Leading off today:
I swear, if folks in the PSAL could just memorize the phrase, "Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week. Try the roast beef," they would qualify to do stand-up at comedy clubs all across the state 365 days a year.
They've certainly got the material to keep us in stitches, the latest being their off-the-mark-three-point-arc snafu Sunday at the boys Class AA basketball quarterfinals.
Acknowledging that the court at Carnesecca Arena on the St. John's University was marked with the college 3-point-line instead of high school basketball's normal 19-feet, 9-inches arc -- gee, that's a stunning revelation about a college team's home court -- the PSAL says it will be sure the proper line is etched on the court for Saturday’s Class AA semifinals after the quarterfinals this past weekend saw players having to chuck the rock from 20 feet, 9 inches.
“You shoot your 3s from a certain spot all season,” an incredulous Curtis coach Richie Buckheit told the New York Daily News on Monday after dropping a 50-47 quarterfinal to Abraham Lincoln. “You run your sets from a certain place on the floor, and then for the biggest game of the year it’s different?”
The semis will pit Lincoln against Boys & Girls, followed by top-seeded Thomas Jefferson vs. Wings Academy. The CHSAA will be using the new-and-improved lines Wednesday for its Class AA Intersectional semifinals -- St. Raymond vs. Cardinal Hayes and Mount St. Michael vs. top-seeded Holy Cross.
“I’d rather have played the game at Lincoln if I had known I was going to be playing using a college 3-point line,” Buckheit said.
The Department of Education blames the university for removing the high school 3-point-line before the season without notifying the PSAL. That is a cop-out from an organization that could just as easily sent someone out to inspect the facility before, you know, signing a contract.
“If we’re not prepared, they always want to send us a letter about what we’re doing wrong," Jefferson coach Lawrence Pollard noted of the PSAL.
The PSAL office is not having an especially smooth postseason.
Lincoln added sophomore forward Tighe Oberg to its roster just days before its playoff opener, raising eyebrows over the 6-foot-8 forward's eligibility.
Curtis administrators told the Daily News they had contacted the PSAL to find out why Oberg was allowed to play the second-round game (recording eight points and seven rebounds in an 82-27 romp vs. Beach Channel) even though his name reportedly did not show up on the PSAL website roster until more than three weeks after the Jan. 31 cutoff for playoff eligibility.
The player's father told the paper Oberg hadn't become eligible to play until the end of January due to transcript issues following his transfer from Islip at the start of the school year.
A Department of Education spokeswoman told the paper Oberg's previous omission had been an “administrative error” and that Oberg has been a member of the basketball team during the season. The reason his eligibility has become an issue is that Lincoln lost starting junior forward Tafari Whittingham early last week when the PSAL handed down a three-game suspension for his actions during a scuffle at South Shore on Jan. 31.
Speaking of ruckuses: Kingston boys basketball coach Ron Kelder called Section 9 officials "liars" following a 58-56 loss to Middletown in the Class championship Saturday, The Times Herald-Record reported.
Kelder felt misled after asking Section 9 to not assign referee Otis Cowart to the final, citing a disagreement between the two during a loss at Middletown on Feb. 21. Such requests are not uncommon across the state; many leagues and sections have provisions in their game protocols to allow coaches to reject certain officials and/or to allow referees to refuse certain assignments. However, the paper said officiating assignments came from the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic