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Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019: Ex-CBA star Paulus promoted to Niagara U. coach

   Leading off today: Former Syracuse CBA two-sport great Greg Paulus has his first head coaching job in Division I basketball following the sudden departure of Patrick Beilein at Niagara University.

   Beilein, 36, cited personal reasons for his decision to step down without having coached a game at Niagara. He took over the Purple Eagles this spring after four seasons at Division II LeMoyne College but underwent back surgery during the offseason.

   Paulus, who played four seasons of basketball at Duke and one season of football for Syracuse University, had been an assistant at several Division I schools before being hired by Beilein.

   Narrow escape via PK: It's a given that several soccer teams will experience the disappointment of having their season end in penalty-kick shootouts in the coming weeks (more about that momentarily). But it may hurt even worse to lose on a penalty kick in overtime, when referees have a history of being forgiving of some of the less egregious behavior.

   Windsor got to experience that heartbreak Wednesday in a 4-3 loss to Whitney Point. The Golden Eagles' Liam Lynch cashed in a PK 2:01 into the first overtime to advance Whitney Point to the Section 4 Class B quarterfinals.

   The penalty kick resulted as Whitney Point's Griffin Angelo possessed a loose ball at the top of the box. Windsor goalie Collin Bidwell came out to contest and as Angelo made a move left to get past him, Bidwell had no choice but to grab him.

   Bidwell received the accompanying yellow card, and teammate Kollin VanZandt replaced him in goal to handle the penalty kick. VanZandt guessed correctly by diving to his right, but Lynch's kick well placed just inside the post.

    • Buffalo McKinley nearly pulled off a huge upset before falling to top seed Niagara Wheatfield on penalty kicks in the Section 6 Class A-1 boys tournament. Josh Morelli, the sixth Falcons shooter, scored the deciding shootout goal and then made the save on McKinley's sixth kicker to preserve the win for NW (14-1-1), ranked seventh in the state in Class A.

    The score was 1-1 at the end of overtime.

    Morelli made 12 saves.

   Change of plans: Park School has dropped out of the Monsignor Martin Association in boys basketball for the upcoming season after an unfavorable ruling on the eligibility of 6-foot-10 senior John Ese Orogun.

   Park will play an independent regular-season schedule and then likely take on Albany Academy for the NYSAIS Class A berth in the Federation tournament.

   Orogun played on Park's 2018 Federation championship team and transferred to St. Benedict's Prep in New Jersey for his junior year. He returned to Park at the beginning of his senior year, but the MMAA doesn't allow senior transfers unless there are extenuating circumstances.

   Park's appeal was turned down after the school missed the filing deadline, and the school dropped the matter.


   "I don't want to be in a contentious position with the league," Park Head of School Jeremy Besch said. "I've been trying to build a good relationship with the league ... but in this case, I don't feel they're serving John's (best interests)."

   MMAA Executive Director Pete Schneider declined to comment.

   Park defeated Albany Academy for the Federation title in 2018 and lost to the Cadets in the 2019 semifinals. football site

   On the move: Dave Gerspach, who coached Sweet Home to the NYSPHSAA Division II hockey championship in 2018, has resigned after 18 seasons as the school's hockey coach.

   He coached the Panthers to two state final fours and one quarterfinal appearance.

   Athletic Director Marisa Dauria said the school will has begun the process to hire a replacement.

    • Marisa Fallacaro is the new AD for the West Seneca School District. She recently resigned from similar duties at Eden.

   Fallacaro, a member of the Section 6 Athletic Council, will start working on increasing parti- cipation at all levels at the district's two high schools.

   She cited construction of a turf-field stadium as one of her top accomp- lishments at Eden.

    • Tottenville boys basketball coach John Woodman has stepped down after 14 seasons. A replacement could be announced soon, AD Jim Munson said.

   Woodman has taught English at the school since 1996.

   "It's something I've thought about for a number of years and I just thought it was the right time for me to step away," he said. "I'm just at a time of my life where it's no longer something I want to do."

    • A new school policy by St. Joseph by-the-Sea has resulted in new JV basketball coach Todd Byrnes having to step down, The Advance reported.

   School administrators announced in September that all student activities not involving games must be completed by 8 p.m. to provide students enough time to complete their homework and be rested for school the next day.

   As an NYPD detective, Byrnes needed to schedule later practices in order to accommodate his work schedule.

   Industry news: Ricky St. Clair tweeted this week that he has resigned as sports editor at The Press-Republican in Plattsburgh, where he worked for seven years.

   Following up: I blogged last week about the dispute between Section 5 and its boys basketball officials. Wednesday was the deadline for referees to submit their availability information to the section, though I still haven't heard back from representatives of IAABO Board 60 on how its members plan to proceed with the upcoming season.

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