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Thursday, July 31, 2014: NYSPHSAA will let sections decide on 19th game

   Leading off today: Half a loaf may be better than none, but the shelves are all but certain to be bare is in some places around New York for the upcoming basketball season.

   That's the fallout from the decision on Day 2's key agenda item at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Central Committee meetings.

   A Section 3 proposal to restore two basketball games to the current 18-game varsity schedule -- which tied New York with four other states for the shortest regular season in the country -- for NYSPHSAA schools was taken off the table Wednesday in Lake Placid. Instead, the committee will follow California's model and let individual sections decide for themselves whether they want to add a 19th game to the 2014-15 schedule.

   Given the amount of opposition proponents of adding games have faced since the 20-game schedule was reduced to 18, it's likely several will reject the 19th game at sectional athletic council meetings later this summer and in the early fall.

   "I have to go back to the section and see where they go with it," Bob Thabet, executive director of Section 9, told the Times Herald-Record. "My opinion is that I would be surprised if they support it. Back when the cuts were made, schools supported them because they were going through a lot of financial trouble. They are still recovering from that."

   Wayne Bertrand, executive director of Section 2, told The Recorder the section will allow its schools to play a 19th game. "The membership has long maintained interest in restoring games," he said.

   Longer NYC grid season: The PSAL has added a 10th regular-season game to its football schedule, opting to shorten the 17-day wait between its playoff semifinals and championship game to accommodate the move.

   Also, the PSAL has cut the field for its championship division postseason from 16 to 12 teams, The Advance reported, meaning the top four seeds will draw first-round byes. The 2014 PSAL final is scheduled for Dec. 9 at Yankee Stadium.

   The PSAL season begins with a rematch of the 2013 championship game as Tottenville will visit Lincoln on Sept. 5.

   Speaking of scheduling, the CHSFL is allowing its teams to play two non-league games ahead of the league regular season rather than the usual one. The league schedule has been brought back to seven games after a one-time increase to eight in 2013.

   CHSFL athletic directors were informed of the change in January, which made it difficult for schools to line up a second non-league game.

   "Most of the time, the only thing you can find are the exceedingly strong teams with availability," Monsignor Farrell coach Jimmy Bradley told The Advance.

   On the move: Maple Hill AD and girls basketball coach Mark Bubniak has accepted the position of athletic director at Averill Park. Bubniak, Maple Hill's AD since 2009 and a

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coach for seven seasons with three Section 2 titles, replaces John Bishop. Bishop will focus solely on his role as assistant principal.

   "It's been a great 13 years with this program," Bubniak tweeted on the Maple Hill account Tuesday. "I want to thank all of the coaches, parents, fans, and especially the players. I wish you nothing but success this season and in the future. Keep working hard. I'll be watching and cheering you on."

   Coaching news: Assistant Steve Louis and recent head coach Solomon Bliss will switch jobs in Onondaga's football program. Bliss, who ran the team for two years will remain the varsity coach in boys lacrosse.

   John Jay East Fishkill assistant Maria Mahoney has been approved as the girls volleyball coach following the resignation of Kalah Lipinski, who gave birth last spring. Mahoney is a former head coach at Mahopac and Carmel. Lipinski, who guided the team to the NYSPHSAA Class AA final four last fall in her third season, will serve as an assistant coach.

   Auburn has promoted eighth-year assistant Matt Smith to replace boys lacrosse coach following Steve Crosby's retirement after 21 seasons. Smith was the coach at Cayuga Community College for four seasons.

   Extra points: Former Warwick Valley distance star Aislinn Ryan, whose accomplishments included a Foot Locket National Cross Country Championships triumph in 2004, has been hired as an assistant coach at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

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  • 5/27: Football gets approval to add a game
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  • 4/16: Boys all-state basketball (small schools)
  • 4/8: LuHi girls coach Slater steps down
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