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Thursday, Dec. 29, 2017: Player revived after collapsing during game

   Leading off today: A Blind Brook basketball player was reportedly recovering in a hospital Thursday after he collapsed and was revived during a game in Pelham on Wednesday, The Journal News reported.

   Pelham police did not elaborate on the condition of the unidentified 17-year-old boy. He was taken to Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital on Wednesday afternoon after he went into cardiac arrest at Pelham Middle School.

   Witnesses said the teen collapsed during a stoppage in play in the first quarter against Pelham and a police officer rushed to his aid. The officer was able to defibrillate and start CPR, and the teen had a strong pulse when transported to the hospital.

   The game was part of the Pelham Holiday Hoops Tournament. It will be completed at a later date.

   Moving on up: Joe Girard III scored 45 points to lead Glens Falls to a 101-68 win against Ogdensburg in the Glens Falls Grandstander Holiday Festival, moving the junior standout into the top 10 on the state's career scoring list.

   Girard made 11 3-pointers and all eight of his free throws in boosting his career total to 2,542 points, moving ahead of former William Floyd great Bobby Hodgson (2,532) for the No. 10 spot on the all-time list.

   More boys basketball: Donald Hartley scored 19 points as All Hallows pulled a 69-62 upset of Archbishop Molloy, ranked third in the state in Class AA this week. (Full rankings here.)

   Nick Johnson chipped in with 13 points in the win.

   Girls basketball: Aziah Hudson led all scorers with 21 points as defending NYSPHSAA Class AA champion Baldwin scored a 55-40 win over Staten Island Academy, the two-time defending Federation Class A champ.

   Baldwin took a 34-25 lead into halftime and extended the margin to 49-31 in the third quarter. Kaia Harrison scored four points in the spurt and assisted a three-pointer by Jenna Annecchiarico (12 points).

   "It's organized chaos in a sense," Baldwin coach Tom Catapano said. "We want to wear on people. We want to play fast. We have to limit our turnovers and our fouls, and that's something we'll get better at as we play."

    • Jackie Piddock recorded a season-high 26 points as South Jefferson, ranked 23rd in Class B, defeated Class C No. 4 Syracuse Academy of Science 73-51 in the opening round of the MTAG Tournament at Onondaga Community College's SRC Arena.


   Jenna Zimmerman added 12 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and seven blocks for South Jefferson, which advanced to the final against defending NYSPHSAA Class C champ Watkins Glen.

   Change of direction: Several reporters have been saying there farewells on social media this week following cuts at News 12 Varsity, which had been a major player in the coverage of high schools sports in the tri-state area.

   The Journal News reported that nine full-time employees are expected to be let go at year's end.

   News 12 Varsity made its debut as the MSG Varsity unit of Cablevision in 2009. There had been previous staff

reductions after Altice completed its acquisition of Cablevision in September 2016.

   "News 12 Varsity is not ceasing operations and will continue to cover high school sports in the tri-state area in 2018," News 12 Networks VP of marketing and promotions Deborah Koller-Feeney told the paper via email. "We have begun making changes, including the introduction of live high school games on Optimum TV channel 61. Additionally, we will bring the best of News 12 Varsity to our News 12 website and mobile app."

   Koller-Feeney indicated that News 12 plans to show about 200 games over the course of the school year. However, written game reports, weekly rankings and features and most studio broadcasts presumably will fall by the wayside after the layoffs.

   Uncertainty in Webster: A special school board meeting conducted Wednesday is believed to have been about the employment status of Webster Schroeder football and girls basketball coach Kali Watkins, though the Democrat and Chronicle reported no one is talking.

   Watkins is a special education teacher at the school but sources told the paper he has not taught a class or been seen at Schroeder in more than a month. Watkins was replaced as the girls varsity basketball coach in mid-November.

   Watkins, 38-25 in seven seasons as the head football coach, did not return a phone message, AD Gary Tirohn directed inquiries to the district's communications office and Superintendent Carmen Gumina declined comment on Watkins' status.

   A former receiver and safety at the University at Buffalo, Watkins was inducted into the Section 5 Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

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