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Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020: LuHi outlasts Albany Academy in overtime

   Leading off today: The top two NYSAIS boys basketball teams slugged it out Saturday, with Long Island Lutheran scoring a 102-101 victory over Albany Academy in overtime at the LuHi Invitational.

   Illinois commit Andre Curbelo missed a floater in the lane, but get his own rebound for a put-back at the OT buzzer to win the game.

   "They always battle us hard and always give us a tough game but in my last game at home I wasn't going home with an 'L,' that just wasn't something I was even thinking about," Curbelo said after finishing with 21 points.

   Albany Academy made 11 3-pointers i the first half, but junior Rafael Pinzon (26 points) kept LuHi within 53-52 by making seven 3-pointers himself. Albany Academy shot 60 percent in the first half.

   "LuHi basketball you've known for years we pride ourselves on our defense and I was running out of answers there," coach John Buck said. "We threw four different defenses at them and they were ready to knock down every shot they took."

   The Crusaders went ahead early in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by freshman Jayden Reid and rode eight points from Zed Key (21 points) to a 75-69 advantage heading to the fourth quarter. The lead was nine with 2:27 to play before 3-pointers from Andre Jackson (27 points) and Preston Graber (25 points). Jackson, a UConn commit, rebounded a missed LuHi free throw with :15 remaining and pulled up from well outside the arc to known down another 3-pointer and force overtime.

   LuHi girls win, too: Long Island Lutheran went on a 24-7 run in the second quarter and take command en route to a 72-52 victory over Staten Island Academy.

   Wrestling brackets released: Preliminary brackets for the Division 1 and Division 2 fields in the state wrestling championships next weekend in Albany have been released.

   The brackets are subject to change this week in the event of withdrawals due to injury.

   Hilton has a pair of top seeds in Division 1 with Greg Diakomihalis (120 pounds) and Ryan Burgos (138) and Shenendehowa also has a pair in Stevo Poulin (113) and Brock Delsignore (182).

   In Division 2, the Norwich tandem of Dante Geislinger (113) and Mikey Squires (170) and the Cobleskill-Richmondville pair of Ethan Cooper (182) and Jeff Crooks (220) are among the No. 1 seeds.

   Twenty-nine of the 30 top seeds are sophomores, juniors or seniors. The outlier is Carmel seventh-grader P.J. Duke, seeded No. 1 in the 99-pound bracket in Division 1.

   Diakomihalis is gunning for his fifth consecutive NYSPHSAA championship to match the accomplishment of Chenango Forks' Troy Nickerson (2001-05), Long Beach's Jacori Teemer (2014-18) and Eastport-South Manor's Adam Busiello (2015-19). Teammate Burgos was the winner at 126 a year ago.

   Poulin, a junior, won titles at 99 pounds in 2018 and 106 last winter. Norwich's Geislinger is also in pursuit of a three-peat after triumphs at 99 pounds as a freshman and 106 as a junior.


   Anthony Noto of Honeoye Falls-Lima, the Division 2 top seed at 120 pounds, will be looking for his fourth straight state championship.

   Other Division 1 competitors seeded No. 1 and looking to go back-to-back:

  • A.J. Kovacs of Iona Prep at 152 pounds after winning at 145 last season.
  • Dan Mauriello of Hauppauge at 170 after winning at 152 as a junior.

   Additionally, Willie McDougald of Niagara Falls, who is seeded first at 145 pounds, was a state champion in 2018 at 132 pounds.

   Other Division 2 competitors seeded No. 1 and looking to go back-to-back:

  • Palmyra-Mace- don's Jace Scha- fer at 106 after winning the 99-pound class in 2019.
  • Center Moriches' Jordan Titus at 126 after winning at 120 last winter.
  • Tioga's Brady Worthing at 138 after winning at 132 last season.
   Lawsuit filed over injury: A civil suit filed in State Supreme Court last week seeks damages on behalf of Alden wrestler Ethan Hutchenreuter, who was injured during a 2018 tournament.

   The suit names the NYSPHSAA, Section 6, and the Alden, Frontier, and Starpoint school districts as defendants.

   According to the filing, Hutchenreuter suffered "serious bodily injuries" while competing in Starpoint's tournament on Dec. 14, 2018, after a purported illegal body slam by a Frontier competitor in a 138-pound match. The wrestler's mother posted on Facebook shortly after the tournament that Hutchenreuter sustained a concussion and a spinal cord injury.

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