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Friday, Jan. 23, 2015: S-WR wrestler sacrifices senior season to aid sister

   Leading off today: If there's an organization out there that bestows a sportsman of the year award for New York high school athletes, James Suarez's phone number belongs on their speed dial.

   Suarez, a Shoreham-Wading River student, gave up his senior wrestling season in preparation for serving as a bone-marrow donor for his sister Kaitlyn, who has been battling Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer of the lymph nodes, on and off since May 2008 according to Bob Liepa's story in the Riverhead News-Review. The transplant is expected to take place this month at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

   James Suarez, 17, stepped up in August when Kaitlyn relapsed for the third time. Testing determined that he was a very rare 100 percent match to serve as a potential donor, but it would come at a price: Under protocol for the procedure, any head trauma -- an absolute risk in wrestling no matter how much caution is taken -- would rule him out as a donor.

   James never hesitated to give up wrestling, his sport since seventh grade.

   "That's the kind of person he is, James Suarez, and that's why we're proud to have him as part of the team," S-WR coach Joe Condon said. "This would have been his year to be a starter. I know he's doing something that's much more important. He's a hero. He's really a hero."

   A hero? James doesn't see himself that way.

   "I don't see it as heroic myself," he said. "I mean, if there was anyone else on that team, I'm sure we would have the same sort of conversation with someone else. It was just that I was blessed to have this opportunity."

   Though he can't compete this year, James remains on the team, attending practices and meets. On senior day, he was recognized alongside his classmates on the team.

   Milestones: Rich Castellano became Long Island's first girls basketball coach to reach the 600-win mark when Northport beat host Half Hollow Hills East 54-47 Thursday.

   "I'm hoping it's not going to end here, that we're going to keep going," Castellano, 63, told Newsday. "The 400 milestone was big. The 500 milestone was big. ... It's nice when someone tells me that no one has won that many games on Long Island."

   Said captain Erin Henningsen: "We have the best coach in the universe of coaches. I'm just so proud of him. I'm so happy I got to be a part of this."

   Castellano has coached Northport to 11 sectional titles and six Long Island championships.

    • Olean boys basketball coach Jeff Anastasia picked up win No. 500 with the Huskies' 60-52 victory over Dunkirk.    "It's pretty awesome because it's the players and the coaches that I've had that have contributed so much to these victories," he told The Times-Herald. "I'm just a small part of this."

   Anastasia's teams have won 10 Section 6 championships, advanced to Glens Falls for the NYSPHSAA semifinals five times and won a state Class B title in 2008.

    • Junior Danielle Migliore broke Frankfort-Schuyler's career scoring record for girls basketball Tuesday during an 80-78 win over Holland Patent in overtime.

   Migliore scored 25 of her game-high 32 points in the third quarter and passed the record of 1,024 set by current Oriskany coach Angela (Reina) Meiss. Migliore has 1,043 points in three seasons of varsity action.

  
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   Back-to-back dramas: Allegany-Limestone junior Glenn Anderson appeared to have won Tuesday's boys basketball game with a put-back of his own missed free throw only to have it waved off once the officials conferred. The result was a 53-52 loss to Portville.

   Anderson was fouled on a 3-point attempt with half a second to go and made the first two free throws. The guard's follow on the third try appeared to give him his 37th and 38th points of the contest before the officials reversed their call.

   Just 24 hours later, the Allegany-Limestone girls won a game decided with no time left on the clock. Wellsville, on the verge of capping a rally from 14 points down, fouled Allison Forness as she tossed up a put-back at the buzzer of a tied game.

   Forness hit the first free throw with the clock showing 0:00 and A-L left the gym with a 53-52 win.

   More basketball: Cardinal Hayes center Akintoye Ojo was expected back earlier this week from a knee injury that has kept the Manhattan College recruit sidelined for six games. The hope now is that the native of Nigeria will be available when Hayes, 25th in the state in Class AA, faces fifth-ranked Wings Academy at the SNY Invitational on Friday night and then in either title game or consolation game vs. No. 1 Long Island Lutheran or No. 6 Cardozo on Saturday.

   The Cardinals are 4-2 without Ojo.

   "He's a defensive presence inside, no matter who the other team has there," guard Clive Allen told The Daily News. "On the offensive end, I can just throw it up to him and he'll throw it down, so it makes my life easy."


  
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