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Local Sports

November 17, 2012

OHS faces tough road to state title

As Oneonta High’s girls prepared for this weekend’s Class B state soccer semifinals, Yellowjackets coach Jerry Mackey said he sought advice from OHS’ baseball coach.

Huh?

Don’t worry. Mackey hasn’t started teaching sacrifice bunts or the correct way to pivot on a double play to his 17-2-1 squad.

Instead, he asked Joe Hughes’ counsel for insights on how the Yellowjackets baseball coach guided his squad that beat the 2009-2010 and 2011 state champions, and the 2011 state runner-up en route to a state title this past spring.

Oneonta’s girls will have to take a similar path if they want to win the program’s first state championship.

The Yellowjackets advanced past 2010 state champion Bronxville on Tuesday in a state quarterfinal. Through 110 minutes of regulation and four overtimes, the teams played to a 1-all tie before OHS advanced with a 4-3 win in a penalty-kick shootout.

At 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Tompkins Cortland Community College, OHS will face a Cold Spring Harbor squad that lost in a shootout to 2011 state finalist Greece Odyssey in the semifinals.

Greece Odyssey and 2011 state champion Schalmont will meet in the other semifinal — that game starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Cortland High.

Saturday’s winners will play for the state title at 10 a.m. Sunday at Cortland State.

“There are a lot of similarities, for sure,” Mackey said. “I’ve been picking Joe’s brain, because last year and the year before, they set a new bar.

“When our draw came out, we’ve never wanted the easy way out,” he continued. “We beat a tough Seton Catholic Central team (4-0 in overtime in the Section Four final), we beat a tough Bronxville team, we have Cold Spring Harbor waiting for us and then possibly Schalmont, the defending champs, but we’ve never ducked a challenge.”

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