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Thursday, June 13, 2019: Gil Licata will return to coaching basketball

   Leading off today: Gil Licata will be working the sideline again this winter. The Starpoint principal will take over as the boys basketball coach there in place of Ben Scaffidi, who stepped down in April after seven seasons.

   Licata coached Turner-Carroll to a pair of league championships and one NYSPHSAA title during his two seasons with the program, 1986-87 and 1988-89. He also served as an assistant at Canisius College for a season in between his years at Turner-Carroll.

   Licata, who last coached at Canisius High from 1990-93 before landing an assistant principal role at Starpoint, is the father of former Williamsville South two-sport star and University at Buffalo quarterback Joe Licata.

   Starpoint AD Tom Sarkovics said Licata was one of six applicants.

   "Gil was far and above in terms of experience," Sarkovics said. "His kids have been basketball people forever. His daughter Gracie just graduated from Buffalo State so it gives him the opportunity to stay with basketball because that's his No. 1 love.

   More coaching news: Assistant Jason Marsh has been promoted to head football coach for Franklinville/Ellicottville. The job opened up when Chad Bartoszek exited to accept a job at Salamanca, where Marsh previously coached for nine seasons with a 40-39 record.

   Marsh expects the benefit of continuity within the coaching staff and on the roster -- with nine returning starters on each side of the ball -- for F/E, which has been a combined program since 2014.

   "I believe the rest of the coaching staff will remain the same," he said. "Obviously we'll be minus Chad, and I believe we'll be looking to add one other guy. But the rest of the coaching staff will be the same."

   Attention-getting hire: Former Scarsdale player and Syracuse University assistant Lindsay Gottlieb was hired as an assistant coach by the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday in a move that made waves.

   John Beilen, who has deep New York roots of his own, made the University of California coach the first NCAA women's head coach recruited to an NBA staff.

   "While this move provided a unique and special chance to move directly from Cal Berkeley and women's college basketball to the NBA, it was really about being part of building and growing something special and adding value to a team and organization that is focused on doing things in a way that I believe strongly in," Gottlieb said in a statement.

   Gottlieb lost her senior season at Scarsdale to a knee injury, which contributed to her taking an interest in coaching.

   Baseball title game: Brooklyn's Lafayette High won the PSAL Class AA championship at Yankee Stadium with a 2-0 win over Inwood Academy.

   Jason Jimenez threw a three-hitter, went 3-for-3 at the plate and scored a run.


   Athlete arrested: A Rush-Henrietta basketball player who allegedly threatened to launch a school shooting on social media was arrested Wednesday by Monroe County Sheriff's deputies.

   Deputies charged Shamir Broyld, 19, with making a terroristic threat, a D-Class felony, after receiving a 911 call reporting a "concerning social media post" by Broyld.

   Deputies went to Broyld's home Tuesday night and met with him and his mother, determining he did not have a gun or any access to one. They said Broyld confessed to writing the message.

   He was taken to an area hospital for a mental health evaluation and arraigned in Henrietta Town Court. Broyld was remanded to the Monroe County Jail and held on $2,500 cash bail or $25,000 bond.

   Expensive wish list: Operators of Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls, which won back the right to host the NYSPHSAA boys basketball tournament beginning next March, are looking for a bunch of money for maintenance and upgrades in the building.


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  •    The Adirondack Civic Center Coalition has been coming close to breaking even on operating the arena, but that's been with the help of a $250,000 annual subsidy from the Warren County bed tax.

       Their punch list for immediate priorities, including a water heater, refrigeration pump and locker room upgrades, comes in at more than $435,000. Throw in proposed two-year capital projects and the total tab exceeds $800,000.

       The arena coalition has approached Warren County, the town of Queensbury and the city of Glens Falls for assistance in a regional approach, perhaps with an annual stipend.

       Pennsylvania pitch: Lawmakers in Pennsylvania think they may have the votes to pass a law that would separate public and private schools for postseason competition.

       State Rep. Aaron Bernstine said he believes the bill has a good chance at being signed by Gov. Tom Wolf and that the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, which represents all Catholic dioceses in the state, is on board.

       The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association has consistently contended that a 1972 law forced it to accept Catholic schools into membership, though critics have contended that was a strict interpretation and that separate postseason tournaments are forbidden.

       The latest push would provide for continued regular-season competition between public and private schools before separate playoffs. There could be a provision to bring the respective champions together for a tournament of champions.

       Changing duties: Vin Mercogliano, who has been sports editor for The Journal News the past two years while continuing to report extensively on high school sports including wrestling and basketball, wrote this week that he is moving on to new responsibilities.

       Mercogliano has taken over as the New York Rangers beat reporter for the USA Today Network, which is the news service fueled by all Gannett-owned newspapers across the country. He'll be traveling with the team during the season to provide daily coverage, which obviously takes him out of the mix on high school sports.

       "I'd be remiss if I didn't thank all the athletes, coaches and athletic directors who have opened up and trusted me to tell their stories," he wrote. "Without your candor, those stories would have been hollow.

       Most importantly, I want to thank the readers. I'm incredibly appreciative for anyone who has followed my work over the years, and I hope you'll join me on this new journey."

       Progress update: The high school sports year has extended a little deeper into June than usual this spring because the baseball and softball final fours were pushed back a week after the New York State Education Department set later-than-usual dates for Regents exams.

       Since I'm hoping to get the annual NYSSWA Kerr Cup All-Sport Championship wrapped up before everyone takes off for the four-day July 4 weekend, I've plowed ahead and filled in the scoring for everything except baseball and softball.

       I'll keep the numbers under wraps until the official Kerr Cup announcement probably around June 25, but I will say the overall championship remains up for grabs heading into the final 15 baseball and 15 softball games of the year because we have the most tightly packed top 10 in the 11-year history of the competition.

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