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Sunday, March 18, 2018: Liverpool remains unbeaten, wins 'AA' final

   Leading off today: Charles Pride finished with 18 points, Noah Issakainen totaled 17 and Alan Willmes Jr. added 16 as Liverpool defeated Half Hollow Hills East 71-65 on Sunday for the NYSPHSAA boys Class AA basketball championship in Binghamton.

   Pride added seven rebounds and six assists, and Issakainen grabbed six rebounds in helping the Warriors improve to 26-0 and advance to the Federation semifinals next weekend against PSAL champion South Shore in Glens Falls.

   With Liverpool leading 67-65, Pride ran the clock down and pulled up for a jumper and a four-point lead with 20 seconds remaining.

   "I've seen him do that many, many times," coach Ryan Blackwell said. "He's made it in clutch games for us in the past, last year and this year, so I think it's perfect. Fitting."

   HHH East led 37-30 at the half as senior Savion Lewis piled up 24 of his 32 points.

   Pride and Willmes both scored six points in the third quarter to help rally Liverpool to a 52-51 lead.

   HHH East surged back in front, but Naz Johnson answered with six points for a 60-58 lead. HHH East went on a final run to take a 63-60 lead, but Willmes ventured into the lane for a pair of baskets and point guard Kyle Butler connected on a 3-pointer that proved to be the winning bucket.

   "Coach told us we that if we wanted it, we had to go get it," Willmes said. "We all decided we wanted to go get it, and that's what we did."

   Boys Class A: Josh Serrano piled up 29 points, six steals and five assists to propel Amityville to a 74-54 victory over Ardsley for the championship at Floyd L. Maines Veterans Arena.

   Jayson Robinson chipped in with 18 points, 13 rebounds and six assists as the Warriors (27-1) extended their winning streak to 19 games and advanced to the Federation semifinals against Park School.

   "I hope I'm not dreaming," Amityville coach Gordon Thomas said. "If I am, don't wake me up."

   Serrano scored 10 of his 14 first-half points during a 21-0 run. He then scored eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers, as Amityville scored the first 15 points of the third quarter to extend its lead to 42-13.

   Amityville forced 20 turnovers and outrebounded Ardsley 46-32.

   Zeke Blauner led Ardsley with 19 points.

   Girls Class AA: Aziah Hudson scored 34 points to lead defending champion Baldwin to an 87-60 win over Ossining at Hudson Valley Community College in a rematch of the 2017 final won by the Bruins 73-45.

   Kaia Harrison scored 16 points and Jenna Annecchiarico chipped in with 14.

   "It's a crazy feeling. I never thought this could happen to us, and the feeling is so great," Hudson said.


   The Bruins' winning formula consisted of 7-for-12 3-point shooting in the first half and a 26-7 scoring margin in the fourth quarter after Ossining's Aubrey Griffin (34 points) cut the deficit to 55-51 with :50 seconds left in the third quarter.

   Girls Class D: Senior guard Logan Bruce's step-back 3-pointer at the regulation buzzer tied the game and Delhi went on to a 54-51 victory over previously unbeaten

Franklinville for the Bulldogs' first state title in girls basketball.

   "I'm not a big 3-point shooter, but I knew I had to get back and shoot that," Bruce said after finishing with 16 points, four rebounds and four assists.

   Senior Olivia Wakin took over in overtime with a free throw and a jumper for a three-point lead, only to see Franklinville sophomore guard Danielle Haskell (33 points on 10-for-31 shooting) answered with a 3-pointer with 2:45 to play. Haskell then added a pair of free throws with 1:17 left for a 51-49 lead.

   Aileen Nealis made the first of two free-throw attempts with 1:02 left but missed the second, which Wakin (19 points) converted into a layup with :51.1 remaining. After Haskell missed a 3-pointer, freshman Sophia Wakin was fouled with :34 remaining and made both shots for a 54-51 lead.

   Haskell misfired on three long 3-pointers and Olivia Wakin was able to dribble out the remaining time.

   Calling all helpers: The NYSSWA's Steve Grandin is wrapping up the first phase of compiling the 2018 boys basketball all-state team.

   As usual, he's trying to collect as many area, section, class and league all-star teams as possible from coaches, media and league officials. If you can help, please forward information to Steve at as soon as possible.

   Media members assisting us by supplying their all-area selections are reminded that the deadline is Friday, March 30. Although all-area team may not have been released by that date, you've presumably identified the best players by then.

   Please remember to organize your nominees by state classification and rank the players in order.

   We will send everyone who helps a draft copy to review prior to final distribution for necessary edits, as well as a final version a couple of days in advance of the official release (with an embargo date).

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