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.