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Friday, March 15, 2019: Opening day of the NYSPHSAA basketball semifinals

   Leading off today: A bit of stream of unconsiousness on the opening morning of the NYSPHSAA basketball semifinals in Binghamton and Troy:

   11:10 a.m.: The first game of the day goes final as Glens Falls defeated Olean 83-63 in the Class B semifinals in Binghamton.

   After a blazing first quarter with 16 points, Joe Girard III finished with 39 points on 12-for-31 shooting. He also had eight rebounds and seven assists.

   Mike Schmidt, who made a big impression on me last weekend during a win in the state quarterfinals against Greece Odyssey, led Olean with 29 points.

   With Olean's loss, we re down to two undefeated boys basketball teams in New York: Pittsford Mendon in Class A and Lake George in Class C.

   11 a.m.: Speaking of awards, Joe Girard III has once again been selected Gatorde's new York player of the year in boys basketball, it was announced this morning.

   The two-sport star began today's NYSPHSAA semifinal with 4,589 career points, by far the highest total in state history. He also won the Gatorade award as a Glens Falls junior.

   Previous two-time New York winners of the award were Felipe Lopez (Rice, 1993-94) and Cheick Diallo (Our Savior New American, 2014-15).

   Girard had already been selected Mr. New York Basketball by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York a week ago.

   10:25 a.m.: McQuaid fell a game short of reaching the Class AA semifinals, having lost to Niagara Falls in the quarterfinals last weekend at Greece Athena High School.

   One has to wonder what might have been for the Knights has Isaiah Stewart not transferred out after the 2016-17 season in order to attend La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind.

   On Friday, Stewart was selected the recipient of the Naismith Trophy for High School Players.

   Stewart, who recently committed to play for the University of Washington next season and is regarded as a potential one-and-done prospect, is averaging 18.1 points and 11.3 rebounds for the nation's No. 1 prep team.

   Some of the recipients of the H.S. Naismith have included future college and professional stars Alonzo Mourning (1988), Chris Webber (1991), Jason Kidd (1992), Kobe Bryant (1996), LeBron James (2003), Dwight Howard (2004) and Kevin Love (2007).

   10:15 a.m.: NFHS Network is running a message that the New Mxisco game that tipped off at 7:45 a.m. local time today is delayed for unspecified reasons.

   However, another New Mexico playoff contest between Texico and Pecos is now being streamed. Those teams would have tipped off at 8 a.m. local time. Yikes.

   10:10 a.m.: Glens Falls leads Olean 40-25 at the half. Joe Girard III has 24 points on 7-for-14 shooting and has also handed out four assists.

   Ellis Williams, who has been covering Girard and the Glens Falls team all season for The Post-Star, is spot-on with this observation:


   10 a.m.: In case you missed it, I wrote a feature on Olean coach Jeff Anastasia yesterday in my weekly column for the Press & Sun-Bulletin.

   Anastasia said three years ago that he planned to retire at the end of this season. There's still a glimmer of hope that the career 600-game winner may change his mind, but when we spoke last weekend it did sound as though he still intends to step down after the Huskies' final game this month.

   You can read the column here.

   9:55 a.m.: In case you were wondering, New York was not alone in getting a very early start to playoff action today.

   Among the four other events that the NFHS Network was scheduled to stream as Glens Falls and Olean tipped off in Olean at 9:30 this morning was a West Virginia boys basketball semifinal in Charleston between Parkersburg Catholic and Wheeling Central.

   A bit more perplexing: There's a scheduled 9:45 a.m. start between Hot Springs vs. Sandia Prep. But that's an eastern time for a playoff semifinal in New Mexico, meaning that they were tipping off at 7:45 a.m. local time.

   And, oh yeah, NFHS Network also listed a freshman co-ed water polo game from Rumson, N.J.

   No, I'm not kidding.

   9:47 a.m.: Many were wondering how Joe Girard III would far against a "real" defense. Well, the Glens Falls senior faced some decent defenses during the season as well as a multitude of double-teams and gimmick defenses and seemed to do just fine, averaging better than 49 points a game.

   Not much seemed to change in the arly going against Olean in the Class B semifinals as the Syracuse University recruit accounted for 18 points and an assist in the first quarter to help the Indians take a 20-6 lead.

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