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Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020: Orchard Park's Pasqualetti sets state pole vault record

   Leading off today: Orchard Park's Leah Pasqualetti set a state high school record in the girls pole vault Saturday by clearing 14 feet, 3 inches in the Section 6 Groundhog Classic at Houghton College.

   Pasqualetti, who cleared 14 feet in a meet last week in Rochester, erased the record of 14 feet by Mary Saxer of Lancaster in 2005. She completed her day by placing third in the 55 meters in 7.33 seconds.

   Crash kills Ardsley athlete: Eric Goldberg, a senior on the Ardsley boys lacrosse team, was one of two people killed Thursday in a crash traveling in the wrong direction on I-287.

   Jordan Wachtell, 57, the father of one of Goldberg's friends, was also killed, and two passengers were injured.

   The four were coming from a basketball game at a synagogue when Jaime Paucar, 50, drove his Jeep the wrong way on the expressway, New York State Troopers said. Police said there were numerous near crashes until he Paucar's vehicle slammed into Wachtell's BMW head-on around 8:30 p.m.

   Wachtell's son Preston and friend Jack Rosen were hospitalized.

   "We're talking about great kids. All high-achieving student-athletes. High-character kids. They come from great families, and are loved in the school district," Superintendent Ryan Schoenfeld told the Journal News.

   On Saturday, counselors were available at the high school to help grieving students.

   Girls basketball: Ursuline shook off a poor start, took the lead in the third quarter and held off Albertus Magnus in overtime for a 75-72 win.

   Ursuline is ranked fourth and Albertus Magnus 18th in the most recent NYSSWA Class A ratings.

   "I thought we were loose coming in. We were in the gym this morning working on some things," Ursuline coach Beth Wooters said. "I just don't think we executed. It was like we were looking for somebody else to pick up the slack."

   Koalas forward Sonia Citron had a huge day with 31 points, 19 rebounds, and four blocks. Junior point guard Alexa Mustafaj finished with 21 points, six assists, and three


   Pauline Paris scored 34 points for Albertus Magnus.

   Boys hockey: Canisius defeated Lancaster 3-1 in boys hockey behind 20 saves from Luke Kerwin.

   Ryan Lastinger's goal with 13:05 left on an assist by Spencer DiLeo put the Crusaders in front for good. DiLeo also assisted on a goal by Alex Setteducati with 2:58 left after Canisius had killed off a Lancaster power play.

   Lancaster is ranked sixth and Canisius ninth in the NYSSWA Division I rankings.

   Tough choices: Minisink Valley (Division I) and Falconer / Cassa- daga Valley (Division II) won titles Saturday in the NYSPHSAA dual meet wrestling champ- ionships at Onondaga Community College. (Meet recap here.)

   Ahead of the meet, Newsday's Gregg Sarra shed light on the issue of wildcard entries used to fill out the 12-team fields.

   Football and boys ice hockey also incorporate wildcards in order to fill out the brackets so that there are no first-round byes, but the at-large berths in those sports are rotated through the participating sections via a formula established before the season.

   On the other hand, wrestling uses a merit system awarding points for meeting certain standards such as returning place winners in the sectional and state tournaments and for wrestlers with 20 wins.

   According to Section 8 wrestling coordinator John Mankowich, Massapequa finished third in the wild-card seeding with 38 points, trailing only Lancaster (42) and Chenango Forks (40).

   However, Massapequa was bypassed for the final Division I at-large slot in favor of Commack (29) on the basis of a head-to-head result this season.

   "That's why you wrestle the tougher schedule to get quality wins like ours over Massapequa," Commack coach Mike Guercio said. "That win obviously catapulted us into the state tournament. But I'm not a fan of a points system to determine who gets a bid. I'm old-school and would rather have all the placements settled on the mat for the three wildcards."

   Extra points: Perry Novak passed along a note that Steve Weber has retired as the softball coach at Elmira Notre Dame with a mark of 450-120, two NYSPHSAA championships and two-runner-up finishes.

   However, Weber is expected back for a 35th girls soccer season (he has been co-coach with his son Kevin recently), during which he could notch his 500th triumph.

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