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Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013: BCANY announces finalists for basketball awards

   Leading off today: Ossining four-year star guard Saniya Chong headlines the list of five finalists for the Miss New York Basketball outstanding player award, the Basketball Coaches Association of New York announced Thursday.

   Also, five boys made the cut for Mr. New York Basketball.

   Voting by BCANY members will make place early next month, with winners announced in mid-March. The awards, which go to the state's top seniors, are regarded by many as among the most prestigious high school sports honors in the state.

   The girls finalists are:

    • Cassidy Chapko, Hoosic Valley -- Averaging better than 20 points per game with more than 1,300 career points and the MVP of the 2012 NYSPHSAA Class C tournament.

    • Saniya Chong, Ossining -- A UConn recruit averaging better than 35 points and nine assists per game with well over 2,000 career points and selected a WBCA All-American.

    • Alexandrea Flint, Keshequa -- Averaging 16.5 points a game with 1,200 career points, jumping center and playing point guard for her team.

    • Lexi Martins, Irvington -- Averaging 23.3 points this winter and will finish her career with more than 1,700 points and 1,300 rebounds for the three-time defending NYSPHSAA Class B champions before heading to Lehigh University.

    • Emia Willingham-Hurst, Albany -- Averaging 21.5 points and 9 rebounds as a senior.

   The 2012 Miss New York Basketball award went to Breanna Stewart of Cicero-North Syracuse.

   The boys finalists are:

    • Jermaine Crumpton, Niagara Falls -- Averaging 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Wolverines as he prepares for college ball at Canisius.

    • Kentan Facey, Long Island Lutheran -- The 6-foot-8 forward is a versatile playmaker for the state's top-ranked Class AA squad who has signed with UConn.

    • Terrence Samuel, South Shore -- A UConn recruit averaging 15 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds in one of the most demanding leagues in NEw York for the state's 20th-ranked team.

    • Jon Severe, Christ the King -- Averaging 22.5 points with six 30-point efforts during a season that has dramatically raised his recruiting profile.

    • Adam Weir, Canisius -- Leading the way for the state's top-ranked Class A team with 21.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.

   2,000 with a twist: Rye Country Day girls basketball star Carolyn Binder went over 2,000 career points Monday during a 70-57 win over Hamden Hall. She plays for coach Margaret Scarcella, who scored 2,135 points for Hackley from 1980-84.

More N.Y. postseason coverage
All sports
NYSSWA site for brackets of tournaments from the past and present seasons. Boys basketball
Status of the 11 sectional tournaments
Road to Glens Falls for scores and stats.
Current state rankings.
Girls basketball
Road to Troy for scores and stats.
Current state rankings.
Ice hockey
NYSSWA site for tournament brackets.
Current state rankings.
• 2013 state meet results: D-I | D-II
Final state rankings.

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   Well, this is awkward: Nine members of the Newburgh indoor track team were held out of the state qualifier meet last weekend in a dispute over what constitutes an excused absence from school, The Times Herald-Record reported.

   Coach Malcolm Burks had taken the athletes to the Simplot Games from Feb. 14-16 in Pocatello, Idaho, though the runners officially competed as part of the Newburgh Elite Track Club since it wasn't a school-sponsored event; the practice is fairly common, especially for national meets at the end of the season.

   Upon returning home, they were informed that principal Matteo Doddo did not validate the absences, which reported were OK'd by the competitors' parents or guardians, under the 11 allowed exceptions in the district's recently beefed up policy.

   Since the absences were treated as skipped classes, the Newburgh athletes had to miss their next meet -- the Section 9 state qualifier Friday at West Point.

   Burks said the absences likely should have been excused because the trip also included a college visit to Idaho State University, which is allowed under “Policy 5200," though it's unclear whether the five freshmen or sophomores would have been eligible for such an exemption.

   The tougher district policy is undoubtedly in response to a scandal uncovered by the newspaper two years ago in which it determined numerous basketball players in recent seasons had repeatedly skipped classes but nevertheless escaped discipline and remained eligible.

   It reminds me of the old joke about the NCAA being so angry at the University of Kentucky that they're going to put Cleveland State on probation.

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