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Sunday, March 8, 2020: CHSAA boys hoops scrapped over coronavirus

   Leading off today: The Catholic High School Athletic Association postponed its Boys Class AA basketball quarterfinals quadrupleheader because of concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

   The games were scheduled for Sunday at Fordham University, but the college canceled most on-campus events for Sunday following Gov. Andrew Cuomo's declaration of a state of emergency in New York on Saturday.

   CHSAA President Ray Nash notified league members schools Saturday night to inform them of the decision. It was not immediately determined when the games would be rescheduled.

   The semifinals are slated for Wednesday and the title contest for March 15 at Fordham.

    • Four Ramapo athletes who qualified for the state indoor track championships on Staten Island were ordered to stay home because five district students have possibly been exposed to the coronavirus.

   The district notified coach Jason Zweig on Saturday morning that there was a possibility the athletes might have been exposed to coronavirus and could transmit it to other competitors at the meet.

    • Scarsdale school district officials have canceled classes through March 18 after a middle school faculty member tested positive for coronavirus.

   The private Westchester Day School in Mamaroneck will be closed until March 17 after a student tested positive for coronavirus.

   Meanwhile, the private Keio Academy in Purchase is closing for the remainder of the school year over coronavirus concerns.

   Where are we headed? Just as I was about to send this column to the server in the wee hours of Monday morning, I saw a column from Greg Brownell of The Post-Star laying out a vision of where the coronavirus may be taking the high school sports world this week.

   We're already seeing college events being changed and pro leagues developing contingency plans. Prudence demands that high school sports officials start walking through the potential scenarios, and they have begun that process with NYSPHSAA hockey, bowling, and basketball still ahead of us this week.

   As Brownell notes, we could be looking at games played in empty buildings. He writes: "If playing in empty arenas is the only way to let kids chase a state title, then I'm for it."

   Some quick hoops notes: I don't have as much time these days to pick through championship weekend results as I used to, but a few developments from Saturday did catch my attention:

    • Lancaster is a Section 6 boys champion for the first time since 1959 following a 49-40 victory over Orchard Park in Class AA. Gianluca Fulciniti led the way with 18 points.

    • Eastridge earned its first Section 5 boys championship since 1964 with a 52-43 win over crosstown rival Irondequoit in the Class A-1 final. Irondequoit had won their regular-season matchup 75-59.

   The Lancers advance to a state tournament qualifier against Class A-2 champ Rochester East, which downed Rochester Northeast Douglass 69-60 for the 25th basketball championship in school history.

    • New Paltz went to overtime for the Section 9 Class A boys crown, edging Monticello 69-67 for its third straight championship. Jackson Soper had 21 points, including the game-winning basket with :29 left.

    • The Averill Park girls, who limped to the regular-season finish line with four losses in five games, won their seventh straight Section 2 Class A title with a 52-39 victory over top-seeded Queensbury. The Warriors have won 12 championships since 2006.


    • The Canisius boys advanced to the CHSAA state Class A championship game with a 55-40 victory over St. Anthony's at Hofstra University. The Crusaders will face Fordham Prep next weekend at a Buffalo-area site for a berth in the Federation tournament.


   Joseph Ciocca led the Crusaders with 21 points.

   NYSPHSAA cheer- leading: Mount Sinai successfully defended its title in the Division II large team class Saturday during the NYSPHSAA competitive cheerleading championships at Roch- ester Institute of Tech- nology.

   Eastridge captured the co-ed championship for the third time in four years.

   The remaining championships went to Farmingdale (Division I large teams), Hauppauge (Division I small teams), and Maryvale (Division II small teams).

   Girls basketball milestone: Saratoga Springs' Dolly Cairns went over 2,000 career points in girls basketball with 33 during Thursday's 66-48 victory over Shaker in the Section 2 Class AA semifinals.

   The senior will attend the University of Rhode Island in the fall.

   "Dolly is truly special," coach Robin Chudy said. "Not many players score 1,000 points, and for her to get 2,000 is really special. I don't know if I'll ever see another player in the area like her."

   Hockey milestone: Williamsville North boys hockey coach Bob Rosen won his 500th career game last week when the Spartans won the Section 6 Division I championship.

   CHSAA bowling: Missing a perfect game with an eight-count on his last ball, Mike Weber of St. Joe's won the CHSAA state bowling championship for the second consecutive year Saturday on Long Island.

   He defeated teammate Robert Cehulik 298-184 in the stepladder final after qualifying second to Cehulik by 12 pins in the five-game qualifying round.

   On the move, maybe: Jamestown has petitioned the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association to move four of its sports teams into the league for the 2020-21 school year.

   Jamestown is looking to move boys and girls soccer, girls volleyball, and softball from the ECIC I for economic reasons and competitiveness, AD Ben Drake told The Buffalo News. The four sports are struggling with low turnouts and poor records in recent seasons. The Red Raiders are 1-71 in ECIC I boys soccer the past six seasons and the girls team in that sport is 0-72 over the same span. Softball has gone 3-57 record the last five years in league play while volleyball is 8-52.

   Jamestown is a member of both the ECIC and CCAA. The Red Raiders play varsity golf, tennis, and cross country in the CCAA, and all of their modified teams play in the CCAA.

   On the move, definitely: Westhill girls soccer coach Ben Cassalia is leaving after compiling a 30-6-2 record in two seasons in order to coach the boys team at Bishop Ludden, his alma mater.

   "If it wasn't to coach the team I played for, I never would have left Westhill," Cassalia said.

   The 1994 Ludden graduate replaces Oscar Vergara, who retired after 34 seasons at Ludden and more than four decades of coaching boys soccer at Ludden, Assumption Academy and West Genesee.

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