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Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017: Christ the King girls edge LuHi

   Leading off today: It's not exactly breaking news since 15 Federation championships makes them the greatest girls basketball dynasty New York has known, but Christ the King could be on its way to a special season.

   Already in possession of a season-opening win against Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI, the Royals fought their way to a 47-45 win Saturday over Long Island Lutheran to improve to 3-0.

   Sophomore Natalija Marshall led the win with 12 points, Nina Rickards added 11 and Klarke Sconiers scored 10. LuHi's Celeste Taylor lead all scorers with 29 points.

   Christ the King broke to a 15-2 lead, but LuHi recovered and actually took a 23-18 lead into halftime by holding the Royals without a field goal for 12 minutes.

   Rickards, a 5-foot-8 junior, hit a 3-pointer midway through the fourth quarter to regain the lead, and Brandy Thomas added to the margin with a rebound and bucket.

   The game came down to a final possession, with sophomore Kendall Miller of Long Island Lutheran, a transfer from St. Anthony's hitting the front of the rim on a 3-point attempt.

   Next up for Christ the King is a trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., at the end of the week for the CresCom Invitational.

   Making history: Ally Fitzgerald of Lynbrook pinned three of her four opponents in a cumulative 5:52 Saturday to become the first girl to win a Long Island high school wrestling tournament.

   The crowd erupted in cheers when she won the 99-point final by fall in 3:11 at the Rockville Centre South Side tournament to sew up the outstanding wrestler award.

   "It was an unbelievable moment in high school sports," Lynbrook coach Rich Renz told Newsday. 'It was amazing. I knew she was good, but she's only a freshman and not as strong as some of the boys -- or so I thought."

   Fitzgerald said she could feel the intensity of the crowd.

   "I thought, 'This is a moment,'" she said. "This is a chance to pave the way for other girls to wrestle and to have confidence. I want to set the bar for other girls and show them that there is no limit.”"

   According to Newsday, Fitzgerald, who began competing through a youth program in third grade, was the first girl to reach a final in a Nassau County tournament. She was undefeated in the seventh and eighth grades at Lynbrook South Middle School.

   Boys basketball: The matchup between the No. 1 large- and small-school boys basketball teams in Western New York ended with Canisius edging Buffalo Health Sciences 67-56 in the ADPRO Sports Public vs. Private Schools Challenge.

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   Canisius is ranked No. 2 in the state in Class A and Health Sciences is third in Class B.

   Canisius closed on a 23-10 run as Austin James scored seven of his 15 points. Teammates Ryan Bradley and Nick MacDonald also scored 15 in the win.

   Legendary Illinois coach dies: His name won't register with very many people in New York, but Joe Newton built a boys cross country and track dynasty in Illinois that a generation of coaches studied and tried to emulate.

  
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   Newton, 88, died Saturday at his home in Goodyear, Ariz.

   Newton coached at York from 1956 to 2016, when he handed the reins to Charlie Kern, a nine-time all-state selection at Sweet Home who set a Section 6 record in the 1,600 meters that stood for 27 years.

   His teams captured 28 state cross country championships in his 56 years as head coach. Newton coached four state champion runners and was selected as an assistant -- a first for a high school coach -- for the 1988 U.S. Olympic team in Seoul. He retired from teaching in 1999.

   His 2004 team was the inaugural winner of the Nike Team Nationals.

   Newton wrote four books on aspects of motivation and distance training for high school competitors.

   "I thought the world of the guy," Fayetteville-Manlius coach Bill Aris said. "Probably our coaching styles were a little bit different, but in some ways old-school similar. He produced great ones. He produced people of great character and his kids were a reflection of him. I have nothing but respect for him and his legacy."

   Mark your calendar: New Rockland sophomore Katelyn Tuohy, who earned a Nike Cross National championship this month, has signed on to run an indoor 5K at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Jan. 20, with the likely goal of setting a national high school record.

   Brie Oakley of Centennial, Colo., clocked 15:55 last March in the New Balance Indoor Nationals. Oakley was also an NXN champ, and that's why people are thinking Tuohy could set a record. Oakley's time in the NXN win was 17:10, while Tuohy hit the tape this month in 16:44 in less favorable course conditions.

   She is without a doubt the best distance runner of this generation, and it is an honor to host her record-setting talent," VA Showcase founder Nolan Jez said.


  
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