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Monday, Jan. 11, 2016: Long Beach rallies past Hilton at U-E Duals

   Leading off today: Long Beach rallied past Hilton 34-31 for a dramatic wrestling victory Sunday in the championship match of the Union-Endicott Duals.

   With the match tied entering the final bout, Mark Rivera of Long Beach decisioned John Fuino 3-1 at 220 pounds. Rivera scored an escape with 1:10 left in the third period and scored a winning takedown with :01 remaining.

   Hilton won the opening three matches by pin to race to a huge early lead before Long Beach began chipping away. With the score tied at 28, Hilton's Louie DePrez scored a 9-2 decision over Tyreek Bromley at 182 pounds but Elijah Rodriguez responded with a 9-3 victory over the Cadets' Pete Russo at 195 pounds.

   Hilton began the day with a 37-35 win over Monroe-Woodbury in the semifinals, coming from behind as Mike Spallina won with a first-period pin at 170 and DePrez rolled to a second-period technical fall after taking a 10-0 lead in the first period.

   Long Beach advanced with a 47-24 win vs. Wantagh. Pablo Martinez (99 pounds), Charlie Spada (145), Tyrese Byron (152) and Brandon DeVivio (160) recorded pins.

   Monroe-Woodbury defeated Wantagh 43-21 for third place.

   Boys basketball: Cardozo, top-ranked in the state in Class AA, earned a 68-63 win over No. 9 Robeson in PSAL action Sunday. Tareq Coburn led the way with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Aaron Walker and Rashond Salnave chipped in with 14 points apiece.

   National recognition: Pittsford's Marty Keating (swimming) and Eastchester's Dom Cecere (baseball) were among the 22 winners of the National Coach of the Year award given by the National Federation of State High School Associations Coaches Association.

   A swim coach for 42 years, Keating guided Pittsford Mendon's boys from 1973-92 and has coached the Pittsford girls since 1974. He is a retired Rochester City School District teacher. The Panthers won their 14th straight Section 5 girls championship last fall.

   Cecere booked his 700th victory in the 2014 season, and last spring marked his 51st year on the job. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association lists his 712 wins as an association record.

   Rockland legend dies: Retired North Rockland football coach Ralph Cordisco died Sunday in Wakefield, R.I.

   From 1956 to 1979, Cordisco coached Haverstraw and North Rockland to a 123-50-8 record , winning five Rockland County titles outright and tying for two more. His teams won 27 consecutive games from 1970-72.

   He also coached five county basketball champions from 1950-57, served as the golf coach and went on to be appointed athletic director.

   He was inducted into the Rockland County Sports Hall of Fame in 1984, two years after being selected National High School Athletic Director of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association.

   Green decides: Long Island Lutheran senior guard Devonte Green revealed over the weekend he will continue his basketball career at Indiana University. reported Hoosiers coach Tom Crean had flown to New York to watch Green against Chaminade recently and that the player's father said the visit made a big difference.

   Green's other finalists included DePaul, Iona, Kansas State and Virginia Commonwealth.

   A Rutgers win: Abraham Lincoln senior Jahlil Tripp, a 6-foot-5 wing, committed to the Rutgers basketball program over the weekend.

   Tripp's commitment came before Lincoln lost to Brooklyn rival Thomas Jefferson 96-93 and on the same day Rutgers was buried at home 90-56 to Nebraska.

   Social justice? A Wisconsin girls basketball player was suspended last week for five games over a an 11-character tweet, the Appleton Post-Crescent reported.

   Three-sport star April Gehl's tweet expressed displeasure with the Wisconsin Interscholastic Activities Association's recent directive to schools regarding sportsmanship said, "Eat (expletive) WIAA."

   The WIAA last month listed several chants directed at opposing participants and fans that would be considered unsportsmanlike behavior. "As we reviewed the fall tournaments and the sportsmanship evaluations and observations, we want to address concerns with a noticeable increase in the amount of chants by student sections directed at opponents and/or opponents' supporters that are clearly intended to taunt or disrespect," wrote WIAA director of communications Todd Clark.

   The WIAA has received public backlash for the email as well as Gehl's punishment. Some of the chants the organization characterized is objectionable included "Air ball," "You can't do that," and the innocuous "We can't hear you."

   WIAA rules do not allow for suspensions over social media behavior. The suspension of Gehl, the team's top scorer and an honor-roll student, came from her school in accordance with school board policy, the paper reported. She'll be out of the lineup through Jan. 25.

   "I couldn't believe it," Gehl said. "I was like, 'Really? For tweeting my opinion?' I thought it was ridiculous."

   Opinion: If you find the chant "We can't hear you" objectionable in any situation other than being directed at hearing- or speech-impaired athletes or fans, then you really need to chill out. I put no such qualification on "Air ball" and "You can't do that," which are harmless any time and any place.

   On a hunch, I'll guess that WIAA championship events culminate in trophies for the winners, plaques for the runners-up ... and participation trophies for all the rest of the schools in the state so as to not hurt feelings.

   Coming up: The New York State Sportswriters Association will release its all-state football team in Classes AA and A on Wednesday.

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