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Wednesday, March 6, 2019: Jamesville-DeWitt beats back Averill Park rally

   Leading off today: Stop us if you've heard this one before, but Jamesville-DeWitt defeated Averill Park on Tuesday in the first round of the NYSPHSAA girls Class A basketball tournament.

   The Red Rams surrendered a double-digits lead but recovered in overtime to beat the Warriors 65-60 at Shenendehowa High School.

   J-D has now eliminated Averill Park from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournament in six consecutive seasons:

  • 2018 quarterfinals: Jamesville-DeWitt, 55-41.
  • 2017 quarterfinals: Jamesville-DeWitt, 52-47.
  • 2016 first round: Jamesville-DeWitt, 67-54.
  • 2015 first round: Jamesville-DeWitt 55-46.
  • 2014 quarterfinals: Jamesville-DeWitt, 56-53.
   Guard Momo LaClair scored a team-high 27 points, while Gabby Stickle connected for 17 for J-D, which led 53-50 with 6:37 to go before being blanked over the rest of the fourth quarter.

   Paige Keeler opened overtime with a 3-pointer and Sydney Baker extended the league with a basket.

   "It was great to have those kids hit those shots because Averill Park was really putting all their focus on Momo and Gabby Stickle," coach Rob Siechen said.

   Big night for Ossining: Division I recruits Jaida Strippoli, Kailah Harris and Aubrey Griffin played their final game on their home court and starred as Ossining downed Elmira 98-58 in the Class AA first round.

   Griffin finished with 37 points, 10 rebounds, six steals and four assists. Harris tallied 30 points and 10 rebounds. Strippoli handed out a school-record 17 assists to go with seven rebounds and four steals.

   "I told them before the game, 'It's very rare when you know when your last home game is. This is your last home game ever,'" Pride coach Dan Ricci said. "I said, 'Are we going to (the state semifinals) for the ninth year in a row, or are we not?'

   "We got one more, and we're gonna get there," he added.

   Slow start but usual result: After Mount Vernon allowed the first nine points, Knights coach Bob Cimmino pulled his starters on the premise that if they weren't going to play hard then he'd find someone who would.

   "We just weren't focused," Cimmino said. "We took some quick jumpers, so we went to the subs and they worked a little harder. They're not as good offensively so they have to do something else to stay in the game. And they did."

   Sebastian Daley contributed eight points off the bench and Joel Cooper added seven.


   Led by junior Charles Lovett (26 points), the starters regrouped returned in the second quarter and put up 27 points in the third to fuel a 71-55 win over Elmira in the boys Class AA first round.

   Ah, the memories: We're a win away by each team, but Bill Merna points out that the potential boys Class D state semifinal Saturday in Binghamton shapes up as a trip down memory lane.

   In the first year of the relaunched state tournament, Bridgehampton rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Lyme 73-70 in the NYSPHSAA Class D final. Lyme was hindered by tournament MVP Leo Wilson fouling out in the fourth quarter.

   Fast-forward to 2019. Multi-time state champ Bridgehampton has a weekend quarterfinal against Marathon and Lyme, which is back in the state tourney for the first time in 41 years, takes on Harrisville with a trip to Binghamton on the line.

   Care to take a guess who the Lyme coach is? Yup, it's Leo Wilson whose son Isaiah is an all-league player.

   Format tweak: Section 1 has made a change for the better in its baseball playoffs effective this spring. After years of consideration and an experiment with the Class C tourney last year, the Section 1 playoffs in classes AA, A and B will have a double-elimination format after the quarterfinal round. (Class C will use best-of-three series in its final two rounds.)

   "We've talked about it for years, but I pushed it with (the coaches') blessing," sectional baseball chairman Chris McCarthy said. "This is what they wanted."

   To help with scheduling, Section 1's Executive Committee OK'd playing postseason games on Memorial Day. The classes will be reseeded after the May 22 quarterfinals and the change means between one and two extra games for the eventual champion.

   "A team could have to win seven or eight games to win the section," said Beacon coach Bobby Atwell. "There's going to be a lot of strategic moves that coaches are going to have to rely on to get through games, especially knowing they're going to have to use more pitching than ever before."

   Hall of Fame selection: Centereach field hockey great Tracey Fuchs, who set a variety of scoring records in the early 1980s, has been selected for enshrinement in the NFHS National High School Hall of Fame, it was announced Tuesday.

   She will be inducted alongside football player Derrick Brooks of Florida, four-sporter and World Series manager Dusty Baker of California, boys basketball player Damon Bailey of Indiana and girls basketball player Seimone Augustus of Louisiana.

   Fuchs set national records for goals in a season (82) and career (171) at Centereach. She went on to lead the University of Connecticut, where she was a three-time All-American, to a national championship and playing in four World Championships as a 17-year member of the national team.

   Fuchs has been the field hockey coach at Northwestern University for the past 10 years.

   The induction ceremony is slated for June 30 in Indianapolis as part of the 100th annual NFHS Summer Meeting.

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