Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) – A Sunday afternoon men’s college basketball contest from JCC as the Cannoneers hosted Columbia Greene.

Coach Joe Vaadi’s team looks to snap a 4 game losing streak.

In the 1st half, Kristan Lewis pulls up and hits the jumper: JCC up 2.

Then it’s Lewis with the pretty spin move for the kiss off glass: JCC by 4.

Dante Stokes stops and pops for 2: Cannoneers up by 6.

Sheldon Jean-Baptiste comes up with the loose ball and connects. He had 14 points on the night.

Lewis led the Cannoneers with 19 points.

Columbia-Greene hands JCC its 5th straight loss 72-62.

The JCC Women were off Sunday, but Saturday, Coach Jeff Wiley’s team extended its win streak to 10 straight games with a 63-60 come-from-behind win over Fulton Montgomery.

With the win, JCC improved to 14-1 overall, 6-1 in conference play, and remained unbeaten at home.

”We came back January 8th and we didn’t play until like the 14th. Actually, that game got postponed. We had like a 5 week layoff so we didn’t know what to expect. The kids came in and worked hard, got in shape, got back in shape. I think we’re executing pretty well and doing some good things,” said Wiley.

Saturday in Brasher Falls, St. Lawrence Central and Brushton Moira met on the court in a boys and girls basketball doubleheader to raise money for Coaches Versus Cancer.

It’s an event that the two schools have shared hosting for over a decade.

They were looking to raise $3,000 and exceeded that goal by a thousand dollars.

”This is our 13th year of Coaches Versus Cancer, our basketball festival with Brushton. The money that we raise will stay local. We give it out to people in need in the community to help with travel or whatever they need the money for. This is always a special day for us,” said St. Lawrence Central Boys Basketball Coach Joe Reome.

Another year and another chapter in the Route 11 rivalry between St. Lawrence and Clarkson with the 2 teams splitting their weekend series.

It’s a highly anticipated matchup for hockey fans each year for a series that began the year Queen Elizabeth was born and during the Presidency of Calvin Coolidge.

221. That’s the number of times the Clarkson Golden Knights and the St. Lawrence Saints have met on the ice in men’s college hockey with this past weekend marking the 98th year of the Route 11 rivalry.

It’s a series each year that pits not only Clarkson versus St. Lawrence but Potsdam against Canton in a battle for bragging rights on the ice.

”I think it’s just more than the players. You look from university to university, campus to campus, for the students, the alumni, the townspeople. It’s unique because of the proximity for the 2 towns together and hockey’s a pretty important piece of the social fabric of both communities,” said St. Lawrence Men’s Hockey Coach Brent Brekke.

While the players and coaches have changed throughout this nearly century-old rivalry, one thing has remained consistent.

Each year when the schedule is released, both teams have this 2 game series circled on their calendars much like they would a birthday, anniversary, or holiday.

”100%. No matter how far we go in the season, no matter what year it is, Clarkson versus St. Lawrence. That’s the matchup you want every single year and that’s the most important games of the season,” said St. Lawrence Forward Justin Paul.

And when the two rivals meet emotions run high both on and off the ice.

While this 2 game series tucked in the middle of the ECAC season is a small part of both teams’ conference schedule, the atmosphere is almost one of playoff hockey with bragging rights in the North Country on the line.

”Oh yeah, for sure. Maybe even more than at times in our playoff experience. I mean, these are the biggest games of the year for us so it’s a lot of fun,” said Luc Salem, St. Lawrence Senior Defenseman.

”Honestly, even better. I think with it just being 15 minutes away from each other the fans from both sides come to each rink and they make it special for the players,” said Noah Beck, Clarkson Senior Defenseman.

On the ice, Clarkson holds the edge in just about every category including wins, home and road wins, neutral site wins, longest win streak, and goals scored.

But Golden Knights Coach Casey Jones says that when the puck drops in this series, you can throw all the records and stats out the window.

”Usually, on a yearly basis, throw that out. It doesn’t matter. It comes down to you’re gonna be fighting for every inch of ice out here. It’s a physical contest. Usually, the team that can contain its emotions properly with discipline and all that usually comes out on top. You have to be prepared. You have to be prepared to get smacked in the face,” said Jones.

”It doesn’t matter the kind of year we have, the kind of year they have, we always bring the best out of both teams and it’s always a hard-fought game,” said Mathieu Gosselin, Clarkson Graduate Student Forward.

And with this special 2 game series in the record books for the 2023-24 campaign, it’s now time for players, coaches, and fans to start gearing up for the 99th year of a rivalry that heats things up in the North Country during a cold winter season.

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