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Friday, April 28, 2017: Lawson wins Penn Relays 3,000

   Leading off today: Corning senior and Stanford University recruit Jessica Lawson won the girls 3,000 meters race Thursday at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

   Lawson, the state indoor champ last month in the 1,500, finished in 9:37.63 to lead a parade of three New Yorkers in the top five. Amanda Vestri (Webster Thomas) was fourth in 9:50.13, followed by Katherine Lee (Shoreham-Wading River) in 9:50.64. Lawson's winning margin over Martha MacDonald of Toronto was more than four seconds.

   In other Penn action, the North Rockland quartet of Villanova-bound senior Alex Harris, junior Sofia Housman and freshmen Haleigh Morales and Katelyn Tuohy ran 11:45.11 to win the Championship of America distance medley relay.

   Tuohy anchored in 4:50.73 as North Rockland held off second Place Kokesville (Va.) Patriot, which got a spectacular 4:44 anchor from Rachel McArthur to rally from sixth place and finish in 11:51.46.

   Saratoga placed fifth in 12:04.48.

   No. 1 team loses: The state's top-ranked boys Class D lacrosse team fell from the unbeaten ranks as Syracuse CBA downed Westhill 9-6.

   Patrick O'Brien paced 13th-ranked CBA with two goals and three assists. Alex Calkins contributed a hat trick and Matt Vavonese registered 12 saves.

   "Going into the game, we hadn't had the chance to practice three days in a row. We had an opportunity to work on all those things and we just started to clean up things," CBA coach Ric Beardsley told "We were able to clean up those little things. I think the game could have went either way."

   Ward Melville wins: Sophomore Dylan Pallonetti scored five goals and Dominic Pryor added three goals and three assists as No. 3 Ward Melville edged No. 4 Smithtown East 12-11 in a confrontation between state-ranked Class A teams in Suffolk County boys lacrosse.

   Pallonetti's fifth goal gave Ward Melville an 11-8 lead with 8:43 remaining.

   "He does not play like a sophomore," Ward Melville coach Jay Negus told Newsday. "He plays like a senior. He's got great eyes, a great shot and plays much bigger than he is."

   The Patriots (9-0) are the only unbeaten Class A team left in Section 11.

   Bobby Burns scored four goals for Smithtown East.

   Big doubleheader in Sec. 5: Pittsford was center stage for Thursday lacrosse action in Section 5 as four highly regarded squads took part in a doubleheader.

   The Brighton girls, ranked third in Class B, downed Class A No. 6 Pittsford 8-6 as freshman Katie Lederman led the way with three goals. Juniors Caroline Lederman and Katie Smolensky each had a goal and assist.

   "Brighton is a really great team, so it gives us a lot of things to work on," Pittsford senior Caroline Cullinan told the Democrat and Chronicle. "They really exposed some of things that we're not good at. This can only make us better."

   In the boys game, senior attack Zack Estabrooks scored four goals as two-time defending state champion Victor bounced back from its first loss in two years with a 6-3 win over Pittsford that was more decisive than the score indicated. The Blue Devils had seen their 50-game win streak snapped Sunday against Michigan powerhouse Brother Rice.

   Victor stormed to a 3-0 lead on goals by Estabrooks, Alexander Mabbett and Mitch Cain in the first 5½ minutes.

   "We lost to a good team, made some bad mistakes but we knew we could fix them and play a better game today," Victor junior goalie Chayse Ierlan said.

   Monster masher: How's Panas softball player Danielle Petrovich ever going to top this?

   Petrovich blasted three home runs, including a pair of grand slams, and drove in nine runs during a 15-9 win over Mahopac.

   By the way, Blind Brook junior Julia Bucci tied the presumed NYSPHSAA record on Monday when she drove in 12 runs in a game, The Journal News reported.

   He's outta there: LaVar Ball apparently is getting his way.

   The Los Angeles Times reported that Chino Hills, the basketball program that Ball's sons Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo helped put on the map, is replacing first-year coach Stephan Gilling. All Gilling did in his rookie season was direct Chino Hills to a 30-3 record.

   Chino Hills AD Jeff Schuld had previously said that the school "absolutely stood by Coach Gilling," who was the subject of harsh criticism by LaVar Ball.

   For his part, Ball told the paper he was not aware of a coaching change and did not think the school would change coaches because of him.

   Gilling recalled a game in Las Vegas during which he said Ball undermined him by telling at players from the stands to play a defense that contradicted Gilling's instructions.

   "I'm just trying to be positive," Gilling said. "I'm not all that worried about what he's saying, but I want to let the people know that it was tough throughout the whole year, starting with that one game.

   "It was that much harder to bring the guys together after that game."

    • LaVar Ball is so radioactive that Nike, Under Armour and Adidas have all taken a pass on an endorsement deal thus far for Lonzo Ball, the UCLA standout who's declared for the NBA draft, ESPN reports.

   LaVar Ball has reportedly demanded that the apparel firms license his Big Baller Brand. Last week, Nike consultant and former college coach George Raveling called LaVar Ball "the worst thing to happen to basketball in the last hundred years."

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