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Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020: Patchogue-Medford rallies for berth in state duals

   Leading off today: The field of automatic qualifiers for the NYSPHSAA dual-meet wrestling championships was completed in dramatic fashion Saturday as Patchogue-Medford rallied past Commack 42-35 for the Section 11 Division I crown.

   Commack won four of the first five bouts to open a 15-point lead before Liam Wolf of Patchogue-Medford pulled off an improbable reversal of fortune. Trailing 12-3 against Jack Cassidy entering the third period of the 160-pound contest, Wolf executed a textbook cradle and registered a pin in 4:48 -- his fourth fall of the day -- to give the Raiders the spark they needed. P-M competitors won the next five bouts, including two by pin.

   Anthony Spataro's pin of Tom Sparling in 58 seconds at 106 pounds gave the Raiders a 42-24 lead and clinched the win.

   "We were in trouble at the moment, as things weren't looking good," P-M coach Tom Anello said. "We came out flat and Commack took a big lead. We needed a spark, someone to get us going. And Wolf was our guy."

   Said Wolf, who dropped down from 170 for the tournament: "I hit the cradle, locked him up and it was over. I got through that awful second period and I was mad at myself.

   Here are the automatic qualifiers for next Saturday's dual-meet championships at SRC Arena in Syracuse:

  • Division I: Fox Lane (Sec. 1), Shenendehowa (2), Fulton (3), Horseheads (4), Spencerport (5), Niagara Wheatfield (6), MacArthur (8), Minisink Valley (9), Patchogue-Medford (11).
  • Division II: Nanuet (Sec. 1), Cobleskill-Richmondville (2), Central Valley Academy (3), Tioga (4), Palmyra-Macedon (5), Falconer (6), Saranac (7), Clarke (8), Port Jervis (9), Gouverneur (10), Mount Sinai (11).
   Indoor track: One of the oldest state girls records is officially in peril with the news that Leah Pasqualetti of Orchard Park cleared 14 feet in the pole vault Saturday in the eighth annual Trent Jackson/Cedric Walker Invitational at Rochester Institute of Technology.

   Pasqualetti's leap, the best scholastic mark in the country this season, puts her within striking distance of the state indoor mark of 14-2 by Lancaster's Mary Saxer in 2005.

   Other highlights of the meet included:

  • Frontier's 3,200-meter relay of Josh Peron, Brian Gleason, Connor O'Brien and Preston Bova breaking the Section 6 record with a 7:56.05 clocking for the No. 1 time in the state this winter.
  • Monique Hardy of Webster Thomas took the national lead in the 20-pound weight throw with a heave of 63 feet.
   Roaring out of the gate: Cambridge scored 45 first-quarter points and blew past Berne-Knox 83-41 in girls Class C basketball. Sophie Phillips tallied 24 points, Stasia Epler 19 and Lilly Phillips 15 for Cambridge, ranked No. 1 in the state and Berne-Knox 17th by the New York State Sportswriters Association.


   Boys basketball: Fourth-ranked Albany Academy made a Class A showdown against No. 7 Park School one-sided with a big second quarter en route to a 68-47 victory over the Pioneers.

   Senior Andre Jackson posted 15 of his game-high 21 points in the second quarter as Albany Academy stretched a 14-8 lead into a 33-16 advantage. Park shot just 1-for-10 in the second quarter.

   Albany Academy sophomore center Riley Mulvey finished with 13 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots while battling 6-foot-10 John Orogon (12 points, 13 rebounds).

    • Junior guard Ja'vaughn Jones had a quadruple-double as Class A No. 3 Buffalo Health Sciences beat Class C No. 2 Tapestry Charter 78-71. Jones finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds, 11 steals and 10 assists.

   Random thought: It makes sense that the Federation basketball tournament is moving to Fordham University in March since the event always contains a heavy dose of schools from New York City, its northern suburbs and Long Island.

   But based on what we've seen thus far, it's possible that three of the four boys Class A participants (Canisius, Park School and Health Sciences) could come from Buffalo.

   Alumni news: Ryan Ferro, a two-time state champion for Warwick, transferred out of Ohio State mid-semester and is wrestling for Long Island University, a first-year Division I program.

   "I loved the school," said Ferro, who was 10-5 for Ohio State as a redshirt freshman last season. "I loved my teammates. I loved the coaches. The environment was great. But, the distance was a little too much for me. I like being with family. Just being able to come home (during school breaks) was an issue."

    • Former Troy High star Dev Holmes is set to return to the University at Albany football team as a walk-on after leaving the squad in September. Holmes caught 51 passes for 725 yards on 51 in 2018 as a freshman in 2018.

   Extra points: A belated congratulations to Tully's Brooke Rauber, who captured the USATF Junior Cross Country Championship last weekend. Rauber raced six kilometers in 22:11 in San Diego to win by 37 seconds over Rayna Stanziano of St. Mary's College in California.

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  • 2/2: Pasqualetti sets pole vault record
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