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Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020: Retired state boys basketball chair Bill Higgins dies

   Leading off today: Bill Higgins, who served 27 years as the boys basketball coordinator for the NYSPHSAA before stepping down in 2016, died Monday at the age of 83.

   The Cambridge native was a teacher and boys basketball coach at Whitehall and Fonda-Fultonville before moving into school administration, serving as superintendent for the Fonda-Fultonville district. After retiring, he served as interim superintendent at numerous other area districts.

   Higgins was inducted into the New York State Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. he also worked as a football game official for many years and was inducted into the Capital Region Football Hall of Fame last summer.

   Higgins made his best-known mark in basketball as a key figure in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association tournament, which returns to Glens Falls for the semifinals and finals March 20-22 after three years in Binghamton.

   "The state tournament was a big part of him," said Glens Falls AD Chip Corlew, the current state tournament director. "He was so excited that it was coming back."

   Corlew said there would be tributes to Higgins at the state tournament next month.

   "This tournament was so important to him, and having it back to Cool Insuring Arena -- it's just not fair that he won't be here," Corlew said. "We'll put on a great show. A lot of the success we had in bringing it back here was because of Bill."

   NYSAIS to hear appeal today: The Park School boys basketball team's appeal to be included in the New York State Association of Independent Schools will be held Wednesday, The Buffalo News reported.

   The two-time defending Federation Class A champion Pioneers were left out of the NYSAIS Tournament for undisclosed reasons. Park AD Marcus Hutchins will meet with Mark Lauria, the executive director for the NYSAIS, to discuss the matter.

   If Park is not allowed to compete for the Class A berth in the Federation tournament, Albany Academy will get the berth to the event next month at Fordham University.

   Park captured three of the past five Catholic High School Athletic Association championships while competing in the Monsignor Martin Association. Park moved to independent status this season following an unfavorable ruling on the eligibility status of senior John Orogun, who transferred back to the school after playing out of state as a junior.

   Hind sparks Randolph: Tyler Hind connected on four of his eight 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to break open Randolph's 65-46 victory over Tapestry Charter.

   Randolph is ranked second and Tapestry 10th in Class C this week by the New York State Sportswriters Association.

   Hind, the Section 6 career leader in 3-pointers, finished with 38 points -- including 27 in the second half. He now had 382 3-pointers.


   Correcting myself (with an assist): Sunday's blog acknowledged that Peyton Lufkin of Argyle had reached the 2,000 points milestone for his career, and I mentioned he was the fifth New York boy to achieve the feat this season.

   Chad Andrews of the outstanding View From Centercourt website points out that I missed one.

   Randolph's Tyler Hinds (see above) went over the 2K mark on Feb. 3 and stands at 2,113 points as the season inches toward sectionals.

   Speaking of scoring: Chateaugay senior Jonah McDonald became the Section 10 career scoring leader in boys basketball last week with 29 points in a 77-41 win over Tupper Lake.

   McDonald heads to sectionals with 1,929 points to his credit.

   The previous Section 10 record belonged to Declan Porter, who wrapped up his career a year ago with 1,909 points.

   New accusation: The head of baseball umpires in Section 5 has been accused of sexually abusing a student when he worked as a teacher and coach at two Monroe County school districts, multiple news outlets reported.

   The Wheatland-Chili and Churchville-Chili school districts are being sued under the Child Victims Act passed last summer to suspend the statute of limitations and allow survivors of child sex abuse to file civil lawsuits against their alleged abusers.

   According to the lawsuit, Ryan Raftery, 44, sexually abused the woman from 1997-99. The woman said she was 12-14 years old when Raftery "engaged in unpermitted sexual contact" with her. The filing says both districts should have known Raftery was a potential abuser, although it does not specify why.

   Raftery is president of Genesee Valley Umpires Association, which assigns umpires for Section 5.

   Showdown coming in Conn.: Two transgender track and field athletes are asking a U.S. district judge to attach their names to a lawsuit as defendants and delay ruling on a bid to expedite a temporary injunction against the state policy allowing them to compete against high school girls.

   Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood would be ineligible this spring if a judge rules against a state policy that allows high school athletes to compete as the gender with which they identify. Attorneys for three girls filed a lawsuit last week in Federal Court against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and several school districts.

   "Plaintiffs should not be allowed to file a lawsuit whose core purpose is to exclude Andraya and Terry from the spring track meets, but then prevent them from participating in the lawsuit by not naming them as parties," attorney Dan Barrett wrote in Friday's court filing.

   Attorneys for the three girls who sued argued Tuesday against a delay.

   Connecticut is one of 17 states allowing transgender high school athletes to compete without restrictions according to

   Lawyers for Miller and Yearwood say the two have been receiving hormone therapy as treatment for gender dysphoria and have testosterone levels comparable to non-transgender girls.

   Extra points: The New York State High School Football Coaches Association has landed a major headliner for its annual football clinic next winter. Ed Orgeron, head coach of national champion LSU, will deliver the keynote address at Turning Stone Resort in Verona on Feb. 5, 2021.

   Orgeron served as the defensive line coach at Syracuse University in the late 1990s.

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