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Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018: Northstar's Brown reaches 2,000 points

   Leading off today: I've been running far, far behind on news updates since the weekend. Here's a futile effort to start catching up, beginning with some big, round numbers.

   Miles' milestone: Northstar Christian junior point guard Miles Brown hit 2,000 points for his basketball career with 24 points in an 89-24 rout of North Rose-Wolcott in the opening round of the Section 5 tournament.

   With 2,005 points and a full season remaining after this one, Brown is within easy range of the Section 5 record of 2,441 set by Neal Weidman in 1993.

   Brown is in his fourth season on the varsity team and is averaging 30 points a game this season.

    &bull: Somewhat related note: Brown is the son of "Money" Mike Brown, who was part of some exceptional teams at Wilson Magnet in the mid-1980s. I will go to my grave believing I had the good fortune of watching him score the greatest basket I ever saw.

   Wilson was playing Harley-Allendale-Columbia in a state qualifier in 1986 after both had won sectional championships. Wilson roared to a big early lead and would cap its season later that month with the NYSPHSAA Class C championship.

   In the H-A-C game, Burnice Green inbounded the ball from beneath the Wilson basket. Starting from near the free-throw line, Brown slipped his defender and went airborne as he approached the hoop, reeled in Green's alley-oop and threw down a one-handed dunk as ferocious as any you would ever want to see. It was a Tim Harvey "let's break the backboard" special, but it was most definitely a thing of beauty.

   Brown went on to a nice career at SUNY Potsdam.

   Well, that was quick: Saugerties eighth-grader Dior Johnson became the fastest boy to 1,000 points in state history with 33 points in a 70-39 win over Pine Plains.

   Johnson is at 1,021 late in his second varsity season. He scored Saugerties' first nine points of Tuesday's victory.

   Bittersweet win: Playing four days after the death of his father, Gary Raupers Jr. scored 25 points in just over three quarters of action to lead Elmira Notre Dame past Oxford 68-49 in the first round of the Section 4 basketball tournament.

   Gary Raupers Sr. died Friday at the age of 75. He had suffered a heart attack just before his son's game against Elmira Heights Edison on Dec. 12. A quick response from Crusaders player Cullen McWhorter and JV coach Max Young helped save him that night, but Raupers never fully recovered.

   A moment of silence was held in his honor before the game.

   Notre Dame coach Bill Hopkins was emotional in talking about Raupers' performance vs. Oxford.

   "I'm real happy for him, being able to close out his career at Notre Dame like this. ... His family was up there watching, so I'm glad he was able to have a good game."

   CHSAA action: St. Peter's led the state's second-ranked Class AA team for nearly the entire game and owned a two-point lead in the waning seconds, but fell when Cardinal Hayes' Joe Toussaint made three free throws with :01.1 remaining to hand the Eagles a 52-51 CHSAA AA Archdiocesan semifinal loss.

   St. Peter's led by 14 in the third quarter and was still up by eight with 3:00 to go.

   After two Eagles free throws and a timeout with :05.5 to go, the Cardinals got the ball into the hands of Toussaint (22 points), who raced down the middle to just before the arc when he pulled up, double-clutched and drew a foul.


   Top-seeded Hayes advances to the Archdiocesan championship game vs. Archbishop Stepinac, a surprisingly easy 75-58 winner over Iona Prep to take a 2-1 lead in their season series.

   Sophomore R.J. Davis had a game-high 22 points to go with four rebounds and five assists. Senior Souleymane Koureissi led Iona Prep with 19 points.

   More basketball: St. Joe's basketball coach Mark Simon has stepped down following a season-ending loss at St. Francis in the Monsignor Martin playoffs.

   Simon was the head coach for 18 seasons and involved with the program for 44 years overall as a player, official and coach. He recorded his 300th win earlier this season.

   Catching up on stuff: Here's some of what I've missed while I was away the past few days:

    • Marion sophomore Chloe DeLyser, quite possibly destined to be the state's all-time leading scorer in girls soccer, has committed to Ohio State.

   The Buckeyes, coming off winning their first outright Big Ten regular-season championship, offered last month after watching DeLyser play a pair of matches in Houston.

   She has 181 goals, which is 14 shy of the Section 5 record. The state record is 252 by Grand Island's Madisyn Pezzino, a 2017 graduate.

    • Legendary Section 2 wrestling coach Joe Bena died Saturday at the age of 79.

   Bena's accomplish- ments at Newburgh, Niskayuna and Duanes- burg included 673 dual-meet victories, 11 wrestlers who totaled 13 state championships and three competitors who went on to Olympic teams.

   "You meet a lot of people who treat you differently when you're different things to them," said Nick Gwiazdowski, a two-time state champ at Duanesburg. "From being a seventh-grader with no wrestling experience to what I am today, he would treat my friends who never wrestled the same way he would treat me. You don't see that too often."

   Bena retired from coaching at Niskayuna in 2003 after 34 seasons -- only to come out of retirement to coach at Duanesburg, where he would work with five more state champs.

    • St. Anthony's senior baseball player Anthony Pagano, 17, died in a one-car crash Saturday near Albany after he fell asleep at the wheel on I-87, New York State police said.

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