Leading off today:
The mighty have fallen ... but don't expect Archbishop Stepinac
to dwell in the basement of large-school basketball much longer.
Despite a roster that includes four returning starters, the defending Federation Class AA champions slipped to 0-4 on Friday after an 85-69 loss to Christ the King in White Plains.
"I think we got off to a bad start thinking we're better than we are," senior Ed Sanchez told The Journal News after scoring 25 points in the loss. "With what we did last year, we didn't really come out the way we needed to start the season."
The real issue, though, has been injuries. Sophomore Adrian Griffin Jr., expected to be in the conversation for state player of the year honors, has been out since October because of a stress fracture in his foot and remains iffy for the Slam Dunk Tournament on Dec. 21-22. Junior R.J. Davis and senior Ed Minaya have missed games with back injuries.
"Once we get that going, we should get rolling soon," said Davis, who had 21 points in the latest loss.
Ryan Meyers (24 points), Quaran McPherson (23) and Nick Molina (20) dominated the scoring column for Christ the King, which was without injured 6-foot-10 forward Moussa Cisse.
• Rodney Swain coached Stepinac as Pat Massaroni completed his two-game suspension for his ejection in last week's loss to Monsignor Scanlan.
Making it count: If you're going to shoot 1-for-13 from the field, you might as well make sure that the one shot that find the bottom of the net matters.
Kevion Taylor came through with a game-winning 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left to lift unbeaten Buffalo City Honors over MST Prep at Seneca 56-55, handing the Indians their first loss.
Jaden Slaughter led the Centaurs with 25 points, including two 3-pointers. Earl Howard led MST Prep at Seneca with 20.
End of an era: Section 5's tradition of football scheduling based primarily on geographically aligned leagues will end next fall with the football committee's announcement that Federation-style scheduling has been approved.
The Federation scheduling format, which aligns teams by state classification was approved by a 53-19 vote, the committee announced.
The next step will be for Section 5 coordinator Scott Barker and the football committee to work on divisional alignments and schedules for the 2019 season.
In the short term, the process could be complicated by uncertainty over classification cutoff numbers. State football coordinator Gary VanDerzee told me last month that nothing had been ruled out as the committee works through several questions, the biggest of which pertains to the rapidly shrinking Class D as more and more schools convert to eight-man football.
Teamwork in the MMAA: St. Joseph's has cheerleaders -- nearly two dozen of them, in fact -- for its basketball games for the first time since 1999 thanks to an arrangement with Mount St. Mary than benefits both schools.