Leading off today:
Start familiarizing yourself with the name P.J. Duke
. You could be hearing about him for a long time on the high school wrestling scene.
The Carmel seventh-grader never trailed in any of his matches and beat wrestlers from Pennsylvania powerhouse Wyoming Seminary in his final two rounds and earned the 99-pound championship Saturday in the Eastern States Classic at Sullivan Community College.
"I was eager to prove myself," Duke said. "A lot of people say I'm a seventh grader so I can't do stuff, but I like to prove them wrong."
He concluded his day with a 4-1 decision over Jake Dailey in the semifinals and a pin in 3:16 vs. third-seeded Vince Bouzakis for the title, the first by a Carmel wrestler in a meet that attracted competitors from 174 schools this weekend.
Duke improved his season record to 26-0.
"It helps my confidence, because I feel like now that I beat kids from Pennsylvania and other states too, with just New York competition it'll be a lot easier," he said. "Because those Wyoming Seminary kids are really good."
New York had finalists in 14 of 15 weight classes, but Wyoming Seminary competitors went 6-1 in title matches as the school coasted to the team championship.
Shenendehowa finished second in the standings with the help of first-place showings from 2019 NYSPHSAA champ Stevo Poulin (113 pounds) and Brock Delsignore (182).
Long Island wrestlers took him three first-place finishes as Sam Khodaparest of Massapequa (285), Zach Redding of Eastport-South Manor (132) and Jordan Titus from Center Moriches (120) prevailed.
Titus, the defending NYSPHSAA Division II champ at 120, earned a 9-4 decision over Honeoye Falls-Lima's Anthony Noto, the reigning Division II champ at 113, to end a string of losses to the Section 5 star.
"This is big," Titus said. "I feel like nobody can beat me right now."
Khodaparest had a long albeit successful day en route to a title from the No. 8 seed. Following a 3-2 ultimate tie-breaker against top seed Myles Norris of Freeport in the quarterfinals and a 3-2 double overtime victory in the semis, he outlasted Brentwood's London Castillo 8-6.
"I was proving everyone wrong," Khodaparest said. "It's all about motivation. I was working, staying in my head. I had the toughness and fought through adversity."
The other New York titlists were Pine Bush's Tommy Askey at 152 pounds and Dolgeville's Jacob Hill at 160.
Hilton's Ryan Burgos, a state champion coming off career victory No. 200 on Wednesday, was the runner-up at 138.
BK girls win in OT: Sixth-ranked Bishop Kearney edged No. 7 Saratoga Springs 60-57 in overtime in an intersectional matchup of state-ranked Class AA teams. Saniaa Wilson scored 19 points, including five in OT to offset 22 points by the Blue Streaks' Dolly Cairns.
More girls basketball: In a big Class A contest, No. 2 Staten Island Academy edged No. 12 Moore Catholic 65-58.
Nyema Lindsay led a balanced attack with 17 points, while Ashley Schmitt added 15 and Allie McGinn and Brooklyn Sanfillippo scored 11 apiece.
"We're a young team, with no seniors, but without a doubt they do whatever to get the win. ... Every game someone different steps up," said SIA coach Allie Ryan. "They play