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Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2014: Shoreham-Wading River earns national accolade

   Leading off today: Shoreham-Wading River's football program scored a significant honor -- and the accompanying $50,0009 bonanza -- Sunday in Orlando, Fla., winning the "Fight Like Dylan Award" on the eve of the Russell Athletic Bowl.

   S-WR was selected from the four finalists and was presented a $50,000 grant to be used for athletic apparel and equipment, Newsday reported. The award honors Dylan Rebeor, a Tennessee scholastic football player whose last wish was for his teammates to receive new uniforms. He died from colon cancer in 2010 -- the same year his high school team won its first state championship in 58 years.

   S-WR endured tragedy this fall when junior Tom Cutinella died after an on-field collision midway through the regular season. The Wildcats went on to complete their most successful season by finishing 12-0 and winning the Long Island Class IV championship.

   "Shoreham-Wading River exhibited exactly what we were looking for," said Robby Davis, senior vice president and general manager of Russell Athletic. "They experienced a tragic incident that affected a team, district, community and family and exemplified 'together we R.' We are excited to support the community and the team in honoring the legacy of an incredible teammate and brother in Tom Cutinella."

   Said Frank Cutinella: "Like Dylan, my son continues to inspire people. I'm proud of that. Like Dylan's legacy, my son and his team are still inspiring people to do the right thing."

   Stat of the day: Brothers Rodney (42 points), Tyler (18) and Traveon Roberts (5) did all their team's scoring Monday as Wheatland-Chili defeated Alexander 65-46 in boys basketball.

   Out-of-staters advance: The NYSSWA unveiled its third set of weekly boys basketball rankings earlier today, and this is as good a time as any to remind readers of one of our key rules when compiling the ratings: Teams are not harshly penalized for losses to quality opponents from out of state .

   I mention that with an eye toward the Mirabito STOP-DWI Holiday Classic in Binghamton, where Wings Academy from New York City dropped a 67-55 semifinal to unbeaten Philadelphia Roman Catholic. Wings is ranked third in Class AA this week by the NYSSWA.

   Roman Catholic trailed by 11 at the half and surrendered a three-point play 27 seconds into the third quarter. From there, Roman Catholic went on a 23-8 run to take the lead early in the fourth quarter and went up for good on a D'Andre Vilmar bucket with 5:40 to play.

   Roman Catholic will play Toronto's St. Michael's College in the final Tuesday night. St. Michael's (22-0) advanced with a 67-58 win vs. Brooklyn's Bishop Loughlin.

   Worthwhile trip: They could have stuck around Rochester over the holidays and found a couple of relative lightweights to play. Instead, the Greece Athena boys basketball team traveled to the Slam Dunk Tournament at the Westchester

  
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County Center and scored two impressive wins.

   After downing Iona Prep, the state's No. 11 team in Class AA, the Trojans won the tourney with a 76-58 victory vs. Spring Valley. Athena is No. 5 and Spring Valley No. 2 in Class A this week.

   Junior forward Anthony Lamb had 24 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks to lead five Trojans double-figures scorers in the final and earn MVP honors. And that was just the start of his night. After the game, Lamb received a scholarship offer from Iona College, The Journal News reported.

   Getting it done: Class A University Prep benched three starters for missing a practice, but the Griffins rallied from a 12-point deficit at the half to beat Batavia Notre Dame, the state's No. 2 Class D team, 63-49, for the Lions Tournament championship in Batavia.

   "It's all about discipline," UPrep coach Raheem Miller told TheBatavian.com. "To me, you've got to be responsible. I understand things happen and whatever, but you've got to at least call. You don't just not show up."

   Batavia had won the tournament 10 straight years before falling to UPrep in the semifinals.


  
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