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Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019: Section 1 not moving from Pace University

   Leading off today: At this "pace," the Section 1 basketball finals will never find their way back to the Westchester County Center.

   Pace University will host the boys and girls finals for the second straight year, Section 1 announced Thursday, this time because the WCC took itself out of the running by booking another event for the tournament dates.

   "We believe strongly that Section 1 basketball belongs at the Westchester County Center, but the County could not bid on the finals as the dates requested by Section 1 were sold months prior," Westchester County Communications Director Catherine Cioffi said in a statement.

   The WCC will host the 38th annual Westchester County Home Show on March 2-3, the weekend of the scheduled Class AA, A and B finals. The county said the home show was booked over a year ago.

   Pace was named the venue for the 2018 finals in a controversial decision after the WCC held the majority of championships from 1933-2017.

   Two deaths to report: Rye boys track and field coach Jim Yedowitz died Wednesday from pancreatic cancer. He was 70 years old.

   Yedowitz coach a Rye relay squad at The Armory over the weekend and was tweaking lineups from his hospital bed earlier Wednesday.

   Yedowitz, who'd captained Manhattan College's track team and had coached for 43 years at Rye, retired as a health and physical education teacher in 2008. He'd also coached cross country and soccer for Rye but was most recognized for track.

   "He was in it for his kids on his team," Harrison coach Dom Zanot said. "You could see his pride when his kids improved, whether it was a low-key meet, a friendly dual meet or a championship that was a little more cutthroat. ... He was coaching for the right reason. He was a visual reminder of why you coach. He was really good for track & field, good for the sport, good for other coaches, good for Rye. It's a sad day for Section 1."

    • Mineola classmates held a sunrise vigil Thursday to mourn senior soccer player Christian Melendez, who was pronounced dead on Christmas Eve from injuries suffered in a Dec. 21 automobile crash.

   Melendez, 18, was a passenger in a vehicle that ended up partly submerged in water, said Williston Park Fire Chief John Perro Jr. Police said the driver and another passenger suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.

   "He was one of the best teammates that you could ask for," fellow co-captain Manny Mirao said. "He would always try and find a way to make you laugh, no matter what was going on."


   The high school provided grief counselors for students returning to class Wednesday from winter break, principal Whittney Smith said.

   Melendez was planning to play soccer in the fall at Nassau Community College.

   "He was a very determined student and player," Mineola coach Al Cavalluzzo said. "He was very easy to coach. ... He really bought into the notion of his team being like his family."

   Milestones: Monroe-Woodbury basketball coach Dave Powers chalked up his 500th career victory with a 69-45 triumph against Burke Catholic.

   Josh Castro finished with a game-high 19 points to pave the way.

   Powers coached girls basketball for 29 seasons at Tuxedo, Immaculate Heart (N.J.) and Nanuet. He's in his third season with the Monroe-Woodbury boys.

   Among those in attendance Wednesday was John Landro, the athletic director at Tuxedo.

   "I figured if I saw 300 and 400 I might as well be here for 500," he said. "Who knows if there's going to be a 600, but if it happens, it happens."

   Said Powers: "I told my wife if I ever come home and say this is no longer fun, tell me to quit."

    • Adam Enders of Belfast hit for a game-high 22 points to surpass 2,000 for his career during a 73-47 loss to Allegany-Limestone in the Cattauragus County IAABO Tournament at St. Bonaventure over the weekend.

   More basketball: Ethan Clarke DeSouza and Kevion Martin scored 22 points apiece as Rochester School of the Arts defeated Avon 94-90 in double overtime.

   Nick Rowland led Avon with 31 points and 16 rebounds. Connor Taylor finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

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