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Tuesday, March 4, 2014: Start times for hockey semifinals moved up

   Leading off today: Here's hoping there's no need for overtime in Saturday's NYSPHSAA hockey semifinals at the Utica Auditorium.

   In order to accommodate the ECAC West Championship game Saturday between Utica and Elmira, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced it is moving up its start times that day.

   The day's schedule starts half an hour earlier than originally listed as Ithaca takes on Scarsdale at 9:30 a.m., followed by Massena vs. Fairport at noon. In Division II, Beekmantown plays Auburn at 2:30 p.m., followed by Queensbury vs. Webster Schroeder at 5 p.m.

   If all goes well, the ECAC game will start at 8:30 p.m.

   Sunday's NYSPHSAA finals are not affected.

   Surprise visitor: There were not a lot of surprises on the mats during the state wrestling championships Friday and Saturday in Albany, but there was a surprise alongside those mats.

   Joe Bena, 75, who had already announced his 48th season in coaching would be his last at Duanesburg, was on hand just nine days after he suffered a stroke at his home. The stroke left Bena with some mild facial paralysis. Matt Sitors has been the team's acting coach in his absence.

   "My goal was to get here," Bena, the state's career leader in victories, told The Times Union. "I worked real hard at the rehab."

   Bena has mentored 13 NYSPHSAA tournament champions and came oh so close to getting No. 14 Saturday. Junior Connor Lawrence reached the Division II title match, losing 3-1 in overtime to Trevor Allard of Mexico at 160 pounds.

   "It means he wants to be here," Lawrence told the paper after Friday's first day of action, "and it means a lot to me."

   Said Bena: "I'm so glad I'm here. I've been coaching 48 years, and I don't know if I've missed a handful of state tournaments in that 48 years."

   Bowling championships: The East Islip girls made the most of Suffolk County hosting the NYSPHSAA bowling championships for the first time since 2001, piling up 5,632 pins Saturday in North Babylon.

   "This is everything we wanted," Amanda Schilling, whose 1,167 series paced the Redmen, told Newsday. "That's why we wanted states here, so we could do this in front of our supporters."

   East Islip's Jordan Kruger rolled a 1,150-pin six-game series, and Olivia Lopera added a 1,122.

   Colonie's Amanda Chrzanowski rolled 1,318 and Rebecca Gotterbarn (Sewanhaka) had a 1,273 to pace first-day scores.

   Blocks of 1,346 by Chad Mee and 1,259 from Bryan

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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Carson helped carry Frontier to the boys championship at Babylon Lanes. Frontier totaled 5,987 pins to easily outdistance Mohonasen (5,651).

   Full results.

   Gymnastics championships: Courtney Bondanza of Lancaster earned the all-around championship Saturday in the NYSPHSAA girls gymnastics championships at Brockport State, scoring 38.125 points to outdistance Ryan Stach of Nyack (37.70).

   Bondanza finished second in the floor exercise and uneven bars, third in the vault and tied for third on the balance beam. Ana Reyes of Williamsville East won the balance beam and Rachel Filipski of Lancaster won the vault by tying the state record with a 9.85 score as Section 6 earned team honors.

   Stach, a sophomore who has already committed to the University of Minnesota and is competing in her first season of high school gymnastics, took first place in the floor exercise (9.675) and tied for first in the balance beam (9.525) with Cydney Crasa of Ward Melville.

   Crasa overcame a fall during her parallel bars routine to rally on the beam and then score a 9.725 on the vault to finish third in the all-around and help Section 11 to second place.

   "You have to throw (the bad) away," Crasa told Newsday. "Now is new. I felt much better after that beam routine. I knew floor was coming and that was going to be good ... and vault is my strongest event. No one was going to take it away from me."

   Full results.

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