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Saturday, March 29, 2014: Tweeted obscenity costs basketball star big award

   Leading off today: Rubbing salty language into the wounds of a rival team turned out to be a bad move for a New Hampshire basketball player, who lost a prestigious high school award because of the ill-advised tweet.

   Pembroke Academy guard Pat Welch was stripped of the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association boys Division II player of the year award after he used a Twitter hashtag to direct an obscenity toward the team he and his teammates beat for the state championship two weeks ago.

   Though Welch deleted the tweet aimed at Portsmouth High within 15 minutes of posting it March 15 after his team defended its state crown, the New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Organization rescinded its original decision and gave the award to Concord (N.H.) Bishop Brady guard Jourdain Bell.

   "It is with great sadness that this committee has to act on this situation, but we strive to uphold the tenet that this award is not based solely on a basketball player's ability but also on that player's character and demonstrated sportsmanship," the NHBCO said in a statement.

   "They can give it to him," Welch's coach, Matt Alosa, told The New Hampshire Union-Leader. "But as far as I'm concerned, Pat Welch is still the player of the year."

   Welch was also removed from the roster of two postseason all-star games.

   Welch, who averaged 22 points and scored 15 in the championship game, traveled to Portsmouth to apologize to the team and also expressed contrition in interviews.

   "I want people to know that I'm really sorry about what I said," the player told the Concord Monitor. "This is a learning experience. It's something that will never happen again. For kids who look up to me, think about your words before you put them out there."

   Milestone: Carthage scored 12 unanswered goals in the second half to open its season by beating Indian River 15-3 and posting the 400th victory in the history of its boys lacrosse program.

   Kirk Ventiquattro, the program's only head coach, improved his career record to 400-101.

   "This isn't something I did. It's something this program did," Ventiquattro said. "This community has backed me for 26 years and I've had some excellent coaches here."

   Sentenced: Two teens who punched the Lockport AD and a monitor while being ejected during a basketball scrimmage late last year were recommended for terms in a boot camp-like "shock incarceration" program, The Buffalo News reported.

   Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas granted youthful offender status to both teens, one 16 and the other 18, and sent them to state prison for one to three years for the Dec. 3 attack pending admission to the shock incarceration program. The pair will be paroled after the six months if they succeed in the program.

   Both pleaded guilty to charges of attempted second-degree assault for the drunken attack on AD Patrick M. Burke and monitor George F. Apolito Jr., both of whom suffered minor injuries.

More N.Y. postseason coverage
All sports
NYSSWA site for brackets of tournaments from the past and present seasons. Boys basketball
Road to Glens Falls for scores and stats.
NYSPHSAA tourney brackets
Current state rankings.
Girls basketball
Road to Troy for scores and stats.
NYSPHSAA tourney brackets
Current state rankings.
Ice hockey
NYSSWA site for tournament brackets.
Current state rankings.

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   Sec. 3 school drops softball: Clinton High did not have enough players to field a softball team this spring and was fold the program just days before the season opener, The Post-Standard reported.

   The Class B school will only play at the modified level this spring, and the five other members of the Center States Conference will have to scramble to fill two open dates apiece.

   Bleacher bummer: The U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights -- I'll bet many of you never knew such an entity existed -- has forced Canton (Mich.) Plymouth High to tear down new grandstand adjacent to its baseball diamond because an anonymous complaint felt the new seating was nicer than the girls' softball bleachers.

   The baseball bleachers and a new scoreboard were paid for with money raised by parents tired of poor sightlines through a fence at ground level, WJBK-TV reported.

   Following an investigation, the school was told it had to remove the new seating because it was "no longer equal" to the softball bleachers. OCR officials also noted the baseball bleachers were not sufficiently handicap-accessible.

   District Superintendent Michael Meissen said the school does not have money for new softball bleachers and will dismantle and store the baseball stands until they can come up with a plan that adheres to government rules.

   Extra points: Section 5 basketball standout Emmanuella Edoka of Bishop Kearney will need knee surgery to repair a torn ACL before she heads to Siena College in the fall, the Democrat and Chronicle reported.

   Webster Schroeder freshman Maddy Lowe has given a verbal commitment to play soccer for Ohio State beginning in 2017. The midfielder/forward finished with six goals and five assists last fall as a freshman for a sectional-finalist team.

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