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Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015: Spring Valley beats No. 3 Mount Vernon

   Leading off today: Spring Valley may have been depleted by graduation, but the Tigers are taking defense of their boys Section 1 Class AA basketball championship seriously.

   They beat Mount Vernon, the state's No. 3-ranked team, 66-62 on Tuesday.

   "They put their shoes on the same way we do. The way they step on the court, we step on the court. It's nothing different. Rankings don't mean nothing," senior Jy'Quan Boykin told The Journal News after overcoming four first-half fouls to finish with 16 points.

   Marc Dorsainvil scored 21 points, and Devan Lawson finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Mount Vernon's Marco Morency had 25 points, six rebounds and six steals off the bench.

   Said Mount Vernon coach Bob Cimmino: "We just got beat by a team that was better than us. Spring Valley just had so much more energy and we did not respond."

   The game included 60 fouls and 61 turnovers, split just about down the middle for the two teams, but Mount Vernon was stymied by its own 0-for-15 shooting on 3-pointers.

    • No. 20 Abraham Lincoln stumbled for the second time this month with a 63-54 loss to Westinghouse. Gerald Williams had 21 points and 11 rebounds for Westinghouse.

   Ninth-grader scores 52: Glens Falls freshman Joseph Girard III scored 52 points on the strength of making all 22 of his free throws in an 87-82 basketball win over Amsterdam.

   Girard made eight 3-pointers among his 11 field goals.

   Another big number: Former Christ the King star Rawle Alkins lit up the Internet over the weekend with 51 points for his Raleigh, N.C., prep school despite still suffering the effects of a nasty ankle sprain from late last month.

   His outburst, including 33 points in the second half, came in a 121-101 win by Word of God Academy over Victory Prep from Houston, Texas.

   Hockey surprise: The first state hockey rankings were released Tuesday afternoon. Hours later, unranked Clinton earned a 4-2 win over Skaneateles, ranked No. 1 in Division II on the heels of its 2015 NYSPHSAA championship.

   The Warriors got third-period goals from Tyler Frank, Matt Martini and Mike Teesdale.

   JJCR triumphs: John Jay Cross River junior Evan Frank came through with two clutch pins as the Indians won the Section 1 Dual Meet Wrestling Championship.

   Needing five points in the final match of the semifinal vs. North Rockland, he pinned Erik Anderson with 48 seconds left to give the Indians a 32-30 win.

   "Right before I stepped out on the mat, my coaches told me, 'We need big,'" Frank told The Journal News. "It's definitely a lot of pressure to take, but I think I handled it well."

   Wrestling in the next-to-last match of the final, Frank pinned again to clinch a 39-36 win over Arlington. JJCR trailed by 11 points with five matches remaining before Conor Melbourne (152 pounds), Chris Holze (160) and Eric Eberhardt (170) set the table for Frank with two major decisions and a pin.

   "I didn't know much about either kid, but I just came in like it was the national championship and wrestled my hardest to get the pins," Frank said.

   Speaking of dual-meet championships: Seeing the Section 1 wrestling results reminded me of a short story from The Times Herald-Record a couple weeks ago that I never got around to mentioning.

   Section 9 chairman Jeff Cuilty told the paper state wrestling representatives are working to crown state dual-meet champions in two divisions by the 2017-18 season. Each of the state's 11 sections would hold its own dual-meet tournament and send reps to a central location for the state championships later in the season.

   Wildcard entries allowing for 16-team brackets might also be part of the plan.

   Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I don't see any proposal getting much traction in the near future. A NYSPHSAA committee recently recommended against expanding the state football tournament to six classes, saying:

  • The existing system is working.
  • They're not inclined to field the inevitable "me too" requests from other sport committees.
   Boys and girls lacrosse are expected to get approval for a fourth playoff class beginning in 2017 based on the growth in the number of teams. I'm pretty sure everyone else is going to have to wait in line awhile.

   Sigh: "The Jets have a long history of picking the wrong coach. The tradition continues."

   That was the opening line of a New York Daily News story, and it was pretty much on the mark in the context of a gaffe last week.

   It seems the NFL team named Bruce Eugene of Grand Street Campus its high school coach of the year after he guided the Wolves to their first PSAL city football championship.

   Eugene began his season with a two-game suspension (reduced from three games after an appeal) after his team participated in an unapproved scrimmage against a New Jersey team at Rutgers over the summer.

   More recently, he allowed Rahmel Ashby to continue playing for the Wolves following revelations the star running back is facing two sets of serious criminal charges -- including attempted murder -- related to separate incidents.

   It's no trivial matter. By virtue of being selected for the honor, Grand Street Campus will receive $4,000 from the Jets and sponsor Chase.

   The NFL team issued a statement Monday night, saying: "The Jets are proud, long-time supporters of PSAL football. Our Coach of the Year honor was put in place as a way to support PSAL schools and to recognize the on-field accomplishments of coaches, players, and entire football programs. The award is often given to the Head Coach of the PSAL championship-winning team, as it was this year."

   Extra points: Section 5's Non-Public Committee voted 6-4 to move Bishop Kearney up to Class C for the 2016 football season. The Kings lost to Tioga 38-36 in the NYSPHSAA Class D semifinals last month.

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