Baldwinsville enjoyed packed, exciting winter sports season

first_imgEditor’s Note: After the cancellation of the rest of the high school winter sports state tournaments, we’ll be periodically looking back at the top local teams and athletes from the 2019-20 season. This edition features Baldwinsville winter sports.From the basketball court to the bowling alley to the swimming pool, it was, in many different ways, a memorable winter for Baldwinsville’s group of varsity winter sports teams.On a team and individual basis, Section III championships were earned, records were broken, and so much promise was fulfilled, even if, at times, the ending was not quite what Bees fans imagined. Tags: Baldwinsvillewinter sports A featured player throughout this story was boys basketball sophomore J.J. Starling. What he and his B’ville teammates did, in the course of 23 games, caused more excitement than the program had ever seen.It began Dec. 3 with a win over long-time powerhouse Jamesville-DeWitt and continued through all kinds of personal milestones for Starling, who broke the school scoring record on his way to averaging more than 28 points per game.And so many of those games were memorable, from the big fourth quarter Starling used to knock off reigning state champion West Genesee Jan. 3 to last-second shots that twice took out rival Liverpool and, in the sectional playoffs, impressive wins over Auburn and Rome Free Academy.center_img All along, Starling got enough help from the likes of Dan Fabrizio, Bo Nicholson and Chase Trombley to push the Bees to the brink of its first-ever sectional title, only to get stopped in the title game by Corcoran, with everyone now wondering if Starling, recruited by the likes of Syracuse University, will stay for his remaining two years.While all this was going on, B’ville’s girls basketball team was dead-set on ending its own sectional title drought, dating back to 1995, and up until the end seemed poised to do so.Going 19-1 in the regular season, the Bees had reliable anchors in seniors Katie Pascale and Jordan Roy, strong support from junior Hannah Mimas and big-time production from the sophomore duo of Ola Bednarczyk and Sydney Huhtala, plus consistent bench contributions from the likes of Kyrah Wilbur.This worked against every opponent except one – Cicero-North Syracuse, who split two regular-season games with B’ville and then, in the March 7 sectional final at Onondaga Community College’s Allyn Hall, snuffed out the Bees’ title drams in a 52-37 decision.That same day down on Long Island, another fine B’ville athlete, senior boys swimmer Nick Schultz, was making his own history, nearly earning a state championship in the 100-yard breaststroke.Schultz finished second to Dansville’s Aidan Kreiley, but that wasn’t the big story. All season long, Schultz had improved his time in the 100 breaststroke and, like any good swimmer, peaked at the end.First in the qualifying round of the state meet, and then again in the finals, Schultz bettered the Section III record in the 100 breaststroke once held by Liverpool’s Garrett Clarke, ultimately establishing a new mark of 56.14 seconds to cap off his high school career.For all the accolades elsewhere, though, the lone Section III team title for B’ville in winter sports came from an unlikely source – boys bowling.These Bees had only gone 6-6 in the regular season, but it saved its best performance for the Feb. 9 sectional tournament at Utica’s Pin-O-Rama, where it led from the second game onward and bested runner-up Oswego by 250 pins.Not only that, but B’ville’s Tanner Rozyczko led all individuals with a six-game total of 1,450, an average of 241.67 per game, while Dylan Williams was sixth with a 1,296 set. Unfortunately, the Bees’ hopes of competing in the March 15 state tournament at Strike-N-Spare Lanes was wiped out by the COVID-19 outbreak.Elsewhere in winter sports, B’ville’s ice hockey team fell again in the sectional semifinals in a 3-2 thriller to eventual champion Syracuse, but it had beat the Cougars earlier in the season to win its own Bobby Conklin Memorial Tournament.And in indoor track, B’ville missed, by just three points, winning the sectional Class AA title Feb. 8 at SRC Arena, Connor Waldron (600 meters) and Steven Miller (weight throw) both advancing to the state meet in March, while on the girls side Lauren Addario and Karen Ekure both qualified for the state meet, too, Ekure having claimed sectional honors in the 55 and 300-meter sprints.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story last_img read more

Volleyball sees improvement despite loss to Ohio

first_imgWith eight new players on its roster, the Wisconsin volleyball team could view its performance in the InnTowner Invitational as a success. Despite losing to the Ohio Bobcats in four sets Sunday, the Badgers showed signs of improvement throughout the tournament.After getting swept by Duke in their first match of the weekend, the Badgers returned the favor to visiting South Dakota the following day. In the tournament finale, UW took on the Ohio Bobcats, who had swept Duke only a day earlier.In the first set against the Bobcats, junior Allison Wack and freshman Kirby Toon led the Badgers with four and three kills, respectively. After battling back and forth to an 18-18 tie, the Badgers pulled away, taking the set, 25-19.“I think we were just playing steady ball; we kept our composure,” UW head coach Pete Waite said. “We had really good matchups with the block.”While Ohio was able to hold off UW over the next three sets, Waite saw a great improvement over the games earlier in the weekend.“I wish we could have come out and gotten that second and third game,” Waite said. “But overall, we saw a lot of good things, a lot of progress over the weekend. Our middles improved every match. Our middles today did great, and it is our testament to them, going to them so much. It also shows that our ball handlers are doing their jobs well and improved a ton from last year.”After dominating the second set, the Bobcats looked poised to take their second set when they took a 22-15 lead in the third. However, the Badgers battled back to tie the set at 25-25, but it wasn’t enough to hold off Ohio, who won the set 29-27.“We had a shot at it and wished we would have had that one,” Waite said. “But we had a chance (in set) four and would have (had a chance) at five. That is something we need to be better at and be tougher about at that point.”In the fourth set, the Badgers were unable to slow down the Bobcats, who were helped by a match-high 19 kills from senior and tournament MVP Ellen Herman. After several competitive rallies, Ohio pulled away to take the final set, 25-21.While a win would have been ideal for the Badgers, the tournament did provide a much-needed source of competition unseen in practice. Aside from undergoing a team makeover, UW also changed its offensive scheme from a 6-2 to a 5-1, with only one passer — Janelle Gabrielsen — to set up her teammates.“I have been working really hard on running the 5-1 since last year,” Gabrielsen said. “It actually feels good because I feel like I’m improving every day and the team is improving every day.”Gabrielsen, who was awarded all-tournament honors, finished the match with 38 assists, while Toon and Wack led the Badgers with 9 and 16 kills, respectively. Toon, a freshman, noted just how important the tournament was to the team, despite not performing as well as it would have liked.“I think that now that we’ve played someone other than ourselves we have gotten to know how everyone plays and have gotten really comfortable with each other.”For Waite, coaching a team with eight new players is a first in his 21-year coaching career. However, keeping in mind his goal of improving every day, he saw the tournament as a step in the right direction.“I think a weekend like this helps them start the next week with even more determination to work hard in every aspect of their games individually and as a team,” Waite said. “Our goal is to keep getting better each week.”last_img read more