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Saturday, May 26, 2018: Westhill ends J-D's reign in boys lacrosse

   Leading off today: Nine-time defending champion Jamesville-DeWitt couldn't keep alive its quest for a perfect "10" on Friday.

   Owen Matukas fired home the game-winner 49 seconds into overtime as Westhill earned a 10-9 victory in the Section 3 boys Class C lacrosse semifinals. It completed a rally from an early four-goal deficit.

   The win came a year to the day after Westhill lost to eventual state champion Syracuse CBA in Class D. The Warriors' 2015 and '16 seasons also ended with overtime losses.

   "We've been here four years and walked away three times (losing) in overtime," Westhill coach Mike Leuze said. "So this feels really nice."

   Westhill was without leading scorer Luke McAnaney (31 goals, 33 assists) after the senior was diagnosed with mononucleosis.

   Softball marathon: Senior Kylie Gavitt's grounder up the middle was just enough to bring home the winning run in the 12th inning as Averill Park outlasted Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 6-5 in the Section 2 Class A softball semifinals.

   The throw home was high and off line, allowing Morgan VanDervoort to score from third base.

   The score was tied 3-3 before the teams each pushed across individual runs in the 10th and 11th innings under the international tiebreaker rule.

   Long-standing record falls: Shevaughn Allen of Cheektowaga JFK set the ECIC record in the long jump at the league championships, leaping 24-1 3/4. The previous record of 23-11½ by Hamburg's Bob Jones had stood since 1986.

   Allen also finished with the top qualifying time in the 110 hurdles (:15.4) to advance to Saturday's final.

   Moving up in stature: Girls wrestling, already a fixture in the PSAL, now has a foot in the door in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.

   The Section 9 Athletic Council has recognized girls wrestling as a sport for next school year and will form a committee to work out logistics.

   Relative to most other parts of the state, Section 9 had a smallish number of girls competing on boys teams last season, but the participation in general has been growing in the state and the country.


    • The Arizona Inter- astic Association is adding girls wrestling as an emerging sport for the winter sports season next school year with a handful of teams as a pilot program.

   David Hines, executive director of the Arizona Interscholastic Association, anticipates two or three invitational tournaments next season with a couple of jamborees mixed in, before a season-ending individual state tournament.

   Arizona becomes the 10th state association to recognize girls wrestling.

   Worthwhile reading, Part 1: The Post-Star had an interesting feature this week on Schuylerville girls who are doing double duty this spring.

   Senior softball catcher Caitlin Kelleher also competes in weight events for the track team, sometimes racing between sports on the same afternoon. She won the Foothills Council shot put title this month with a school-record heave of 34-3 1/4.

   "My best throw came when I was in the middle of a (softball) scrimmage," she said.

   Emily Vallee is also doing softball and track, and Amy Moreau and Kassie Brennan are playing lacrosse and doing track.

   "I always ask them to communicate -- just keep me in the loop, let me know when they need to be somewhere, and they're pretty good about it," softball coach Katie Bottisti said. "They know that they need to be here for practices and games, I communicate with the (track) coaches and them, and we make it work."

   Vallee is just three-quarters of an inch off the school record in the long jump.

   Worthwhile reading, Part 2: Syracuse Fowler High School soccer and football players are now doomed to a 10th season without a home field to play and practice on.

   Fowler has been without a stadium or proper athletic field since 2009 and the latest timetable had construction beginning this summer. That went out the window when only one company responded to a request for proposals to do site work -- and the bid came in more than $5 million higher than the $13 million that Syracuse's Joint Schools Construction Board estimated it should cost.

   In a JSCB meeting Thursday, program manager Chris Gray said the project will need to be re-bid this fall. That will delay completion until somewhere around the end of the 2019-20 school year.

   "I've watched from a distance and certainly been frustrated like the rest of the community on the delay," said Mayor Ben Walsh, who chairs the JSCB. "As anxious as we are, I think it's our responsibility as board members to make sure we're doing it in a responsible, fiscally prudent matter."

   More reading: You thought I couldn't tie together last week's NYSPHSAA Coaches Appreciation Day, a former colleague coining the phrase Single-Engine Cessna Parents, the 30th-floor vault at Nakatomi Plaza that Hans Gruber cracked open and a $50K defamation suit settlement in one column?

   Well, you were wrong.

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