Leading off today:
One night after edging Kenmore East on a last-second, buzzer-beating 3-pointer, the Kenmore West
boys basketball team did it again on Friday.
Matt Gugliuzza took a pass from Zac Boyes and made a 3-pointer in the closing seconds to give Kenmore West an 82-80 win over Cheektowaga in the championship game of the Ken-Ton tournament.
Boyes scored with 42 points -- including 26 in the first half -- to finish two short of the school record by Gary Bossert in 1982.
A topsy-turvy season: This is the kind of boys basketball season it's going to be in Section 5 this winter: I see 10 teams that have a realistic chance of making it to the finals of the two Class A sub-classes and no one in Class AA that's a sure thing to get to the semifinals.
The point was driven home with Leadership Academy's 80-78 win over University Prep in overtime in the opening round of the Mike Dianetti Memorial Christmas Tournament.
UPrep was ranked 29th in the state in Class AA this week and probably has the best shot at ultimately representing Section 5 in the NYSPHSAA tournament in March. Leadership Academy is No. 17 in Class A and will be in the Class A-1 sectionals alongside four other teams that could just as easily make that final.
Senior forward Kennyh Hardeman paced Leadership with his fifth double-double of the season, finishing with a team-high 24 points and 17 rebounds.
UPrep, which had its six-game winning streak snapped despite 35 points from Melvin Council Jr., had forced overtime by overcoming a 66-55 deficit midway through the fourth quarter.
Milestone win: Terry Chamberlain won his 300th girls basketball game as Argyle beat Bishop Gibbons 60-52 in a non-league game. Shelby Caprood finished with 19 points and 20 rebounds as the Scots avenged a three-point loss to the defending Section 2 Class D champs in their season opener.
Chamberlain is in his 17th season at Argyle after earlier stints at Elizabethtown and Salem.
Speaking of Eliza- bethtown ... : The Times Union reported this week on the rather smooth start to the newly formed Boquet Valley Central School District, a full-fledged merger between Elizabethtown-Lewis and Westport.
Such mergers are rare in New York despite the fact that there are a good number of small school districts that could benefit from combining with nearby districts. Although logistics are sometimes a factor in derailing what would seem to be obvious consolidations, the story acknowledges that community pride is also often an insurmountable obstacle. As I've written before, so many people liken the loss of the post office or the high school to the death of a town as a whole.
With that as the context, a story from a few days earlier makes me wonder if pride -- not to mention a healthy rivalry -- has gotten in the way of the combining of football teams for Whitehall and Granville.