The 2019 spring season postseason is right around the corner, and we'll soon see if progress in regular season pays off in the playoffs
What we’ve learned this spring:
- The Canandaigua Academy girls are legit contenders for a Section V Class B lacrosse title. The Braves were 13-3 in the regular season and are the No. 2 seed for the tournament. Two of the three losses are to Class A powerhouses Pittsford and Rush-Henrietta, and each of those were by a single goal.
The other loss is to Brighton, which also is a top contender in B. The Barons gave the Braves a lesson in defense, holding CA to just 3 goals in a May 3 game. CA was without junior attacker LaRen Blakesley in the game as she recovered from injury but she is back now and the chemistry is forming.
That was evident in last week’s win over Fairport, when Blakesley scored a nifty behind-the-head goal. As impressive as goals like that are, it was Lexi Braniecki’s pass that hit Blakesley in stride that’s even more telling. Lacrosse is all about time and space and when teams can execute like that, opponents have little chance.
- The Honeoye baseball team is solid, too, and the stage is set for a solid postseason run. But I’m not even looking at the team’s 16-0 record heading into the weekend, the No. 1 state ranking or the massive run differential stats.
I’m looking at plays like the one I saw on Wednesday in Bloomfield. Honeoye was leading 1-0 in the third inning, so outs were particularly valuable. When a Bloomfield batter hit a chopper up the first-base line, pitcher Dom Trippi and first baseman Tyler Rudolph charged. That left first base open for the runner, but second baseman JD Slocumb not only had it covered, he yelled it out for teammates to know and the out was routine.
Sounds and looks simple, but it’s fundamentals like this that can’t be taken for granted and is the formula for winning.
- You never want to count your chickens before they’ve hatched, but the Palmyra-Macedon girls appear to be well on their way a third straight Section V title.
The Red Raiders are 12-4 with all 4 losses coming to bigger schools. Coach EJ Burse intentionally schedules the tougher competition to give his team a look at the speed and precision it needs for itself and it’s difficult to argue with the results.
The Red Raiders will open the Class D Tournament as the No. 1 seed and of the 8 Class D teams in Section V, Pal-Mac played 6 of them this spring. Pal-Mac was 6-0 in those games, outscoring those opponents by a 96-18 margin.
- In softball, defending state champion Victor continues to roll. The Blue Devils are 9-0 against Section V teams this season and the 3 losses in the 12-3 overall record are against non-Section V teams. The Blue Devils have elite pitching and hitting, along with the softball mind of coach Shelly Collins so they can never be counted out.
The other top local contender is in Class D1. Coach Randy Yale is in his first season with the Honeoye softball team after making the switch from Honeoye baseball. The Bulldogs are 11-3 with 10 wins in their last 11 games and are getting it done with a lineup that pounds the ball along with solid defense.
- The Class B boys lacrosse scene isn’t as simple as it used to be. It’s not exactly time to say the dominant era of Victor is over, but the Blue Devils do have 3 losses to Section V teams this season and that hasn’t happened since the 2014 season. From 2015 through 2018 (4 seasons), Victor had just 1 loss to a Section V team.
So while the Blue Devils may have returned a little closer to earth, they’re still a solid contender for a sixth straight Section V title.
But make no mistake. The Blue Devils (11-5) will be pushed. McQuaid is hard to gauge at 11-5 with just 9 games against Section V opponents. The Knights are 7-2 in those games, but only 1 game was against a fellow Class B foe. The rest came against Class C and D schools.
Canandaigua is 12-4 with 2 losses against Class A schools, but the Braves also have losses to Victor and Brighton. A pair of key defenders returned this week, so that may help in the postseason push that will most certainly include a team or two they’ve seen before.
Speaking of, Brighton is 13-3 a year after going 9-9. The Barons have wins over Canandaigua and Victor, so the Braves and Blue Devils will have plenty of motivation to make for a great rematch should it occur.
- Dates you need to know for spring sports championships:
Boys and girls lacrosse: May 29
Baseball and softball: June 1
Class A and C track and field: May 24 at South Seneca
Class AA and CC track and field: May 25 at Avon
Class B and D track and field: May 25 at Campbell-Savona
Class B and C boys team golf: May 23 at Livingston Country Club
Class A boys team golf: May 24 at Wildwood CC
Boys tennis: May 23.
Chavez is sports editor at The Daily Messenger. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me @MPN_bchavez