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012718 Onon Cayuga W Bball 3 (copy)

Cayuga's Erica Helzer looks to make a pass as Onondaga's Payton Noeller defends at Spartan Hall last season. The two are now teammates with the Spartans.

The Cayuga women's basketball team raced out to a 26-9 lead in the first quarter and cruised to a 74-56 victory over Schenectady Saturday.

The Spartans' Erica Helzer recorded a team-high 15 points to go along with seven steals, six rebounds and a pair of assists.

"She had a great game, maybe the best game she's played in the two years she's been here," Cayuga coach Jim Alberici said of the Port Byron graduate.

Payton Noeller (Cato-Meridian) added 10 points, Rushanna Cadogan chipped in nine points, and Loren Clifford had nine points and six boards. Tajhia Jones finished with six points and a team-high 10 rebounds, while Breayle Williams had eight points and nine boards.

Cayuga (3-2) hits the road to take on Columbia-Greene on Nov. 17


NYSPHSAA championships: Skaneateles' Caleb Bender placed 13th overall in the Class C championship race Saturday at Sunken Meadow State Park on Long Island.

Bender, the lone Cayuga County-area runner to qualify for the race, wrapped up the course in 17:10.2. Competing with Section III, the Laker helped the section to finish second overall for total points in the race, trailing only Section I.

Among all runners, Bender's time was 90th.

Bender, a sophomore, qualified for the state championship race due to a fourth-place finish in the Section III, Class C race Nov. 3 at Chittenango. To qualify for states, a runner must either be a member of the section-winning school, or finish among the top five individual runners that isn't a member of the winning school.

Team-wise, Saranac Lake was named the Class C champion with 31 points on the boys' side. Westhill, Irvington, Port Jefferson and Newfane rounded out the top five schools.

Among other boys state champions were Fayetteville-Manlius in Class A, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake in Class B, and Beaver River in Class D.

For the girls, Saratoga Springs won the Class A championship, Cornwall won in Class B, Greenwich took Class C, and Tully won Class D.

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