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Wednesday, March 18, 2020: Davis, Poole capture BCANY awards

   Leading off today: R.J. Davis of Archbishop Stepinac has been selected Mr. New York Basketball and Kateri Poole of South Shore is Miss New York Basketball for 2020, the Basketball Coaches Association of New York announced Wednesday.

   The selections were made in a two-part process beginning with voting by BCANY members and media on senior-class nominees and followed by BCANY awards committee deliberations. The award are widely viewed as the top honors for high school basketball players in the state.

   Davis is a guard headed to the University of North Carolina in the fall. H was previously named a McDonald's All-American.

   Poole, who averaged 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists this season, has signed to play for Ohio State.

   The other boys finalists were:

  • Posh Alexander, Our Saviour Lutheran
  • Andre Curbelo, Long Island Lutheran
  • Andre Jackson, Albany Academy
  • Zed Key, Long Island Lutheran
   The other girls finalists were:

  • Dolly Cairns, Saratoga Springs
  • Zaria DeMember-Shazer, Elmira
  • Kiara Fisher, Elmira
  • Danielle Haskell, Franklinville
   Girls sports advocate dies: Judi Knight, a strong force behind the growth of girls sports in Section 5 and a beloved figure for Rochester City School District athletes, died Monday. She was 79.

   Knight was the athletic director at Edison Tech in Rochester for 18 years and also served as Section 5 president in the mid-1980s.

   "She loved her job, helping kids made her feel alive," said Webster Schroeder baseball coach Matt Knight, 50, the youngest of her three sons. "I had a lot of people reach out to me and say how lucky they are. What I tell them is, it really worked both ways.

   "That's what she loved to do, help kids. They made her feel alive."

   Said Edison assistant principal James Reaves, a former basketball star at the school: "Personally, as a student, she held me accountable. During that time, I didn't know anything about the college recruiting process.

   "She kind of took me by the hand and helped me through it. You talk about helping people go to another level, she did that for me."


   Winter sports decision on the horizon? The New York State Public High School Athletic Association will discuss the fate of unfinished winter sports during a conference call Monday and could announced a decision Tuesday.

   Due to the rapidly coronavirus pandemic, the NYSPHSAA suspended its boys and girls basketball and boys ice hockey tournaments. The state bowling tournament was also put on hold.

   Proctor calls off spring sports: Utica Proctor AD Vin Perrotta confirmed Monday that the school district will not field sports teams this spring.

   "After Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo and Oneida County executive (Anthony) Picente both declared state of emergencies, including canceling school until April 14, 2020 and the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) announcing today that all gatherings of 50 people should be


canceled for at least 8 weeks, the Utica City School District (UCSD) has canceled the spring sports season," Perrotta wrote in an email to The Observer-Dispatch.

   District officials have stated that the difficulty of rescheduling events influenced the decision to cancel the season as opposed to postponing it.

    • The Section 9 Athletic Council has suspended all high school games and scrimmages until May 1. Executive Director Greg Ransom said the date is subject to change based on developments in the coronavirus pandemic.

    • The Section 1 Executive Committee has postponed all practices, scrimmages and contests until further notice. The section will reassess the situation March 30.

   Practice policy clarification: Long Island section officials issued a reminder this week that the existing bans on school sports practices also applies to so-called "captains' practices" organized by players.

   While attendance at captains' practices is supposed to be optional, there is typically peer pressure to attend.

"We just don't want to bring a group of kids together while schools are closed," said Pat Pizzarelli, executive director of Section 8.

   In Section 11, captains' practices "should be dissuaded as it doesn't follow the spatial orientation and personal hygiene restrictions," said Tom Combs, executive director of the section.

   Induction ceremony postponed: The New York State Sportswriters and Coaches Organization for Girls Sports has announced the postponement of the New York State High School Softball Hall of Fame induction ceremony scheduled for May 2.

   Organizers said the ceremony will be combined with the one for the Class of 2021.

   The Hall of Fame ceremony was to have been held in conjunction with the 40th annual Morabito Softball Tournament at the Mudville complex. Organizers are holding out hope that they will still be able to conduct the tournament May 2-3.

   College decision: Record-setting Section 2 quarterback Joe Tortello of Holy Trinity has committed to continuing his football career at the nearby University at Albany.

   "The whole recruiting experience can be difficult, but I built some great relationships with the coaches I was in contact with," Tortello said. "I live across the street from campus."

   Tortello matched his own Section 2 record he established in 2017 by throwing 39 touchdowns during his senior season. He completed 108 of 150 passes for 2,353 yards as Holy Trinity advanced to the Section 2 Class B final last fall.

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