Leading off today:
The Solomon Schechter girls basketball team will be without four starters Thursday for its Section 1 Class C playoff semifinal because of an overseas trip
planned before the season started.
"Obviously as a coach it isn't a dream scenario to be missing my starters for the playoffs, three of which are all-league players," coach Matthew Werner said. "However, I respect the decision they made. They gave their all to this program, set an incredible example for our younger girls and have changed the perception of girls basketball in the school. I couldn't think more highly of them as players and people."
Schechter (11-9) is top-seeded in the tournament and will face a Keio Academy team that it defeated 42-35 during the regular season. Players who accounted for 40 of 42 of the winners' points will be in Israel as the rematch tips off.
All-league player Amber Mandel said it was "extremely difficult" knowing she and her fellow senior starters would not be around for the postseason, but she has faith in her teammates stepping into new roles.
"The new starters know that we are cheering for them all the way from Israel," Mandel said. "We just want them to put in 100 percent effort and energy and cherish the moment. Some of the new players have never had the opportunity to play at the County Center and the old starters worked hard for them to have this amazing experience."
More girls basketball: Maple Hill pestered Lake George into 34 turnovers and earned a 60-52 victory in the Section 2 Class C tournament on Wednesday.
Maple Hill is ranked fifth and Lake George sixth in the most recent New York State Sportswriters Association ratings.
Gone again: Saugerties freshman basketball sensation Dior Johnson is gone again, his return to New York having lasted just eight games over two months.
The Saugerties guard is leaving for Findley Prep, a boarding school in Henderson, Nev., this weekend, the Times Herald-Record reported.
Johnson had left over the summer to attend IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., but returned to Section 9 in December. He averaged 30.5 points in eight games but did not play the past four contests due to attendance issues, the paper reported.
Findley Prep posted on its Twitter account Wednesday, "Dior joins the family from New York and will begin working out with our staff and prepping for next season immediately."
Johnson has 1,342 career points in his 2½ varsity seasons at Saugerties.
Boys hockey: Sophomore Cade Spencer scored four goals in a 6:29 span of the second period as Webster Thomas steamed past Irondequoit in a Section 5 Class B semifinal at Rochester Institute of Technology.
Sophomore Zack Wolfe contributed three goals and four assists for Thomas.
"If you're not on your A-game against them, you're in trouble," Irondequoit coach Rick Giuffrida said.
In the other semifinal, Spencerport welcomed goalie Rachel Brase (24 saves) back from a dislocated kneecap and defeated Canandaigua 7-3.
End of controversy, for now: A high-profile lawsuit ended Wednesday as the mother of girls basketball star Maori Davenport filed a motion to dismiss her family's pending lawsuit against the Alabama High School Athletic Association.
The request to dismiss the case followed the loss by