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Friday, April 14, 2017: Slain Mount Vernon teen honored at WNBA draft

   Leading off today: There were 36 official selections made Thursday in the 2017 WNBA draft. But it was the "37th" pick that hit home for New York high school sports.

   With the official portion of the annual draft concluded, the New York Liberty honored the memory of slain Mount Vernon teen Shamoya McKenzie by making her an honorary pick.

   McKenzie, a rising star for the junior varsity who aspired to play for UConn, was caught in gang-related gunfire on New Year's Eve in Mount Vernon. The 13-year-old was struck in the head and died Dec. 31.

   The UConn women's basketball team recognized McKenzie in January by naming her an honorary member.

   Accused shooter David Hardy, 22, will be arraigned in Westchester County Court Friday. Hardy has been charged with second-degree murder, attempted murder, first-degree assault and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, The Journal News reported.

   Hardy, who was on parole for a 2012 robbery conviction at the time of the shooting, is being held without bail at the Westchester County jail.

    • Former Ossining star Saniya Chong was selected by the Dallas Wings as the 26th overall pick.

   Chong recently concluded her college career at UConn, where she and fellow senior Tierney Lawlor compiled a 152-2 career record, making them the winningest senior class in Division I women's basketball history.

   All-state player mourned: A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family of basketball player Quentin Lupo, a Pleasantville star who died this week from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound according to Greenburgh police.

   "It is with a broken heart and deep sadness that I share the passing of PHS senior Quentin Lupo," schools Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter said in an email to district families Thursday. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and all members of the PHS school community. Please join me as a community as we create a compassionate circle of care during this difficult time."

   Lupo helped the Panthers capture the Section 1 Class B championship and was named to the all-state team Wednesday by the New York State Sportswriters Association after averaging 13.3 points a game in his senior season.

   The GoFundMe page was created Thursday evening and had raised more than $4,800 as of 11 a.m. Friday.

   Western N.Y. coach arrested: Maryvale boys volleyball coach Andrew Murtha was arrested Thursday and charged with performing a criminal sexual act in the third degree and disseminating indecent material to a minor in the first degree, The Buffalo News reported.

   Troopers were dispatched to Phelps, Ontario County, after the parents of a 16-year-old discovered their son had left home to meet Murtha in Rochester, where he was attending a travel volleyball tournament with his Lockport-based team.

   Police said Murtha exchanged messages and photos with the teen via a social media app, and had met him for sexual purposes. He was arraigned in the Town of Phelps Court and remanded to Ontario County Jail in lieu of $2,000 bail, the report said.

   Murtha, 39, was employed only as a coach in the school district, Superintendent Joseph D'Angelo said.

  
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   Boys lacrosse: This is the first year of Class D in lacrosse, and we've now had the first clash of No. 1 vs No. 2.

   All-state football selection Casey Rogers scored six goals as top-ranked Westhill downed No. 2 Penn Yan 10-6. Luke McAnaney chipped in with a goal and three assists,and goalie Tim O'Connor turned back nine Mustangs shots.

   Milestone: After being on hold since the 2016 Section 6 tournament, Springville baseball coach Rick DeKay picked up his 400th win Thursday with a 5-2 victory over Fredonia.

   "We got into the B-1 finals last year, but we got stopped when I was at 399," DeKay told The Buffalo News. "Last year's team wanted to win it for me, but it didn't happen."

   DeKay is in his 39th season of coaching. He began his teaching career in 1975 at West Valley.

   Ian Baker helped Springville earn its first win of the season with a pair of doubles.

   "I told the kids, 'Now we put my goal in the past, and think about your goal,'" he said.

   Quick note: Barring any huge news, I hope to take a break from blogging again until early next week in order to immerse myself in sifting through the nominations for the girls all-state basketball team and organizing a first draft of selections.

   The target date for announcing the all-state team is April 27, but you're probably aware that I have a famously short attention span ...


  
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