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Friday, April 24, 2015: Bronxville's Grass breaks Sec. 1 scoring record

   Leading off today: Henry Grass is in good company for now, but he'll undoubtedly be leaving them in his rear-view mirror by the time his high school lacrosse career winds down in six weeks or so.

   Grass, a Bronxville senior, became the leading scorer in Section 1 history on Thursday with an assist on a Robbie Westerfield goal early in the second quarter of a 20-5 win over Croton. The Johns Hopkins recruit, who has 244 goals and 151 assists since beginning his varsity career in eighth grade, eclipsed the 393 points by 1983 graduate Tom Nelson and 392 by Tim Nelson. The Nelsons went on to star at Syracuse University.

   "I've only heard about the Nelson brothers," Grass told The Journal News. "I heard they were great players, so it's a great feat, but we have to finish up the season. It's a personal achievement, and we're a team, so I'm thinking more about winning another state championship."

   Tom Nelson passed along congratulations as well as a zinger befitting the SU-Johns Hopkins rivalry.

   "I think it's great somebody else gets to hold the record now," he said. "It's just unfortunate he's going to Hopkins."

   What a leap: Cardozo senior Marie-Josee Ebwea-Bile placed third in the triple jump Thursday at the Penn Relays, but her 42-1.25 effort broke the state outdoor record.

   She doubled in the long and triple jumps in the state indoor meet last month in Ithaca, winning the TJ by more than two feet. BTW, the Penn winner was Jamaican Tamara Moncrieffe with a startling mark of 43-10.

   On the move: Former Dobbs Ferry standout Eric Paschall, the state's Class B player of the year in 2013 in boys basketball, will transfer to Villanova.

   Paschall led Fordham in scoring this season as a freshman at 15.9 points a game to earn Atlantic 10 rookie of the year honors but wanted to explore options in the wake of the firing of coach Tom Pecora. He will not be eligible until the 2016-17 season, but will have three years of eligibility with the Wildcats. The 6-foot-6 wing was also in talks with Florida, Kansas and Providence.

   Softball schedule: There's some pretty good softball scheduled for this weekend in Central New York, with three major tournaments on the schedule.

   Among them is the Northstar Elite Weekend at Gillette Sports Complex in Cicero, where five state-ranked teams will be among 15 squads competing. Among the matchups Saturday is Cohoes, ranked third in the state in Class B, vs. No. 15 Eden. Before that, though, Eden played Jamesville-DeWitt, ranked 11th in Class A.

   "There are so many great teams in New York State, we wanted to create the opportunity to match some of these schools up with each other that might not typically meet in the regular season," Jamesville-DeWitt coach Phil DeAugustine told

   The Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Intersectional Showdown brings together another dozen teams, including Class B No. 1 Windsor.

   And at the Mudville Complex, Elmira Heights Edison (13th in Class C) vs. Holland Patent (20th b) concludes a 10-game Saturday schedule.

   The full schedules for all three events can be found here.

   I spoke too soon: In yesterday's blog I passed along two wacky Section 5 baseball games from Wednesday. Had I looked a bit more thoroughly, I would have also caught a crazy local softball game.

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   Livonia turned eight seventh-inning hits into seven runs and walked off with a 10-9 home win vs. Avon.

   Lindsay Schubert scored on a wild pitch to tie the game, then Molly Stewart singled up the middle to score Danielle Bosch with the winning run.

   Spring basketball: Section 5 rolled out its first Unified Sports high school basketball league Wednesday. Unified basketball, a collaboration between the Special Olympics and the NYSPHSAA, began last spring as a pilot program in Section 2.

   It brings together a mix of students ranging from varsity athletes to students with physical or mental disabilities, developing teamwork and building friendships.

   "It gives them an opportunity to support students who may have been in a very isolated high school experience and that translates into social inclusion," Nathan Johnson, director of Unified Sports with the New York Special Olympics, told WROC-TV.

   Todd Nelson, assistant director of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, said the goal is to establish similar programs in all 11 sections of the state within five years. Sections 2 and 5 have a combined 36 schools participating this year, and Sections 6 and 8 are expected to add to that number in 2016.

   In addition, the NYSPHSAA says Section 2 is considering expanding the Unified Sports program to include bowling next winter.

   Extra points: When you consider what an amazing athlete her father was, I guess it shouldn't be a shocker that Vashti Cunningham broke the U.S. girls high school high jump record with a leap of 6-4.25 last weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays in California.

   After her national record, she missed three times at 6-6.

   The Las Vegas Bishop Gorman junior is the daughter of former NFL great Randall Cunningham. Her brother Randall Jr. is an emerging track star at USC.

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