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Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020: LuHi boys dominate St. Raymond's

   Leading off today: They don't hand out the season-ending basketball championship hardware in the first week of January, but this might be a good time to measure the dimensions to make sure "Long Island Lutheran" isn't too lengthy for the engraver.

   LuHi, ranked No. 1 in Class AA by the New York State Sportswriters Association, tore apart No. 4 St. Raymond 91-64 in a non-league boys contest Saturday.

   Ohio State-bound forward Zed Key paced the winners with 25 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots, and Illinois-bound point guard Andre Curbelo finished with 12 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Junior forward Drissa Traore added 16 points and 15 rebounds.

   And LuHi did it with Cal recruit Jalen Celestine, who is still recovering from a leg injury and is yet to make his season debut.

   Curbelo had six points and three assists as LuHi raced to a 22-7 lead early in the second quarter.

   "I circled this one on our calendar and told our guys that we have to be ready to go," Crusaders coach John Buck said. "(St. Raymond's) is one of the best teams in the state. We want to make a statement with how we play against them. ... The score was what it was, but they could play a much better game next time."

   Kangaroos on the rise: Guard Khalil Brantley fought his way out of a trap to cross midcourt and launch a desperation 3-pointer that found the net at the buzzer as Boys & Girls edged No. 5 Brentwood 65-64 at Long Island Lutheran.

   The Kangaroos are ranked 24th in Class AA.

   The Indians, NYSPHSAA Class AA finalists last season, led 30-23 through two quarters but Brantley scored 26 of his 34 points in the second half. Brentwood held a 61-52 lead with 2:35 remaining before Boys & Girls closed on a 13-3 run.

   "It's just part of the game. Big-time players make big-time shots and Khalil is a good player," said Brentwood's Jordan Riley, who scored 32 points.

   Injury watch: Archbishop Stepinac won a big boys basketball rivalry game Friday, but it may have come at a cost as Duke commit Adrian Griffin Jr. went down with pain in his left knee midway through the fourth quarter of the 62-54 win over Iona Prep before 3,500 fans.

   Stepinac is ranked second in Class AA and Iona Prep is seventh.


   "He's in good spirits. He walked off on his own, but it was a pretty gruesome injury right there on the court," Stepinac coach Pat Massaroni said of the 6-foot-7 junior. "It was kind of just a freaky thing when we went down."

   The severity of Griffin's injury will not be known until he undergoes an exam this week.

   North Carolina recruit R.J. Davis, honored prior to the game for becoming the fifth player in Westchester County history with 2,000 career points, led the winners with 22 points on 7-of-14 shooting.

   Coming attraction: Prattsburgh senior Mason Putnam is on the verge of joining the 2,000-point club. After scoring 54 points over two games in the Vikings' tournament, he stands at 1,995 points.

   Putnam, averaging 32.3 points a game this season, returns to the court Monday as Prattsburgh plays at Arkport-Canaseraga, where he could become the first boy in Steuben County history to reach the 2k mark.

   Suffern notches impressive win: Suffern improve its ice hockey record to 8-1 with a 5-3 triumph Friday over Don Bosco, last year's New Jersey non-public state champion.

   Suffern goalie Jared Packman turned aside 47 shots, including 20 of 21 in the third period, and Ryan Schelling broke a 2-2 tie with a power-play goal midway through the third period and Ben Burns connected for what proved to be the winner with 5:13 to go to cap a hat trick to go along with one assist.

   Sec. 5 basketball coach dies: Grief counselors were on hand at York Central School on Sunday following the death of teacher and girls basketball coach Dennis Bzduch a day earlier.

   "Dennis was a vital member of our school community as he was the girls' varsity basketball coach, as well as a health teacher and also a driver education teacher," District Super- intendent David Furletti said in a statement. "He was an advocate for all children and their well-being."

   The school postponed a boys and girls doubleheader against Pavilion scheduled for Saturday.

   Season debut: Four-time state wrestling champion Greg Diakomihalis of Hilton made his season debut with four pins Saturday at the Victor Ahonen Duals.

   "I was actually a little nervous before and my teammates were messing with me about it," said Diakomihalis, who suffered a torn ligament in his right knee in March. "It was fine. I walked out and pinned the kid quick and that was it."

   The Cornell commit will be back in action Tuesday and Wednesday in the Section 5 dual-meet championships.

    • I couldn't find details, but No. 4 Spencerport edged No. 1 Fulton 31-28 in a huge wrestling dual meet in Syracuse.

   Western N.Y. coaching changes: St. Joe's will not be bringing Derek Landri for a fifth season as football coach.

   Landri, a Notre Dame grad who spent seven years in the NFL, was 22-21 with the Marauders.

   "We have a philosophical difference of a lot of things, in particular on how to build a football program and how to build a young man into being accountable," Landri said. "I think this has been a long time coming. Just my expectations in what it takes to build a championship program and their expectations in how they just want to be a competitive athletic program.

    • Citing a desire to spend more time with his family, Jeff Buccieri has stepped down as head football coach at Maryvale, where he was 41-37 in nine seasons, but may remain on board as an assistant.

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