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Sunday, March 2, 2014: Top-ranked West Genesee, Pelham lose in hockey

   Leading off today: Neither of the state's top-ranked ice hockey teams survived the NYSPHSAA quarterfinals as Fairport blanked previously unbeaten West Genesee 1-0 in Division I and Beekmantown topped Pelham 8-3 in Division II on Saturday.

   Senior defenseman Pat Doud's shot from the point during a power play deflected in off the right post with a minute remaining in the first period for the only goal in Fairport's triumph.

   Sophomore Ethan Kaiser made 27 saves for the shutout for the Red Raiders, who will play Massena in Saturday's semifinals in Utica.

   "When they threw everything at us, he stood tall," coach Chris Moretter of third-ranked Fairport told the Democrat and Chronicle. "For us to knock them out, it gives us a ton of confidence going into the state final four."

   West Genesee's 2013 playoff run also ended in the state quarterfinals against a Section 5 opponent. McQuaid defeated the Wildcats in triple overtime.

   In Saturday's Division II surprise, No. 4 Beekmantown broke the game open with four goals in the third period at Brewster Ice Arena. The Eagles advance to the semifinals in Utica, where they will take on Auburn.

   Nate Foster finished with three goals and three assists, and Brandon Buksa scored twice -- including a tally three minutes into the game for a 2-0 lead. Goaltender Dustin Plumadore made 30 saves in the win.

   "When you can go on the road, take on the No. 1 team in the state and come out with an 8-3 win, you've got to be real proud of that," Eagles coach Justin Frechette told the Press Republican. "We have some more work to do, but we want to enjoy this."

   Indoor track championships: She's slowing down, but Emma Gallagher just keeps on winning. The Garden City junior won the 60 meters at the NYSPHSAA indoor track championships at Cornell University on Saturday for the third consecutive year.

   "I'm really strong through the 400," Gallagher told Newsday. "The final 200, I can hold it when most girls can't. It's a weird distance, but I'm pretty good at it."

   Gallagher's winning time was 1:34.91, just ahead of Ceara Watson of Rush-Henrietta (1:35.33). Gallagher settled in behind Watson through two laps and then broke at the bell. She looked back for Watson on the final homestretch and kicked in comfortably.

   "I saw that she was coming, but I was fine," Gallagher said. "I wasn't going for time because it was a slow track, I was just going for the win."

   Gallagher's previous winning times were 1:33.17 as a sophomore and 1:32.37 in 2012.

   In other girls action, sophomore Shayla Broughton of Medgar Evans in the PSAL defended in the high jump with a mark of 5-8, adding an inch to last winter's winning mark and taking over the No. 4 spot nationally this year.

   The performance of the day may have been Rai Benjamin's winning effort in the boys' 300 meters, where he clocked 33.84 for a personal best.

   Benjamin won NYSPHSAA and Federation titles in the 400 hurdles last spring, but this was a breakout performance that puts him on the national map as the meet's new record-holder and the season's No. 3 performer.

   "It shows that I can do much more on the track once I put my mind to it," the 6-foot-2 junior told The Journal News.

   For sheer depth it was hard to beat the boys shot put. Returning to an era of seemingly long ago, three throwers went over 62 feet and four more cracked 57. Benjamin

  
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Bonhurst of Smithtown West popped for 60 feet four times, including 63-7.25 on his final throw to pass junior Eric Favors (63-0.50) of North Rockland. Devon Patterson of Williamsville South was third in 62-9.75.

   Patterson won last year with a throw of 60-1.

   A few other notes:

    • Jay Navin of Saratoga nearly stole the race from the slow heat, ultimately settling for third place in the 1,000 meters in 2:27.72. Liam Purdy of North Rockland won in 2:27.63.

    • Darrel Jones of Monroe-Woodbury was well beyond his winning 47-9.25 from a year ago in capturing the triple jump in 48-8.75.

   Full results: Boys | Girls

   Boys swimming championships: Ithaca's Ryan Nicholson finished his high school career with one NYSPHSAA and three Federation championships Saturday at Webster Aquatic Center.

   Nicholson, a Duke recruit, won the 50-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly, and was part of the winning 200 medley. The Little Red's 400 freestyle relay placed second to Fordham Prep to earn the NYSPHSAA championship. The 200 medley relay broke the state record for the second straight day, posting 1:33.83 to shave .01 seconds off Friday's qualifying time.

   Individually, Nicholson won the 50 freestyle (:20.25) and 100 butterfly (:48.14).

   Hauppauge's Justin Plaschka scored a pair of individual victories in record times to land the meet's outstanding swimmer award.

   Plaschka won the 200 IM in 1:47.83 to erase the mark of Port Jefferson's David Kahn (1:48.95 in 2002). Plaschka's time of :43.70 in the 100-yard freestyle topped his :44.12 mark in the prelims on Friday.

   "Winning was my ultimate goal and I'm very happy with my times," Plaschka told Newsday.

   Plaschka also produced a :20.08 in the opening leg of the 200 freestyle relay prelims.

   "When he says he's going to do something, he does it," coach Rich Lionetti told the paper. "He thrives off of the competition ... Once he won the 200 individual medley and broke the 50 free record, (outstanding swimmer) was a lock."

   Full results.


  
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