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Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015: Scheduling can be a tricky exercise

   Leading off today: Hello, boys and girls. Welcome to Saturday study hall, where today's lesson is about scheduling.

   Question No. 1: The folks at Syracuse Henninger must have known they would be big-time contenders in Class AA boys basketball when the schedule was being built, so why are the Black Knights playing Class B Westhill on Saturday afternoon?

   "Because nobody else would," Henninger coach Erik Saroney told Syracuse.com.

   Henninger is ranked 17th in the state by the New York State Sportswriters Association this week in Class AA. A defending NYSPHSAA and Federation champion, Westhill is top-ranked in Class B. Win or lose, Henninger is sacrificing seeding points for next month's Section 3 tournament, but Saroney sees the game as an opportunity.

   "I don't think any of the double-A's would play them," Saroney said. "It's not in our DNA. We want to play the best teams. We want to be challenged. When the state added the 19th (regular-season game) in August, it opened up an opportunity. So we said, why not?"

   Question No. 2: What's Canisius going to do for an encore after running the table in football last season and finishing the year as the top-ranked Class AA squad in the state?

   Well, they're starting off by worrying about what kind of schedule they'll be able to piece together in 2015.

   So far, the Crusaders have been dropped by NYSPHSAA champion Jamestown -- their 2014 clash was one of Western New York's most anticipated regular-season scholastic sporting events of the decade, fellow Jesuit school McQuaid and three opponents from the state of Ohio. Erie (Pa.) Prep is the only non-Monsignor Martin Association opponent that's confirmed to play again this fall. To date, Canisius has not lined up any replacements, largely a function of so many New York public schools being locked into section-wide scheduling in their own areas.

   A few candidates may be available once they confirm where on the schedule their bye week will fall, but the Crusaders will almost certainly have to scrounge up at least two out-of-state opponents. Having some familiarity with what my alma mater (Aquinas) goes through most years to fill out its schedule, I can assure you that will be no easy task.

   Question No. 3: What's going on with the Catholic High School Football League these days?

   The Journal News reports the league released its divisional setup and 2015 schedule Friday. Somewhat disappointingly, Archbishop Stepinac and Iona Prep will hold the rematch of their 2014 championship game very early, as in Week 2. Both are working to finalize non-leaguers in Week 1.

   The paper reports the CHSFL changed its divisional format. As usual, teams will be split into three playoff classes, but the eight Class AAA teams will not be assigned crossover games with the nine AA schools.

   That's a lot of work: Emily Dellaneve's goal 38 seconds into the fourth overtime Friday moved Frontier/Orchard Park into the Section 6 girls hockey semifinals with a 2-1 victory vs. West Seneca/Hamburg.

   For the record(s): Sweet Home's indoor 3,200-meter relay of Will Schultz, Chris Nowak, Kevin Terranglin and Mitch Daddario broke the Section 6 boys record on the first day of the Virginia Tech Invitational in Blacksburg, Va. The four finished in 8:03.52, breaking the very old -- as in 1978 -- mark of 8:05.75 by Williamsville North.

   "Someone will break it eventually ... but they'll always share that memory,” coach Brian Lombardo told The Buffalo News.

   And then there's this from TullyRunners.com: Rush-Henrietta's Sammy Watson set the state's indoor record for

  
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sophomore girls in the 1,000 meters by two one-hundredths of a second when she finished in 2:47.27 at the Armory Track Invitational.

   We normally wouldn't make much of a fuss about someone setting a class record, but this one merits a mention because of who held the old mark -- Mary Cain. In fact, Cain is the only New York high school-age girl to have run faster (2:35.80) than Watson, but she did it after turning pro.

   Milestone, part 1: Arella Guirantes scored 31 points Friday, putting the Bellport senior over 2,000 in her girls basketball career. Guirantes added 16 rebounds and five assists in the 51-36 win over Eastport-South Manor.

   One night earlier, she finished with 47 points and 23 rebounds in a 67-47 win over Hauppauge. It was one point shy of her career high of 48, which she has done twice.

   "All of the shots I've taken in practice and all of the hours I've put in at the gym have paid off," the sixth-year varsity guard told Newsday. "It's going to make me feel good that I did something that most people haven't done."

   Milestone, part 2: Senior Tara Berger pulled down career rebound No. 1,000 as Rye Country Day beat Hopkins 65-30 in girls basketball Berger finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, and could reach 1,000 career point s in her next game.

   Goodbye, perhaps: Batavia Notre Dame held a ceremony before its Friday game to honor coach Dave Pero Sr. -- in case he retires after the season. According to the Batavian.com, there's a suspicion Pero will retire even though he has not made an announcement.

   Pero became the head coach in 2002 and has picked up four Section 5 championships and a 2013 NYSPHSAA title in 2013.

   Following up: I'm told that my guess yesterday on the penalty Section 5 is seeking for Hilton's boys basketball coach was in the ballpark. A source with knowledge of the situation said Troy Prince was assessed a two-game suspension for making contact with an official. Hilton is appealing.


  
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