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Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015: Camden football coach helps save a life

   Leading off today: Camden football coach Aaron Fiorini is being credited with helping to save the life of a man stricken during a pickup basketball game Monday night. Fiorini and off-duty State Trooper Miles Robertson came to the aid of the man in the Camden High School gym, reported.

   At about 7:30 p.m. Monday, a 48-year-old man playing basketball there collapsed on the floor, unconscious and not breathing. Robertson began CPR on the man, state police said, and Fiorini retrieved the school's automated external defibrillator.

   Fiorini use the AED and Robertson followed by continuing CPR. The man began breathing on his own after several minutes and was able to talk when Camden Ambulance arrived, police said. The man was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica.

   Mahopac takes action: While acknowledging that the matter largely came down to "one person's word against another's," Mahopac Superintendent Brian Monahan told The Journal News he had taken disciplinary action against a player following allegations of racist language during a Jan. 7 game vs. Carmel.

   Monahan cited "several instances of unsportsmanlike behavior" during the game, but would not confirm that the player, hit with an indefinite suspension after the game, has been suspended from the team for the rest of the season.

   The district, which suspended several student fans last year for racist tweets following a game vs. Mount Vernon, interviewed coaches, players and game officials as part of the latest investigation.

   "We did not identify any instance of racial language but that doesn't mean it didn't happen," Monahan said. "We received conflicting information on that."

   The teams faced off again Friday, this time without incident amidst tight security.

   "This doesn't mean everything will be fine forever," Monahan told the paper. "Now we need to reinforce things."

   Following up: South Kortright beat Cooperstown 67-51 Monday in a matchup of two of the state's better small-school girls basketball teams.

   South Kortright is ranked No. 1 in the state in Class D and Cooperstown is No. 2 in Class C.

   The Rams (14-0) took a 26-20 lead into the half and then used two third-quarter runs to put the game away. Junior Tori Rockefeller led all scorers with 23 points in the win, and the Rams' Savannah Hobbie and Lexi DuBois scored 16 and 11 points, respectively.

   More basketball: I apologize for the delay in posting this week's installment of the girls basketball rankings. Ken Ricker and Shawn Dack compiled and passed along the rankings in plenty of time, but I was dragged away from my desk for far longer than expected Tuesday. I'll hopefully get back to a normal schedule next week.

   Off the beaten path: The combination of exams week and this month's edition of the storm (or non-storm, as it turned out for many) of the century made this a relatively light week for games. But that doesn't mean that the work doesn't go on for reporters around the state.

   A few examples:

   (1) We've reached the juncture of the season at which MSG Varsity starts compiling frequent seeding-points updates for girls and boys basketball. In many sections around the state, calculating seeding points is relatively straight forward -- you gain points for wins, you lose points for losses and games against schools from higher or lower classes have different values -- and the respective sectional committees actually handle the task themselves.

   Section 1, though, throws in a wrinkle that I like -- bonus points for playing teams with a winning record. Is you might imagine, that throws a wrinkle into keeping current with the match, but that doesn't deter Jordan Griffith from staying on top of the girls standings on what I imagine is one of MSG Varsity's most popular pages at this time of the year. Kevin Devaney Jr. compiles the boys standings.

   (2) Scoring is obviously the decisive team stat in basketball -- your team scores the most points and you win -- but there's plenty more to the game at the individual level.

   That's why Brett Hudson at The Post-Star went deeper with a team-by-team roundup in the paper's coverage area to identify girls basketball players whose best work doesn't necessarily show up in the scoring summary.

   A nugget: Bolton has two players (Erin Courchaine and Maddie Pratt) with double-digit rebounding averages, as does Cambridge with Olivia Mooney and Helen Mooney. In the world of small-school basketball, that's huge.

   (3) Hudson Valley Sports Report announced it will compile standings for an all-sport championship for schools in its coverage area similar to what the New York State Sportswriters Association has been doing statewide since 2009 with the Kerr Cup.

   End to the frustration: One of the state's longest active losing streaks in any sport came to an end Friday when senior Troy Bennett's second goal of the game sparked Guilderland/Mohonasen/Scotia-Glenville past Shaker/Colonie 3-2 in an overtime hockey contest.

   Including an 0-7 start to this season, G/M/SG had been on a 58-game losing streak dating back to the 2011-12 season.

   The numbers game had long been an issue, with G/M/SG's roster frequently just half the size of typical Division I and II squads around the state. That's changed this year, with G/M/SG carrying 21 players and focusing on an independent schedule to stay away from some obvious mismatches while seven freshmen and an eight-grader get their bearings.

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