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Monday, March 9, 2015: Defending champ New York Mills gets OT scare

   Leading off today: Terrance Nichols's 18-foot jumper with 1.5 seconds left in overtime gave defending state champ New York Mills a 40-38 boys basketball victory over Sackets Harbor in the Section 3 Class D final on Sunday.

   New York Mills advances to the NYSPHSAA tournament vs. Section 4 champ Laurens on Saturday at SUNY Oneonta.

   Nichols, who had missed a 3-pointer on the Marauders' previous possession, said it was a shot "coach wanted me to take and I wanted to take. He told me in the timeout before that it was time for me to step up. I really wanted to get to the hoop, but their defense wouldn't let me. I practice that shot all the time, but I admit I don't always make it."

   Sackets Harbor held New York Mills scoreless for almost eight minutes during a stretch of the third and fourth quarters but could not take the lead on eight consecutive possessions with a one-point deficit.

   "It seemed like there was a lid on the basket during that stretch," said Sackets Harbor coach Jeff Robbins. "If we could have just got a couple of productive possessions and gained a little breathing room, our defense was playing well enough for us to win."

   More Section 3: Syracuse CBA broke open a close game with an 18-9 third- quarter run and beat Jamesville-DeWitt 69-46 for the boys Class AA championship, the Brothers' their first title since 2009.

   J-D played without senior Dom DeRegis, the team's second-leading scorer at 14.2 points per game, benched because of what coaches called a "team issue."

   CBA senior Monte Stroman, who led CBA with 18 points, said two earlier victories over the Red Rams didn't give his team a false confidence.

   "We knew they were going to come out tough," he said. "They have seniors. We have seniors. The seniors don't want to lose."

   Nice week: The rap on the School of the Arts boys basketball team was that the Silverhawks skated through a soft regular-season schedule. In fact, it could be argued that two of the three best wins on their resume in Rochester-area action were against Northstar, a Class D team.

   That's no longer the case. SOTA defeated Newark in overtime in the Section 5 Class A2 semifinals and then came back Sunday to down Batavia 45-36 for the championship.

   Sergio Alicea scored the final eight points, including 5-for-6 work on free throws in the final minute, for the Silverhawks as they won their first sectional championship in more than a decade.

   Alicea (14 points) and teammate James Barron attended Freddie Thomas last year. When the school shuttered in the seemingly never-ending reorganization of Rochester's city schools, they followed coach Al Nash.

   "That's my man," Nash said of Alicea. "We've got to have the ball in his hands at the end."

   SOTA next faces Greece Athena for Section 5's berth in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association quarterfinals.

   CHSAA progress: Christ the King remains alive in its bid for a third straight Federation boys Class AA championship.

   Rawle Alkins led the Royals with 29 points, 18 rebounds and 7 assists as they cruised past St. Peter's 73-58 in the quarterfinals.

   CK held the Eagles to 4-for-24 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.

   "When you play 3-point shooters, it's the great equalizer when you have strong athletes," coach Joe Arbitello said. "I was a little worried about that, but our guys stuck to the game plan, and we played well. We were guarding the screens, and I think they were tired from working so hard to get open, so a couple of the open looks they got, they didn't really have their legs."


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  •    The Royals next face Holy Cross, which upset St. Raymond 75-70 in overtime another quarterfinal.

       Holy Cross senior Jermaine Bishop (27 points) made a layup to put his team up by three late in OT. After the teams traded free throws, Jamel Horton sealed the game with two free throws with :17 left. Christian WIlson (18 points, 10 rebounds) then tacked on two more FTs.

       Decision pending: John S. Burke Catholic could become the first Section 9 school ever hit with major sanctions with the results of an investigation into alleged recruiting in boys basketball expected to be released on Tuesday.

       Attorney John T. McCann, hired over the summer to lead the probe, presented his final report to the Section 9 athletic council in January. Burke attorney Peter Torncello and Howard Miller, who represents the Middletown School District, will make presentations to the 18-member athletic council Tuesday. Middletown initiated the complaint, collaborating with four other area districts to investigate Burke and turn its findings over to the section.

       Any resolution for sanctions or exoneration will require 12 voted to pass. Section 9 Executive Director Bob Thabet told The Times Herald-Record he's hoping the matter is decided Tuesday and will push to wrap it up quickly if the job isn't done by then.

       "You have 18 people voting. We are taking a long time because we have never had an issue like this. This is brand new to us," he said. "The schools involved are anxious to get this resolved, but we want to look at every shred of evidence, and make sure we are comfortable with our decision."

       Former Burke Catholic assistant coach Bobby Rahn, who runs the B.C. Eagles AAU team, is mentioned in nine of 10 specific recruiting allegations as part of Middletown's report. Rahn stepped down from the basketball staff after the school introduced a new policy in November prohibiting anyone from coaching the same sport in an outside athletic organization but he remains an administrator at the school.

       SU runner found dead: A Syracuse University track team sprinter was found dead Saturday morning in a New York City hotel room.

       Sabrina Marsha-Gaye Cammock, 21, was found inside a room she was sharing with friends, the New York Daily News reported. SU confirmed the senior's death Saturday evening, and the NYPD said the medical examiner is working to determine a cause of death.

       Cammock attended high school at The Mary Louis Academy, twice representing the school in the NYSPHSAA indoor track and field championships.

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