Leading off today:
The first sets of rankings for New York winter sports have been thrown on their proverbial ear by fast-moving developments. As I write this, details are beginning to come in on Spring Valley's 66-62 upset of Mount Vernon, ranked third in Class AA in the boys basketball ratings released eight hours earlier, which I'll catch up to in tomorrow's blog.
In hockey, St. Joe's didn't even wait for the rankings Tuesday morning to shake up the Division I ratings.
Jonathan Tucker scored two goals for the Marauders, who opened a three-goal lead and held up Monday for a 4-3 win over Canisius. St. Joe's was ranked sixth and Canisius second in the hockey rankings compiled earlier in the day but released Tuesday.
Jack Attea and Michael Greco added goals as St. Joe's won the first meeting between the Buffalo-area rivals since Canisius' triumph in the playoff finals last winter.
Suspensions at Ludden: Nine players on Bishop Ludden's varsity basketball roster are serving a suspension of several weeks for a violation of team rules, coach Pat Donnelly confirmed to Syracuse.com.
Ludden, off to a 4-0 start, is ranked 22nd in the state Class AA rankings.
Donnelly wouldn't specify what the identified players did, but the suspensions began with Friday's 66-51 win over Homer and will end on Christmas day. Sources told Syracuse.com the players were involved in a neighborhood prank.
"We think we've addressed it appropriately," Donnelly said.
Donnelly said the Bishop Kearney coach hopes to reschedule Wednesday's non-league game so that the Kings can play Ludden's full varsity at a later date. Ludden's next game before Christmas is next week vs. Cortland.
Rankings progress: We posted the first boys basketball and ice hockey ratings of the season to our rankings home page on Tuesday.
Girls basketball editors Ken Ricker and Shawn Dack took a run and compiling the first set of girls rankings over the weekend, but in the end they didn't have responses from quite enough regional advisers to compile meaningful lists.
They expect to be up and running next weekend. If any of last year's regional advisers are unable to participate this year, please send me an email so that we can line up another helper in that region.
Coming up: We expect to post the girls cross country all-state team late Wednesday night or early on Thursday.
Following up: For better or worse, many people (yes, myself included) figured there was something behind the sudden resignation last month of Bob Elmer, the highly successful girls lacrosse coach at West Genesee.
Well, it was reported this week that Elmer stepped down after a former babysitter accused him of inappropriately touching her more than 23 years ago. The accuser, now 40 years old, placed a call to Elmer in the presence of an Onondaga County sheriff's deputy from the Abused Persons Unit and provided a copy of the tape to Syracuse.com.
In the call, the woman asks Elmer, 53, about one occasion, why "you wanted to touch me so much."
"I do not have an answer for you," Elmer replies in the recording. Later, he adds it was a "mistake."
A day after the 12-minute call, Elmer was suspended with pay by school Superintendent Chris Brown. The next week, Elmer submitted a letter of resignation that was accepted at the Nov. 18 school board meeting.
Interviewed last week, Elmer confirmed "inappropriately touching" the woman in "a one-time incident." The woman alleges a three-year pattern of inappropriate sexual behavior while she was his babysitter beginning at the age of 14.