Leading off today:
Chalk up a first for Section 5. And given the implications, perhaps we should hope it's also a last.
Section 5 officials told the Democrat and Chronicle on Friday that they have taken the unprecedented step of moving a team up in class midway through the season. Bishop Kearney's girls basketball team has been shifted from Class B2 to the larger B1.
In the grand scheme -- which is to say the New York State Public High School Athletic Association playoffs -- the move means nothing. Winning one of the two sectional Class B championships in early March still leaves that school needing to beat the other 'B' titlist for the right to advance to the state tournament.
But the midseason move of the 2013 state Class C champ raises questions. Would it have been done just one or two weeks before sectionals? Would it be done at all if it involved a move from Class B to Class A? Would it be done in order to move a team down under similar circumstances?
"I don't really have a problem with it," fourth-year Kearney coach Kevan Sheppard told the paper. "But now, every team in B1 has missed out on scouting us, just like I've missed out on scouting them."
Said sectional girls basketball coordinator Tim Lincoln: "This is a big deal. There's four or five weeks left in the season."
Based on enrollment data, Kearney would have played in the middle of the section's three 'C' divisions this season, but the Section 5 classification committee moved the team up before the season after assessing the private school's returning players and incoming transfers. Recently, however, committee members expressed concern that they did not have enough information about one of the incoming players when they met before the season.
"To be consistent with our policy, it was felt that the team should be moved for fair and equitable competition," said committee member Brian Moran, the LeRoy athletic director.
Said Ed Stores, the sectional executive director: "Bishop Kearney seemed OK with it. That doesn't mean every other school is OK with it."
Translation: Batavia Notre Dame remains the favorite in sectional Class B2 -- with an easier path now. Kearney possibly becomes the slight favorite to win Class B1, ahead of Palmyra-Macedon Waterloo.
Two classes. Two private schools. Two championships? Too much to take for officials at public schools already unhappy with private schools?
Milestone alert: First-year Glen Cove coach Greg Mayerhofer won his 400th girls basketball game with a 57-34 triumph against Valley Stream South on Friday. Taylah Hudson had a game-high 21 points and seven assists in the win.
After starting out at Maria Regina (1982-1984), Mayerhofer coached Floral Park (1984-2008, four sectional and two Long Island championships) and then became an assistant at Massapequa and MacArthur before taking last season off.
"I'm being very honest, I've been coaching a long time," Mayerhofer told Newsday. "For whatever reason, I've been blessed to have wonderful kids."
More girls basketball: Meghan Strong scored 20 points to lead AuSable Valley to a 56-48 win over Malone, the state's 11th-ranked Class A team. Madison Rondeau added 11 points for the Patriots.
Megan O'Connor scored a game-high 24 points for Malone.
Unexpectedly easy: Burke Catholic played in the NYSPHSAA Class A final in boys basketball last season, losing the title game in overtime to Buffalo McKinley.