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Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012: Niagara Falls beats highly touted Bishop Kearney

   Leading off today: It took Niagara Falls exactly one boys basketball game to notch a quality win for its 2012-13 resume.

   Vinzell Wakins tied the game with two free throws with 1.8 seconds left in regulation, and senior Jermaine Crumpton's 3-pointer jump-started the Wolverines in overtime to beat highly touted Bishop Kearney 52-47 at the Cataract Classic on Friday.

   Crumpton finished with 18 points, and guard Ramir Burton scored 16 – 13 of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime. Watkins had 13 points.

   “I can’t take too many more games like this,” Niagara Falls coach Sal Constantino told The Buffalo News. “I’m just really happy for the kids. We tried to take the four non-league games we had and load up our schedule with challenges, and they were certainly a challenge.”

   Sweet Home opened the tripleheader with a 52-49 win in double overtime over Niagara-Wheatfield. Sophomore Jordan Heine's first field goal of the game, a driving layup with four seconds left in the second overtime, proved decisive.

   Girls basketball: Maple Hill extended its winning streak against Section 2 Patroon Conference foes to 100 games Friday with a 36-26 win at Chatham. Bella Nelson scored 12 points to extend the streak that began Dec. 6, 2006.

   The legend of Saniya Chong grows. The UConn-bound guard fouled out late in the third quarter, but not before posting 37 points, eight assists, eight steals and four blocks in a 95-88 win over visiting Archbishop Molloy.

   Cheserek repeats: Edward Cheserek of St. Benedict’s Prep School in Newark, N.J., successfully defended his title by winning the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships in San Diego on Saturday.

   Cheserek covered 5,000 meters in 14:59 to become the fourth boy to win back-to-back titles. Sean McGorty of Fairfax, Va., who led most of the race, finished second in 15:05.

   Sophomore Anna Rohrer of Mishawaka, Ind., won the girls race in 17:25 despite suffering an early fall. New Yorkers Katie Lembo (Penfield, 18:05), Marissa Saenger (Clarence, 18:18) and Megan Reilly (Warwick Valley, 18:26), finished 21st, 25th and 31st, respectively.

   Milestones: West Genesee's Frank Colabufo picked up his 300th coaching victory in hockey with a 4-0 win Friday over Cortland-Homer. Colabufo’s teams have won five straight Section 3 championships and seven overall, plus NYSPHSAA Division I championships in 2001 and 2010.

   John Glenn girls basketball coach Andy Athanas earned career win No. 300 with a 45-39 win over Comsewogue on Thursday. Athanas has coached 25 years at Glenn, which is the two-time defending Section 11 Class A champion. Glenn won NYSPHSAA and Federation Class B titles in 2005.

   Shrouded in mystery: Thursday's girls basketball game between Newburgh Free Academy and Washingtonville was postponed due to an unspecified practice issue with the NFA team, The Times Herald-Record reported.

   "We had a number of days in a row where we were unable to practice," Newburgh AD Jack Mager told the newspaper.

   Newburgh did not practice Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. The team did meet for a practice Tuesday at Mount Saint Mary College without school officials or coach Rich Desiderio present, and players approached there by the paper declined to comment.

   Desiderio and Mager said practice resumed Thursday.


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   Police blotter: East Aurora school officials expressed surprise this week following the arrest of teacher and golf coach Ryan Ellis, 36, on drug charges, telling The Buffalo News they had been unaware of at least one previous brush with the law.

   District officials said they learned of the arrest Tuesday afternoon, more than 18 hours after police stopped his car and allegedly found a small amount of crack cocaine. Ellis was arraigned Tuesday in Buffalo City Court on a misdemeanor count of criminal possession of a controlled substance. He was placed on a paid leave of absence Wednesday.

   In a prepared statement, the district said administrators only learned this week that Ellis was convicted in 2000 for misdemeanor drug possession. He began working in the East Aurora schools, where he is a technology instructor, in 2003.

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   Records show Ellis pleaded guilty to seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced in 2001 to three years of probation and 200 hours of community service, the paper reported. The district said Ellis was cleared for employment in 2003 by the state Education Department.

   It was not immediately clear whether the district knew of Ellis’ DWI convictions in Amherst in 2006 or Tonawanda in 2009, the paper reported.

   Tragic moment: The subway motorman whose train struck and killed a pedestrian who was shoved onto the tracks on Monday in a story that made national news is an assistant JV baseball coach at Bishop Ford in Brooklyn, The New York Daily News reported this week.

   Terrence Legree has coached at Bishop Ford for six years and is active in Brooklyn youth sports. Dorothy Sharpe, an assistant for the Brooklyn Bonnies organization, said she spoke to Legree on Tuesday night.

   “He sounded really shook up,” Sharpe told the paper. “I said, ‘Are you OK?’ And he said, ‘I’m trying.’ He was really down.”

   Legree’s train was entering a station early Monday afternoon when it hit Ki-Suk Han, 58, who had allegedly been pushed onto the tracks by Naeem Davis after the two had argued, police said. Legree had no time to stop before hitting the victim. The incident gained vast attention after The New York Post published photographs of the scene taken moments before the fatal collision, showing the victim clinging to the edge of the platform and trying to avoid the impact.

   Bishop Ford AD Pete Goyco said that Legree would work as a motorman during the day and hustle to games in the afternoon. “My concern is that he’s OK,” Goyco said. “Of course I want him to be back here coaching because of what he meant to the kids and the school.”

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