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Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018: Two ranked Sec. 3 girls teams knocked off

   Leading off today: Cicero-North Syracuse has put itself far enough ahead of the rest of the pack in Section 3 girls Class AA basketball that one can reasonably project that the Northstars will make it at least as far as the semifinals when sectionals take place next month.

   Figuring out who else will make it that far got a whole lot more difficult Wednesday when Liverpool, ranked 21st in the state, and Baldwinsville, ranked 24th, suffered losses in their first games back from the Christmas break.

   Freshman Amaya Williams scored 22 points for Syracuse Nottingham in a 57-49 win on the road against Baldwinsville, which improved to 3-4 for the season. Jakiya Howard scored 14 points and Chyna Butler added 13.

   "We've played one bad game all year; the first game of the year against Auburn. ... We came into this game knowing we could play against anybody," Nottingham coach Randy Wright said.

   Meanwhile, Mya Case scored 10 of her 17 points in a two-minute stretch of the second quarter to spark West Genesee to a 52-43 win vs. host Liverpool. The Wildcats trailed 15-9 when Case went her spree, which included two 3-point baskets to give West Genesee at 19-15 lead.

   Milestone win: West Genesee boys hockey coach Frank Colabufo picked up his 400th victory when the Wildcats rolled past Fulton 12-1.

   The 1984 Wildcats graduate is in his 24th year as the head coach.

   "I played at West Genny and to be able to come back and coach the team has just been a blessing," Colabufo said. "This is about the program over the last 24 years. It's a tribute to all those players who've been able to sustain the excellence for that period of time."

   West Genesee, ranked second in the state in Division I, improved to 10-0 this season.

   Boys basketball: Trailing by three points late in the third quarter, Rome Free Academy went on a 19-0 run in over a 3:36 span and went on to an 86-78 victory over Utica Notre Dame.

   It snapped the Jugglers' 11-game winning streak in the series between the teams.

   Dante Cummings led the Black Knights with 20 points. Guards Ethan Powell and T.J. Behlin added 16 and 14 points, respectively.

    • Leadership Academy junior guard Rondell Watson scored 52 points in 1 10-9-92 victory over Rochester Wilson. Watson made 10 3-pointers and had 46 points through the end of the third quarter.


   Leadership Academy, ranked 18th in the state in Class A, improved to 7-0.

   Dezmere Ellis finished with 24 points and 14 assists in the win. Wilson's Robert Davis scored 29 points and Desi Floyd added 28.

   Still a no-go: Section 1's Executive Committee on Wednesday rejected a proposal to return the schedule of semifinal basketball games to the Westchester County Center, The Journal News reported.

   It was another blow to the effort to restore games to the WCC after a decision late last year to move semifinals to neutral sites and championship games to Pace University. The last-ditch proposal was presented by members of the sectional Champion- ship Committee.

   "My understanding is that the meeting went to (expletive)," said Bill Harrington, a lawyer for two Section 1 coaches associations. "There really wasn't a meeting. They've lawyered up, they're not moving."

   Section 1 President James Mackin indicated in an email that dis- cussion about potential semifinal sites will continue at the Athletic Council level, the paper reported.

   Harrington said he will proceed with a lawsuit naming Mackin, Section 1 Executive Director Jennifer Simmons and the rest of the Executive Committee.

   "Absent some last-minute reprieve by the County Executive (George Latimer), then yes -- 100 percent," he said. "The unaccountables should be held accountable, and that's what this lawsuit is about."

   Jantzi back: Eric Jantzi is officially back coaching the football team at North Tonawanda, following a school board vote Wednesday. Jantzi coached North Tonawanda to a 13-0 record and the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association Class AA championship in 2009 and stepped down a year later after 11 seasons in the position.

   The North Tonawanda biology teacher served as an assistant at Orchard Park last fall after two seasons as head coach at Springville, his alma mater. Jantzi succeeds Dan Troy, who served as interim coach last season after Henry Fumerelle suffered serious injuries in a car accident.

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