Sunday Sports: Lowville boys, South Jeff girls gear up for state play

Updated: Mar. 8, 2020 at 9:50 PM EDT
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WWNY) - The Section 3 boys and girls basketball playoffs wrapped up Saturday night at Onondaga Community College with both the South Jeff Lady Spartans and Lowville Red Raiders winning sectional titles.

For the Red Raiders, they’ll now be looking for a return trip to the state title game.

The Lowville Red Raiders made it back to back Section 3 Class B Championships on Saturday night, beating Solvay 71-50.

In one of their toughest games of the tournament, Lowville found themselves only up 6 in the 3rd quarter before pulling away for the win.

“We actually seen Solvay play a couple times throughout the year and we thought they were one of the best teams that we saw. So we knew going down that it was gonna be a tough game with starting 5 seniors and they obviously had a huge fall winning the sectional and championship in football. So we knew going down it was gonna be a tough battle,” said Lowville Coach Zach Shambo.

For the Red Raiders, it’s their 2nd straight Section 3 Class B title and they marched through the post season in style, averaging 72 points a contest and beating their opponents by 41, 23, 16 and 21 points.

“Another sectional championship is amazing, obviously that’s what we’ve been working for all year long. That’s always our first goal going into the season a sectional championship and so it’s hard to put into words how we’re feeling right now. To do it back to back is a really great thing also so we’re happy,” said Aidan MaCaulay, a Lowville junior guard.

The Red Raiders open state play on Sunday at 6:30 PM at the Floyd Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton where they will meet the Section 4 Champion with a trip back to the State Final 4 on the line.

“Um, yeah, hopefully we- I mean, obviously as Chad said, sectionals is what we want, it’s our goal and everything after is bonus so we’re gonna go as far as we can and if we go all the way, we go all the way, that would be amazing,” said junior guard Aiden Zehr.

A key to the Red Raiders run the past 2 seasons has been the support from the Lowville community before, during and after games. This was evident Saturday night. It’s something the players say doesn’t go unnoticed.

“Yeah, for sure, the community’s been crazy. Every team that I’ve talked to during the game is like, ‘Wow, I mean you guys got a lot of people here.’ I said, ‘I know. I don’t know if there’s anyone left in town,’ but seriously it means a lot to us, thank you to the community we all appreciate it,” said Chad Bach, a Lowville senior center.

And the community and the rest of the north country appreciate the ride the Red Raiders Boys Basketball Team has taken them on the past 2 seasons. It’s a ride that hopefully can end with a state title.

The South Jeff Lady Spartans also captured a sectional title Saturday night at O.C.C., beating Bishop Grimes 55-43 for the Class B title.

Jackie Piddock led the way, scoring 22 of her game high 28 points in the 2nd half.

For the Lady Spartans it’s back to back titles and on to the states, where they will look to advance to the State Final 4 for a 2nd straight season with a win on Sunday afternoon at 4:45 PM at the Floyd Maines Veterans Memorial Arena where they will meet an opponent from Section 4.

“Well, regionals is always, you know, it’s tough. You’re gonna- we’re either gonna play the winner of Norwich or Newark Valley. And both teams I’ve seen a little bit of both teams and they’re good. When you get to this point, there’s no easy games and we just gotta prepare and go in there and try to do what we’ve been doing,” said South Jeff Coach Michelle Whitley.

Despite losing to Princeton 5-1 in the ECAC semifinals, the Clarkson Lady Golden Knights are back in the NCAA tournament.

Clarkson will hit the road to face 2nd seed Wisconsin on Saturday a little after 3 in Madison.

Wisconsin enters the contest 28-5-3 and are coming off a 1-0 overtime loss in the WCHA Championship game to Ohio State.

The Lady Golden Knights enter the game with a 25-6-6 record.

R.P.I. announced Sunday that it’s Men’s ECAC hockey quarterfinal series with Harvard this weekend in Albany will be played with no fans in attendance due to what they describe as social distancing protocols to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

2 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the capital region and the university is taking all precautions to contain possible further spread.

The Clarkson Golden Knights host Colgate this weekend in the ECAC quarterfinals and the university told us in an email that Clarkson is keeping to normal schedule which includes events in Cheel Arena.

They add that they are taking all necessary precautions. The university is also keeping in contact with county and state representatives from the Department of Health and making adjustments to their plans based on their recommendations.

Watch the video above for highlights.

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