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Sunday, April 9, 2017: Conn. power Darien runs past Niskayuna

   Leading off today: As good as the quality of boys teams tends to be in New York, there are simply some programs from neighboring states that are not to be messed with on the lacrosse field.

   Darien, Conn., would be one of them. Niskayuna, fresh off a pair of convincing Section 2 wins to open the season, fell to the Blue Wave 17-9 on Saturday at Union College in what was a historic day for the program. In the course of winning its 34th straight game, Darien presented coach Jeff Brameier with his 552nd victory to break a Connecticut record that had stood since 2007.

   Loyola (Md.) recruit Kevin Lindley scored five times on five shots in the first half then added four more goals in the second half to lead Darien. When Darien beat Niskayuna 20-16 a year ago, Lindley registered seven goals and two assists.

   Darien, which defeated Yorktown 15-4 last week, has regular-season games remaining against St. Anthony's and Manhasset as part of its annual routine. The Blue Wave are 13-1 against New York competition since the start of the 2014 season.

   Niskayuna was the 2015 New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A champion.

   Up to speed already: Corning senior Jessica Lawson broke a pair of notable meet records at the Waite-Molnar Invitational. Lawson started her day with a win in the 1,500-meter run in 4:34.44 seconds, crushing the 2014 meet record of 4:46.03 current Providence College freshman Abbey Wheeler.

   The former Elmira star's mark in the 3,000 also fell as Lawson beat the field by more than a minute to finish in 10:10.17. Wheeler's 2015 meet mark was 10:13.57.

   Lawson, the defending NYSPHSAA champion in the outdoor 3,000, irritated a nerve between her toes in December. She said new shoes and inserts have helped.

   "I'm feeling great," she told the Star-Gazette. "This week, I actually got right back up to my cross country mileage for the first time since December. I'm feeling good. I'm feeling back."

   Girls lacrosse: Kali Peeples had a huge day for White Plains in a 15-11 win vs. Byram Hills.

   Peeples finished with seven goals, 17 draw possessions and 12 draw controls. Teammate Maddie Povemba chipped in with four goals.

   On the move again: Joel Wincowski, who led Lake George to NYSPHSAA boys basketball championships in 2013 and '15 and finished as the second all-time leading scorer in Section 2 history, is on the move again.

   Wincowski is transferring to Indiana Tech, an NAIA school in Fort Wayne, Ind., that went 20-11 last season.

   Wincowski began his college career at Division I Maryland-Baltimore County in 2015. He transferred following the first semester of his sophomore year to Division III Bard College, where he played briefly before leaving the school.

   Wincowski scored 2,617 points at Lake George.

   Retired PSAL coach dies: Former Cardozo basketball coach Al Matican has died, protege Ron Naclerio reported on his Facebook page this weekend.

   Naclerio played for Matican and served as his assistant at Cardozo, where Matican coaches from 1972-80 and captured a city crown in 1977. Naclerio took over the program and has gone on to become the winningest boys coach in PSAL history.

   "He said, 'Ron, you will make a great coach,': Naclerio wrote. "I had no idea what he saw in me. He was a great mentor. He rooted for me like I was his son. He bragged to so many about me. He was amazing.

   "I would trade all my wins for him to be still here with me. Knowing him, he would be mad if he heard me say that."

   National news, Part 1: Bishop Gorman, the Nevada school that's become a national power in football, has suspended coach Kenny Sanchez pending the outcome of a review related to his arraignment on a domestic violence charge.

   Sanchez was arrested last week on a warrant following an incident on Christmas Day involving his ex-girlfriend, court records state. He is facing one count of one count of misdemeanor domestic battery in Las Vegas Justice Court. A bench trial was set for May 30.

   The complaint was filed Jan. 23 and Sanchez missed a Feb. 21 hearing, according to court records. That led to the issuance of a warrant.

In two seasons as head coach, Sanchez has led Bishop Gorman to back-to-back unbeaten seasons with a combined record of 30-0.

   National news, Part 2: The California Interscholastic Federation's state Federated Council voted Friday to revise the wording of its state transfer rule, taking away the power of section commissioners to declare an athlete ineligible for transferring for sports reasons.

   The vote by a margin of 100-38 means students can transfer for whatever reason, including sports opportunities. The requirement of a change of address (or else sit out 30 days or longer) remains in effect, and students cannot follow their coach to another school. Recruiting remains impermissible.

   The rule change is a tacit admission that athletes and their families were being punished for speaking honestly about their decision while those who kept quiet were allowed to transfer without a penalty.

   The rule change has also gained support from the CIF City Section, which governs schools in the immediate Los Angeles area.

   In a 138-0 vote, competitive cheer was recognized as a sport effective next spring.

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