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Friday, May 11, 2018: Ventiquattro leaving Carthage after current season

   Leading off today: Kirk Ventiquattro, who founded the boys lacrosse program at Carthage and is in his 30th season as coach, will retire at the end of the season.

   However, he told The Daily Times this is not the end of his coaching career.

   "I hope to be coaching somewhere and this is not a forced exit," he said. "I just know that it is time to do what I do somewhere else.:

   Ventiquattro's all-time record is 457-129 following a victory Thursday vs. Thousand Islands. He has steered the Comets to 24 Frontier League championships, six Section 3 crowns and three trips to NYSPHSAA title games in 29 years.

   "It was a tough decision," he said. "My family has been against me continuing to coach here for quite some time. But with different health concerns (was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011) and just looking at the stress, and the change in the sport ... we reached the decision my family and me, as well as my close friends. So, it's time."

   "I don't have any hard feelings and I wish the program success."

   Football coaching news: Genaro Scampone has been appointed as the new coach at Utica Notre Dame. Scampone, 26, arrives from Utica College, where he was an assistant for three seasons.

   He replaces Jake DerCola, who was named head coach at Rome Free Academy.

    • I missed this in December, but former Red Jacket coach Marc Vitticore is Fairport's new coach following the retirement of Dave Whitcomb.

   After three years of commuting from Fairport, Vitticore stepped down at red Jacket in January 2015 with a 27-4 record and almost immediately was regarded as the eventual heir to Whitcomb.

   Whitcomb piled up 217 wins at six schools (Avon, Midlakes, Aquinas, Greece Arcadia, Geneva and Fairport), and his final stop at Fairport was most definitely a rebuilding job for what was at one time Section 5's most dominant large school.

   A record season: Lois Garlow's fifth goal in an 11-6 win over Buffalo Seminary was the 72nd of the junior's season, setting a record for Mount St. Mary's girls lacrosse.

   Garlow also had four assists, adding to her team lead for the season in that department.

   Mount St. Mary improved to 8-0 in the Monsignor Martin Association and 11-1 overall.

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   Perfection for streaking team: Mike McCully threw a six-inning perfect game against Chittenango as Syracuse CBA registered its eighth straight win in a 10-0 victory.

   The senior required only 64 pitches despite tying a career high with 11 strikeouts.

   The Brothers scored at least one run in all six innings, and Jack Lester went 3-for-3 as CBA improved to 9-3.

   It all worked out: Coaching changes in the midst of recruitment can be deadly for an athlete's college plans, but it's nice to see that things worked out OK in an instance this week.

  




   Jalen Pickett, who was second-team all-state in Class AA as an Aquinas senior in 2016, spent this school year at SPIRE Institute in Ohio and by late in the season was expected to commit to Siena College. However, fifth-year Siena coach Jimmy Patsos resigned a month ago in the face of a college investigation into a variety of allegations that included abusive conduct.

   In between getting hired and getting married in the last 10 days, new coach Jamion Christian worked on keeping Pickett in the fold and it paid off. Pickett committed to Siena late this week.

   It seems strange to say since he was second-team all-state, but Pickett was the unsung hero of Aquinas' NYSPHSAA championship team because of his versatility. He didn't have outrageous numbers, but he had a knack for filling the state sheet in whatever category was most needed on a particular night -- points, rebounds, assists, etc. The phrase "high basketball IQ" was coined with him in mind.

   More alumni news: Jaysean Paige, whose career took many twists and turns after his junior season for Jamestown as one of the smoothest guards I ever recall coming out of Western New York. continues to prosper.

   The British Basketball Journalists Association selected him as the player of the year in the British Basketball League after leading the loop in scoring at 22.6 points per game for Newcastle.

   Alignment tweak: Ossining and private-school powerhouses Our Lady of Lourdes, Albertus Magnus and Ursuline will be lumped into their own girls basketball division next season, sparing some other Section 1 programs the indignity of floggings by margins of 40 or more points.

   "It's just really good for girls basketball," Ossining coach Dan Ricci said. "I think playing these games, it's gonna cause a lot of excitement in girls basketball."

   The power league was inspired by a new sectional rule requiring all private schools to be placed in the conference where they would play in the postseason. Albertus Magnus and Lourdes had been competing against predominately Class A teams during the regular season.

   That was complicated by the fact that ADs and superintendents at Class AA public schools faced with the prospect of having to play those schools home-and-home during the season balked at the idea.

   Opinion: I like the concept of Section 1's power league, with one caveat: Section 1 needs to make sure its sectional seeding system does not heavily penalize the big four for losses amongst themselves. Someone in that division is gong to go 2-4 or 1-5 in league play and still be better than just about every other Section 1 Class team. It would be a travesty to see that team finish 13-7 during the season and get seeded behind a stack of teams that roll up 16-4 or 17-3 records without playing anyone.


  
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