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Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018: McQuaid edges Niagara Falls in overtime

   Leading off today: Jermaine Taggart scored 16 of his game-high 28 points after halftime as McQuaid edged Niagara Falls 76-69 in overtime Saturday in a boys basketball contest between ranked Class AA teams.

   McQuaid, which trailed by eight points at the half, is ranked eighth and Niagara Falls ninth by the New York State Sportswriters Association. The Knights defeated Niagara Falls 65-57 in the 2018 NYSPHSAA quarterfinals.

   McQuaid forward Connor Zamiara scored on the first two possessions of the third quarter and Taggart then accounted for the Knights' next 12 points in helping his team pull ahead by five.

   Kobe Long finished with 23 points for the winners. Taylor Sanders paced Niagara Falls with 24 points.

   More boys basketball: St. Raymond's is on the road to recovery after an 0-3 start. The Ravens won their second in a row with a 72-45 rout of Wings academy, ranked seventh in Class AA.

   Wrestling: Sam Tromblee recorded pins in all five of his matches at 145 or 152 pounds as Corinth rolled to first place in the Schalmont Sabre Duals.

   Corinth defeated Lansingburgh (66-15), Albany (72-15), Rensselaer (70-3), Schalmont (42-36) and Berlin (67-17) to improve to 7-0 for the season.

   Ice hockey: Jeevan Deol finished with two goals and two assists as McQuaid defeated Bishop Timon-St. Jude 6-2. McQuaid is ranked third in the state in Division I and Timon fourth in Division II.

   Coming up, Part 1: We expect to announce the all-state team in boys cross country on Tuesday.

   Coming up, Part 2: I got my first look at Miles Brown in a couple of years when I watched him lead Northstar Christian to an 83-74 win over Leadership Academy by totaling 48 points with a barrage of 3-pointers and deft drives through the paint.

   Brown is just 99 points from becoming Section 5's career scoring leader in Section 5. With his first crack at the record potentially coming next week at Geneva's tournament, I'll be writing about Brown this week in my column.

   You can read my most recent column, a collection of notes from around the state.

   Good reading: The South Jefferson indoor track and field team is getting some good results in the early going this season as a self-funded program that hopes to be added to the school district's athletic budget in the future.

   Senior Marly Jacobs, the sectional pole vault champion in the 2018 outdoor season has given up basketball to compete in her specialty as well as relays.

    • Few things in high school sports are as much a certainty as Katelyn Tuohy winning any girls cross country race she enters. With that in mind, The Journal News talked to a variety of people about handling the reality that competing with the North Rockland star means hoping for a second-place finish at best.


   "Ever since I saw her, I knew she was going to be something special," said Pearl River senior Mary Borkoski, who's headed to the University of Pittsburgh next fall and has finished behind Tuohy more than two dozen times.

   "It's really cool running against someone like that," she said.

   Said Carmel sophomore Katie Turk, who was third in the Section 1 cross country championships last fall: "Everyone knows her name. If you don't know it, it's like you've been living under a rock,"

  • 2018 NYSPHSAA football brackets
  • 2018 Long Island football brackets
  • 2018 NYSPHSAA soccer Boys brackets | Girls
  • 2018 NYSPHSAA field hockey brackets
  • 2018 NYSPHSAA cross country: Boys | Girls
  • 2018 NYSPHSAA girls Swimming | Diving

  •    Former Mamaroneck star Lauren Chapey, now at Yale, lost 13 of 14 races to Tuohy but finished two spots ahead of her in the 2015 state meet.

       "I beat Katelyn Tuohy that one time," she said. "I'm saving that for when she goes to the Olympics. I think she's going to go so far. I'm excited I have a piece of running history."

        • A Newsday study reports participation in scholastic football is declining at a faster rate on Long Island than in the rest of the state and the nation, with the drop fueled by growing concern about head injuries and concussions.

       The number of high school players on Long Island has decreased 14.2 percent in 2017-18 from two years previously according to statistics from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. That's more than the 5.5 percent drop in the rest of the state and the 4.1 percent decrease nationwide in the same time.

       Said Dawn Comstock, a sports epidemiology professor at the University of Colorado: "What we're seeing today at the high school level is not some unique aspect of parental decision-making that's just occurring today. It's the natural evolution of decisions that parents made when their children were younger."

       Changing demographics may be a significant factor. Football is literally a foreign sport to many immigrant families, whose children might gravitate to sports such as soccer, basketball and volleyball because of their international popularity.

       The Great Neck school district has two high-enrollment secondary schools but had to combine the two in varsity football last fall. Neither school has had a junior varsity in years.

       "We are a very big immigrant school district," coach Ben Krauz said. "We have a lot of Middle Eastern, Asian population."

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