Leading off today:
Fresh off a Federation girls basketball championship last month in Albany, Cardinal O'Hara coach Dan McDermott shocked the room by announcing at his team's season-ending banquet that he was stepping down, The Buffalo News
McDermott said he would remain involved with the Tonawanda school's team in a coaching capacity, but said Nick O'Neil would take over as head coach. O'Neil has played a significant role as the Hawks won three straight Catholic state championships.
McDermott, who has been at O'Hara since 1999, has been a head coach for 24 years.
A tale of two softball games: Julia DiMartino followed up a no-hitter in South Carolina with a perfect game on Thursday, striking out 18 as Brockport defeated Greece Athena 8-0.
DiMartino, co-All-Greater Rochester player of the year last season, threw a no-hitter during the Blue Devils' trip to Myrtle Beach.
And then there was Thursday's Section 3 slugfest; 43 runs, 39 hits, 6 hit batsmen and more than 75 base runners later, Fulton walked away with a 22-21, come-from-behind win over Syracuse CBA.
Fulton scored 11 runs in the final two innings.
"Yeah, there were a couple," Fulton coach Derek Lyons joked about the number of runners. "As a defensive coach, I was irate, but it was fun to be a part of. It was, kind of, fun to watch."
Caitlyn Chrisman was 4-for-4 with three runs batted in and two runs scored. Mikayla Guernsey was 4-for-6 with two runs scored and three RBI.
Following up: The New York State Public High School Athletic Association and Special Olympics New York this week formally rolled out Unified Sports, a Section 2 pilot program expected to be replicated across much of the rest of the state in coming years.
The Unified Sports program brings together students with and without intellectual disabilities for the opportunity to compete on one team. It's being rolled out with basketball as the first sport. Practice began April 1 and the seven-game season commences May 5 and wraps up May 31 at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
The 12 schools launching the program are Averill Park, Ballston Spa, Colonie, Columbia, Glens Falls, Guilderland, Mechanicville, Mohonasen, Queensbury, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady and Shenendehowa.
The primary differences in rules between traditional high school basketball and Unified Sports contests have to do with personnel. All players will get at least eight minutes of action in each game and there must be three special- needs students ("athletes") and two regular-education students ("partners") on the floor at all times. All other aspects -- including referees, game situations, fouls and violations -- will be similar to a typical varsity game.