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Friday, July 21, 2017: New Hartford star Policelli transfers to LuHi

   Leading off today: Well, the exodus of boys basketball talent from Section 3 is getting a little better. At least now, the Central New York talent is opting to stay in the state. reported Thursday that 6-foot-8 New Hartford star Frankie Policelli, who already holds some major-college offers, will transfer to Long Island Lutheran this fall. He averaged 28.1 points a game last season en route to selection to sixth-team all-state in Class A. (Full list here.)

   The disclosure comes in the aftermath of four announcements since May of projected top returning players leaving the section -- and the state -- in favor of attending prep schools this fall.

   With LuHi playing a decent regional schedule have having what amounts to a bye into the Federation semifinals, attended by many college coaches, Policelli will be in position to be seen by more of the right Division I people for his senior season. As an added benefit, his AAU coach is a LuHi assistant and he'll be practicing on a daily basis alongside multiple D-I prospects including summer-ball teammate Donatas Kupsas (fifth-team all-state in Class AA last season) and Esam Mostafa (10th team).

   "I felt like if I stayed in New Hartford, it would have been more like last year," he said. "I would play hard sometimes when I needed to and other times I would do what I want. If I went to a harder school, physically, I wouldn't be able to do that. I'd have to play my hardest every single minute."

   Buddy Boeheim (Jamesville-DeWitt, second-team all-state in Class A), Mika Adams-Woods (Bishop Ludden, fourth team, AA), Tyler Bertram (Cooperstown, co-player of the year, C) and Symir Torrence (Syracuse Academy of Science, fourth team, A) have all recently announced their impending departures for prep schools.

   "We all talked to each other about it. ... We were all talking that if me or Charles (Pride) stay,  we'll have no one to play against," Policelli said. "So it's best that we all leave at the same time. We all talked about it for a long time."

   More Sec. 3 fodder, Part 1: CBS college basketball Gary Parrish, who isn't given to exaggeration, watched the Albany City Rocks team win the Nike Peach Jam championship game in triple-overtime over the weekend and came away convinced that Boeheim is a major-college prospect ... and that it's now more plausible than it was three months ago that he will end up playing for his father, Jim, at Syracuse.

   Buddy Boeheim was offered by Gonzaga over the weekend, and a handful of other high majors are likely to follow suit just in case the 6-foot-5 guard, who's been burying shot after shot from the perimeter this summer, decides he doesn't want the scorching spotlight that would come with staying in Syracuse with his father.

   "Is it even worth recruiting a high-major coach's son when the son appears to be a high-major prospect?" Parrish wrote. "A year ago, I would've said absolutely not. But I just watched North Carolina's Roy Williams successfully recruit Garrison Brooks even though his father, George Brooks, is on the Mississippi State staff. So who knows?

   "Either way, my prediction is this: Yes, it'll probably be a waste of time."


   More Sec. 3 fodder, Part 2: Meg Hair of Jamesville-DeWitt, the co-player of the year in Class A the past two seasons, announced this week she'll enroll at the University of Pennsylvania in September 2018.

   "My number one thing that I was looking for going into this process was how good the school is. After my four years of basketball, I'm falling back on an Ivy League diploma," she wrote on Twitter.

.    The four-year varsity player, who averaged 15.2 points as a junior, has made her reputation as a reliable perimeter shooter and a hard-nosed defender.

   Former Westhill standout Anna Rose was second-team All-Ivy League as a Penn junior last season.

   Coaching changes: Moving quickly to fill the vacancy, new Bishop Timon-St. Jude AD Joe Licata has hired former Section 6 great Jason Rowe, 39, as the boys basketball coach.

   He replaces Des Randall, who resigned over the weekend

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in the ongoing fallout over personnel changes at the Western New York Catholic school.

   "When I got this position and Desmond stepped down, Jason was the first name I thought of," Licata told The Buffalo News.

   Rowe scored 2,286 career points at Buffalo Traditional, leading the 1996 team to a NYSPHSAA Class C championship. He went on to play at Loyola (Md.), where he still owns the school career record for steals. He went on to play 15 seasons professionally in Europe.

   "He's never been a head coach before, but he was a point guard," Licata said. "It was the same situation with me. I was a quarterback. You're running the show.

   "I had a conversation with him the other day and told him you're going to walk into the room and people are automatically going to give you respect. You're where every single young basketball player wants to be. You played Division I. You played professional basketball. That gives you automatic validation with the kids and I think that will go a long way."

    • A recent blog mentioned that White Plains girls basketball coach Tara Flaherty has left to take over at Byram Hills, where she'll be the fourth coach in six years.

   The Journal News is also reporting Brian Metcalf resigned after four seasons running the Clarkstown South girls basketball team and Matt Werner is taking over as girls coach at his alma mater, Solomon Schechter, after serving as an assistant with the Iona Prep boys basketball team.

    • In boys hockey, Mark Mobus is coming back for his second stint at Amherst.

   The elementary school teacher, long active in the Buffalo-area youth ranks, left the high school program in 2013 after five seasons and the first playoff victory in school history.

   "Mark's extensive coaching experience is an asset for our hockey program. I am happy to have him back," Kiel Illg, the Amherst district AD, said in the announcement confirming the hiring.

   Following up: In the midst of the rapid-fire developments at Bishop Timon last week, we noted that football games against three out-of-state opponents had been called off. The overall toll appears to be four games now. is showing that Aquinas has lined up a trip to Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline on Sept. 30, the same weekend the Little Irish were scheduled to play at Timon.

   Also, Aquinas' game at St. Joe's has been switched to New Era Field on Sept. 15.

    • Staying on the subject of Aquinas for a moment, Mark Magliocco Sr. has retired as the baseball coach and will be replaced by pitching coach Ray Manioci, a 2008 graduate of the school.

   Wrestling: Jake Logan, a rising junior at New Rochelle, was the only New York entrant to place in the top four in the cadet men's freestyle senior division this week in Fargo, N.D.

   Logan fell 5-1 to Devin Winston of Missouri in the 182-pound championship match. He's coming off a fourth-place finish at the state high school tournament this past season.

   Coming up: The final tweaks will be made this weekend before the New York State Sportswriters Association announces its inaugural all-state team in boys lacrosse on Monday. Approximately 150 players will be recognized in large- and small-school classifications.

   I've accumulated a bunch of interesting reading over the past few days and will try to squeeze in a second Friday blog. Doing so would also allow me to clear the decks to free me up to preview the annual NYSPHSAA Central Committee meetings, which take place beginning Tuesday in Clayton.

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