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Friday, Jan. 10, 2020: Veteran Sec. 3 coaches on verge of milestone wins

   Leading off today: Two longtime boys basketball coaches from Central New York could reach big, round numbers in the win column this weekend.

   Buddy Wleklinski, 62, who is in his 36th season at Syracuse CBA, has 499 career wins entering Saturday afternoon's game against Solvay. Bishop Grimes' Bob McKenney, 61, who also coached previously at Milton (Vt.) and Jamesville-DeWitt and Grimes in a 36-year career, can pick up his 600th win Saturday night at Mekeel Christian in Schenectady.

   If one or both doesn't reach the milestone Saturday, their next game is a head-to-head matchup Tuesday at CBA.

   The two, who are also athletic directors at their respective schools, have been longtime friends. Wleklinski has won eight Section 3 championships. After winning eight titles at Jamesville-DeWitt, McKenney picked up No. 9 at Grimes.

   The two have coached against each other many times, but a hard-fought Christmas tournament game from a few years ago stands out among the many shared memories for what happened after a foul was called against CBA.

   "So I turned to Bobby and deadpanned, 'It's about time you got a call,'" Wleklinski recalled.

   Said McKenney: "I yelled (to Buddy), 'Yeah, they finally got one right, Buddy,'"

   But the official, whose back was turned to the benches, thought McKenney was talking to him and called a technical foul. That drew a protest from McKenney that earned him a second technical and with it an automatic ejection.

   "So I'm going to the other official and saying, 'He wasn't yelling at you. He was yelling at me,'" Wleklinski said. "I'm trying to talk them out of the technical, but he had to sit out a game."

   Girls basketball: Ninth-ranked Cardinal O'Hara defeated No. 20 Lancaster St. Mary's 62-47 in a matchup of state-ranked Class AA schools from the Monsignor Martin Association.

   O'Hara broke open a one-point game with a 24-point fourth quarter.

   Aaliyah Parker led the winners with 19 points and Amelia Strong chipped in with 17.

   Boys basketball: There's no digging out of a hole like this one.

   McQuaid got a combined 11 3-pointers and 37 first-quarter points from Keith Warren and Kobe Long to overwhelm Rochester Franklin 108-70.

   Warren finished with a career-high 34 points after going 9-for-10 on 3-pointers. Long recorded 31 points on the strength of eight 3-pointers..

   Wrestling milestone: Harrison junior Tyler Joseph captured his 164th victory with a pin Thursday to become the school's career leader in wrestling.


   The record-breaking moment came in the final match of the day against Brewster on Harrison's Pin Cancer match, a charity event to benefit pediatric cancer research that he helped organize. The fundraiser picked up close to $2,000. which will be donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

   Joseph is 20-0 this season.

   Supporting their coach: A GoFundMe page supporting Manny Blanco has raised more than $14,000 in less than two days after the revelation that the Spackenkill soccer coach has been diagnosed with Stage 3 pancreatic cancer.

   Blanco coached the Spartans to the 2007 NYSPHSAA Class B championship as well as multiple Section 9 titles. Spackenkill lost to Burke Catholic in the sectional championship game this past fall.

   The fundraising page was created by Wendy McClenahan of Rhinebeck, whose daughter played for Blanco on a travel soccer team. "He has touched so many people, from Spackenkill to Rhinebeck," McClenahan said. "And he's known all over New York State, with his travel teams."

   Oswego regrouping: School board President Heather Del Conte said Oswego intends to hire a football coach sooner than usual so he can recruit players and revive a program that went into mothballs before the 2019 season due to low turnout.

   The district has plans to install an artificial turf field as part of a project approved by voters in December 2018.

   Extra points: Jason Karol has announced he will step down as athletic director at Eastchester at the end of the school year. Karol said he wants to return to his prior role as a physical education teacher in order to spend more time with his wife and two sons.

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