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Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017: No. 3 Molloy romps against No. 2 Cardinal Hayes

   Leading off today: We may be in for another one of "those" seasons in the world of boys CHSAA large-school basketball.

   Coming off two losses in Florida and a stunning setback against All Hallows, Archbishop Molloy hammered Cardinal Hayes 91-70 on Friday.

   Hayes was ranked second and Molloy third in the most recent New York State Sportswriters Association Class AA rankings.

   Junior point guard Cole Anthony finished with 31 points, and 7-foot-2 senior Moses Brown contributed 22 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocks in the rematch of the 2017 New York City championship won by Hayes. Tyrese Williams led Hayes with 26 points.

   "Molloy played with a real sense of urgency coming off that All Hallows loss and we didn't," Cardinals coach Joe Lods said. "(Because of the City championship loss) I think that Molloy played with a chip on their shoulder that we didn't have tonight."

    • No. 4 Nazareth earned a 57-48 win over No. 3 Brooklyn Law and Tech in a top-notch Class A matchup in the Monsignor King Tournament semifinals.

   An L.I. classic: Josh Pismeny made a go-ahead layup with 2:41 remaining in the second overtime, Malik Edmead added a layup 34 seconds later and Keshaun Jones also finished at the rim with 27 seconds left as Deer Park earned at 81-75, non-league victory over Class AA No. 16 Brentwood at Nassau Coliseum.

   "It's typical Deer Park-Brentwood," Deer Park coach John McCaffrey said. "Every time we play them it's a great game. They're such a handful, but we showed some Deer Park toughness."

   Brentwood appeared set to win in regulation after Bryce Harris (20 points) completed a three-point play to go ahead 64-62 with :18.6 left. The Indians made a defensive stop but missed a pair of free throws with :09.9 to go. As players from both sides scrambled for the loose ball after the second miss, Brentwood called a timeout even though it had none left, resulting in a technical foul.

   Edmead (27 points) stepped to the line and made both free throws to force OT.

   "I was a little shook, but when I got on that line, I was like, 'I've got to hit these.'"

   D'Andre Edwards added 21 points for the winners.

   Girls basketball: Penfield won the Slam Dunk Tournament championship at the Westchester County Center with a 64-50 win over Staten Island Academy as Makaila Wilson finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Nyara Simmons added 13 points and 10 rebounds.

   Penfield had reached the final with an 83-75 win over Ossining in overtime on Thursday, overcoming a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter. Baylee Teal scored 24 points, and Wilson and Brianne Moxley added 22 apiece.

   "Teams are no longer scared to play Ossining," Pride coach Dan Ricci told The Journal News after the game. "They want the challenge. Last year, the mystique wore off after we lost to (Albertus) Magnus in the regular season, so now teams are looking forward to playing us and our kids have to be up for every game."

   Analysis: Ricci's quote undoubtedly has a degree of truth to it, but it was likely primarily intended to send a message to his players. Ossining has had an amazing run over the past decade and had plenty both plenty of talent and time to pull the pieces together again this season.


   Ricci is sure to remind his girls on a daily basis that the competition in both Section 1 and across the state has been making big gains in recent seasons but Ossining has little to fear if Pride players show up ready to go for each and every game.

   Baldwin ended Ossining's run of four straight NYSPHSAA championships last March and is a huge potential obstacle

once again, but don't be in a hurry to count the Pride out by any stretch of the imagination.

   More Thursday basketball: Jamie Lynn Mendelson scored 18 points as Sackets Harbor knocked off Thousand Islands 51-39. The Vikings were ranked No. 1 in the state in the most recent Class C rankings.

   My weekly column: Jeff DiVeronica did a strong feature on Scott Fitch earlier this year, reporting on the Fairport boys basketball coach's "other career" as a speaker on the social-media behavior and cyberbullying.

   I sat in on one of Fitch's presentations to a young audience in Kendall last week and came away impressed with the style and substance.

   As an aside, this is the 50th consecutive season that a Fitch has been the head coach of the state-ranked Red Raiders. His father, Jeff, coached Fairport for 33 seasons before retiring.

   Lineup change: Poly Prep and Rye Country Day will join the Metropolitan Independent Football League for the 2018 season. Hopkins School from New Haven, Conn., will also be added as a member.

   They'll be joining Fieldston, Hackley, Riverdale and the New Jersey trio of Pingry, Morristown-Beard, and Montclair-Kimberley.

   Progress: Wallkill Valley sophomore Samantha Larsen scored a pin Friday in what is believed to be the first all-girl varsity wrestling match in New Jersey history.

   It happened during a quadrangular match at Hackettstown. Larsen pinned Diatou Sane of Bound Brook in 1:12 at 113 pounds, scoring the fall with legs in and a power half nelson.

   Larsen has been wrestling since age 6.

   "All-girl bouts, I think, are going to become more commonplace," Wallkill Valley coach Jeff Churchill said. "With kids today, anybody can accomplish anything. At this point, it is easier for a girl to wrestle than it was years ago.

   "It's not for my daughter, but Samantha has no problem wrestling boys."

   Extra points: Jake Morin, Auburn's all-time leading scorer in hockey, was honored following Friday's game vs. Baldwinsville for scoring the 100th goal of his career Dec. 19 against Oswego.

   Morin has 183 career points in 67 games.

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