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Friday, March 2, 2018: NYSPHSAA pushes back Saturday start times

   Leading off today: The NYSPHSAA changed start times for several state championships slated for Saturday in the face of the storm that began brutalizing much of the state Friday night.

   Event starts will be delayed by four hours at the indoor track championships at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, cheerleading at the SRC Arena in Syracuse, gymnastics at Cold Spring Harbor and the rifle regional championships at West Point.

   The new start times on Saturday are:

  • Indoor track, 12:45 p.m.
  • Cheerleading, 1 p.m.
  • Rifle, 1 p.m.
  • Gymnastics, 2 p.m.
   The boys swimming and diving championships at the Nassau Aquatic Center in East Meadow will start at 10:30 a.m., as previously scheduled.

   "This storm has impacted a large portion of the state, and we want to allow people extra time to travel to our State and Regional Championships," NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas said in a statement announcing the changes. "We want to thank the venues for allowing us to adjust the schedules and working with us to have the most successful Championships possible."

    • Numerous sectional basketball championship games across the state slated for Friday had already been postponed by early in the day. With some of the storm warning not expected to expire until early tomorrow, it's possible some Saturday events could also be called off.

   PSAL basketball: Cardozo edged McKee/Staten Island Tech 75-74 in three overtimes Thursday to advance to the PSAL boys Class AA basketball quarterfinals..

   Dejavaughn Utley made eight 3-pointers en route to 38 points to advance the Judges to a quarterfinal against Boys & Girls.

   Another big effort saw Malik Martin finish with 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as Curtis defeated Brooklyn Collegiate 79-71.

    • In early-round action in Class A, No. 35 seed Canarsie shocked third-seeded Far Rockaway 81-67 as Christian Collins (29) and Sincere Coleman combined for 50 points.

   Girls basketball: Syracuse Academy of Science, which fielded its first team in 2010-11, won its first Section 3 championship with a 63-42 win over Little Falls in Class C.

   Senior Lyrik Jackson led the way with 25 points.

   SAS played in finals the previous two seasons, losing to Cooperstown in 2016 and to Thousand Islands in three OTs last March.

    • Section 6's most improbable semifinal got off to an improbable start. Eleventh-seeded Dunkirk scored the first 23 points in a 51-25 rout of 10th-seeded Medina in the Class B-1 semifinals.

   The Marauders will face Fredonia in the B-1 finals on Sunday after the Hillbillies upset top-seeded Newfane 46-32.


   Following up: Yesterday's blog mentioned Ramapo reaching the Section 1 Class AA final in boys basketball with a 10-14 season. The story behind the storybook season is even better than I originally realized.

   Ramapo barely qualified for the sectional tourney, going on a late three-game winning streak to meet the qualifying cutoff.

   The run through the playoffs has including OT wins vs. Roy C. Ketcham in the outbracket and Mamaroneck in the semifinals. In between, the Gryphons rallied from five down midway through the fourth quarter to roar past Clarkstown

South and avenged two regular-season losses by edging Clarkstown North 68-65.

   Coach Steve Loscher has a team playing for a title for the third time in four years. In 2015 he led the Peekskill girls to the Class A final. The following year he took the Keio to the Class C championship game.

   If he wins any postseason honors, Loscher's walk-up song to the podium should be "Ramblin' Man." Here's his coaching chronology:

  • 1995: Clarkstown South freshman boys
  • 1996: Clarkstown South JV boys
  • 1997: Dominican College men's assistant
  • 1998: Pomona Middle School modified boys
  • 1999: Ramapo freshman boys
  • 2000: Paramus (N.J.) varsity girls
  • 2000-2002: Out of coaching
  • 2002-03: Ramapo varsity girls
  • 2004-12: Purchase College women's head coach
  • 2013: Missed season because of prostate cancer
  • 2014: Peekskill varsity girls
  • 2015: Keio varsity girls
  • 2016-18: Ramapo varsity boys
   Emphatic denial: I said back in September that the arrest of Arizona assistant basketball coach Emanuel "Book" Richardson on federal bribery charges in the spreading NCAA scandal would likely result in links being made to the New York City scholastic scene.

   That happened this week with the disclosure that Abraham Lincoln coach and former Seton Hall assistant Dwayne "Tiny" Morton's name appears in documents alleging that he was paid $9,500 by former NBA agent Andy Miller and his agency, ASM Sports.

   Morton issued an emphatic denial of wrongdoing to on Monday:

   "I stepped down as Juice ALLSTARS director in February 2014. The Yahoo reports are false about me receiving payments from Andy Miller! Furthermore, my relationship with Andy Miller began and ended with [former Lincoln HS star and NBA player] Sebastian Telfair.

   "As you are probably aware, [former Lincoln HS star and current NBA star Lance] Stephenson never entertained Andy Miller and I expressed to [former Lincoln, Seton Hall and current NBA player Isaiah] Whitehead's parent that Jeff Swartz would be a better option!

   "I believe there is a misconception regarding me receiving any sort of monetary gains from NBA players or anyone else. As I have stated many times before, I never received a dime from anyone outside of my day job!"

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