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Monday, March 19, 2018: Brooklyn Law & Tech rolls to PSAL boys Class A title

   Leading off today: Senior Larry Moreno scored 35 points to lead Brooklyn Law & Technology to an 83-57 victory over Roosevelt Educational Campus in the PSAL boys Class A basketball final at St. John's University on Sunday.

   Moreno, a 2,000-point career scorer committed to St. Francis (N.Y.), and Joseph Pena owned the perimeter in the early going as L&T raced to a 31-5 lead into the second quarter. The Jets extended the lead to 40-16 before Roosevelt closed the gap to 46-28 at the half.

   Roosevelt began the third quarter on a 9-0 run, but L&T recovered to carry a 61-46 advantage into the fourth quarter.

   L&T fell one win short of its first PSAL title a year ago, giving up a 17-point lead, but got the job done convincingly this time to secure a place in next weekend's Federation tournament in Glens Falls.

    • In the Class B final, Fannie Lou Hamer defeated Brooklyn Community Arts & Media 61-51 to clinch a return trip to Glens Falls.

   PSAL girls: Brooklyn's James Madison overpowered Lab Museum 74-42 for the Class A crown.

   In Class B, John Jay Campus edged Brooklyn Law & Technology 44-43 at St. John's, rallying from two points down with :10.7 seconds to play.

   Federation field complete: Ten of the 23 teams from last season's season-ending championships will be making return trips to Glens Falls for next weekend's Federation basketball tournament.

   Jamesville-DeWitt, Staten Island Academy, James Madison, Bronx Aquinas, Long Island Lutheran, Baldwin and South Shore are the girls teams coming back from a year ago. Long Island Lutheran, Fannie Lou Hamer and Albany Academy return in the boys field.

   South Shore and Long Island Lutheran qualified both their boys and girls teams for the tournament, which begins Friday at Cool Insuring Arena.

   The Albany Academy boys and the girls teams from South Shore and Staten Island Academy are defending champions.

   The full weekend schedule can by found here.

   PSAL coach dies: New York State Sportswriters Association contributor Mike Libert reports that Transit Tech boys basketball coach Mike Perazzo died Saturday of an apparent heart attack.

   Perazzo coached the Express for 16 seasons, including a 20-6 mark and a trip to the PSAL Class A quarterfinals this season.

   Prior to his arrival at Transit Tech, Perazzo coached at Franklin K. Lane.

   Engstler earns award: Emily Engstler of St. Francis Prep in the CHSAA has been selected New York's girls basketball player of the year by Gatorade.

   The 6-foot-1 forward sparked the Terriers to a 19-9 record by averaging 18.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.1 blocks per game.

   The Syracuse-bound senior has been chosen to play in the McDonald's All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic.

   Following up: With the Liverpool boys basketball team in action this past weekend in Binghamton, where the Warriors won the NYSPHSAA Class AA championship, I wrote a column for the Press & Sun-Bulletin recalling a memory of Chris Gedney.

   Gedney, who died March 9, had a stellar football career at Syracuse University and went on to play in the NFL. Before that, though, he was a football and basketball star at Liverpool and a participant in one of the more memorable basketball games I covered.


   Case still moving forward: Red Creek's loss in the Section 5 girls basketball tournament earlier this month did not put an end to litigation in State Supreme Court, the Batavia Daily News reported last week.

   Matt Wilbur, the father of the player ejected from Red Creek's 69-65 win over Byron-Bergen, said he is continuing his lawsuit unless Section 5 and the NYSPHSAA change their appeal process. Wilbur said the call against his daughter, freshman guard Isabella Wilbur, did not warrant an ejection that was also supposed to suspend her for the next game.

   Wilbur went to court and got an injunction allowing his daughter to play in a season-ending loss to Batavia Notre Dame. The lawsuit names Section 5 Executive Director Kathy Hoyt and the two referees as defendants.

   Ejections and suspensions fall under a NYSPHSAA rule that does not give the player an avenue for appeal because officials' calls are not reviewable.

   "I thought it was absurd. You can increase a suspension not decrease it, so there has to be some kind of review, doesn't there?" Matt Wilbur asked. "I got a lawyer, but I made sure the district was behind me because I was not going to do this without the support from the district. The judge saw the evidence and signed it."

   He continued: "My actions in getting the lawsuit is not just to get my daughter to play in a basketball game, it's for others when you have refs that are incompetent. Anyone who doesn't think that (the call was wrong) should have their head checked because their head is not on straight."

   Hoyt worries about the potential for subsequent lawsuits -- potentially beyond high schools -- if the Wilburs are successful.

   "I was an athletic director for 17 years, this is the first time this has happened," she said. "This could not only affect Section 5 and New York State, but possibly affect things across the nation. Most states have this rule and the NCAA has the same rule."

   Alumni news: Such a pity that your bracket got folded on Friday, spindled on Saturday and mutilated on Sunday.

   Mine made it through the weekend intact. That's because the bracket that mattered most to me was the 141-pound division of the NCAA Division I wrestling championships.

   Cornell freshman Yianni Diakomihalis, who ended his Hilton scholastic career on a 212-match winning streak, won a championship Saturday night at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland via a four-point cradle in the final seconds to defeat top-seeded Bryce Meredith of Maryland 7-4.

   Diakomihalis is the second true freshman to win an NCAA title for Cornell. Kyle Dake won the first of his four championships in 2010.

   Diakomihalis avenged the only loss of a 38-1 season in the semifinals by defeating Missouri's Jaydin Eierman 6-4 in overtime in the semifinals. He also defeated two-time NCAA champ Dean Heil of Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals.

   Diakomihalis' reputation is that of a triple-threat: physically imposing, nearly flawless technically and a high IQ for wrestling (as well as a wealth of other disciplines).

   The transcript from his post-meet interview Saturday was dripping with his trademark poise on and off the mat. Strip out the references to wrestling and you'd swear you were reading the remarks of a 50-year-old CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

   "It's all about belief, in my opinion," he said. "I know my coaches have infinite confidence in me. And I know every time I step out there, I have a lot of scoring potential, a lot of ways I can score. So it's all just coming from that confidence that no matter what situation you're in, you can go get one. You can keep them off you. So you should never have fear if you believe in yourself."

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