Ron Moshier - Sports

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Moshier: Utica Aud's time to shine

This is it. Time for Utica, and the Utica Memorial Auditorium, to shine.

 

The Aud is hosting the Section III Wrestling Championships this Saturday and Sunday. The Section III girls basketball finals will be there soon. And the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s ice hockey championships will be held there for the 22nd straight year.

 

If all goes well, the Section III boys basketball finals, in need of a new home because Manley Field House no longer will be available, may return to the Aud next season. That would be quite a coup.

 

Here’s to hoping the price is right, and Section III is won over by what Utica and the Utica Memorial Auditorium can offer.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Moshier: Winning, not record, Knapp's priority

Vernon-Verona-Sherrill coach Al Knapp says the record he’s on the verge of setting is a “distraction” to his basketball team. “But it is not an excuse.”

 

Knapp wasn’t using it as an excuse Tuesday night, when Whitesboro’s Warriors denied him career win No. 521 with a 47-44 Tri Valley League victory over the visiting Red Devils.

 

Instead, he was praising the play of Whitesboro senior guard Junior Woodard, and crediting the Warriors for “surviving” and making the plays when they had to.

 

The record for wins by a Section III boys basketball coach, the one he currently shares with former Oswego coach Dave Powers, eventually will be his alone. That didn’t make losing any easier Tuesday night, not with his Red Devils’ chances of winning a TVL West Division title withering away.

 

“It bothers me that we lost,” said Knapp. “It bothers me that we might drop out of a No. 2 seed for sectionals. It bothers me that we’re not breathing down Oneida’s neck.”

 

Maybe not, but the record will soon be his, and his alone.  

 

Monday, February 2, 2009

Moshier: Defense wins another champoinship

In Sunday night’s most entertaining fourth quarter, it was Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes who combined to spoil what would have been the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. What should be regarded as the greatest defensive play in Super Bowl history, though, is what really led the Steelers to their last-minute, 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

 

Holmes’ remarkable grab in the corner of the end zone, in bounds by just the tip of his toes, may have been the game-winner. But the play of the game, the best defensive play made in any Super Bowl, was made by Steelers’ linebacker James Harrison. His 100-yard interception return for a touchdown on the final play of the first half was as good as it gets.

 

That’s two Super Bowl Bests in the last two years. Eli Manning’s escape and David Tyree’s catch in the New York Giants’ upset of the previously-unbeaten New England Patriots last year is the best offensive play made in any Super Bowl. From a defensive point of view, Harrison’s play Sunday should be just as highly regarded.

 

As good as Big Ben was when he needed to be, and as great as Holmes’ game-winning catch was with 35 seconds left, it was defense that won another championship.