriors 94-92, ending years of domination by Liverpool in that neighborhood rivalry.

C-NS girls tennis topples Liverpool, 5-2

Northstars sweep singles, avenge Sept. 9 defeat to Warriors

A reflection of the close girls tennis competition between Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool could easily be found in their pair of regular-season clashes in 2014.

Liverpool cross country sweeps C-NS

Basla, Petrella win individual races; sides sweep Auburn

At least in 2014, the pendulum in cross country has gone toward Liverpool, in terms of its rivalry with Cicero-North Syracuse.

Liverpool field hockey rallies, stuns Cazenovia

Warriors' last-minute comeback builds crucial momentum

With one defeat to Cicero-North Syracuse in the recent memory bank, and a rematch on the new turf at Bragman Stadium looming a week ahead, the Liverpool field hockey team wanted, at the least, a good performance out of Monday night's home game against Class C powerhouse. But it had no idea just how good - or memorable - it would be.

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