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Friday, March 10, 2017: Port Jefferson girls move into state semifinals

   Leading off today: The Port Jefferson girls basketball team is the first qualifier for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournament semifinals.

   Gillian Kenah scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half and finished the game with 13 rebounds as the Royals downed Haldane 43-30 in the Class C quarterfinals Thursday.

   "I wanted to play as hard as I could," Kenah, a senior averaging 3.1 points per game, told Newsday. "I was thinking about wanting to leave it all on the court. This potentially could've been my last game I ever played in high school. I wanted to step up and do things I've never done before."

   Each game Port Jefferson for a month has made history The Royals won their first Suffolk County title since 1927 and then their first Long Island championship. Next up is their first trip to the final four March 17-19 at Hudson Valley Community College.

   Geographical quirk: Two Dutchess County teams located three miles apart will be battling each other in the boys Class A quarterfinals, but don't look for it to happen again any time soon.

   Our Lady of Lourdes from Section 1 and Poughkeepsie from Section 9 have had their game at Pace University pushed back to Saturday as a precautionary move based upon the weather forecast.

   If Lourdes wins. it will mark Poughkeepsie's farewell game as a Section 9 member since the school is slated to rejoin Section 1 in the fall.

   Sad Long Island news: John Anderson, 18, a captain of the Riverhead football team, died Sunday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, his father told Newsday.

   "I don't understand why at all," Dennis Anderson told the newspaper. "It doesn't make sense. He's never been happier. He was looking forward to so many things in his life. He's loved by everyone and had so many friends. He served the church. He just got a job at Lowe's. He was going to graduate and go play football at Cortland. He was a great son."

   Riverhead police said the teen's body was discovered Sunday afternoon and that there was no evidence of foul play.

   Riverhead coach Lief Shay said Anderson was respected by peers and opponents alike.

   "He was a very respectful kid," Shay said. "He carried himself with a lot of dignity. Big John was loved by everyone."

   Coaching change: Vic Quirolo, inducted into the CHSAA Hall of Fame last year, has been dismissed as the boys basketball coach at Iona Prep following a 15-13 season.

   Quirolo, who had coached the basketball team since 1997-98, resigned following the 2015 season after 13 years as the football coach and cited the demands of coaching both teams, The Journal News reported.

   Football appointment: Robert Treacy has been appointed as football coach at Columbia High following the recent resignation of Craig Cavotta.

   Treacy coached the Cohoes varsity from 1993-95 and assisted at four over Section 2 schools before retiring after the 2015 season.

   "I coached against these kids for 20 years, both at the high school level and Pop Warner," he told The Record. "When I retired and then saw the position was available the first thing I thought of was toughness. These kids are tough. They have a city-type mentality in a suburban school. They like to win, they like to be competitive, and so that's where I envision us going from here."

   Finally, we meet: Bob Rosen and Mike Chiapparelli have been in the business a combined 56 years and are among the all-time leaders in New York boys hockey coaching victories, each guiding teams to state championships.

   Now, they'll finally coach against each other in the NYSPHSAA semifinals Saturday in Buffalo.

   Rosen's Williamsville North team is in pursuit of its fifth state title in Rosen's 27th seasons. Mamaroneck became the first Westchester County team to win a state hockey title a year ago.

   "It's nice to play a great coach and a great program," Mamaroneck's Chiapparelli, whose 459 career wins are two more than Rosen's total, told The Buffalo News.

   No, thank you: A lot of sports and quasi-sports websites glorified an act this week that should have been condemned.

   Do a search on Google for "Dakota Limon" and you'll quickly find video of the Austin, Texas, high school baseball player celebrating a home run by unleashing a bat toss that would/should make Jose Bautista embarrassed for an act of arrogance they he may not have started but certainly helped bring into the mainstream.

   At the risk of stating the obvious, the bat flip routine is showboating and when done at the extreme as Limon did could also be dangerous. After I tweeted my displeasure over Limon's big stick shtick this week, a follower rightfully noted that the same behavior after striking out would have gotten the player ejected.

   On a personal note: The first sign that I might be blogging too much and not spending enough time looking for my next paying gig came Thursday when I received emails from a couple of readers expressing concern for my well-being after I went a day without summarizing the latest New York high school sports news.

   While I'm touched by the concern, all is well here. I went "off the air" as a result of a bad storm that literally blew through Buffalo more than a dozen Western and Central New York counties Wednesday to the tune of wind gusts reaching 81 mph.

   Power was restored to my suburban Rochester neighborhood (homes one street to the west never lost power) after 25 hours of down time, and I'm almost caught up now on updates, site maintenance, etc.

   Still, things remain difficult for a whole bunch of people. In Monroe County alone there are several towns in which more than half the residents lost power in the windstorm and none of those customers have yet to have service restored as of late Friday morning.

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