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Tuesday, July 31, 2018: Pair of CHSAA basketball stars leaving N.Y.

   Leading off today: We had an anomaly last summer that saw what had been primarily a New York City basketball problem instead dominate the upstate schools scene.

   We appear -- for the moment, anyway -- to be back to normal now: While upstate has been relatively quiet in terms of player movement, big names in New York City boys basketball are leaving their schools to play for national powerhouses in their final tune-up season before heading off to Division I college ball.

   In a matter of hours this weekend, Christ the King center Kofi Cockburn and Archbishop Molloy guard Cole Anthony revealed that they will transfer to Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va.

   Anthony was slated to be the only returning first-team all-state selection in Class AA in the upcoming season after averaging 23.4 point a game as a junior. The 6-foot-10 Cockburn averaged 12.5 points a game and was second-team all-state as a junior.

   Cockburn has trimmed his list of potential college suitors to a dozen schools including Kansas, Kentucky, Pitt, St. John's, Syracuse and UConn. Anthony also has his choice of elite college programs after his big junior season and a huge spring and summer on the Nike EYBL circuit.

   New job: Manny Martinez, forced out as girls basketball coach at Blind Brook last year after 17 seasons, is the new boys coach at Port Chester.

   While the school had openings for both the boys and girls varsity programs, Martinez told Rams AD James Ryan that he only wanted to be considered for the boys job. The Rams went winless last season, marking their third winless campaign in the last four seasons.

   "If I was going to make a transition from Blind Brook to another new place, I was looking for new challenges," Martinez told The Journal News.

   Martinez won 225 games and reached the Section 1 championships at the Westchester County Center 10 times during his 17-year tenure with Blind Brook.

   More basketball: This is your annual reminder that the Basketball Coaches Association of New York's Summer Hoops Festival is on the horizon. The eighth annual event runs Friday through Sunday in Johnson City.

   The rosters and schedules for the nine boys teams and nine girls teams can be found on the BCANY website.

   The Central boys and Southern Tier girls are the defending champions.


   Rules revision: In a move that should add some much-needed pace to the sport, the girls lacrosse committee of the National Federation of State High School Associations has adopted "self-start" for restarting play outside of the critical scoring area.

   The new Rule 5-4-4 formulated by the NFHS committee in conjunction with U.S. Lacrosse, notes that the self-start is not an option when:

  • The game clock is stopped;
  • There is a restraining line violation;
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  • The ball is in the critical scoring area, excluding boundary restarts;
  • There is an alter- nating possession;
  • There is an inad- vertent whistle; or,
  • A goal is scored.
   Still, the adoption of self-start reduces involvement by officials in restarting play, thus speeding up the game.

   "The NFHS/US Lacrosse Girls' Lacrosse Rules Committee viewed these changes as a necessary progression in improving the game -- from both administrative and risk-minimization perspectives," Lindsey Atkinson, NFHS director of sports/communications associate and NFHS staff liaison to the Girls Lacrosse Rules Committee, said in the announcement of the change.

   Another significant change deals with a penalty zone that must be cleared when a defensive player commits a major foul in the 8-meter arc. The penalty zone is the area eight meters away from the goal circle above the goal line extended and the area created by the extension of the 8-meter mark to the dots and across the dots.

   An additional tweak establishes defensive positioning on the hashmarks closest to the free position on the 8-meter free position.

   "Establishing the penalty zone and the placement of the defense on the adjacent hashmarks for an 8-meter free position is a rules change that the committee feels will improve the administration of the penalty by increasing the flow of the game and minimizing risk of injury," Atkinson said.

   Decisions: St. John the Baptist guard Cara McCormack, third team all-state in Class A last season as a sophomore, has made an early commitment to Holy Cross.

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