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Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018: Girard breaks state career scoring record

   Leading off today: Joe Girard III broke the state boys basketball record for career scoring on Tuesday, moving past current NBA player Lance Stephenson.

   Needing 39 points to eclipse Stephenson's career total of 2,946, the Glens Falls junior scored 44 in a 74-68 victory in a sold-out Amsterdam gym. The record-breaking point came on a free throw late in the fourth quarter.

   "I cannot thank my teammates and the Glens Falls community enough for supporting me and supporting my teammates," said Girard, who is in his fourth varsity season. "We wouldn't be able to do all this without them."

   More boys basketball: Northstar Christian junior Miles Brown scored a school-record 53 points in an 89-60 victory over Rochester Early College. Brown was 20-for-29 from the field and added 13 rebounds and seven assists for the Knights.

   Brown upped his career total to 1,784 points for a school record.

   Ludden's Donnelly recognized: Bishop Ludden held a ceremony honoring retiring boys basketball coach Pat Donnelly before its 64-55 triumph against Westhill.

   It was win No. 565 in a 31-year career for Donnelly. Joseph Connor scored 20 points for Ludden, which led by as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter.

   Remembering when: Donnelly and I share a bit of a personal connection from a moment in 2013 that I probably remember more than he does -- chiefly because it was moment of sheer panic for me.

   On the morning of the NYSPHSAA boys large-school finals, the two of us were among those being inducted into the New York Basketball Hall of Fame at the Glens Falls Civic Center.

   All of us had been given our instructions beforehand -- don't try to thank everyone who helped you get here because we'd like you to keep your acceptance speech to about five minutes, etc.

   I'd roughed out my speech in the days leading up to the ceremony and knew I was going to run a little bit long, but not so much so that it would be an issue. My ace in the hole was going to be that my ice-breaking opening line, which would give me a chance to get comfortable at the mic and get into a rhythm, was short and sweet.

   "I'm going to stand up so that you can see me," I intended to start. "And I'm going to speak so that you can hear me. And then I'll sit down so that you'll like me."

   It was a line that I'd first heard from Rochester lawyer John Parrinello when he was inducted into the Section 5 football Hall of Fame (by the way, he went on to give one of the greatest acceptance speeches I've ever heard), and Parrinello himself acknowledged picking it up from Al Skinner, the long-ago Monroe County sheriff.


   Well, there turned out to be a problem. Standing at the podium one or two speakers before me, Donnelly uttered an almost identical line to begin his speech.

   My jaw just about dropped to the table. I already had enough on my mind since friend and well-known Rochester track coach Cedric Walker had passed away the previous week and my best friend and stabilizing force in my life was

still battling a lengthy illness as she joined me at the ceremony, so this didn't help.

   I ended up going to Plan B, joking in a slightly long story about how I initially misread the selection announcement and thought I was being indicted rather than inducted. It earned me a laugh from the audience and got me into sync. I think I ended going two or three minutes long, but I thanked everyone I was supposed to thank and got off the podium without dropping an F-bomb.

   Girls basketball: Mercy guard Emily McDonough scored a career-high 24 points with the help of 5-for-8 shooting on 3-pointers as Our Lady of Mercy rang up its sixth straight win over No. 11 Bishop Kearney 73-66 in Class AA action.

   The Monarchs also got a season-high 26 points and 14 rebounds from forward Katie Titus and 20 points and five assists from senior guard Leah Koonmen.

   Kearney led 40-30 in the third quarter before Mercy rallied. McDon- ough's consecutive 3-pointers gave Mercy its first lead at 47-45.

   Boys hockey: Canandaigua edged Webster Thomas 3-2 in overtime in a game between teams that entered the game ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in the state in Division II.

   Sam Burley tied the game for Canandaigua with :11 left in regulation and Carter McWilliams scored the winner on a power play in overtime.

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