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Sunday, March 8, 2015: C-NS girls lock down seventh straight Sec. 3 title

   Leading off today: Cicero-North Syracuse now stands alone in the world of Section 3 girls basketball, having become the first Central New York team to win seven consecutive sectional championships.

   The Northstars reached the milestone Saturday with a 55-27 romp vs. Rome Free Academy in the Class AA final. They'll advance to a Saturday game at Colgate University vs. the Section 2 champion for the right to advance to the state semifinals in Troy.

   "We played like we practiced," coach Eric Smith said. "We played free, and not tight."

   C-NS got 15 points each from McKayla Roberts, Beth Bonin and Amani Free. The Northstars raced to a 30-12 lead at the half.

   On the way to 3K? With a maximum of four games left in her career, St. Bonaventure recruit Mckenna Maycock still has a shot at 3,000 career points.

   Maycock hit for 27 points Saturday night, leading Randolph over Holland 75-46 for the Section 6 Class C-2 championship. Maycock also had 12 rebounds, nine assists and four steals. Randolph plays Chautauqua Lake on Tuesday for the right to represent the section in the NYSPHSAA tournament.

   Maycock is at 2,897 points for her six-year career. Only Caryn Schoff (St. Johnsville, 3,548 points through 1995), Bethany LeSueur (Garden City, 3,167 through 2001) and Niesha Butler (Riverdale, 3,127 through 1998) have reached 3,000 in the history of New York girls basketball. (See the all-time scoring list here.)

   Cardozo, Wings move on: Cardozo players showed minimal emotion after defeating Boys & Girls 59-48 in the PSAL Class AA semifinals Saturday.

   "Everybody's still excited, but we've got one more game, so we're still in business,” Cardozo junior Ray Salnave said after scoring 19 points. "We all know what the goal is. We're not done yet."

   After a Boys & Girls run cut Cardozo's lead to 42-40 in the third quarter, the Judges' Tareq Coburn (20 points) hit a 3-pointer that started the defending champions on an 11-0 spurt.

   "My teammates were finding me, and I knew I had to just knock it down," Coburn said. "That run gave us a lot of momentum, and it forced them to take a lot of forced shots after that."

   The final -- the first without a Brooklyn team since 1999 -- at Madison Square Garden will be coach Ron Naclerio's first crack at win No. 722, tying him with retired Campus Magnet coach Chuck Granby for No. 1 on the all-time PSAL list. The opponent will be Wings Academy, which ousted top-seeded Thomas Jefferson 83-73.

   Wings had come out on the short end in each of its six previous appearances in the semifinals under coach Billy Turnage.

   "It's just for all my kids that have played for me (over) the years," an emotional Turnage told reporters. "I think we've found every conceivable way to lose a game in the final four, so I didn't care if it was a 22-point lead with one second to go, I wasn't comfortable until that final horn went off."

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  •    Jefferson opened with an 11-1 run, but Wings chipped away and used a 9-0 run in the second quarter to pull ahead for good. Georgetown recruit Jessie Govan finished with a team-high 29 points and Hofstra commit Desure Buie added 25.

       Unfortunate timing: Livingston Manor will be without two rotation players for up to two games in the NYSPHSAA boys Class D basketball tournament.

       Coach Charlie Hicks said starting guard Dillon Taggart and forward Frank Kuttner, one of the first players off the bench, leave today for a week-long Caribbean cruise, a school trip. Livingston Manor plays Section 1 champ Clark Academy on Wednesday at SUNY New Paltz. The winner goes to the quarterfinals vs. Bridgehampton on Friday.

       "I guess we have to do a better job of scheduling," Hicks said. "This was set up in September. It's hard, but I let those guys make their own decision. They are grown men. I hope they have a good time and can come back and help us."

       Taggart, who scored 14 points in Livingston Manor's 61-30 win over Eldred in the Section 9 championship. Two other starters scheduled to be on the cruise have canceled their trips in order to remain with the team.

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