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Monday, Dec. 18, 2017: Basketball Hall of Fame to enshrine 10 in March

   Leading off today: North Salem's Henry Sassone, who recorded career victory No. 400 on Dec. 5, is one of 10 coaches who will be enshrined in the New York Basketball Hall of Fame at the end of the season, the Basketball Coaches Association of New York has announced.

   Sassone has also won three Section 1 championships.

   The induction ceremony will take place March 25 at Cooling Insurance Arena in Glens Falls as part of the Federation championship weekend.

   The others on the list of 2018 inductees:

  • Jeff Baier, currently the Downsville (Section 4) athletic director, who retired from coaching after 318 wins in 20 seasons with the boys program.

  • James Colligan, who won 388 games in 33 seasons with Carle Place (Section 8) and served as president of the Nassau Country Boys Basketball Coaches Association.

  • Terry Feeley, who has won over 300 games as well as six sectional championships at Spackenkill (Section 9) and John Jay East Fishkill (Section 1).





  • Robert Gravelle, who has won more than 350 games, eight sectional titles and a NYSPHSAA boys championship at S.S. Seward. where he is also an athletic director.

  • Michael Junsch, who piled up 673 wins coaching boys for 16 seasons and girls for 20 (his current role) at Poly Prep, picking up seven Association of Independent Schools state titles.

  • Kenneth Kern, a 300-game winner before retiring after 29 years at Fort Hamilton in the Public School Athletic League.

  • Stephen Kmack, retired from St. Lawrence and Potsdam after 373 wins and eights Section 10 boys championships in 23 seasons.

  • Bob McKenney, who won 145 games in Vermont and has tacked on more than 400 since at Jamesville-DeWitt, where he won five NYSPHSAA titles, and now at Bishop Grimes.

  • Denny Seitz, who amassed 472 wins in a 35-year career coaching boys at Newfane, Williamsville North, Indian River and Morristown.

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   Bailing out en masse: Section 1 needs an electronic tote board like the national debt clock in Manhattan that displays the current United States national debt and each American family's share of it.

   The Section 1 board would be used to track the number of boys and girls basketball committee members who have resigned in the past week in the outrage over the sectional basketball tournament semifinals and finals being moved out of Westchester County Center.

   The number was at least seven -- boys chairman Roman Catalino was one of the big names to relinquish his role -- when The Journal News first reported the development late last week, and the best guess at the moment is that the

  
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figure has nearly doubled over the weekend.

   The departures were triggered by an email sent Tuesday by Section 1 President James Mackin, who informed school superintendents that the Executive Committee had reaffirmed its decision to host playoff semifinals at neutral sites even as so many figures involved in the sport held out hope that a solution could be worked out.

   Coaches and administrators are saying that extensive work by ADs on an operational plan for using the County Center was given little if any consideration in the process because sectional Executive Director Jennifer Simmons may not have presented it to the Executive Committee.

   "My thing is, we're not really being heard and being respected -- me as a co-chair or others as committee members," Ossining girls coach Dan Ricci said. "So what is our purpose? If we're supposed to be running a tournament and we're not being heard, what are we supposed to do? Take tickets at the door? They can find somebody else to do that."

   At the risk of stating the obvious, there can't be that many people left to continue planning for the Section 1 tournaments, which begin in late February. That's would be a concern under any circumstances, but what's left of the organization also has to find neutral sites for semifinal games and continue preparations with the staff at Pace University, which will host the 2018 finals.

   The Journal News rolled out its second substantial editorial on the controversy over the weekend.

   And now there are lawyers involved:

   A statement released by the boys and girls coaches committees asserted "certain members of the Section 1 Executive Committee have unilaterally manipulated the deliberative process which has historically been collaborative and resulted in decades of great high school basketball tournaments at the County Center."


  
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