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Monday, March 11, 2019: Syracuse, Skaneateles win hockey finals

   Leading off today: Ryan Eccles scored a pair of goals, including what proved to be the game-winner as Syracuse edged Suffern 4-2 for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association boys Division I hockey championship Sunday in Buffalo.

   Stephen Matro and Phillip Zollo, who had a hat trick a day earlier in the semifinals, also scored as the multi-district team earned its first state championship.

   "We knew we had the team this year," coach Neal Purcell said. "They sure put the work in."

   Zollo, a player on Westhill's state soccer championship team in the fall, scored a wraparound goal with 1:08 left in the second for a 2-1 lead. Eccles took the puck the length of the ice in the third for a 3-1 lead.

   Skaneateles captured the Division II championship with a 6-1 win over Queensbury for its first state trophy since 2015 and fourth overall.

   "At the beginning of the year, coach (Mitch Major) said we're not good enough, and all year he kept saying it," the Lakers' Ryan Gick said. "With 30 seconds left I looked up and said, 'Coach are we good enough?' and he said no, and threw me out there for the last 15 seconds.

   "I was actually playing defense which I never play. When the puck came to me I took a slap shot in panic, and I looked over at coach and yelled, 'Are we good enough?' 'Yes, yes we are.'"

   Gick's goal two minutes into the second period was the beginning of another stellar performance for the winger and linemates Luke Lynn and Cole Heintz. Heintz and Lynn scored later in the second to put Skaneateles ahead 3-0. Lynn, Garrett Krieger and Jack Henry each tacked on another goal in the third period.

   NYSPHSAA bowling: The Lansingburgh boys and Dunkirk girls came away with state Division II championships to conclude the three-day tournament in Syracuse.

   Lansingburgh roared out of the blocks with games of 1,106 and 1,043 to start the day and finished 307 pins ahead of Tonawanda. Dunkirk trailed Newark's girls by 136 pins through three games but knocked down 2,985 pins in the second block to edge the Reds by 140 pins.

   Lansingburgh had three of the top five boys finishers including champion Codi Genthner, whose 1,391 series started with games of 258 and 246. Jon Kurdziel of Tonawanda was second at 1,334, which included the day's high game (279).

   Dunkirk was paced by second-place finisher Rachel Glowniak's 1,231 total. Newark's Natalie Kent was the runaway winner with a 1,349 pinfall. Jolene McConnell of Maine-Endwell had he high game with a 254.

   CK boys win CHSAA final: Christ the King held Archbishop Stepinac to 0-for-17 shooting while outscoring the Crusaders 16-4 in the fourth quarter and pulled off a 61-56 victory in the CHSAA boys Class AA basketball championship game.

   Ryan Myers led the Royals with 19 points.


   It was the culmination of a laborious march into the Federation tournament in two weeks for Christ the King, which played nearly the entire season without 6-foot-11 sophomore Moussa Cisse, started off with five losses in nine games, and saw guard Quaran McPherson suffer a late-season knee injury.

   The Royals hit rock bottom Jan. 18 with a 87-58 loss to St. Raymond.

   "We got smoked that day against St. Raymond and I said that I just don't know what I'm going to do," coach Joe Arbitello said. "I don't know how we are going to win another game, I was just so low after that loss and I've never been that low coaching."

   A day later, Christ the King went to the HoopHall Classic in Massachusetts and pulled off a 57-54 win against St. Louis Vachom, which just improved to 26-4 by claiming the Missouri state Class C title.

   From that moment on all became possible and getting Cisse back for the playoffs was the bonus that made Christ the King especially dangerous.

   NYSPHSAA boys quarterfinals: Brentwood edged Uniondale 57-54 in the Class AA tournament at Nassau Coliseum for its first Long Island championship since 2015.

   Uniondale had cut a 15-point deficit to a one-possession game on R.J. Meyers-Turner's 3-pointer with 4:32 to play and closed to within two on Jayden Freeman's layup with 3:46 to go. Meyers-Turner (18 points) hit Rashaun Gorham for a layup with :37 left to turn it into a one-point game, but Kenny Lazo buried two free throws with :02.8 remaining and Latrell Williams' desperation three for a tie was not close.

   Bryce Harris scored 18 points and Alan Houston 15 for Brentwood.

    • Niyal Goins banked in a 3-pointer with 1:03 remaining to break a tie and send Poughkeepsie to a 76-71 win over Johnson City in Class A.

   Goins scored 24 points and Davontrey Thomas had 15 to help Poughkeepsie overcame a 31-point effort by 6-foot-6 Johnson City junior Xavier Hill.

    • Jack Lambert tied for the game high with 24 points, 10 of them in the first quarter, as Cooperstown downed Unadilla Valley 61-46 in Class C.

    • In Class D, Marathon eliminated Bridgehampton 66-60 as Diego Castellot scored 28 points on 12-for-18 shooting.

   NYSPHSAA girls quarterfinals: Binghamton Seton Catholic Central rode a 54-point first half to a 92-78 victory over Hyde Park FDR in Class A action.

   Seniors Julia Hauer (27 points, 12 rebounds) and Marina Maerkl combined for 53 points and 21 rebounds as the Saints locked up a third consecutive final four berth.

    • Watkins Glen reached the Class C semifinals in Troy with a 60-49 win over Cooperstown. Senior forward Taylor Kelly had 20 points to lead the Senecas and point guard Hannah Morse contributed 17 points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals.

    • South Kortright started its Class D quarterfinal with a 14-0 run and defeated Smithtown Christian 65-35. Junior Azalyn Brunson had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Carli Pardee hit four 3-pointers en route to 14 points as the Rams improved to 24-0.

   Indoor track nationals: Junior Katelyn Tuohy of North Rockland set a meet record and climbed to No. 2 on the all-time U.S. girls two-mile list during the New Balance Indoor Track & Field Nationals on Sunday.

   Tuohy won with a time of 9:51:05 while running conservatively. She shaved more than five seconds off the meet record and made a deep cut into her previous PR of 9:58.89.

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