Leading off today:
As is the case with any controversy, there are at least two ways to look at the dispute involving what has become the best girls large-school basketball program in the entire NYSPHSAA.
On the one hand, Ossining has a duty to fulfill schedule obligations that go along with being the member of its league and section. On the other hand, the Pride's roster is so deep and talented that mismatches have become common and there is only so much the coach can do as he walks the fine line between keeping scores respectable and preparing his team for the postseason.
The Journal News reported this weekend that Ossining coach Dan Ricci sought permission from Section 1 before the season to opt out of the double round-robin schedule and only play league opponents once apiece, thus freeing up his team to seek out more competitive non-league contests. ADs approved the plan in October -- but for the 2015-16 season. The rationale was that it was too late to make changes to the current year's schedule at that point, the paper reported.
The results have been predictable. Ossining, the two-time defending New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class AA champion, has blasted through 10 games against weaker league opponents by a combined 888-366 margin despite rarely playing starters in the second halves of games, the paper reported.
Particularly frustrating for Ricci is that Ossining was allowed to tear up a portion of its 2012-13 schedule after the season started to accommodate games against tougher competition in Soniya Chong's senior season. There was no such opportunity this time.
"For them to tell us, 'You can't, it was too late,' that's not true," Ricci said.
If you're inclined to side with the section over the school, consider this: When Ossining sought to fill the two non-league slots on its schedule -- which must be played against a conference opponent under section rules -- Horace Greeley was the only team willing to step up.
"My complaint was, 'If it's not such a big deal for (our league) teams to have to play us twice, how come nobody else in this room will play us once?'" Ricci said.
You can read more details in the full story.
Rolling up the titles: Tottenville senior Lauren De Meno matched her sister Brittanie's career record of 14 titles Sunday during her final PSAL Individual Gymnastics Championships.
De Meno won three events and the all-around honors with a 37.450 score. She took vault with a score of 9.650; bars with a 9.550; and floor exercise with a 9.300. A slip on the balance beam gave her a third-place 8.950.
Both sisters missed a full season because of injuries during their Tottenville careers.
"I'm a little upset at myself that I fell, but I like how it ended up," Lauren De Meno told The Advance. "I like how we can share that (record). It's something we can live with forever."
Calling it a career: Tom Pugh has retired as the football coach at Holy Cross after 42 years in charge on the sidelines of the CHSFL team. He plans to remain a guidance counselor at the school and is staying on as vice president of the New York Catholic High School Football League.
"It was time for some other guys to do this," Pugh, 68, told MSG Varsity. "I still like coaching. I still love the summers and teaching kids football. During the season it's a long grind. A long grind. Watching film and going home at 9:30 at night is a grind during the season."
A 3-7 mark last fall raised his total to 215 career wins. He guided Holy Cross to a CHSFL AAA championship in 1977 and seven other league titles in his career.