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Thursday, March 12, 2020: A day unlike any other in New York H.S. sports

   Leading off today: Most of what remains of the New York high school sports winter season came to a halt Thursday on a day in which the NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball and the NCAA either suspended their schedules or outright canceled tournaments.

   It was a stunning chain of events unlike anything most of us will see again in our lifetimes and came about over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

   In the wake of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to ban gatherings of more than 500 people in the state, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association indefinitely suspended its three remaining winter competitions: basketball, ice hockey and bowling.

   "It was my goal to complete the winter championships on schedule," NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas said in a press release. "It has become increasingly more difficult to host these championship events with the number of challenges that have been presented."

   Meanwhile, the Catholic High School Athletic Association canceled its boys and girls state basketball tournaments after having previously announced a one-week postponement.

   "I've assumed this was coming," Canisius boys coach Kyle Husband said. "At one point I'm disappointed just from a basketball standpoint. The players have worked hard, but in the bigger picture this isn't about basketball. This is a world issue affecting so many of us. ... I totally understand why everything is happening the way it is."

   The CHSAA also said it had suspended all events and practices, including spring sports, due to the coronavirus. Teams aren't expecting to play again.

   "It's not 100 percent ruled out, but our team and myself feel like that is it," said Archbishop Stepinac basketball coach Pat Massaroni. "We'll keep hope, but we feel like that is it."

   Quite a rally: If the winter sports season is over -- and that is almost certainly the case -- then Dunkirk's girls basketball team went out on a high note.

   The Marauders trailed Southwestern by 20 points with a minute remaining in the third quarter before finishing the contest on a 35-2 run to beat the Trojans 75-62 in the Section 6 Class B state qualifier at Buffalo State on Wednesday.

   "To do it in a championship game, on a court you've been on twice in your life -- I couldn't be more proud," Dunkirk coach Ken Ricker said. "The people here for it will never forget it. Someday they'll say, ‘You think that was a run? I saw 35 to 2.'"

   Senior guard Kymi Nance scored 20 of her 38 points in the decisive run.

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   Southwestern had taken a 50-33 lead with an 11-0 burst to start the second half. When Gianna Hoose (18 points) hit a basket with 1:06 to go in the third the lead was 60-40. Nance scored six straight Dunkirk points in a span of 45 seconds to trim the deficit to 12 entering the fourth quarter. Her 3-pointer with 3:53 left gave Dunkirk its first lead since the first quarter at 61-60.

   The win put Dunkirk into the state quarterfinals.

   Indoor nationals called off: The National Scholastic Athletic Foundation announced the cancellation of the New Balance Nationals Indoor.

  






   "It's the hardest decision we've ever had to make," said meet director Jim Spier.

   Section 8 OKs policy: Nassau County high school administrators approved a "score differential policy" for team sports in a bid to reduce the number of lopsided scores in Section 8 competition.

   The policy extends the 3-year-old rule governing football. That rule led to a one-game suspension of Plainedge coach Rob Shaver in October after a 48-point victory over Rockville Centre South Side in a mid-season contest between unbeaten teams.

   The new policy for team sports will go into effect in September, though the sport-specific guidelines have not been written yet, according to Dom Vulpis, assistant executive director of Section 8. It will apply at the varsity, JV and modified levels.

   "Our philosophy is this is high school athletics, we're playing all kids and we're doing our best to maintain a representative score where nobody is leaving that venue that day thinking, 'Oh my God, we just got the hell beat out of us,’" Vulpis said.

   Baseball and softball aren't likely to be affected a mercy rule exists in those sports.

   The policy presented to ADs on Wednesday includes progressive discipline for violations beginning with a warning sent to the school for an initial violation. A second offense will be reviewed by a six-person committee that determines whether a "letter of reprimand with a recommendation of consequences" is necessary.

   A coach who violates the guidelines a third time is automatically suspended while the committee determines the duration of the penalty.

   Alumni news: Cleveland Browns center J.C. Tretter was elected NFL Players Association president, beating out Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Sam Acho and New York Giants safety Michael Thomas.

   Tretter, 29, was second-team all-state in football as an Akron senior in 2008 and was also selected to the all-state basketball team his senior season. He went on to play at Cornell University. He was the Browns' fourth-round pick in 2013 and has been a three-year starter.

   He replaces Eric Winston, who held the union position for six years but had to resign because he wasn't on an NFL roster last year. Tretter signed three-year, $32.5 million contract with the Browns last offseason.


  
→ Recent blogs and news     NYSSWA RSS feed
  • 5/27: Football gets approval to add a game
  • 4/29: Officials turning focus toward the fall
  • 4/23: Boys all-state basketball (large schools)
  • 4/22: Westhill hoops star dies in crash
  • 4/16: Boys all-state basketball (small schools)
  • 4/8: LuHi girls coach Slater steps down
  • 3/24: NYSPHSAA ends winter sports season
  • 3/18: Davis, Poole capture BCANY honors
  • 3/18: Weekly NYC boys basketball recap
  • 3/13: Dutchess Co. teams idle until April 30
  • 3/12: A day unlike any other in H.S. sports
  • 3/11: Coronavirus hits hockey, hoops plans
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