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Saturday, March 2, 2013: C-NS girls basketball continues run of titles

   Leading off today: Year 1 A.B. (After Breanna) is officially a success for the Cicero-North Syracuse girls basketball team.

   On Friday, the Northstars captured their fifth straight Section 3 Class AA championship -- and the first in that sequence minus all-everything standout Breanna Stewart, now tearing it up at UConn -- with a 60-31 victory over Syracuse Corcoran at the Carrier Dome.

   Coach Eric Smith said he was happiest for those players who were playing lesser roles in the past season or two simply because Stewart was the best scholastic player in the country and logic dictated that C-NS should lean heavily on her in route to the 2012 Federation Class AA championship.

   "It means more for the kids that were around the last couple of years," Smith said. "Now they had a chance to show how good they were."

   Corcoran led 21-20 late in the second quarter, but C-NS rattled off the final five points of the half and then pressured the Cougars into mistakes while enjoying a 19-6 run in the third quarter.

   Abbey Timpano led the Northstars with 19 points, with Sarah Bowles chipping in with 17.

   Section 5 surprise: Gates Chili's victory Friday in the Section 5 Class AA1 girls final against Penfield was predictable given that they were ranked fifth and 10th, respectively, by the New York State Sportswriters Association. But the decisive margin vs. the 2012 NYSPHSAA Class AA runner-up was head-turning.

   Kori Bayne-Walker posted 20 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists as the Spartans stormed to a 62-34 victory to move into the overall Section 5 final vs. Irondequoit on Monday. They did it with a 30-6 rampage from midway through the second quarter to late in the third.

   “Everybody was knocking down shots. Everybody was hustling. We were all just working hard. I just knew this game could be ours,” Bayne-Walker said. “We were really playing our game.”    When the teams faced off Jan. 20, Gates Chili rode nine 3-pointers to a 70-67 victory.

   Opening day of state swim meet: Mexico senior Nick Rodriguez rallied from third place after the semifinals to win the diving competition Friday in the NYSPHSAA swimming championships in Webster.

   Rodriguez, who finished second last year, finished his dives by scoring 55.8 points on an inward two-and-a-half and 53.35 points on a front one-and-a-half with three twists. His score of 504.55 was more than 10 points clear of runner-up Alec Fleet of Addison.

   “I saved my biggest dives for my last two. And I did that on purpose,” said Rodriguez, the first state diving champ from Section 3 since Oswego’s Dave Garrow in 1994.

   The rest of the day's action consisted of swimming prelims, including Jeffrey Williamson shattering a 33-year-old Section 5 record. The Victor senior swam the 100-yard freestyle in 45.45 seconds to break the mark by Penfield star and Olympian Rich Saeger.

   Meanwhile, Pittsford Mendon junior Matt Tanchick broke Williamson’s sectional mark in the 200 individual medley in 1:51.68. Williamson had gone 1:51.90 two weeks ago. Tanchick also came within .01 of the state 100 breaststroke mark of Pittsford's Will Brandt (1999) by going :56.49.

More N.Y. postseason coverage
All sports
NYSSWA site for brackets of tournaments from the past and present seasons. Boys basketball
Status of the 11 sectional tournaments
Road to Glens Falls for scores and stats.
NYSPHSAA tourney brackets
Current state rankings.
Girls basketball
Road to Troy for scores and stats.
NYSPHSAA tourney brackets
Current state rankings.
Ice hockey
NYSSWA site for tournament brackets.
Current state rankings.
• 2013 state meet results: D-I | D-II
Final state rankings.

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   Full day of work: West Seneca West senior Jamie Tobias has a chaotic Saturday ahead of him. He'll spend the morning and early afternoon at Cornell University competing as a distance runner in the NYSPHSAA indoor track championships and then skate for the Indians in the state Division II hockey quarterfinals vs. Syracuse CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt at 8:30 p.m. in Amherst.

   “It’s always special when you compete for a state title," he said. "Hopefully, it’ll be a good day.”

   The New York State Public High School Athletic Association permits dual-sport competition if the athlete is able to meet the minimum practice and game requirements. Individual sections, leagues and schools can decide to prohibit the practice; the ECIC opened the door for it last summer to help small school districts with numbers issues.

   He qualified for the state track meet as part of the 1,600 relay with a school-record time of 3:38.66 last month. He recorded a hat trick during the 4-2 win over Williamsville East in the Section 6 hockey final to push his season totals to 17 goals and 37 points in 18 games.

   Golf star leaving UCLA: Gavin Hall enrolled early at UCLA this winter to get acclimated to college life ahead of the spring golf season. But after just two months, the former Pittsford Mendon star has had a change of heart and has been given his release to pursue a transfer to another program.

   “I just didn’t really feel comfortable and it didn’t take me long to notice it wasn’t the best fit for me,” the former NYSPHSAA champion, who missed his junior season with a wrist injury, told the Democrat and Chronicle. “I was kind of leaning towards it and in the last couple of weeks I really thought about it, talked to people close to me and made the decision.”

   Hall will still have four seasons of eligibility once he completes the current academic quarter and enrolls at another school.

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