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Wednesday, May 28, 2014: Ex-Mount Vernon star Cousins wounded in shooting

   NOTE: A brief update/addition on the Pembroke football item was added Friday, May 30; I may not be blogging again for a few days.)

   Leading off today: Former Mount Vernon basketball star Isaiah Cousins was wounded Tuesday night when a bullet fired during a street gang flare-up struck him in the back of the shoulder, The Journal News reported.

   Cousins, now a guard at the University of Oklahoma, was a first-team all-state player in 2012 for the Knights after averaging 15.8 points a game.

   Police said the 6-foot-4 sophomore was an innocent bystander caught in the episode involving the "Goonies" and "Gunnas" street gangs.

   Cousins is expected to recover without any surgery, Oklahoma basketball head coach Lon Kruger said. "He should be healed in a few weeks and begin summer activities with the rest of the team in June," Kruger said in a statement tweeted out by the university. "We're very thankful it wasn't worse than it was."

   B'ville pitcher honored: Baldwinsville senior right-hander Scott Blewett has been named Gatorade's New York baseball player of the year after completing his scholastic career with a 21-0 record.

   Blewett, a St. John's recruit as well as a potential first-round selection in next month's pro baseball draft, went 4-0 this spring for the Bees with a 0.23 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 30 innings on the mound. He missed part of the season with a minor arm injury.

   Deja vu: Orchard Park has now won 22 Section 6 boys lacrosse championships in 24 years following Tuesday's 10-9 triumph against Clarence in the Class A title game.

   Orchard Park, which split its two regular-season matchups with Clarence, scored the game's first five goals on the way to its 19th championship in 20 years. The Quakers rallied from a 6-6 tie to forge a 10-7 lead behind juniors Kevin Goltz (four goals, two assists) and Jack Crowley (two goals, two assists).

   "We picked it up in the third quarter," Goltz told The Buffalo News. "At halftime we set our mind straight and we pulled through."

   In the Class B final, Hamburg made it seven championships in eight years be beating Niagara-Wheatfield 10-9.

   More boys lacrosse: Fairport rallied from four goals down in the final seven minutes Tuesday to beat Pittsford 7-6 for the Section 5 Class A championship.

  
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       Dan McAvoy scored for Fairport early in the fourth quarter, but Panthers long stick defenseman Nick Panara responded just 15 seconds later to make the score 6-2. From there, though, Red Raiders faceoff man Shane Cronkwright won four draws in a row. Justin Kesselring scored with 7:08 left and again with 4:38 remaining. Brent Mazurkiewicz cut the deficit to 6-5 with 2:39 to go, and Nick Orsini tied the game at 6-6. Following a Pittsford turnover, Fairport's Ryan Bowen netted the game-winning goal with :16.8 left.

       Back in business: Dick Diminuco is returning to the football sidelines as a head coach.

       Diminuco, highly successful in stints at Albion and Alden, was appointed on Tuesday as the new coach at Pembroke in Section 5. After going 22-5 from 2006-08, the Dragons have slumped to 12-28 in five seasons since.

       Diminuco retired in 2012 after four seasons as the Alden coach following a loss to Maine-Endwell in the state semifinals. He had previously coached 31 seasons at Albion, where he was also the AD for 28 years. His 242 career victories (against just 70 losses) rank him 15th on the all-time New York state football list.

       Diminuco, a star player at Rochester's Monroe High who has been inducted into the Section 5 Football Hall of Fame and the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, coached quarterbacks at Brockport State last fall. He has also been a consultant to the Pembroke CSD during the current school year.

       More moves: Matt Whipple, 54, has announced his retirement after 30 years at athletic director at Westhill. Whipple told The Post-Standard he is "fully retiring" from the school district but will be around to help the district transition with a new AD.

       P.J. Strand is stepping down as Watervliet baseball coach after more than 20 victories in 19 seasons so that he can spend more time with his family. Stand, a three-sport-star at Watervliet in the mid-1980s, told The Daily Gazette he will continue to coach boys JV basketball and girls JV volleyball.


      
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