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Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015: Pelham scores in OT for Witz's 400th win

   Leading off today: Forward Ben Hurd's shorthanded goal with 1:10 left in overtime carried Pelham to a 3-2 win vs. Mamaroneck in the Section 1 Division II boys hockey semifinals Friday in Larchmont.

   The goal proved to be a milestone-maker -- as in the 400th win for coach Ed Witz.

   "The kid is money," Witz told The Journal News.

   Hurd gathered the puck following a faceoff in the neutral zone, passed to Hogan Peters and quickly set up in open space.

   "We were all just hoping to kill off the penalty," Hurd said. “We were looking to go into double-overtime, but Hogan made a great play. We came down two-on-one and I saw an opening. It was crazy. What a night."

   Peters, a senior forward who returned from prep school following the holiday break, scored with :22 to play in regulation after Lucas Gabow centered the puck.

   Rye (13-9-1) will play Rye Town/Harrison in the sectional final Sunday.

   Brighton diver wins: Scott Lazeroff of Brighton won the diving title at the state swimming championships Friday at Ithaca College.

   Lazeroff, a three-time Section 5 champion, finished with an 11-dive score of 608.76 points after standing third through the preliminaries. The 2014 third-place finisher outdistanced Evan Moretti of Scarsdale (577.86 points).

   Wade continues pursuit: Brad Wade is halfway home to becoming the fourth brother in his family to win a NYSPHSAA wrestling championship.

   The Islip senior raised his career total to 175 wins in six varsity seasons with a pair of victories and advanced to Saturday's Division I semifinals in Albany in the 138-pound class.

   Three Wade brothers won state championships: Chris in 2005, Lance in 2007 as a wild-card entrant and Kyle in 2011. Brad is 38-3 this season, raising the family total to 583 wins on the mat.

   "There are expectations that I have to live up to," Brad Wade told Newsday after an 8-1 win over previously unbeaten and Nassau champion Ricky Stamm of Levittown Division in the quarterfinals. "I cope with the pressure and use it as fuel to motivate myself. I just have to focus on what I need to do and be aggressive."

   Said Islip coach Rob Cuffie: "He downplays the pressure but I know he feels deeply about his family and the winning tradition in that house. He's the last of a family of winners. His three brothers are loving and supportive and there for him. They are a very, very special breed of athlete."

   More wrestling: Hilton, Hauppauge and Monroe-Woodbury each placed three competitors in the Division I semifinals. Hilton sophomore Yianni Diakomihalis's pursuit of his third NYSPHSAA championship continues in the 120-pound semis vs. Gerard Daly of Minisink Valley.


  • 2015 NYSPHSAA boys basketball brackets
  • 2015 NYSPHSAA girls basketball brackets
  • 2015 NYSPHSAA boys hockey brackets

  •    Chris Mauriello of Hauppauge is battling for an improbable second straight title. After winning at 132 pounds last year in Albany, he's competing at 160 this week.

       Three-time state champ and Nick Piccininni of Ward Melville advanced with two wins by technical fall at 126 pounds and faces Anthony Orefice of Lockport in the semifinals.

       Rocky Point senior Tom Dutton, Long Island's all-time winningest wrestler with a 259-27 record, advanced to the 145-pound semifinals. He's in pursuit of his first state crown.

       Locust Valley and Mexico advanced four wrestlers apiece into the Division II semifinals. though none remain alive for championships, Warsaw was to begin Saturday action with seven wrestlers competing in the consolation bracket.

       Christ the King rallies: Rawle Alkins scored 27 points and Christ the King rallied from six points down midway through the fourth quarter to beat Xaverian 66-59 in the CHSAA Brooklyn-Queens Archdiocesan boys basketball championship game.

       The Royals outscored Xaverian 16-3 down the stretch, ignited by an Alkins putback dunk.

       "People don't really talk about the Brooklyn-Queens championship, but it's still a championship to me," said Alkins, a junior being recruited by numerous Division I colleges. "I don't like to lose at all so I continued to fight hard."

       Point guard Jared Rivers added 17 points for the Royals and Xaverian got 20 points from Najee Larcher.

       Bonus basketball: Tatyana Fish scored 12 points for the game but had two big baskets in the second overtime for South Jefferson in a 49-43 win over Hannibal in the Section 3 Class B girls basketball tournament.

       Quincey Zimmerman scored five points in extra time.

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