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Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013: Jamesville-DeWitt soccer upsets No. 1 Fowler

   Leading off today: We've reached the juncture of the fall sports season where highly ranked teams start falling by the wayside. Wednesday's most notable result saw a No. 1-ranked boys soccer team booted from the Section 3 tournament.

   Jamesville-DeWitt set up a sectional Class A final against Syracuse CBA by knocking off Syracuse Fowler, the state's top-ranked team 2-0 at Chittenango. Leading scorer Adam Resetarits gave the Red Rams all the offense they would need when his left-footer from 25 yards out found the back of the net 28 minutes into th game.

   Jordan VanStry added an insurance goal in the closing minutes, handing Fowler its first loss.

   CBA, ranked seventh in the state, survived penalty kicks against Watertown after the teams finished regulation and overtime tied 1-1. Goalkeeper Mike Smith, back from a fractured jaw that sidelined him late in the season, stopped two of the three shots he faced and CBA won the shootout 4-1.

   More soccer: Penalty kicks is an awful way to settle a soccer game -- it rates near the top of my pet peeves in high school sports because, as The Post-Star noted, the format strips away most of the elements that makes soccer what it is -- but in all the years no one has devised a less onerous solution.

   A Tuesday girls game, also settles via PKs, brought an end to a spectacular season for Brittany LaPlant as Cobleskill rallied from a 3-1 deficit in regulation and then eliminated Queensbury in a Section 2 Class A semifinal.

   LaPlant ended her season with 73 goals and 10 assists in 18 games, scoring twice in the season-ender.

   The big story of the game, though, was a gutsy call by Cobleskill coach John Quimby, who subbed out his starting goalie and used high-scoring forward Morgan Loder in the nets for the shootout. It's not unheard of -- then-coach Kathy Boughton of Mercy did is in a Section 5 playoff two decades ago (hey, what ever happened to Abby Wambach?) and others have resorted to a similar strategy since.

   Obviously, it puts a lot of pressure on a young athlete and it leaves a coach open to second-guessing.

   Following up: A day before Fowler's loss, Huntington took out the No. 8 team in the state Class AA rankings.

   Junior forward Ricky Velasquez scored with 15 minutes left from about 25 yards out as 15th-seeded Huntington upset Half Hollow Hills West 1-0 in a Section 11 round of 16 contest. Lee Reiver had 11 saves in the shutout.

   In other Suffolk County AA action, Walt Whitman registered its first sectional win since 1996 by edging Deer Park 1-0 to set up a quarterfinal against Smithtown West, New York's fourth-ranked team.

   And in a Nassau County girls shocker, upstart Roslyn beat fourth-ranked Garden City 3-1 in a Section 8 Class A quarterfinal.

   On the move: You can officially change Manhasset St. Mary's status in the world of boys basketball from "potent" to "decimated."

   Sophomore guard Devonte Green, the 6-foot-2 brother of San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green, is transferring to Long Island Lutheran. Green had previously played two years of varsity ball at North Babylon and then starred as a freshman at St. Mary's last winter.

   Coupled with 6-9 junior Jessie Govan's departure to Wings Academy of the PSAL, it leaves St. Mary's with much work to do ahead of the opening 2013-14 tip-off.

   Danny Green Sr. cited Govan's decision to leave as a

  
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factor, expressing concern that his son would be left to carry to much of the burden on a young team.

   "I am just as sad as anyone that this is happening, but it's what's best for Devonte," he told Rivals.com. "I have a deep history for the school though and even though I won't have a son there anymore, I will still be cheering and pulling for them for sure."

   Re-opening her recruitment: Woodlands senior Imani Tilford and the Georgia Tech women's basketball staff reportedly have decided they aren't a good fit. Tilford had committed to the school in August, picking the Yellow Jackets over Boston College, Memphis and Providence.

   Tilford averaged more than 25 points per game as a junior.

   A better way? I'm not ready to jump on board entirely with his assertion the Section 1's Piner system -- a terrible way of picking winners and losers generally used due to a lack of commitment to a real divisional format -- has worked out OK this year, but I do side with Josh Thomson of The Journal News when he floats the idea of restoring a developmental league to Section 1 football.

   Under the current scheduling format, top teams in Section 1's Class A league play more bottom-rung teams than they should. It's one reason Yonkers got outscored 259-6 in its first six games this fall. In short, just about the entire Yonkers district belongs in a developmental league, where programs can be rebuilt without absorbing 42-0 floggings on a regular basis.

   Thomson notes that the previous developmental league was killed off three years ago in no small part because top programs didn't like having to play other top programs more frequently during the regular season. That, of course, is no reason.

   In my mind, letting as many as a dozen schools drop into a developmental league -- where they would play a full schedule but be ineligible for sectionals -- would be a plus. At the end of the second season there, the top four to six programs (calculated on records plus the same roster-strength assessment already used) could return to the regular league and other struggling teams could move down if necessary.

   Week 9 schedule: We've updated our football schedule for Week 9 with all the pairings as well as a breakout of who the ranked teams are playing.


  
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